Course Title: Write non-fiction

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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


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


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


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 the following:

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

This is a WIL designated course. WIL activities include feedback on student work.

Teaching Schedule

 Week       Class Content                                                                                                 Assessment    Due                                   

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


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


Methods of persuasion and target audiences
Discussion of radio log results


Briefs and Deadlines
Writing and reading briefs and working with deadlines

Introduction in class task  - write a brief

Assessment brief explained - Agency Report


Assessment 1, Agency Report, explained in class.


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 

Assessment 2, Responding to a brief 


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

Assessment 2, Responding to a brief

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

Assessment 2, Responding to a brief

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

Assessment 2, Responding to a brief
  Mid-semester break
Thursday 5 April - Wednesday 11 April

Agency Report Day - with feedback from an Industry Professional (Communications Strategist)

Assessment 3 Responding to a brief and pitching work explained.

Assessment 1, Agency Report, due


Reviewing of concepts and copy for Assessment 3


Responding to a brief and pitching work - with feedback from an Industry Professional (Marketing Manager)

Assessment 3 - Responding to a brief and pitching work due

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. Butcher’s 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 all of  the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria).
Assessment1 Agency report – Due Week 9, April 16
Students will produce a written report, presented verbally 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. Students will be assessed for competency AND graded. Marking rubrics for grading are available in class from your teacher.

Assessment 2 Responding to briefs - ongoing assessment, Weeks 5-8 inclusive, March 12 - April 2
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 inclusive, March 12 - April 2nd. Students will be assessed on taking part. Verbal feedback will also be offered.

Assessment 3 Responding to a brief and pitching work. Due week 11, April 30
Develop, refine and present a concept and copy though in class critiques.

Once you have demonstrated competency, your final two assessments will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric). Graded assessment tasks are equally weighted and will determine your final result for this course.

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

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency. Non-attendance may seriously jeopardise the chances of success in a course. Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. Where visa conditions apply, attendance is compulsory.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (web link)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which people can gain entry to, or credit in, recognised courses based on competencies gained. The competencies may have been gained through experience in the workplace, in voluntary work, in social or domestic activities or through informal or formal training or other life experiences. Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies if a student has previously successfully completed the requirements of a unit of competency or module and is now required to be reassessed to ensure that the competency has been maintained.

Assessment and Feedback (web link)
You will receive verbal feedback during scheduled class times, and written feedback from teachers on your work . Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress (web link)
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.

Special consideration for Late Submission (web link)
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. You can apply in writing for up to a week’s extension from your course teacher. If you need a longer extension, you will need to apply for special consideration.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism (web link)
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview