Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Corporate Writing

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: COMM5450

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Corporate Writing

School: 345T Creative Media

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

Penny Johnson
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: 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

None

Course Description

This course builds on the skills introduced in Produce Writings - Corporate Writing. You develop the craft of professional writing, incorporating different forms and focusing on a range of audiences. 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:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Corporate Writing


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable


Details of Learning Activities

Classes are, in general, a mixture of lectures, discussion, practical exercises, group work and peer tutoring. In workshopping sessions you gain feedback on your writing and critique that of others, and a group assignment prepares you for collaborative projects in the workplace. Industry practitioners also give guest lectures on their area of expertise. You are responsible for managing your learning and undertaking an appropriate amount of out-of-class independent study and research.


Teaching Schedule

Semester 1

WeekContentElements of competencies covered
1Introduction to the subject
The communication process
CUECOR01B Develop personal time management skills
CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects
CUECOR01B Manage own learning
CUVDES05A Plan the production of the work
2Writing professionally – audience, purpose and form
Plain English – language
CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUSRAD02A Clarify and confirm purpose of research
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
3Plain English – syntax, paragraphs, rhythm and tone, design and layoutCUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUSRAD02A Clarify and confirm purpose of research
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
4Putting plain English into practice
Introduction to business correspondence
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects
5Writing business letters
Analysis of different forms – good/neutral news,
bad news, and persuasive letters
Layout and format of business letter
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
VBP 553 Plan the writing


6Writing memos
Electronic communication – the culture of email
Using email effectively
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Realise writings
7Introduction to speech writing
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
What makes an effective speech
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects

8Speech writing cont.
Analysis of different speeches
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
CUVCOR04A Generate concept
9Persuasive writing
Propaganda, persuasion and logic
CUSADM03A Develop a plan for the limited project or section of the larger project
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
CUVCOR04A Generate concept
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
10Interviews to discuss progress briefs
Workshopping speeches
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback
CUVCOR04A Conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR04A Adjust and refine concept
11Writing summaries and précis
Discussion and class exercise
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
VBP 553 Plan the writing
VBP 553 Realise writings
12Presentation of speechesVBP 553 Realise writings
13Understanding different media markets
Choosing the right market
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUSRAD02A Clarify and confirm purpose of research
CUSRAD02A Identify and access sources of information
14Writing media releasesVBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
VBP 553 Plan the writing
VBP 553 Realise writings
15Writing media releases (cont.)
Workshopping assignment
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback
CUVCOR04A Conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR04A Adjust and refine concept
16Professional practice
Introduction to report writing
CUVCOR11A Collect information on history and theory
VBP 552 Analyse the purpose of the writing task
17Semester reviewCUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUVCOR13A Update and maintain knowledge of trends within own area of artistic practice
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback

Semester 2

 WeekContent
Elements of competencies covered
 1Formal report writingCUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
VBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
CUECOR01B Develop personal time management skills
CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects
CUSADM03A Develop a plan for the limited project or section of the larger project
CUECOR01B Develop personal time management skills
CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVDES05A Plan the production of the work
 2Library session on researching
Independent research
CUSRAD02A Clarify and confirm purpose of research
CUSRAD02A Identify and access sources of information
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
 CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback
CUVCOR04A Conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR04A Adjust and refine concept
CUSRAD02A Provide information in appropriate format
 3Harvard referencing – creating a bibliography
Using graphics effectively
 CUSRAD02A Identify and access sources of information
CUSRAD02A Analyse research findings

 4Writing submissions and proposals
Workshopping reports and individual
consultations
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback
CUVCOR04A Conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR04A Adjust and refine concept
 5Preparing a business caseCUVDES05A Complete the production of the work
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVDES05A Develop and refine the design concept
CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects
CUSADM03A Develop a plan for the limited project or section of the larger project
CUSRAD02A Provide information in appropriate format
 6Introduction to copywriting
Guest speaker
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVDES05A Develop and refine the design concept
CUVDES05A Liaise with client
CUVDES05A Plan the production of the work
CUVDES05A Complete the production of the work 
 7NewslettersCUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
VBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
VBP 553 Plan the writing
 8Brochures and flyersCUVCOR13A Research history and theory
VBP 553 Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings
VBP 553 Determine and organise resource requirements for work
VBP 553 Plan the writing
 9Writing for the webCUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUVDES05A Interpret the brief
CUVDES05A Develop and refine the design concept
CUVDES05A Liaise with client 
 10Writing for the web CUSRAD02A Identify and access sources of information
CUSRAD02A Analyse research findings
VBP 553 Realise writings
 11Forms groups and begin PR Group Project CUSADM03A Determine scope of projects
CUSADM03A Develop a plan for the limited project or section of the larger project
CUECOR01B Develop personal time management skills
CUECOR01B Manage own learning
CUVDES05A Plan the production of the work
CUVCOR04A Research concept ideas
CUVCOR04A Generate concept
 12Presenting written information persuasively
Consultation and group work
Project work
CUVCOR13A Research history and theory
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUVDES05A Plan the production of the work
VBP 553 Plan the writing
CUVCOR04A Conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR04A Adjust and refine concept
 13How to deliver an effective presentation
Writing for the ear rather than the eye
Project work
CUVDES05A Complete the production of the work
VBP 553 Realise writings
CUSADM03A Administer and monitor project
CUECOR01B Receive and act constructively on personal feedback
 14Project workCUVDES05A Complete the production of the work
VBP 553 Realise writings
CUSADM03A Administer and monitor project
 15Presentation of PR assignmentCUVDES05A Complete the production of the work
VBP 553 Realise writings
 16No class – Cup Day

 17Professional practiceCUSADM03A Review project against plan
CUVCOR13A Link research to artistic practice
CUVCOR13A Update and maintain knowledge of trends within own area of artistic practice


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

You receive course materials in class and online (via Blackboard).


Overview of Assessment

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


Assessment Tasks

You receive a numerical grade for your overall achievement in VBP552  Refine writing and editing techniques – Corporate Writing. (The other skills-based competencies are assessed as either ’Competent’ or ’Not yet competent’.)

For each assessment task you receive a letter grade and written feedback. The assessment tasks are summarised below but detailed handouts will be given out for each task in class.

Grades

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


Class participation

You are assessed on your participation in class activities and workshopping, and on 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
10%

Business correspondence

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

Due date
24 March

Percentage weight
10%

Assessment criteria
You are 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 400-word analysis of a formal speech and write a 750-word speech on a contemporary issue of your choice, as negotiated with your teacher.

The speechwriting 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 – 21 April
Speech – 12 May
Written analysis – 12 May

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You are assessed on your ability to:
•    identify and analyse the speechwriting techniques used in a formal speech
•    write a fluent, coherent analysis
•    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 assignment

Complete an assignment involving several summary tasks.

Due date
26 May

Percentage weight
7.5%

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

Media release

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

Due date
9 June

Percentage weight
7.5%

Assessment criteria
You are 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 date
Plan – 14 July
Final report – 11 August

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You are 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

Write a 500-word business case.

Due date
18 September

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

Copywriting assignment

Collect and analyse 3 different types of copy and write 2 pieces of copy to build your portfolio.

Due date
15 September

Percentage weight
12.5%

Assessment criteria
You are assessed on your ability to:
•    select examples of successful copywriting and identify why they work
•    understand the form and conventions of two different kinds of copywriting
•    use language to achieve your purpose
•    use visuals/design to achieve your purpose
•    edit and proofread your copy carefully.


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
Present a live pitch of around 20 minutes, including visual aids to support your proposal. You should also present a mock-up advertisement or brochure.

Due date
27 October

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You are 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.

Late submission

If you are unable to complete your assessment project, assignment or essay by the due date, you can apply for an extension. If you are seeking an extension of up to 7 calendar days, please apply to your teacher who will let you know whether your request has been granted. Application for Extension forms are available from the Distributed Learning System (DLS) or from the Creative Media Office. The application must be submitted by email or in person, before the official due date together with supporting evidence such as a medical certificate.

If you are seeking an extension of longer than 7 calendar days, or if you are seeking an extension for a test or lab-based assessment, you will need to apply to the University for Special Consideration.

If you submit late work without an approved extension, 5% of the total marks for that piece of assessment will be deducted each week (or part of a week) it is late.


Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

Other Information

Submission of written material

•    You must keep a copy of all assignments submitted.
•    All assessment tasks must be submitted with the School of Creative Media cover sheet.
•    Submitting substantially the same work to meet the requirements of any other subject requires the written permission of the supervising teacher.
•    All work should be submitted in hard copy by the due date. Submissions by fax, by email or on disk are not acceptable.
•    If seeking an extension, please contact your teacher prior to the due date.
•    Marks will be deducted for late submissions without approved extensions.

Academic administrative procedures

•    You are expected to attend all classes, as teachers cannot provide catch-up tuition.
•    If you are unable to attend a class, it is your responsibility to collect any handouts and to catch up on work missed.
•    For information about appealing assessment decisions, and about learning and support services (Disability Liaison Unit, Study and Learning Centre and library services) refer to the RMIT website and the Student Handbook/Diary.
•    For information about Recognition for Prior Learning and credit transfers, please refer to the Student Handbook for procedures or liaise with the PWE Administration Officer, Brendan Lee, on 9925 4368.
•    Any work submitted must be your own and any resources used must be cited properly.
•    RMIT regulations prohibit plagiarism in any form. (For more information see RMIT’s Policy on Plagiarism on the website.)

Private appointments

Your teacher will be available for individual appointments during the last half hour of class.

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