Writing the Zeitgeist - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Personal essay (20%) , Assignment 2 - Review Blog (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,450.00
International 2,700.00

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into the course Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication.

This unit introduces you to the role and significance of writing in creating and reflecting the spirit of the times and examines relevant genres. You will explore, analyse and experiment with a range of written forms and topics including: writing for arts industries, creative non-fiction and personal essay, opinion and reviews, various modes of writing for the Internet, sports writing, advocacy, zine writing and report writing. The aim of the unit is to provide you with a critical understanding of the influence of writing in contemporary life, to provide practice in writing in a variety of forms, and to enhance awareness of changing genres, styles and issues.

Please Note:  If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University unit you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your unit grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. identify and describe the characteristics of selected written genres, forms and styles that reflect the Zeitgeist
  2. experiment with a variety of writing techniques, genres and forms
  3. critically analyse the influence of these genres, forms and styles in contemporary everyday life
  4. evaluate the role and significance of written genres and styles in creating and reflecting the spirit of the times
  5. undertake significant research into contemporary genres and the cultural and ethical implications these.
  • Assignment 1 — Personal essay (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Review Blog (20%)
  • Assignment 3 — Genre Investigation (30%)
  • Assignment 4 — Research Essay (30%)

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into the course Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication.

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This unit addresses the following topics.

1Writing within the Zeitgeist
2From new journalism to creative non-fiction
3Writing for the web
4Writing the report
5Writing about music
6Writing about film
7Writing the gallery and museum
8Writing for a cause
9Sports writing
10Zine writing and DIY publishing
11A Zeitgeist manifesto?
12Concluding the Zeitgeist?
13* Note: Topics are sometimes altered in response to student feedback and to reflect changes and new information in the field.

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Audio/Video conferencing
  • Blogs
  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links
  • Wikis

This unit is not currently a requirement for any courses, but may be eligible for credit.

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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