Course Title: Produce Writings - Corporate Writing

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: COMM5398

Course Title: Produce Writings - Corporate Writing

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4171 - Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Professional Writing and Editing Administration

Course Contact Phone: Brendan Lee 9925 4368

Course Contact Email:Brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Penny Johnson (Course Lecturer)
Building 94, level 2, room 6
23–27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
9925 4383 (phone); 9925 4362 (fax)
penny.johnson@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 105

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

None

Course Description

This course introduces you to the craft of professional writing, focusing on business and public relations forms. You study clear writing, visual communication, business documents, speech and presentation writing, copywriting and writing for the Web. In-class activities and assessment tasks give you practice in applying your learning, and a group assignment prepares you for collaborative projects in the workplace.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP552 Produce Writings - Corporate Writing

Element:

1. Analyse the purpose of the writing task

Element:

2. Investigate the scope of the writing task

Element:

3. Plan the writing task

Element:

4. Create the writing task

Element:

5. Realise the writing task


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable


Details of Learning Activities

Students learn through a variety of methods. Classes are, in general, a mixture of lectures, discussion, practical exercises, group work and peer tutoring. Students also workshop their writing and provide oral critique of others’ work. A group project towards the end of the year gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively on an oral presentation and written proposal. Industry practitioners also give guest lectures on copywriting, work opportunities and professional practice. Students are responsible for managing their learning and undertaking an appropriate amount of out-of-class independent study and research.


Teaching Schedule

Semester 1

Week Date TopicsAssessment
Tasks Due 
1 16 Feb.Introduction to the subject
Analysis of the communication process
Organisational communication
 
2 23 Feb.Writing professionally – does your
audience understand you?
Plain English – language
 
3 2 March
Plain English – syntax, paragraphs, rhythm and tone, design and layout 
4 9 MarchPractice plain English test
Business correspondence – different forms
Understanding purpose and readership
 
516 MarchWriting business letters
Analysis of different forms – good/neutral news, bad news, and persuasive letters
Layout and format of business letters
Plain English
Test
623 MarchWriting memos
Electronic communication – the culture of email
Using email effectively
 
7 30 MarchIntroduction to speech writing
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
What makes an effective speech
Business
Correspondence Assignment
  Mid-Semester (Easter) Break 5–11 April 
8 13 AprilSpeech writing cont.
Analysis of different speeches
 
9 20 AprilLooking at persuasive writing
Propaganda, persuasion and logic
 
10 27 AprilInterviews to discuss progress briefs
Workshopping speeches
Speech – Progress Brief
11 4 MayWriting summaries and précis
Discussion and class exercises
 
12 11 MayPresentation of speeches Speech – Final
13 18 MayUnderstanding different media markets
Choosing the right market
 
14 25 MayWriting media releases Summary
15 1 JuneWriting media releases (cont.)
Workshopping assignments
 
16 8 JuneWriting letters of application
Writing résumés
Media Release
17 15 JuneGuest Speaker
Workshopping résumés
 
18 22 JuneSemester review  


Semester 2


Week Date TopicsAssessment
Tasks Due 
1 13 JulyIntroduction to report writing
 
2 20 JulyResearching and organising information
 
3 27 July
Library session – independent research
Report – Plan
4 3 Aug.Harvard referencing – creating a bibliography
Using graphics effectively
 
510 Aug.Writing submissions and proposals
Workshopping reports and individual consultations
 
617 Aug.Preparing a business caseReport – Final
7 24 Aug.Introduction to copywriting
Guest speaker
 
831 Aug.NewslettersBusiness Case
9 7 Sept.Brochures and flyers 
1014 Sept. Writing advertising copy
Guest speaker
Newsletter
Assignment 
11 21 Sept.Writing for the web 
  Mid-Semester Break 24–31 Sept. 
12 5 Oct.Forms groups and begin PR Group ProjectCopywriting
Assignment
13 12 Oct.Presenting written information persuasively
Consultation and group work
Project work
 
14 19 Oct.How to deliver an effective presentation
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
Project work
 
15 26 Oct.Project work 
16 2 Nov.Presentation of PR assignmentPublic Relations
Group Project:
Presentation and
Written Proposal
17 9 NovEmployment opportunities
Guest speaker
 
18 16 NovSemester review  


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

Resource material will be provided in class.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes writing tasks, assignments, a group project, and participation in class activities and workshopping.


Assessment Tasks

Students will receive a numerical grade for their overall achievement in this competency.

For each assessment task students will receive a letter grade and written feedback. The only exception is the Plain English test, which will be given a numerical grade.

Grades
High Distinction (HD) 80–100%
Distinction (DI ) 70–79%
Credit (CR) 60–69%
Pass (PA) 50–59%
Fail (NN) Less than 50%


Writing Analysis Task

A 5-minute oral critique of a piece of professional writing.

Due date
In either Semester 1 or 2, on a date negotiated with your teacher.

Percentage weight
5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    identify the intended audience and purpose of the writing
•    identify the elements of the writing that are successful and/or need improving
•    explain your responses.

Plain English Test

A 30-minute test on the material covered in the Plain English unit of work.

Due date
16 March

Percentage weight
5%

Business Correspondence

Write 5 pieces of correspondence (two letters, two emails and a memorandum) in response to a given scenario.

Due date
30 March

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    select information and structure your correspondence according to your purpose
•    write in plain English with correct mechanics
•    communicate messages professionally and with tact
•    lay out your correspondence clearly: letters in full block format without punctuation, and memorandum and emails according to convention.

Speech

Write a 750-word speech on a contemporary issue of your choice, as negotiated with your teacher.

The task has two components:
1.    written progress brief and interview
2.    written speech and its delivery.

You will be expected to workshop your speech in class.

Due dates
Progress brief and draft speech to workshop – 27 April
Speech – 11 May

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    plan for and reflect on the process of preparing a speech
•    frame an appropriate context for your speech, and match language and syntax to your audience, purpose and speaker
•    use speech writing techniques
•    write for the ear, as shown through delivery
•    structure your talk in a logical, cohesive and engaging way
•    research a contemporary issue and select appropriate content
•    present speech in appropriate format and proofread your work.

Summary

Write a 400-word summary of a given article.

Due date
25 May

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    summarise the main argument and key ideas
•    understand the conventions of a written summary
•    write clearly, briefly and correctly
•    use appropriate layout and signposting techniques and present the document professionally.

Media Release

Write a 350-word media release for associated publicity for your speech. Also write a paragraph explaining why you choose that particular media organisation, its demographic and what you hope to achieve by putting out the release.

Due date
8 June

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    express a clear and precise message and a news angle that suits your target publication
•    use the conventions of an effective media release
•    use appropriate language and syntax, and correct mechanics
•    understand the purpose of a media release and the role of the target media organisation in reaching a wider audience.

Report

Research and write a 1500-word business report to a set brief.

Due dates
Plan – 27 July
Final report – 17 August

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    structure your report according to the brief, and organise your ideas logically under hierarchical headings and within each section
•    understand the purpose and form of the following components: letter of transmittal, executive summary, introduction, body, conclusion and recommendations
•    research the set topic and select relevant information
•    write in plain English with correct mechanics and an appropriate style and tone
•    acknowledge sources of information, using the author–date referencing system for in-text citations and bibliography/reference list
•    present your report professionally, using decimal notation for headings, conventional pagination, use and labelling of graphics, and overall effective design, layout and typography.

Business Case

Prepare a written business case for implementing the recommendation of your report.

Due date
31 August

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    provide a clear statement of the situation and a proposed solution
•    identify and analyse costs and benefits
•    outline a detailed implementation strategy
•    structure information in a clear and logical way
•    select suitable information to show visually and to present graphs and/or charts effectively
•    write concisely and in plain English, with correct mechanics and a positive but dispassionate style and tone
•    present your business case professionally, using effective design, layout and typography.

Newsletter Assignment

Write two newsletter articles (one using the news style and the other using a features style) to a set brief.

Due date
14 September

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    select information appropriate to the articles’ purpose and audience
•    structure each article for either a news or features style, and organise ideas in a clear and logical way
•    write to engage your audience, using plain English and an effective headline
•    edit your writing for length and for correct mechanics.

Copywriting Assignment

Rewrite a piece of copywriting that could be improved. In less than a page, briefly outline the changes you have made and why you made them.

Due date
5 October

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    identify who the copy is targeted to (audience) and what it hopes to achieve (purpose), and refine as needed
•    understand the form and conventions of the kind of copy chosen
•    use language and visuals/design to achieve your purpose
•    edit and proofread your copy carefully
•    critically examine a piece of copywriting and understand how it could be improved.

Public Relations Group Project

A simulated project where you and your team develop a communication strategy for an organisation. The project has two components:

1.    Written communication strategy
Prepare a professionally presented report summarising your communication strategy. Word length: around 2000 words.

2.    Presentation
Your live pitch should be around 20 minutes and should include visual aids to support your proposal. You should also present a mock-up advertisement or brochure.

Due date
2 November

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed as a group on your ability to:
•    frame an appropriate context for your communication strategy
•    identify/develop the following in both pitch and report: PR goals and objectives, key messages of the campaign, selected target audience(s), strategies and tactics, situational analysis, schedule, budget and plans for evaluation
•    write your pitch for the ear and to engage and persuade your audience
•    structure your presentation in a logical and cohesive way
•    select suitable information to show visually and present graphs/charts effectively in both pitch and report
•    write your report in plain English with correct mechanics and an appropriate and consistent style and tone
•    structure your report according to the brief, organising ideas logically under hierarchical headings and within each section
•    present your report professionally, using appropriate layout and signposting techniques
•    use language and visuals/design in your piece of copywriting to achieve your purpose
•    understand the form and conventions of the kind of copy chosen
•    edit and proofread your copy carefully.


Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

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