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FTR1006 Scriptwriting

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Scriptwriting
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100703 - Journalism
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Leonie Jones


This course is a foundation course for first-year students. Students are introduced to a range of technical, conceptual, practical and observational skills related to various storytelling and scriptwriting practices. The course enriches the student's comprehension of the creative process necessary for the generation of original and adapted fiction and non-fiction works.


Students learn to understand the various processes involved in developing story ideas into script form. Students build technical, analytical and research skills within narrative, story, character, dialogue and scene development. Students will conceptualise and develop basic original stories, generate outlines and write scripts from original and adapted fiction and non-fiction stories in order to develop a good understanding and practice of the writer's methods in storytelling as it relates to the cinema industry. Students are encouraged to research concepts, techniques and skills in order to apply and develop their understanding of storytelling and screenplay practice.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate foundational skills and understanding of professional story and scriptwriting practices (concepts, processes, theories and techniques) related to artistic concerns within the cinema industry;
  2. research historical and contemporary narrative film to evaluate and analyse the reflexivity and criticality of ideas constructed by writers and directors;
  3. communicate clearly and logically by expressing ideas pertaining to practices and concepts inherent within traditional cinema fiction writing outcomes through journal writing and written exercises;
  4. work independently and/or collaboratively to produce/edit/rewrite beginner writer level original and/or adapted fiction and non-fiction works for cinema;
  5. recognise the role of the writer to reflect on social, cultural and ethical issues and apply local and international perspectives to story and writing outcomes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Developing story 40.00
2. Fiction and non-fiction cinema writing 40.00
3. Scriptwriting format and generating outlines 20.00

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. (

Bork, E 2018, Eric 2018. The Idea: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction, Overfall Press, California, USA.

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.
Aronson, L 2001, Scriptwriting updated: new (and conventional) ways of writing for the screen, Silman-James Press, Los Angeles, CA.
Brenner, A N D 1992, TV scriptwriter's handbook: dramatic writing for TV and film, Revised edn, Silman-James.
Field, S 2005, Screenplay: the foundations of screenwriting, Revised edn, Delta Publishers.
Wolff, J & Cox, K 1988, Successful scriptwriting, Writers Digest Books, Ohio.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 04 Sep 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 40 02 Oct 2020
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 40 23 Oct 2020

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.

    On-campus: 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:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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.

Date printed 6 November 2020