Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Journalism

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: COMM5408

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Journalism

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Professional Writing and Editing Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

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


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

This course is taught by a number of specialist teachers and coordinated by Stephanie Holt.    

Coordinator: Stephanie Holt
Phone: 9925 5581
Email: stephanie.holt@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 85

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

At RMIT Refine Writing and Editing – Journalism is delivered and assessed along with the following competencies.

  • CUVCOR04A - Originate concept for own work and conduct critical discourse
  • CUVCOR13A - Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice
  • CUECOR01B - Manage own work and learning
  • CUSADM03A - Manage a project
  • CUVDES05A - Interpret and respond to a brief
  • CUSRAD02A - Conduct Research

Through the development of these competencies, you gain the skills needed to manage your work and learning while responding to a range of project briefs. You research the work of other writers and publishers and apply your findings to your own writing through the development of a concept into a written work or a publishing project.

Course Description

This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to research and experiment with writing and editing techniques and media to generate writings. It focuses on a number of distinct writing areas including travel writing, literary non-fiction, feature writing, online writing and writing for radio. It also provides insights and practical skills applicable to the writing life of the freelancer 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Journalism

Element:

1. Inform work through experimentation with writing techniques and media   

Performance Criteria:

1.1The potential for new approaches to writing based on the capabilities of techniques already used are evaluated
1.2New techniques are selected, adapted and introduced for the achievement of different effects
1.3The capabilities of writing techniques are extended through experimentation to inform practice
1.4Relevant ideas and approaches from other practitioners are researched, adapted and used with consideration of intellectual property, moral rights and copyright requirements

Element:

2. Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings

Performance Criteria:

2.1A conceptual vision for writings are developed based on a knowledge and understanding of different writing techniques
2.2The criteria for selecting techniques are considered based on results of experimentation
2.3The criteria which are most likely to facilitate the achievement of the conceptual vision are established
2.4The approach to work which meets established criteria is selected
2.5The conceptual vision is refined based on on-going experimentation and analysis of writing techniques

Element:

3. Determine and organise resource requirements for work

Performance Criteria:

3.1The specific resource requirements which arise from the use of techniques and experimental approaches are assessed
3.2Potential sources of supply of writing resources are researched and accessed
3.3Constraints that may impact on the development of work are evaluated

Element:

4. Plan the writing

Performance Criteria:

4.1The writing task is planned to reflect the media, scope, structure and content of the work and to meet agreed timelines
4.2Ideas are organised and developed into an ordered sequence of scenes
4.3All resources required to deliver the writing task are organised
4.4A timeline for the completion of the writing task that reflects the critical milestones is determined

Element:

5. Realise writings                              

Performance Criteria:

5.1Writings are realised using techniques and media selected from research and experimentation to meet the conceptual vision
5.2The potential for changes in the use of techniques are evaluated and responded to
5.3The conceptual vision is refined based on on-going experiences with the production of writings
5.4Issues of design and presentation of writings are considered and appropriate actions taken


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to write for a range of publications and media.


Details of Learning Activities

In this course you learn through-

1. 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
 
2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study


Teaching Schedule

 Date        Class Content                                                                                                
Assessment    Due                                  
Competency and Elements                                                                    
 Wk1
Feb 8
 Introduction to the course. Explanation of the year’s work and assessment.  VBP553 - 3
CUVDES05A - 1
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1
CUSRAD02A - 1
CUSADM03A - 1
CUECOR01B - 1
 Wk 2
Feb 15
 Advanced Feature Articles
Come to class with three story ideas and a few possible target mags for these stories – a profile? an essay? a how-to? a humour piece? We’ll work both ideas into pitches, focusing on what makes ideas stronger, better suited to the reader/editor.

VBP553 - 1/2
CUVDES05A - 1/2
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1/2
CUSADM03A - 1/2
CUECOR01B - 1
 Wk 3
Feb 22
 Advanced Feature Articles
Researching the successful story idea. Where to start? What to add? What to omit? Which speakers to include? Lining up interviews. Brainstorming and resource pooling.
 VBP553 - 1/2
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 2/3
CUSRAD02A - 1/2
CUSADM03A - 2/3
CUECOR01B -  2
 Wk 4
Mar 1
Advanced Feature Articles
Dealing with transcripts, dovetailing data into storytelling, going that extra mile to distinguish your work.
 
  VBP553 - 4/5
CUVCOR 13A - 1/2
CUVCOR04A - 3
CUSRAD02A - 4
CUSADM03A - 3
CUECOR01B -  3
 Wk 5
Mar 8
 Advanced Feature Articles
Creating a master sheet and copy plan. Structure? Sidebars? Best ways to start and end a feature. Engaging the readers, and holding their attention. The main idea and the best angles.
  VBP553 - 4/5
CUVCOR 13A - 3
CUSRAD02A - 4
CUSADM03A - 3
CUECOR01B -  3
 Wk 6
Mar 15
 Advanced Feature Articles
First draft, with workshops and support reading. How to enliven and improve the copy. Problem areas. Micro and macro changes. Style.
 VBP553 - 5
CUSRAD02A - 4
CUSADM03A - 3
CUECOR01B -  3
 Wk 7
Mar 22
 Advanced Feature Articles
Spit, polish, and voila: your feature, ready for the world. Debrief, plus the prospect (and business) of ongoing writing.
 Assessment 1
Feature assessment due
 VBP553 - 5
CUVCOR 13A - 1/2
CUVCOR04A - 3
 Wk 8
Mar 29
 Advanced Feature Articles
Return and sharing of work. Celebration of features in general – the best of here and OS – plus market opportunities.
  VBP553 - 5
CUSADM03A - 4
 Wk 9
 Apr 5
 Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing
- why we listen to radio/podcasts/audio streaming
- Different script formats required for different types of programs/interviews
- finding good ‘talent’
- workshop ideas for interviews
 CUVDES05A - 1
CUVCOR 13A - 1-3
CUSRAD02A - 1
CUSADM03A - 1
 Wk 10
 Apr 14
Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing
- How to script for radio/podcasts, eg. forward announce, back announce, questions etc.
- What are the different roles/jobs in radio (producer, presenter etc.)
- Different styles of interviews required for different styles of program
- targeting your audience

  VBP553 - 1
CUVDES05A - 1
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1
 Wk 11
Apr 21
 Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing
- structuring interviews
- Writing promos, forward and back announces- - examining scripts from actual radio programs.
   VBP553 - 2
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR05A - 3
CUVCOR04A - 1
CUECOR01B - 3
 
 
 Mid Semester Break
  
 Wk 12
  May 3
 Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing
- writing voice-pieces, complex radio packages
  VBP553 - 3/4
CUSRAD02A - 2
CUVCOR 13A - 1/2
CUSADM03A - 3
 Wk 13
  May 10
Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing:
- Scripting Q/A’s, radio reviews
  VBP553 - 3/4

CUECOR01B - 1
CUSADM03A - 3
 Wk 14
 May 17
 Writing for Radio/Advanced Interviewing
Hand in Assignment.
Listening back to interviews – feedback session – IN CLASS ASSESSMENT.
Assessment 2
Writing for Radio assessment  due.
VBP553 - 2
CUSADM03A -2
CUECOR01B - 1
 Wk 15
 May 4
 Advanced Travel Writing
  CUVCOR04A - 4
CUSRAD02A - 4
VBP553 - 3
CUVCOR13A - 1


CUSADM03A - 1
 Wk 16
May 31
 Advanced Travel Writing   VBP553 - 4/5
CUVDES05A - 2/3
CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
CUVCOR04A - 3/4
CUSRAD02A - 4
CUSADM03A - 3
CUECOR01B -  3
 Wk 17
June 7
 Advanced Travel Writing Assessment 3
Travel Writing Assessment due
 VBP553 - 5
CUSADM03A - 4
    
Wk 1
Jul 5
 Introduction to Immersion Writing
Setting up for final assignment
 
CUVDES05A - 1
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1
CUSRAD02A - 1/2
CUSADM03A - 1
CUECOR01B -1
Wk 2
Jul 12
 Writer and Research
  CUSRAD02A - 1-4
Wk 3
Jul 19
Literary journalism

Introduction to Literary journalism
Writing exercise
 
 VBP553 - 2
CUVCOR 13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1/2
CUSRAD02A - 1-3
CUSADM03A - 1/2
CUECOR01B -  1-3
Wk 4
Jul 26
Literary journalism

Building on the literary journalistic form:
Character and Place  
 VBP553 - 2/3
CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
CUVCOR04A - 2/3
CUSADM03A - 3
Wk 5
Aug 2
Literary journalism
Telling non-fiction stories
Writers as chroniclers/storytellers
The personal story: the universal message
Workshopping ideas
  VBP553 - 2/4
CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
CUVCOR04A - 3/4
CUSADM03A - 3
 Wk 6
Aug 9
Literary journalism
Ethical and legal issues
Brainstorming
Professional approach
Workshop story ideas
  VBP553 - 4/5
CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
CUVCOR04A - 3/4
CUSADM03A - 3
CUSRAD02A - 3-5
Wk 7
Aug16
Literary journalism
Greater texture – making your literary journalism sing
Workshopping as required
 
Assessment 4
Literary Journalism assessment due
VBP553 - 55CUECOR01B - 3
CUVCOR 13A - 2 CUSADM03A - 4
CUECOR01B -  3
Wk 8
Aug 23
Immersion Writing -
workshopping
 
CUECOR01B - 3
CUVCOR 13A - 2 CUSADM03A - 4
 Wk 9
Aug 30
 Immersion Writing -
workshopping
  CUECOR01B - 3
CUVCOR 13A - 2 CUSADM03A - 4
Wk 10
Sep 6
  On-line Journalism 
 VBP553 - 1/2/4
CUVCOR13A - 1
CUVCOR04A - 1/2
CUVDES05A - 1
Wk 11
Sep13
  On-line Journalism  VBP553 - 1/2/4
CUVCOR13A - 2
CUVCOR04A - 3
CUVDES05A - 2/3
Wk 12
Sep 20
  On-line JournalismAssessment 5
Online Assessment Due
 VBP553 - 1/5
CUVCOR13A - 3/4
CUVCOR04A - 4
CUECOR01B -  3
  Mid Semester Break
  
Wk 13
Oct 11
 Guest Speaker - Writing your own particular passion Assessment 6
Immersion Assessment Due

CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
 Wk 14
Oct 18
 Marketing yourself as a free-lance journalist
 CUVCOR13A - 2/3
CUSADM03A - 3/4
 Wk 15
Oct 25
  <style type="text/css">@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }@font-face { font-family: "Calibri"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }</style> Pitching to newspaper/magazine editor   CUVCOR 13A - 2/3
VBP553 - 5
CUSADM03A - 4
CUVDES05A - 2/3
Wk 16
Nov 1 
Melbourne Cup Day  
 Wk 17
Nov 8
 Assessment Week   


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Any prescribed reading material is provided 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 and understanding 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.

Semester 1

Assignment 1. Feature article (20%) Due March 22

Assignment 2 Writing for Radio assignment (20%) Due May 17

Assignment 3 Presentation and pitch for travel feature (10%) Due June 7

Semester 2

Assignment 4 Literary Non-fiction assignment (20%) Due August 16

Assignment 5 On-line journalism assessment (10%) Due September 20

Assignment 6 Immersion piece (20%) Due October 11


Grades used in this course are as follows:

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

For further details on these assessment tasks and the grading system and criteria used, 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

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

Late Submission
Please refer to the course blackboard site for policy information  on late submissions and plagiarism

Plagiarism
RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview