This chapter explains bow this academic ideal might be realistically pursued to the benefit of students, instructors, and academic institutions. It describes bow systematic procedures for assessing the success of a media writing course might be implemented to serve the same constituencies. Mass media writing courses, however, force a new set of circumstances on students and instructors. Investing time in the development of a comprehensive syllabus is one especially effective way to improve the validity of student assessment in media writing courses. The proper order for acquiring skills in media writing is not always as clear cut as it is in arithmetic where, for instance, multiplication precedes division. The major safeguard against teaching rote skills in a media writing course is the instructor’s explicit concern with communication theory. In short, a model of communication should facilitate the student’s transition from novice learner to competent practitioner, with the additional benefit of identifying criteria for assessing effective media writing.