Course Title: Write extended stories

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

Course Code: COMM5911C

Course Title: Write extended stories

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - 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

Lorna Hendry

Nominal Hours: 40

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 course is designed to develop the skills to develop and  apply a range of narrative techniques to develop your writing across a range of contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFWRT402A Write extended stories


1. Analyse extended story writing requirements

Performance Criteria:

1. Identify the components of a storytelling creative concept, brief or project, including target audience, format, timeline and proposed outcomes

2. Consider factors such as style, tone and length in relation to purpose of the writing task

3. Decide on the most appropriate structuring technique for extended story writing tasks

4. Discuss with relevant personnel possible visual and aural storytelling structures if appropriate to storytelling tasks


2. Prepare to write extended stories

Performance Criteria:

5. Research extended and more complex stories from a range of creative works that may inspire story ideas to meet project requirements

6. Use information sources to research subject areas

7. Experiment with a range of narrative structures and writing styles and techniques

8. Develop extended ideas for characters, plots and settings

9. Develop complex scenarios, contexts and situations as required

10. Select the story structure, style, techniques and content that best meet the requirements of projects

11. Seek feedback from relevant personnel on proposed stories and refine approach as required


3. Draft extended stories

Performance Criteria:

12. Draft extended stories using appropriate structuring, style and language

13. Use relevant formatting and presentation techniques

14. Proofread draft stories for appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling

15. Submit draft manuscripts to relevant personnel for feedback and amend as required


4. Write final drafts

Performance Criteria:

16. Evaluate extended stories in line with relevant criteria

17. Discuss and confirm with relevant personnel additional requirements or modifications to the story

18. Complete necessary amendments as required within agreed timelines

19. Evaluate story writing process, assessing one's own performance and noting areas for future improvement

Learning Outcomes

You will be able to write original projects applying appropriate format and using extended narrative techniques.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will consist of:

  • In-class activities including:
    • Class discussions
    • Class presentations
    • Group work
    • Writing exercises
    • Workshopping
  • Out-of-class activities including:
    • Research
    • Conducting interviews
    • Independent project-based work

Teaching Schedule

Note: there may be minor adjustments to the following schedule during the course of the semester.


 Class content



Getting started

  • Introduction to course
  • Assessment outline
  • Personal introductions via small-group storytelling
  • Four types of writing
  • Elements of narrative
  • How do businesses use stories?
  • What jobs are available for storytellers?

Introduction of AT 1: Storytelling



  • How to find and tell a story
  • Case study: The Moth
  • Classic three-act structure
  • Beginnings, middles and ends
  • What to leave in and what to take out
  • Overcoming nerves about public speaking

Workshop: AT 1: Storytelling



People matter

  • Writing distinct characters using description, voice, habits, details, anecdotes
  • Characterisation in business writing

Group storytelling session (AT 1 delivery)

Introduction of AT 2: Character profile

Assessment Task 1:



Looking at the world

  • Interviewing techniques
  • Choosing and using direct quotes
  • Point of view: first, second and third person narratives
  • POV in business writing
  • Observational techniques
  • Writing exercise: character description


Making stories interesting

  • Keeping the reader reading – desires, obstacles, suspense, rhythm, pace
  • Different narrative structures
  • Narrative structure in business writing
  • Workshopping etiquette

Workshopping AT 2: Character profile

Introduction of AT 3: Newsletter article

Assessment Task 2: 

Character profile (draft)


Features of a newsletter article

  • Basic structure
  • Analysing good newsletter articles
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Research techniques


Show, don’t tell

  • Descriptive techniques
  • Using details
  • Using statistics to tell stories
  • Writing exercise: description

Assessment Task 2: 

Character profile


Stories add value

  • Significant Objects project
  • Writing exercise: personal object

Guest speaker

Assessment Task 3:

Newsletter article (outline)


Putting stories to work

  • How businesses use stories
  • Writing exercise: finding the ‘story’

Feedback on AT 3 outlines


Loving language

  • Evocative language
  • Word choices
  • Strong verbs


Workshopping AT 3: Newsletter article

Assessment Task 3:

Newsletter article (draft)


Stories have power

  • Importance of storytelling in our personal lives and our society
  • Applying all these techniques to fiction/memoir/creative non-fiction

Guest speaker

Assessment Task 3:

Newsletter article


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Students should look at the course Blackboard site every week for ongoing updated information, including required reading to be done in preparation for each class.

Other Resources

Sugggested resources
Treddinnick, M, The little red writing book, 2006, UNSW Press
Zinsser, W, On writing well: the classic guide to writing non-fiction, 2006, Collins

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • participation in written exercises, in class and online
  • research
  • the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessments to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all your assessment and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 3 (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria and grading rubric).

Assessment Task 1: Storytelling
Due date: Week 3 (in class, Tuesday 19 July)
You will present a 3-4-minute story in class. Your story must be true, from your own experience, and told in a compelling way with a clear beginning, middle and end. You may read from a script, use notes or deliver it without prompts.

Assessment Task 2: Character profile
Due date: Week 6 (Sunday 14 August)
You will write a 250-word character profile of a subject of your choice using techniques including description, direct quotes, observation of habits, anecdotes, etc. You must have a draft to workshop in class in Week 5 (Tuesday 2 August).

Assessment Task 3: Newsletter article
Due date: Week 10 (Sunday 11 September)
You will research and write a 600-word article for a newsletter or website. You can choose your own topic or select one of the supplied briefs. Your article must include a title, an introduction, subheadings, at least one image with alt text and a caption and you must indicate text that can be used as pull-out quotes. You must submit an outline of your topic and/or your research approach in class in Week 7 (Tuesday 16 August). You must have a draft to workshop in class in Week 9 (Tuesday 30 August).

This is a graded assessment.

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

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

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Matrixes are available from the Program Administration

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:   

Submission of work
You must submit your work electronically to your teacher. Your assessment briefs will specify whether this be by email, Google docs or Blackboard.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This should be submitted electronically with your assessment items.;ID=x3ddsmsrwa1hz   

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. It is strongly advised 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.   

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   

Academic Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed 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.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.   

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning 
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) 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