Communications Course Spotlight: Writing for Advocacy

October 27, 2021
Students operating a camera

Ciao Gladiators! Temashengu here, I’m a freshman from South Africa, and Eswatini, I’m an English Literature and Communications major with a minor in Creative Writing at John Cabot University (JCU).

I’m here to tell you a bit about our DJRN 380: Writing for Advocacy course, taught by Professor Antonio Lopez the chair of the Communications Department. The class aims to explore and understand the skill of persuasive writing as an art form. Particularly in the genres of journalism, politics, and research. The course deals with strategies and forms of advocacy and argument, audience demographics, generic expectations, integration of supporting materials and evidence, and publishing venues and approaches.



Students will learn how to tailor communication strategies appropriate for the intended audiences. In the context of this course, they will analyze the climate crisis by looking at media such as memes, editorials, journalism, public service announcements, image events, Instagram posts, or Tik Tok videos to understand how writing is essential for researching, planning, designing, and scripting any climate communication. Especially considering that it is a controversial topic among scientists, politicians, activists, and the fossil fuel industries. 


  • Is there a prerequisite?

Yes, there is, EN 110: Advanced Composition with a grade of C or above; Recommended: DJRN 221: Writing Across the Media. 

  • Is this course interactive?

Yes, in a way. The class is highly academically charged but balanced with a class blog, video script, and digital story project.

  • What is the course breakdown?

The class is divided into 5 modules: Understanding the Issue: Science and climate actors; Blogging and online strategic communication; Visualizing climate: Graphics and data journalism; Viral video: Stories we live-by; Image event campaigning, all covered over 14 weeks. For a full week by week break-down please look at the syllabus: 

  • Why does this course matter?

While the course zooms into the climate crisis to write for advocacy, the lessons learned can be applied to any social justice space that requires persuasive, research-based, strong, provocative writing. The climate crisis is but one of many ills society lives with, if you can learn to analyze, restructure and write for its cause you can easily apply those tools to any other crisis regardless of its magnitude. 


If you are interested in studying Communications in Rome, Italy then look no further!

The JCU Communications Department hopes to see you soon!

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