Course Title: Produce Writings - Corporate Writing

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2008

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

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Penny Johnson
Building 94, level 2, room 6
23–27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
9925 4383 (phone); 9925 4362 (fax)

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


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

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. Students are responsible for managing their learning and undertaking an appropriate amount of out-of-class independent study and research.

Teaching Schedule

Semester 1

2Introduction to the subject
The communication process
3Writing professionally – audience, purpose and form
Plain English – language
4Plain English – syntax, paragraphs, rhythm and tone, design and layout
5Putting plain English into practice
Introduction to business correspondence
6Writing business letters
Analysis of different forms – good/neutral news,
bad news, and persuasive letters
Layout and format of business letters
7Writing memos
Electronic communication – the culture of email
Using email effectively
8Introduction to speech writing
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
What makes an effective speech
9Speech writing cont.
Analysis of different speeches
10Looking at persuasive writing
Propaganda, persuasion and logic
11Interviews to discuss progress briefs
Workshopping speeches
12Writing summaries and précis
Discussion and class exercises
13Presentation of speeches
14Understanding different media markets
Choosing the right market
15Writing media releases
16Writing media releases (cont.)
Workshopping assignments
17Writing letters of application
Writing and workshopping résumés
18Semester review

Semester 2

1Introduction to report writing
2Researching and organising information
3Library session on researching
Independent research
4Harvard referencing – creating a bibliography
Using graphics effectivel
5Writing submissions and proposals
Workshopping reports and individual
6Preparing a business case
7Introduction to copywriting
Guest speaker
9Brochures and flyers
10Writing for the web
11Writing for the web
12Forms groups and begin PR Group Project
13Presenting written information persuasively
Consultation and group work
Project work
14How to deliver an effective presentation
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
Project work
15Project work
16Presentation of PR assignment
17Cup Day holiday
18Semester review

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Students are given handouts and use the Corporate Writing website on Blackboard.

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.

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

Class participation

Students are assessed on their participation in class activities, workshopping and giving an oral critique of a piece of business writing or copywriting.

Due date
The oral critique is delivered either in Semester 1 or the beginning of Semester 2, on a date negotiated with your teacher.

Percentage weight

Business Correspondence

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

Due date
8 April

Percentage weight

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.


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 are expected to workshop your speech in class.

Due dates
Progress brief and draft speech to workshop – 29 April
Speech – 13 May

Percentage weight

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.


Write a 400-word summary of a given article.

Due date
27 May

Percentage weight

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 your choice that particular media organisation, describing its demographic and what you hope to achieve by putting out the release.

Due date
10 June

Percentage weight

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.


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

Due date
Plan – 22 July
Final report – 12 August

Percentage weight

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
26 August

Percentage weight

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.

Copywriting Assignment

The assignment has a newsletter and a copyriting component.

Due date
5 October

Percentage weight

Assessment criteria
Each component will have assessment criteria, which will be given in the assessment task handout.

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

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview