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Writing for Diverse Audiences - CED00004H

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Karon Rickatson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This module is for final year undergraduate students preparing for imminent employment or further study and who are therefore interested in practical and theoretical guidance concerning communicating in writing in a diverse global context. The module is designed to complement students' programme learning by allowing students to express concepts and practices from their discipline for a diverse audience using appropriate written media. The module is also intended for Exchange and Visiting students who would like to undertake modules with a strong practical component at level 6.  

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module will enhance your ability to analyse different genres of  written texts, as well as to present a carefully constructed, focused piece of writing appropriate to your purpose and audience. During the module you will examine rhetorical features and linguistic devices and explore Aristotle’s ideas of rhetoric. This will provide a strong basis for you to reflect on your own writing process, to contribute to your personal development as a highly-skilled writer and to enable you to offer advice to others in writing for diverse audiences both inside and outside academic contexts. 

 

 

Module learning outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  • recognise rhetorical devices and make rhetorical choices to fit the genre, purpose of the text and the target audience;

  • analyse texts for ‘readability’; identify areas for improvement; suggest how a given text could be modified to ensure it is fit for purpose and audience;

  • critically analyse and select sources and evidence to use in written work and incorporate such sources into writing, smoothly and accurately, as appropriate to the genre;

  • produce well-crafted, focused, functional texts such as reports, proposals, summaries and  critiques;

  • reflect on writing practice, process and progress and set suitable development challenges for themselves as writers.

Module content

The module runs for 9 weeks and consists of two face-to-face 90 minute sessions per week involving reading, critical discussion and writing based on texts and materials sourced by you and your tutor. You will analyse different texts paying particular attention to genre, purpose, style and rhetorical devices. You will then experiment with writing different genres of text yourself, in order to build your skills and practice adapting your writing to suit your intended audience and the likely context in which your text will be read. You will reflect on this critical process and your approaches to writing in a weekly reflective journal. In addition to the practical sessions, you are expected to research independently, source material to discuss with your peers, and write, share and critique examples of your own writing and the writing of others through peer feedback. 

Themes arising in this module include:

  • Journalism v Academic writing: purpose, audience, style

  • Blogging, academic and otherwise

  • Writing in a work context; genres, purpose and process

  • Writing argument and counter-argument, analysis and evaluation 

  • Identity, the voice of the writer and the voice of the publication

  • Identity of the reader; needs, expectations and demands

  • Influences on content and style; impact of rhetorical and linguistic devices

  • Metaphor in academic writing and other genres

  • Readability and accessibility; practicalities, technicalities, adapting for diverse audience

  • Power, truth, propaganda in the written word

  • The writing process; strategies and approaches; free-writing, mind-mapping; drafting; editing

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 2000 words
N/A 35
Essay/coursework
Essay: Reflection
N/A 35
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral critique
N/A 30

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Additional summative assessment information

The oral task will involve students in a recorded paired discussion of a written text. They will be assessed on their ability to 

  • suggest the text’s intended audience, purpose and intention; 

  • identify key rhetorical and linguistic features; 

  • comment on its readability; 

  • contribute relevant ideas and knowledge and make suggestions for improvement. 

The first written task will require students to reflect critically on their own journey through the module,  articulating any changes in their approaches to the writing and reading of different genres. They will be assessed on their appreciation and awareness of their own writing, as well as the writing of others, and on their level of awareness of the extent to which they have changed and could change their writing processes and approach as they develop as writers. 

The second written task will require students to produce a short essay written in an academic style. It will be assessed on the student’s ability to produce relevant and appropriate content for a non-specialist audience whilst demonstrating critical analysis, structured argument and use of sources. 

Both written texts must be supported with reference to background reading. 

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Reassessment: Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative Support

  • Weekly reflective journal: ongoing feedback by tutor in the form of comments on Google document

  • 500 word text in Week 6 with verbal peer feedback and written comments by tutor

  • Paired discussion in class in week 7, critiquing texts; peer and tutor feedback in class 

Summative feedback

Due to the nature of the teaching, students will receive immediate feedback on their performance in formative assignments. There will be a four week turnaround on summative assessments after which students will receive a written report.

 

Indicative reading

Suggested Reading

Cutts, M (2013) The Oxford Guide to Plain English, Oxford, OUP

Herrick, J. A. (2012) History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

Hyland, K., Sancho Guinda, C. (2012) Stance and Voice in written academic genres. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Leith, S. (2012). You Talkin' to Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama. London: Profile Books.

Ramage, J.D., Bean, J.C., Johnson, J. (2016) Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Risse, T. (2000) “Let’s Argue!”: Communicative Action in World Politics. International Organization, 54(1), 1-39.

Seidlhofer, B (2011) Understanding English as a Lingua-Franca, Oxford, OUP.

Toye (2013) Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

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