• Class Number 1686
  • Term Code 2920
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kate Warren
    • Dr Kate Warren
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 28/01/2019
  • Class End Date 05/04/2019
  • Census Date 22/02/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 08/02/2019
SELT Survey Results

The focus of this intensively-delivered course is writing on and about the creative arts and the visual arts in particular. It is aimed at students engaged in either practice- led research or art history and theoretical research in the creative arts. It introduces a variety of strategies and models for experimenting with voice, structure and content and addresses writing for different contexts - academic, art museums and the visual and creative industries more generally. The aim throughout is to develop students' critical awareness of various ways of writing and skills and confidence for writing at an advanced level.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Experiment with different modes and voices for writing on the creative arts.
  2. Evaluate others’ writing about the arts.
  3. Evaluate and explore ways of writing about art works, materials, processes and /or performance.
  4. Apply course material to extended writing exercises.
  5. Speak with confidence about an aspect of writing.

Required Resources

There are no required resources, however students must bring their own writing tools (laptop, notebooks, pens, paper).

·        Barrett, Estelle and Barbara Bolt. (eds.) Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London: IB Tauris, 2007.

·        Carter, Paul. Material Thinking: The Theory and Practice of Creative Research. Melbourne: MUP, 2004.

·        Elkins, James. (ed) Artists with PhDs: On the New Doctoral Degree in Studio Art. Washington, DC : New Academia Publishing, 2009.

·        Grant, Catherine and Patricia Rubin (eds). Creative Writing and Art History. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

·        Kamler, Barbara and Pat Thomson. Helping doctoral students write: Pedagogies for supervision. London; New York: Routledge, 2014.

·        Malcolm, Janet, Forty-one False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers. Melbourne: The Text Company, 2013.

·        Mewburn, Inger. “The Thesis Whisper”. https://thesiswhisperer.com/

·        Norris, Mary. Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2015.

·        Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012.

·        Sword, Helen. Air & light & time & space: How successful academics write. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017.

·        Williams, Gilda. How to Write About Contemporary Art. London: Thames & Hudson, 2014.

·        van Schaik, J. (ed) Writing & Concepts. Melbourne: Art + Australia, 2018. http://writingandconcepts.com.au/

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal feedback

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements

Students are required to use Chicago “Notes Bibliography” style for this course:



Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 MONDAY MORNING Introduction to the course Writing about art and creative practice AFTERNOON Experimental writing exercises
2 TUESDAY MORNING Keyword presentations AFTERNOON Academic Learning & Skills
3 WEDNESDAY MORNING Writing workshops AFTERNOON Independent Study
4 THURSDAY MORNING Discussion: "How I Write" AFTERNOON Experiential writing activities Discussion: On writing well
5 FRIDAY MORNING Student Presentations AFTERNOON Student Presentations and Conclusion

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % 22/02/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,5
Written Keyword Assignment (500 words) 10 % 19/02/2019 05/03/2019 3
Audio/visual presentation with written paper (1,000 words) 20 % 10/03/2019 24/03/2019 1,3,5
Essay or experimental writing exercises (4,500 words) 60 % 05/04/2019 26/04/2019 1,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


See Assessment Task 1



Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5


Participation includes completing the set readings, contributions and participation in writing exercises, evaluations of writing on art, and contributions to small and large group discussions.


Participation also includes the following short writing task, due before classes begins: “Evaluation of writing on art”

Details of task: Select a piece of writing on art, one page maximum, which you consider to be successful. The writing can come from a book, an article, a review etc., and can be historical or contemporary. Make some notes (bullet points are fine) and discuss the reasons for your positive evaluation (500 words, maximum). Why did you choose this piece? Why do you consider it to be a successful piece of writing about art? What does it do well? What are its strengths/weaknesses? Could it be improved?


The Wattle site will include a link to a Forum for this Writing Evaluation Task. You should upload your chosen article AND your evaluative comments by Sunday 17 February at the latest (i.e. before classes begin). Students’ selections will form an online resource that all students enrolled in ARTH8021 can access and refer to.

Word limit: 500 words

Value: 10%

Due date: 18 - 22 February (Writing Evaluation Task due 17 February)

Estimated return date: Date of official release of results

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

Written Keyword Assignment (500 words)

In one page, choose and describe one keyword from your research. The aim of this exercise is to explore all of the potential meanings that might be embedded in this word. In order to make your description as rich as possible, you should consult with as many sources as you can, including full versions of dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary (don’t forget that you can access the OED online through the ANU catalogue). Look back through the history and the etymology of the word: this can sometimes draw out unexpected resonances with your research. You may even wish to consider the meaning of the word in relation to its opposite or antonyms.


Where appropriate, you could consult dictionaries of ideas, such as Raymond Williams’ Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Once you have researched the word’s history, make sure you relate it to your research project/interests and make it clear why you have chosen it.


There is a good example of a keyword exercise in section 6 of Francesca Rendle-Short’s article “Loose Thinking: Writing an Exegesis” (available on Wattle). Remember though, this is just an example, not a model for your exercise. The idea for this Assessment Task is for you to explore your keyword with as much freedom as possible.


You will present your keyword in a session on the second day of the course. To complete the Assessment Task you must submit your Keyword Exercise in writing by uploading to the link provided on Wattle (500 words).

Word limit: 500 words

Value: 10%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced text, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Due date: 19 February

Estimated return date: 5 March

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 10/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,5

Audio/visual presentation with written paper (1,000 words)

Choose an object, a process, an event, a place, an idea, a concept or a person that is important to all or part of your research. Write a narrative about it in a way that could be said to say in story form what the whole of your research project is about. Don’t worry about couching it in conventional academic terms, write it with the directness you might use if you were writing fiction, or alternatively writing to a friend. If you are writing a thesis or an exegesis you can conceive it as a prologue, or possibly the seeds of a chapter.


The aim of this project is to develop your voice and explore the many potential methodologies for writing about art and creative practice. You may incorporate images or objects into your audio/visual presentation, which should be 10 minutes long. Presentations will take place on the last day of the course (22 February).


You need to submit your audio/visual presentation as a written paper (maximum 1,000 words) by uploading to Wattle. The written paper is due 10 March.

Word limit: 1,000 words (10-minute presentation)

Value: 20%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced text, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Due date: 10 March (written paper)

Estimated return date: 24 March

Assessment Task 4

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 05/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4

Essay or experimental writing exercises (4,500 words)

The final, major writing tasks for this course are to be completed in the weeks following the intensive teaching period. The aim is for you to apply the skills learned, and to produce a significant piece or pieces of writing on art. If you are completing a PhD, MPhil or Advanced Masters, you may use this task to develop writing relevant to your broader research projects and thesis/exegesis.


Different options for the structure of your final submission are possible. You need to discuss these options with your lecturer. Some possibilities include the following writing tasks:


A Work of Art

Choose a work by an artist or designer and write about it to develop your own perspective, and your own point of view. You can write experimentally or in a conventional academic manner. If you are in the PhD or MPhil programs this may form the nucleus of a chapter of your exegesis or dissertation (2,000 words maximum).


Writing About Art

This writing can be either an essay on a topic of your choice (to be approved by the lecturer) OR an introduction to your research and your approach to it (whether from a practice-led, curatorial or art historical perspective). 

Word limit: 4,500 words

Value: 60%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced text, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Due date: 5 April

Estimated return date: 26 April

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments and feedback will be returned via Wattle

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students may resubmit some or all assignments if the grade they have received is between 45-49%.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Kate Warren
6125 8960

Research Interests

Film & moving image art; photography; modern and contemporary Australian art; contemporary international art; art writing and criticism

Dr Kate Warren

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Thursday 10:00 11:00
Dr Kate Warren
6125 8960

Research Interests

Dr Kate Warren

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Thursday 10:00 11:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions