module specification

SJ5004S - Writing and Editing Fiction and Nonfiction Part 2 (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Writing and Editing Fiction and Nonfiction Part 2
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   2500 word formal textual analysis and commentary on editing
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module explores the writing and rewriting of fiction. Attention will be paid to both originating new work and the process of revision. The module will outline some fundamental principles of style, genre and editing. Students will develop an understanding of some of the principles of editing both their own and other people’s work (as well as the differences between them). They will also develop an enhanced sensitivity to the role and practice of editing at the level of the paragraph, the sentence and the word, in addition to the text as a whole. Emphasis will be laid on developing clarity, precision, and expressiveness in writing style, as well as the ability to explain their editing decisions. Through a variety of exercises students will be shown how to identify common problems in writing and how to remedy them. They will also develop an appreciation of how successive re-workings of the same text can alter and refine its meaning and effectiveness. The module will develop valuable and transferable skills for critical thinking and reading, effective editing techniques, and enhance employability.

This module aims to develop students' competence in the main creative and organisational processes of writing; and practise methods in which a piece of writing can be improved by editing and revision. Dialogue, description, rhythm, point-of-view, writing the past and the other will all be analysed and practised so that students develop confidence in their abilities to critique these aspects of written texts and enhance their skills in using them.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


The focus in this module is on nonfiction. The module will outline some fundamental principles of style, genre and editing. Attention will be paid to both originating new material and the process of revision. (LO1, LO2)

Students will develop an understanding of some of the principles of editing both their own and other people’s work, as well as the differences between them. We will be looking at editing at the level of the paragraph, the sentence and the word, as well as the text as a whole. (LO3, LO4)

Emphasis will be laid on developing clarity, precision, and expressiveness in writing style, and the ability to explain their editing decisions. (LO1, LO3)

Through a variety of exercises students will be shown how to identify common problems in writing and how to remedy them. (LO4)

Students will develop an appreciation of how successive re-workings of the same text can alter and refine its meaning and effectiveness. (LO2, LO4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development.Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
LO1 demonstrate their competence in different types of fiction;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO2 employ critical reading and thinking skills to the process of evaluating and revising fiction;

Subject-specific skills
LO3 organise aspects of writing processes for both fiction;

Transferable skills
LO4 enhance their writing through editing and revision.

Assessment strategy

Formative assessment tasks will be set periodically over the course of the module to address the different sections of the syllabus and enable students to
prepare items for their portfolio (summative assessment). These will include editing other people’s writing, originating creative work and developing a critical
language to analyse the student’s own work, along with that of their fellow students and published work. This requires attendance at and participation in

● Summative assessment comprises attendance and participation in weekly seminars/workshops, and three pieces of coursework at regular intervals during the module.


Core Text:
Evans, H. 2000.Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers London: Pimlico
An English dictionary; Roget’s Thesaurus
Other Texts:
Strunk, W. and White, E.B. 2000. The Elements of Style Mass: Longman
Zinsser,W. 2005. On Writing Well New York: HarperCollins

Adichie, C., 2014. Americanah. New York: Anchor Books
Atkinson, K., 2015. A God in Ruins. London: Black Swan
Barry, S., 2017. Days Without End. London: Faber & Faber
Cutts, M. 2004 Oxford Guide to Plain English Oxford: OUP
Denman, T. 2007. How not to write London: Piatkus
De Waal, E. 2010. The Hare with Amber Eyes, London: Vintage
Forche, C. and Gerard, P. (eds) .2001. Writing Creative Nonfiction, Cincinnati, Ohio:
Story Press
Franzen, J. 2011. Freedom London: Fourth Estate
Funder, A. 2009. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, Granta
Gilbert, E. 2013. The Signature of All Things, London: Bloomsbury
Lanham, R. 2006. The Longman Guide to Revising Prose London: Pearson
Levy, A., 2004. Small Island. London: Tinder Press
Litvinoff, E., 2008. Journey Through A Small Planet. London: Penguin Classics
Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S. 2009. How Not to Write a Novel

Penguin Books
Murray, D.M. 2001. The Craft of Revision Harcourt
Porter. M., 2016. Grief is the Thing with Feathers. London: Faber & Faber
Rankine, C., 2014. Citizen. New York: Graywolf Press
Roth, P. 1998. American Pastoral London: Vintage
Roth, P., 2011. Nemesis. London: Vintage
Spufford, F., 2016. Golden Hill. London: Faber&Faber
Summerscale, K. 2009. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House, London: Bloomsbury
Tartt, Donna. 2013. The Goldfinch, London: Little, Brown
Westfall, P. 1994. Beyond Intuition chap 8: ‘Tightening’ New York: Longman
Whitehead, C., 2016. The Underground
Yates, R. 2007 Revolutionary Road London: Vintage Classics

The European Journal of Life Writing
Life Writing


Electronic Databases:
Project Muse

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