Yearbook Advising

JRN 809, Section 302
Three credits or Non-Credit Workshop

Location: Comm Arts Building, MSU, East Lansing
July 23-27, 2012
Lynn Strause

Think of the yearbook as the monster in the closet. In this course, we’re going to tame the monster. You’ll get practical information and hands-on experience in all the fundamentals of yearbook. Our goal is to make your job of advising easier. We’ll concentrate on not only increasing your knowledge but also on ways that you can present needed information to your students. You’ll study several areas, including creating ladders; developing a theme; developing section ideas; creating contemporary graphics and columnar, grid and modular layouts both on paper and on the computer; copy and caption writing and editing; managing a staff; bidding the contract; working with a yearbook company representative and more. You’ll develop an individualized 30-day set of lesson plans to use with your staff.

Assignments focus on giving you practice with such practical aspects as designing on paper and on the computer, editing, developing coverage. You will be expected to complete several minor assignments and one major individualized project. Grades will be determined by the quality of the assignments and the projects submitted. Attendance at all sessions is required.

The class will meet for the first time on Monday, July 23, at 9 a.m. Class periods will be 9 a.m to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The class will be over at 2 p.m. on Friday. There will be a closing luncheon at noon. Evenings will be used for homework and open lab use.


  • Scholastic Yearbook Fundamentals, ed. by Martha Akers, Paul Ender, Laura Schaub
  • The Radical Write (Second Edition), by Bobby Hawthorne
  • Non-Designer’s Design Book, by Robin Williams
  • You may purchase your textbooks at or
  • Notebook and CD compiled by instructor, $15 fee

Materials to bring:

  • Variety of magazines with lots of photos in a variety of sizes (you’ll need some big ones) pencils, pens, markers
  • scissors
  • rubber cement (2-4 bottles)
  • construction paper
  • lined and unlined paper
  • copy of your yearbook
  • layout sheets (if available)
  • pica ruler (if available)

Some layouts will be done on computer, but computer design instruction is minimal. We will begin with a cut and paste approach to design, so these supplies will be important.

Registration: To indicate your desire to register for this course for credit, please go here:

Please be sure to check out other steps you might need to do before you are registered into the class on this page.