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JRN2003 Feature Writing

Semester 1, 2015 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Rebecca Te'o
Moderator: Dianne Jones


Pre-requisite: JRN1000 or JRN1020

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course is designed to assist students in developing their skills in long-form journalism, for print and online media, using techniques such as description and analysis.


This course will concentrate on preparation of larger journalistic articles for newspapers and magazines. Students will research and write different kinds of features, learning advanced interviewing, research and writing techniques.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. plan, research and write a newspaper feature story
  2. analyse feature journalism
  3. plan, research and write feature stories for newspapers, magazines and online
  4. demonstrate intermediate written communication skills that comply with different professional formats
  5. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry skills through researching feature stories
  6. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills through analysis and application of feature journalism
  7. demonstrate management, planning and organisation skills by applying feedback from proposals and early feature to improve their performance in the final assessment.


Description Weighting(%)
1. What makes a feature? 5.00
2. Structure 10.00
3. Finding and planning stories 10.00
4. Magazine writing 10.00
5. Specialist journalism production 10.00
6. Photojournalism 10.00
7. The role of the press in society 10.00
8. Investigative reporting 10.00
9. Precision journalism 10.00
10. Media Law 10.00
11. Publication alternatives 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Granato, L 2001, Newspaper feature writing, University of NSW Press, Sydney.
    (Rev. edn.)
  • McLeod C & Lockwood, K (eds) 2009, Style, the essential guide for journalists and professional writers, 4th edn, News Custom Publishing, Southbank, Vic.
  • Ricketson, M 2004, Writing feature stories: how to research and write newspaper and magazine articles, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW.
  • 2001, The Concise Oxford dictionary, Oxford University Press, Oxford. (for international students if Macquarie not available.) (The Oxford English Dictionary is available online via USQ Library).
  • 2002, The Macquarie dictionary, (or any edition), Macquarie Library, North Ryde, NSW. (Australian students). (available online via USQ Library).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Friedlander, EJ & Lee, J 2011, Feature writing: the pursuit of excellence, 7th edn, Allyn and Bacon, United States.
  • Harcup, T 2009, Journalism: principles and practice, 2nd edn, Sage, London.
  • Sedorkin, G 2011, Interviewing: a guide for journalists and writers, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW.
    (Interviewing in journalism - technique - mass media - television.)
  • Tanner, S, Kasinger, M & Richardson, N 2009, Feature writing: telling the story, Oxford UP, Sydney, NSW.
  • Weaver, B 2003, Catch the wave: how to find good information on the internet - fast, th edn, RMIT Press, Melbourne.
    (Available online:

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 50.00
Directed Study 30.00
Lectures 13.00
Project Work 48.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROPOSALS 100 10 16 Mar 2015
FEATURE STORY 100 30 20 Apr 2015
CMA 100 20 13 May 2015
FEATURE STORY 100 40 03 Jun 2015

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. The journalism course maintains high standards of spelling, grammar, syntax and style. Faults in any of these areas could render a project or proposal unacceptable.