TCF 311 Section 001: Critical Stdy Television

Fall 2012

3 Credit Hours
Primary Instructor: Dr. Jeremy Butler
Syllabus subject to change.
Note: This syllabus contains one or more sections which have restricted viewing. Some content may require only a valid university login, while other content may be limited to students registered for the class.

Click here to authenticate via myBama.

Course Description

Critical analysis of television programs and commercials. Examples are presented for study and evaluation.


From the Student Records System
  • TCF 100 (undergrad) with a minimum grade of C-

Or permission of instructor.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the shaping of television history and the impact of diverse groups on that history;
  2. Understand how television style is created and what impact it has;
  3. Dissect TV narrative structure.
  4. Write correctly and clearly (evaluating their work for accuracy and fairness, appropriate style, and grammatical correctness);
  5. Evaluate concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of television; and
  6. Think critically, creatively, and independently.

Exams and Assignments

Your progress will be assessed through:

  • Three exams, worth 33.3 points each.

Please note: This is a seminar class which depends heavily upon students having done the readings and being prepared to discuss them in class. If the majority of the class fails to do a reading assignment then an in-class essay may be assigned and factored into the grading as part of the exam scores. 

Extra Credit Opportunities

Students may earn up to 3 extra credit points. Details posted online.

Policy on Missed Exams & Coursework

Make-up tests/exams will be given at the discretion of the instructor. No tests/exams will be given before their scheduled dates.

Grading Policy

Grades will be posted on Blackboard Learn.

Grading scale:

A+ 97-100   C+ 77-79    F  59 and below
A  93-96    C  73-76
A- 90-92    C- 70-72
B+ 87-89    D+ 67-69
B  83-86    D  63-66
B- 80-82    D- 60-62

Outline of Topics

Please browse to the online course schedule.

Required Texts

UA Supply Store Textbook Information

Textbook data from the Supply Store not found for this course.

Online resources for Television.


Screenings and Credits

Numerous TV programs will be shown on DVD in class. There will be no other screenings of the programs, but some are available online.

Credits are available from the Internet Movie Database. Follow the links in the Outline of Topics to find credits.

Attendance Policy

Each absence beyond four for the semester will result in one point being deducted from your final total. (Up to five points may be deducted.)

Cell-Phone Policy

Cell phones must be turned off.Cell phones must be turned off during classtime--especially during screenings. Text messaging is not permitted during class. Any use of cell phones during exams will be considered academic misconduct.

Disability Statement

If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call 348-4285 or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic adjustments.

Cultural Diversity Statement

The mission of The University of Alabama is to advance the intellectual and social condition of the people of the State through quality programs of teaching, research, and service. That educational mission is enhanced by the robust exchange of ideas that occurs within a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Students who learn from each other and from faculty members and administrators (including those at the highest levels of leadership) in an environment with a variety of backgrounds are better able to understand, appreciate, and contribute to our twenty-first century global society. Consequently, the University endorses a student, faculty, and administrative community enriched by women and men of diverse national origins, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, cultures, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, ages, physical abilities, and religious and political beliefs. The University is committed to offering diverse cultural programs, intercultural education, and other educational initiatives (such as the Universitys Crossroads Community Center) that enhance awareness and appreciation of cultural and individual diversity, promote community, and prepare students for the global society in which they will live and work.

As an institution of higher learning, The University of Alabama attaches great value to freedom of speech and open debate, but it also attaches great importance to the principles of civility and respect which govern an academic community. Harassment or other illegal discrimination against individuals or groups not only is a violation of University Policy and subject to disciplinary action, but also is inconsistent with the values and ideals of the University.

It is the goal of The University of Alabama to cultivate a hospitable campus environment in which all members of the University can work together and learn from each other in a climate of mutual respect.

GPA Requirements

College of Communication & Information Sciences majors must earn a "C" or better in all required and elective courses in their major. A "C" or better is required in all external courses required by the major whether they serve as a prerequisite to a major course or are simply required by the major. This means a "C" of any kind.

Policy on Academic Misconduct

All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student.

The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct.

Severe Weather Protocol

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar, sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.

UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving actions.

When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take. The Office of Public Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on campus in the following ways:

  • Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage
  • Weather advisory sent out through Connect-ED--faculty, staff and students (sign up at myBama)
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90.7 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.5 FM
  • Weather advisories are broadcast via WUOA/WVUA-TV, which can be viewed across Central Alabama. Also, visit for up-to-the-minute weather information. A mobile Web site is also available for your convenience.