Public Writing - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1 , Sess 2 , Sess 3
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 1 , Sess 2 , Sess 3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - 3 discussion board posts (15%) , Assignment 2 - 3 short writing tasks (45%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,188.00
International 2,438.00

In this unit you gain writing experience with different forms of professional writing, such as speech, a news and feature article, organisational value statements, a social media plan, and crisis or issues communication strategies. Public Writing familiarises you with history and theories of public writing, with techniques for writing for specific kinds of audiences and readerships. This unit develops your practical skills in contemporary professional writing in formats that are used in today's communication roles. Topics covered include writing and crisis or issues management, writing for organisations, social media planning and content and Journalism. For the major assessment, students choose between journalism and public relations modules as your areas of specialisation. Students of Public Writing will receive extensive feedback from a professional writer on your work.

The outcomes include a broad understanding of key issues in public and professional writing for the creative industries, corporations, and the community sector. The unit also provides you with practical skills in writing to a professional standard. Successful graduates will deepen your knowledge and skills in strategic communication planning.

  • Assignment 1 — 3 discussion board posts (15%)
  • Assignment 2 — 3 short writing tasks (45%)
  • Assignment 5 — Essay OR Com.Plan OR Journal (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • COM130 — Public Writing
  • COMM130 — Public Writing

Mandatory conditional prerequisites

You must either have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit, or currently be enrolled in the following unit(s) in a prior study period; or enrol in the following unit(s) to study prior to this unit:

Please note that your enrolment in this unit is conditional on successful completion of these prerequisite unit(s). If you study the prerequisite unit(s) in the study period immediately prior to studying this unit, your result for the prerequisite unit(s) will not be finalised prior to the close of enrolment. In this situation, should you not complete your prerequisite unit(s) successfully you should not continue with your enrolment in this unit. If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite unit(s) and believe you may not complete these all successfully, it is your responsibility to reschedule your study of this unit to give you time to re-attempt the prerequisite unit(s).

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

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In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction and unit overview .
2What is 'public' writing? Habermas and the public sphere, 'spin doctoring', 'Public' or 'publics'?
3Writing as communication: communication theories and contexts; information and knowledge
4Writers and writing; process, publics and purposes
5Speeches and presentation: the power of rhetoric
6Report writing
7Policy, values and communication: communication within a policy environment
8Campaigning and lobbying: community groups and how they use communication to get things done or News writing; what is news and who makes it?
9Corporate communications: in-house communication, external communication and writing for the media or Feature writing: who is interested and why?
10Crisis management: how organisations manage crises and issues using public relations techniques or Crises management: how news orgs manage crises

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  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.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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