Writing In The Media: A Practical Approach - LL530

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5)







This module is aimed towards students who are considering a career in journalism, freelance writing, publishing and related fields (a substantial proportion of the programme's cohort), but will also be of use to those with a general interest in the area of media and language studies. It enables students on the BA English Language and Linguistics programmes to put into practice the complex theories and methods of analysis they will have explored elsewhere on their programme of study by producing their own portfolio of journalism and media-related writing. It should be emphasised that a consideration of the impact of new media ('multimodality') on the field will form a substantial component of the module’s content.
Students will carry out their own research, for example using Canterbury and its environs as their news area, collecting information, arranging and carrying out relevant interviews, and writing up projects. They will produce and submit a portfolio of original journalism in which they demonstrate their ability to use the English language, their understanding of grammar and their ability to structure their writing with the target audience in mind. Accompanying this, students will submit a critical commentary in which they will reflect on how an understanding of relevant discourse, stylistic and cultural theory has influenced their writing.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods:

• Portfolio (word count undefined) – 10%
• Two Pieces from the Portfolio (1,500 words total) – 50%
• Critical Commentary (1,500 words) – 40%

Indicative reading

Fairclough, Norman (2002), Media Discourse, London: Hodder Arnold
Gillespie, Mary and Jason Toynbee (2006), Analysing Media Texts, London: Open University Press
Hicks, Wynford (2006), Writing for Journalists, London: Routledge
Marr, Andrew (2005), My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism, London: Pan Books
Richardson, John E. (2007), Analysing Newspapers, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Ritter, R.M., Lesley Brown and Angus Stevenson (eds.) (2005), New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Woolfe, Tom (2006), The New Journalism, London: Picador

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate refined and extended knowledge and critical understanding of a range of language contexts, their communicative purposes and settings, participants and processes;
Show consolidated and systematic understanding of ways of approaching texts and discourse in the light of current theories and their application (e.g. semiotics, multimodality and narratology);
Show a high level and engage closely, rigorously and in detail with stylistic and discursive features of journalistic texts;
Demonstrate their ability to accurately describe text and discourse in formal terms (stylistic, rhetorical, and linguistic);
Show a high-level and in-depth awareness of how different social, political and cultural dimensions of communication operate in the production and reception of journalistic discourse and be able to apply and make use of this knowledge outside of the context in which it was first encountered;
Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of relevant stylistic, discourse, narrative and cultural theory;
Produce original writing (reportage) of a high standard (as measured by the assessment criteria), both in terms of style and of content, and showing awareness of the complex contemporary issues which affect journalists, writers and other media workers;
Account for and analyse editorial changes in appropriate and rigorous theoretical terms, pertaining to theories of discourse analysis, stylistics and cultural systemisations in general.

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