Course Title: Non-Fiction Writing

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Non-Fiction Writing

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Alex Syndikas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3805

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Students will be introduced to various forms of non-fiction writing including feature writing, autobiographical writing, literary non-fiction, travel writing, essays and reviews. They will explore these different modes of non-fiction writing through the analysis of published non-fiction work, and develop their own writing skills through exercises and discussion. Students will be expected to have their writing workshopped (i.e. a writing sample will be presented and other class members will offer comments on the sample) in a weekly tutorial.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

After the successful completion of this course students will:
• be able to explore their own creativity through non-fiction writing;
• be able to demonstrate creative solutions to specific writing tasks;
• be able to examine and discuss techniques used in various forms of non-fiction writing;
• have the capacity to critically discuss various forms of non-fiction writing;
• be able to produce original writing that draws on the techniques studied in the course.

The following planned learning opportunities will be included in this course:
· structured lectures on various forms and techniques of non-fiction writing;
· tutorials to encourage group discussion;

Overview of Learning Activities

·workshopping within tutorials to encourage critical and creative thinking;
· in-class writing exercises to develop writing techniques;
· consultation and guidance from a writing practitioner.

Overview of Learning Resources

Recommended Texts (under development)
Gutkind, Lee, The Art of Creative Non-fiction, Pittsburgh Uni Press, Pittsburgh, 1998.
Walker, Brenda, The Writer’s Reader, Halstead Press, Sydney, 2001.
Brophy, Kevin, Creativity, MUP, Melbourne, 2000.
Marsden, John, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan, Sydney, 1993.
The Non-Fiction Writing Elective Reader.

Overview of Assessment

During the semester, students are expected to actively and regularly contribute to tutorial discussions and demonstrate their understanding of the issues raised in the lecture series. They are also expected to participate in the workshopping process by presenting original writing samples to the class for comment, and providing feedback to fellow class members.
The 500 word in-class writing exercise has been included to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their progress in the understanding of non-fiction writing conventions and the development of their creative problem solving skills.
The final writing project – a 2,500 word non-fiction project – has been included as part of the assessment criteria to enable each student to demonstrate the development of their non-fiction writing ability through the completion of the course.

Result/Grading Numerical Mark
HD (High Distinction) 80-100
DI (Distinction) 70-79
CR (Credit) 60-69
PA (Pass) 50-59
NN (Fail) 0-49