Course Title: Literary Non-Fiction

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Literary Non-Fiction

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Carlin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3934

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses COMM2389 Telling Stories and COMM2391 Writing Non Fiction before you commence this course. Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the pre-requisites before enrolling in a course.

Course Description

In this course you will examine literary non-fiction as a form of literary narrative. You will explore literary non-fiction as a form of story telling, which challenges the boundaries between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction.’  You will examine a range of class readings and undertake research, critical analysis and creative production.  In particular, you will discuss a wide range of literary non-fiction texts and their significant innovations from early examples to contemporary narratives.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:
-    careful and critical reading and analysis of texts
-    independent research and critical writing skills
-    creative writing and editing skills including reflective practice
-    ability to respond to and communicate ideas as a creative writer, and
-    workshopping skills.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
- demonstrate conceptual thinking about social, literary and narrative developments as they effect the definition of ‘non-fiction’ and ‘literature’
- communicate ideas about ethical issues raised by literary non-fiction
- interrogate and discuss issues related to the publication of non-fiction work
- undertake research to develop and execute a non-fiction work
- engage in discussion and analysis of work developed by self and peers, and
- plan, organise and create a literary non-fiction work from inception to entry level publication standard.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course offers a range of teaching and learning approaches: lectures, talks by guest writers, readings, tutorial discussion of talks and texts, and creative writing workshops. Through analysis and discussion of the readings and talks you will have an opportunity to interrogate and discuss issues raised when writing and publishing non-fiction work; to develop an understanding of the ethics involved; and to engage in the question of aesthetic judgement. As well, you will have the opportunity to develop your ideas about your own creative research and writing. Excursions and independent off-campus activities will enhance your research and writing. Through workshops you will test your ideas and receive critical feedback from your lecturer and peers to assist in the drafting and re-writing process.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You are expected to read widely and independently across a number of genres and forms as they relate to literary non-fiction. You will be provided with a reading list at the start of semester and this list will be added to in response to ideas raised and discussed. You will also be accessing a range of resources through different means, including the library, e-reserve, the web, and various archives.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment in this course aims to test your ability to analyse and write in the literary non-fiction form. Writing and research skills are tested, including the development of ideas, the shaping of a narrative, writing and re-writing in response to feedback. You will also be tested on your ability to reflect on the work of others by engaging critical and analytical skills.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program director or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures.