HUC1002 - The Craft of Writing

2020/1 Module description

StaffDr Aimee Le - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module is a team-taught, interdisciplinary module taken by History and English students. The first part of the module invites you to engage critically with primary sources and to respond imaginatively to them in a coherent and articulate style, while evaluating secondary sources and reflecting on your practice. The second part exposes you to different writing styles and their conventions (e.g. journalism, creative writing, etc.); it introduces you to the principles and channels of communicating your work with non-academic audiences, and it encourages you to practise writing in traditional and non-traditional media and contexts. The module culminates in an assessed portfolio of three items that cover academic and non-academic writing.

Module aims

The module’s main aims are to introduce you to the conventions of university-level critical writing and to inspire you to appreciate writing as a multi-faceted, innovative, and evolving “craft”. The lectures and workshops will help you develop and perfect a variety of skills essential to your university career and beyond (e.g. close-reading, constructing an argument, engaging with critics, knowing your audience, offering and receiving feedback, and editing your work).

This module will introduce you to a variety of writing styles suitable for third-level and beyond. Through theoretical and practical instruction the module will offer you the opportunity to develop your critical faculties in thinking about your own writing in a variety of contexts (academic writing, non-fictional creative writing, creative writing etc.). The module will also aim to link different forms of writing to employability.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a critical approach to the craft of writing
  • 2. Demonstrate practical skills in composition

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Communicate effectively in both written and oral work
  • 4. Demonstrate an awareness of a variety of different writing and compositional styles

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose for academic and non-academic audiences.

Syllabus plan

Topics covered may include:

  • Introduction to academic writing
  • Close-reading
  • Argument and Structure
  • Style and Grammar
  • Creative fiction and non-fiction
  • Writing professionally beyond academia

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching6Lectures – large group teaching (6 x 1 hour)
Scheduled learning and teaching16Workshops – small group teaching allowing for in-depth discussion of writing and composition (11 x 1.5 hour
Guided independent study128Workshop preparation and assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly writing exercise600 words (2 x 300 word exercises)1-4Peer review in workshop

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Participation10Continuous1,3-4Oral feedback with the opportunity for office hours follow-up
Portfolio901500 words1-5Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ParticipationRepeat study or mitigation1,3-4N/a
PortfolioPortfolio1-5Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to redo the assessment(s) as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, Penguin, 2014
  • Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources, Hackett, 1998
  • John Peck, The Student's Guide to Writing: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, Palgrave, 2005
  • Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Norton, 2009
  • William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, Pearson, 1999
  • Cheryl Glenn and Loretta Gray, The Hodges Harbrace Handbook, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Composition, writing, English, history

Important please note

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Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.