Course Title: Produce Writings - Non-Fiction

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: COMM5436

Course Title: Produce Writings - Non-Fiction

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4171 - Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:mctafe@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Kate Holden
Email: kate.holden@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

The competency Produce Writings –Non-fiction VBP552 is delivered and assessed in conjunction with  the following competencies:
CUVCOR03A: Develop, refine and communicate concept for own work
CUVCOR11A: Source information on history and theory and apply to own work
CUSRAD01A: collect and organise information
 

Course Description

This course aims to give you the skills and confidence to embark upon a career as a freelance print journalist, and to prepare for a career as a non-fiction writer. It will help you to cultivate a professional approach and a critical awareness of appropriate language, style, and word length for a range of publications and audiences by:

- analysing a range of journalistic and other non-fiction material from various publications
- writing and workshopping in class
- researching and writing ‘publishable’ articles/chapters for assessment
- discussing contemporary issues in the media and publishing
- emphasising the importance of grammatical, well-constructed sentences and paragraphs
- developing competence and confidence in planning, drafting, re-drafting, editing and pitching articles and non-fiction work                         


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP552 Produce Writings - Non-Fiction

Element:

1. Analyse the purpose of the writing task 

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The purpose of the work is confirmed with relevant parties
1.2 The form, media and technique most appropriate to the purpose of the writing task is selected
1.3 The stylistic and cultural context of the writing task is proposed to meet the writing objective

Element:

2. Investigate the scope of the writing task

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The level and scope of the writing task is analysed to determine the length and style of the work
2.2 The level of research required to fulfil the agreed outcome to the required style and standard is analysed
2.3 The resources necessary to retrieve or generate the relevant information is determined
2.4 The type and level of information required to suit the context of the writing task is planned

Element:

3. Plan the writing task

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The writing task is planned to reflect the media, scope, structure and content of the work
3.2 Ideas are organised and developed into an ordered sequence
3.3 All resources required to deliver the writing task are organised
3.4 A timeline for the completion of the writing task that reflects the critical milestones is determined

Element:

4. Create the writing task

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Components of the information required and the form in which the writing will be developed, constructed and presented is resolved
4.2 The intention of the writing task and the characteristics of the audience are reflected in the writing
4.3 Appropriate processes and research are utilised to retrieve the necessary information
4.4 The particular characteristics of the media are analysed to inform the writing in a way that is appropriate for the purpose of the writing
4.5 Relevant information sources are employed to generate and inform the writing task
4.5 Common literary devices and the metaphoric function of language are integrated into the writing task
4.6 Writing task is produced in accordance with writing goals

Element:

5. Realise the writing task

Performance Criteria:

5.1 The writing task is appropriate for the media, the context of the brief and the style of the subject matter
5.2 The language in which the writing task is written is suitable for the intended audience
5.3 The writing task is proofed and edited to the standard required for presentation
5.4 A draft is presented, if required, to the client to confirm that the work is acceptable
5.5 Work is adjusted as required and presented in the agreed manner and timefram


Learning Outcomes


 On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to plan, draft, edit and pitch a variety of non-fiction for a range of publications.


Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through - 
In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• reading of excerpts of writings and set texts to provide examples of writing elements
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of writings of students’ choice

Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study


Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Week BeginningClass contentAssignments dueCompetency & Elements
Week 1

Intro to the course
Discussion of method, workshopping, privacy.
Discussion of assessment
Write about own writing


Header and precede
Header and precede exercise

 
VBP552 - 2
CUVCOR03A - 1
CUSRAD01A - 1
CUVCOR11A - 1
Week 2

Observation pieces, scenes, people
Metaphor/simile

Organising notes

Writing observation, workshop

 VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1/2
CUSRAD01A - 1
CUVCOR11A -1
Week 3
Columns, personal and expert

Column exercise
  VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1/2
CUSRAD01A - 1/2
Week 4

Research and approaching an unfamiliar subject

Library tour

  
CUVCOR11A -1
Week 5

Odd jobs of writing: opportunities and variety

Style exercise, noun+verb, writing from imagery

Workshop column assessment piece

  VBP552 - 1 / 3
Week 6

Interviewing.

Guest speaker

Interview classmate and write up, workshop

 Column due VBP552 - 4
CUVCOR03A - 2/3
CUVCOR11A - 2
Week 7

Writing profiles

Vox pop interviews and write up

 VBP552 - 1/2
CUSRAD01A - 1/2/3
CUVCOR11A - 1
Week 8

Business of being a writer: dealing with editors, publishers, agents, freelancing, pitching, royalties etc

Pitch exercise

 VBP552 - 2 -4
CUSRAD01A -  1
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Mid-semester break
Thursday 5 April to Wednesday 11 April
  
Week 9

TBC

Workshop profile assessment pieces

CUSRAD01A – 1-4
 Week 10 

Reviews, book reviews

Review exercise

 Profile due

 VBP552 - 1/2                 
CUVCOR11A - 1

 Week 11
Reviews
Film/theatre/music review exercise
  VBP552 - 3/4
CUVCOR03A - 2
 Week 12

‘How to’ writing100-word exercise

Instructional writing exercise

  VBP552 - 1
CUVCOR03A - 2/3
CUVCOR11A - 1
 
Week 13

Guest speaker on blogging for writers

Workshop review assessment piece

  VBP552 - 1
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 14 
 Guest speaker TBC Review due CUVCOR11A - 1/2 CUSRAD01A – 1-4
 Week 15
 Presentations Presentations  CUVCOR11A - 1/2 CUSRAD01A – 1-4
 Week 16
 Presentations Presentations CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 17
 Assessment Week - no class
  
  Semester 2  
 Week 1
 Literary non-fiction  VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1
CUSRAD01A - 1 /2
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 2
 Memoir

Memoir exercise
  VBP552 - 3-5
CUVCOR11A -  2
 Week 3

 Memoir

Memoir exercise

  VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1
CUSRAD01A - 1 /2
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 4
  Biography

Family history/biography exercise
  VBP552 - 3-5
CUVCOR11A - 2
 Week 5
 Magazine/mainstream article

Workshop memoir assessment piece
 VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1/2
CUSRAD01A - 1 /2
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 6
 Mainstream writing

Team exercise on devising magazine liftout
 Memoir due VBP552 - 3-5
CUVCOR03A - 3
CUVCOR11A - 1 /2
 Week 7
 Travel writing

Personal travel writing exercise
  VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 1 /2
CUSRAD01A - 1 /2
CUVCOR11A - 1
 Week 8 
 Travel writing guest speaker TBC

Guidebook writing exercise

VBP552 - 1/2
CUVCOR03A - 3
CUSRAD01A - 3/4 CUVCOR11A - 2
 Week 9

Opinion writing

Opinion exercise

 

 VBP552 – 1
CUVCOR03A – 1/2       CUVCOR11A - 1

 Week 10
 ‘Researching and writing a feature article

Workshop opinion OR travel assessment piece
 

 VBP552 – 1-3      CUSRAD01A - 1-4

 Week 11
 TBC  VBP552 – Realise the writing task
CUVCOR01A – Communicate concept
 Week 12
 True crime: visit to Law Courts Opinion OR travel due CUSRAD01A - 1/2
 

Mid-semester break
24 Sept to 5 Oct (inclusive)

  
 Week 13
 Industry  speaker

Workshop Law courts exercise
  CUSRAD01A - 3/4
 Week 14
  Presentations Presentations CUVCOR11A - 1/2 CUSRAD01A – 1-4
 Week 15
  Presentations  
Presentations
 CUVCOR11A - 1/2 CUSRAD01A – 1-4
 Week 16
 Summing up; business of being a freelancer, farewell  CUVCOR11A - 1/2
 Week 17  Assessment Week - no class   


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

You are expected to read widely from newspapers, a broad range of magazines/journals (including online) and non-fiction books. Such readings will be supplemented by hand outs distributed in class.


References

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


Other Resources

You require access to a computer and to the internet for this course


Overview of Assessment


Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through 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 pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.
Detailed briefs for each assignment will be provided to you in class and on blackboard, including industry-specific criteria such as: clarity and appropriateness of angle, clear audience targeting, etc. Your participation in the drafting and class workshopping process will be considered in assessment of assignments.


 
Assessment 1:  1 x EITHER 800 word column OR 600 word review (20%) Due 15/3/2012

Assessment 2: 1 x 1200 word profile ( 20%) Due 19/4/2012 

Assessment 3:  Class presentation Sem 1. Topic to be negotiated ( 10%)  Due 24 & 31/5/2012

Assessment 4:  1 x 1500 word memoir ( 20%)  Due 9/7/2012

Assessment 5:  1 x EITHER 1200 word travel piece OR 1200 word opinion piece (20%) Due 20/9/2012

Assessment 6: Class presentation Sem 2. Topic to be negotiated ( 10%)  Due18 & 25/10/2012



Assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.


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

For further information on the criteria used for grading, please refer to the course blackboard site.


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration.

Other Information

Submission of Assessment Tasks
You are required to submit all assessment tasks in hard copy with a completed School of Media and Communication cover sheet. You are expected to keep a copy of all assignments submitted.

Late Submissions
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension before that due date..
Please refer to the course blackboard site for information on late submissions and on applying for an extension.

Feedback
You will receive both spoken and written feedback on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity is about the honest presentation of your academic work. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity. For further information on academic integrity and plagiarism, please refer to the following URL. http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kkc202lwe1yv

Special Consideration Policy
Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1




Course Overview: Access Course Overview