Course Title: Write non-fiction

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: COMM7306

Course Title: Write non-fiction

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925-4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Dr. Michelle Aung Thin
Contact details:


Nominal Hours: 50

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 is designed to develop the skills and knowledge required to write non-fiction copy for different audiences in a range of contexts, including popular media. You will learn about the process of copywriting from generating concepts through to planning and refining your writing. 

This is the designated Work Integrated Learning (WIL) course for C5314 Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. This course includes a WIL experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20276 Write non-fiction


1. Develop a concept suitable for a work of non-fiction

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Concept is explored with regard to purpose, desired outcome and understanding of the market
1.2 Possible constraints are identified and examined to determine feasibility of concept
1.3 Audience is determined and potential markets are researched
1.4 Discussion of concept is inititated with industry colleagues and specialists in the field, and feedback is sought
1.5 Proposal for development of non-ficiont work is developed



3. Plan writing

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Format of work is decided on after research and experimentation and in consultation with relevant personnel
3.1 Structure of work is determined
3.2 Outline of the work is developed
3.3 Style and tone appropriate to the audience are considered


2. Clarify project requirements

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Research requirements for the work of non-fiction are identified
2.2 Developemental stages for the work are formulated
2.3 A timeline for the completion of the work is agreed with commissioning agents or editors if applicable
2.4 Social, ethical and environmental impacts of the approaches/concepts are considered
2.5 Potential copyright issues are considered and explored
2.5 Resource requirements to complete project are identified


4. Develop draft

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Non-fiction narrative is developed with consideration given to the nature and format of the project
4.2 Concept is re-evaluated and refined as necessary 
4.3 Draft is reviewed and evaluated against purpose and desired outcome
4.4 Additional requirements or modifications are made in consultation with relevant personnel
4.5 Amendments are made to writings are required
4.6 Draft is checked using appropriate editing techniques


Learning Outcomes

You will be able to develop works of non-fiction in different formats from concept to written draft.

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 and looking at examples of writing
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of writings
2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work 
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

 Date        Class Content                                                                                                 Assessment    Due                                    Competency and Elements                                                                     

Introduction to the course
Explanation of the terms work and assessment
Formative assessment 1 explained
Discussion:  What is copy? Where do copywriters work and what do they do?
Processes of development of copy and standards of presentation



Wk 2

Radio Advertising log
Students monitor a radio station and make observations about radio show, presenters, target audience, advertisers and methods of persuasion.



Wk 3

Methods of persuasion and target audiences
Discussion of Radio log results

Formative Assessment 1 - Radio Log


Wk 4

Briefs and Deadlines
Writing and reading briefs and working with deadlines



Wk 5

In class task - Brief: Write a fundraising letter
Develop brief: identify task; identify mandatory aspects of the communication; identify target market and audiences
 Develop concepts in class: draft initial ideas; critique ideas; identify directions 
Summative Assessment 1 set

Formative Assessment 2 

Wk 6

In class task - write a job ad 
Develop brief: identify task; identify mandatory aspect of the communication  considering in particular multiple target audiences
Develop concepts in class: draft initial ideas; critique ideas; identify directions

Formative assessment 2 1,2,3 
Wk 7

In class task - write a cinema ad
Discussion: working with pictures and text
 Develop brief: identify task; identify mandatory aspect of the communication considering in particular multiple target audiences
Develop concepts in class: draft initial ideas; critique ideas; identify directions

 Formative assessment 2 1,2,3,4 
 Wk 8

In class task - write a leaflet 
Develop brief: identify task; identify mandatory aspect of the communication; considering in particular structures, outlines and redrafting words
Develop concepts in class: draft initial ideas; critique ideas; identify directions

 Formative assessment 2  1,2,3
  Mid-semester break
Thursday 5 April - Wednesday 11 April
Wk 9

Choose your in class task for Assessment 4
Review methods of persuasion and target audiences
Summative Assessment 2 set in class

Summative Assessment 1


 Wk 10

Critiquing of work in progress for Assessment 4

 Wk 11
Pitching your work Summative Assessment 2  4.1-4.6
 Wk 12

Building a portfolio
Course feedback


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Any prescribed reading material is provided in class


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

Other Resources

You require access to a computer, a radio and the internet for this course. Additional items include magazines, journals both print and online. Butchers paper and markers will be provided in class. 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • analysis of media format and context
  • presentation of concepts and draft copy
  • examples of final concepts and copy

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. For each assessment you will receive a handout outlining the requirements and the criteria by which you will be assessed. You will receive feedback on all assessment tasks. 
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment 1: Radio advertising log
Monitor a radio station for an hour and a half. Write up your observations and bring them to discuss in class in week 3, March 27.

Formative Assessment 2 - In class tasks – responding to a brief
You must work on 2 out of the 4 in-class briefs, including developing rough concepts and showing them in class for feedback in weeks 5-8.

Summative Assessments

Summative Assessment 3 - Agency research report – Due Week 9, April 10
Students will produce a verbal report on the types of organisations that use copywriters or require copy writing skills as part of a larger role.  The report must include a bibliography and will be presented to the class.

Summative Assessment 4 - Develop a concept and copy in response to a copy brief. Due week 11, May 1
Develop, refine and present a concept and copy though in class critiques. 

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.

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.;ID=kkc202lwe1yv

Special Consideration Policy
Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1

Course Overview: Access Course Overview