Course Title: Write non-fiction

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: COMM7306

Course Title: Write non-fiction

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5295 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Michelle Deans

Kaye Blum


Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency requires you to demonstrate the skills relevant to creating a publishable nonfiction work. These include an ability to use structure, style and tone appropriate to a concept, to undertake appropriate research, and to respond to feedback from specialists in the field. A fictional genre, work or issue might form the subject of such nonfiction writing. The relevant nonfiction writing techniques might also be demonstrated in the process of developing creative or hybrid-genre writings.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20276 Write non-fiction


1 Develop a concept suitable for a work of non-fiction

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Concept is explored with regard to purpose, desired outcome and understanding of the market
1.2 Possible constraints are identified and examined to determine feasibility of concept
1.3 Audience is determined and potential markets are researched
1.4 Discussion of concept is initiated with industry colleagues and specialists in the field, and feedback is sought 
1.5 Proposal for development of non-fiction work is developed


2 Clarify project requirements

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Research requirements for the work of non-fiction are identified.
2.2 Developmental stages for the work are formulated
2.3 A timeline for the completion of the work is agreed with commissioning agents or editors if applicable
2.4 Social, ethical and environmental impacts of the approaches/concepts are considered
2.5 Potential copyright issues are considered and explored
2.5 Resource requirements to complete project are identified


3 Plan writing

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Format of work is decided on after research and experimentation and in consultation with relevant personnel
3.1 Structure of work is determined
3.2 Outline of the work is developed
3.3 Style and tone appropriate to the audience are considered


4 Develop draft

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Non-fiction narrative is developed with consideration given to the nature and format of the project
4.2 Concept is re-evaluated and refined as necessary.
4.3 Draft is reviewed and evaluated against purpose and desired outcome
4.4 Additional requirements or modifications are made in consultation with relevant personnel
4.5 Amendments are made to writings as required
4.6 Draft is checked using appropriate editing techniques

Learning Outcomes

Please refer to the Diploma of Profesional Writing and Editing- Program booklet for Students

Details of Learning Activities

In this course you learn through the following:

1. In-class activities:
• lectorials
• exercises and activities
• group discussion
• writing workshops
• industry speakers
2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent study 
• online and other research
• independent tasks writing to a brief

Teaching Schedule

 Week      Class Content                                                                                                Assessment    Due                                   

The who-what-where of copywriting
Introduction to course and assessment tasks
What is copywriting?
Current trends in copywriting


Audience and the art of persuasion
Understanding your audience
Identifying features and benefits
Finding the USP (unique selling point/proposition)


Structuring copy and writing headlines
Models of structuring copy: the 4 Ps, AIDA
How to write a great headline


The language of copywriting
Choosing words that appeal
Getting the tone right




Writing advertising
Writing ads for press and electronic/digital media
Advertising on price and others USPs

Assessment 1 Structured copywriting exercise due


**No class for Monday 13 March, due to Labour Day holiday**


Flyers, postcards and brochures
Print copy formats in PR and advertising
Structuring and writing a brochure


Direct mail letters and email marketing
Techniques to draw readers to action

The role of newsletters in internal and external communications
Interviewing for and writing profiles
The inverted pyramid and the news story
Assessment 2 Resource bank due

Writing short copy
Identifying your own personal brand (USP)
Writings bios, taglines and mission statements



Polishing your folio
Copywriting checklists
Workshopping your writing
One-on one interviews with teacher


Mid-semester break
Friday 14 April to Friday 21 April inclusive


Presenting to clients
Final folio workshopping
Industry Q and A

Assessment 3 Folio due

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Any prescribed reading material is provided in class


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You require access to a computer and the internet for this course. Other materials will be provided in class. 

Overview of Assessment

Please refer to the Diploma of Profesional Writing and Editing- Program booklet for Students

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of  the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessments (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria).
Assessment 1 – Structured copywriting exercise (Due Week 5, 6 March)
Through a series of class-based activities, you will explore the fundamentals of writing persuasive copy to a brief for a specific audience and action.

Assessment 2 –  Resource bank (Due Week 9, 3 April)
Collect a minimum of 10 pieces of diverse copy for a resource bank (or 'swipe file'). Explain how they may be useful to you in your practice.

Assessment 3 – Copywriting folio (Due Week 12, 1 May)
Submit a folio of at least 3 drafted pieces of diverse copy.

Once you have demonstrated competency, your final assessment will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric).

Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CHD – Competent with High Distinction
CDI – Competent with Distinction
CC – Competent with Credit
CAG – Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC – Not Yet Competent
DNS – Did Not Submit for Assessment

Grading criteria for this assessment can be found on the course Blackboard site.


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. The assessment matrix for this course can be found on Blackboard or from your teacher.

Other Information

Other information
Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:


How to submit work
Your assessment brief will specify how you should submit your work – as hard copy, digital copy or electronically through Blackboard. When you submit your work, you must include a declaration of authorship.

For submissions on Blackboard, you need to agree to an assessment declaration when you submit.

For all other submissions, you must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work.;ID=x3ddsmsrwa1hz

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. We strongly advise that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

We request that you speak to your teacher if regular attendance becomes difficult.

Assessment feedback
You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1

Student progress
Monitoring academic progress is helps us to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to assessment
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.;ID=kehn9bz22r41

Academic integrity and plagiarism
Academic integrity is about the honest presentation of work that is your own. RMIT University has a clear policy on plagiarism (see web page for more detail).

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Credit Transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview