• Class Number 4204
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Amanda Laugesen
    • Dr Amanda Laugesen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

Writing in the public sphere involves negotiating a range of genres determined by the needs and expectations of range of publics. Taught by expert practitioners this course offers students a comprehensive survey of different forms and styles of writing in the public sphere from academic writing, public commentary and journalism to writing for museum and gallery displays and catalogues, writing for television and film and creative writing. It will also include units on professional editing and publishing. The course will have a strong practice-based element, focusing on the poetics of writing by exploring it in practice. 

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. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the issues involved in writing for different publics within the public sphere
  2. Write in a range of specific genres
  3. Show an extended practical engagement with one form of writing (this will form an important platform for students wishing to further work via special subject or internship).

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Module 1 - Introduction to the course (online notes, readings)
2 Module 2 - Academic Writing in the Public Sphere (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar)
3 No class due to public holiday. Students will begin Module 3 notes and reading, participate in online discussions during the week, and begin work on assessment task #1)
4 Module 3 - Public commentary and op-eds (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar with guest presenter) Assessment Task #1 - exercise #1 due Friday
5 Module 4 - Writing biography (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar with guest presenters)
6 Module 5 - Reviews and Criticism (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar) Assessment Task #2 - exercise #2 due Friday
7 Module 6 - Writing for blogs and social media (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar with guest presenter) Assessment Task #3 - exercise #3 due Friday
8 No class due to public holiday. Students will begin Module 7 notes and reading, and participate in online discussions during the week.
9 Module 7 - Writing for podcasts (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar with guest presenter)
10 Module 8 - Thinking through creative non-fiction and memoir (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar) Assessment Task #4 - exercise #4 due Friday
11 Module 9 - Editing and Publishing (online notes, readings, zoom class/seminar)
12 No class. Students will work on final assignments. Assessment Task #5 - exercise #5 due Friday; final major essay/writing piece due following week (Week 13)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Writing exercises and/or critical pieces 50 % 1, 2
Essay or extended writing piece 50 % 3

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Writing exercises and/or critical pieces

Students are required to complete 5 short exercises (5 x 800 words; 10% in value each) across the semester linked to each of the modules completed during the course. These exercises will allow you to both engage in critical reflection on different styles and genres of writing, as well as to practice different genres of writing. Each exercise has two assessment options relating to modules you’ll be completing through the semester. You are required to complete a total of FIVE short pieces through the semester. At least TWO must be critical engagement pieces, and TWO must be writing pieces. There is no requirement to provide footnotes or reference lists/bibliography for the writing pieces (unless specified), but your work MUST be your own. The critical engagement pieces should provide references and a reference list/bibliography. Details on the options and focus for each assessment task will be made available on Wattle at the beginning of the semester.

Each assignment will be returned within one week of submission. Late submission is permitted, subject to application of the ANU's lateness penalty.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 3

Essay or extended writing piece

Students are required to complete one major assessment piece for the course, of no more than 3000 words and worth 50% of the overall grade. Students can opt for a traditional essay or an extended writing piece combined with an exegesis. For the latter, the writing piece can consist of up to 2000 words and the exegesis up to 1000 words. Details will be provided with the essay questions to be made available on Wattle at the beginning of the semester and opportunities to discuss your assessment task with the course convenor will be given through the course.

Late submission is permitted, subject to application of the ANU's lateness penalty

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • 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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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 Amanda Laugesen

Research Interests

Dr Amanda Laugesen

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Amanda Laugesen

Research Interests

Dr Amanda Laugesen

By Appointment
By Appointment

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