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    A seminar-based paper that examines the academic and theoretical issues associated with creative non-fiction and how science can best be popularised.

    This paper nurtures the student's ability to write about science in creative and engaging ways. Different genres are explored and practised, including biography, travel writing and writing for children. Students will write, illustrate and publish an e-book.

    About this paper

    Paper title Science and Creative Non-Fiction Writing
    Subject Science Communication
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,482.46
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NHFC 403, SCOM 433
    Normally available only to postgraduate students.
    Teaching staff

    Professor Lloyd Davis

    Paper Structure
    • Part One (45 min): Weekly Readings and Discussion
      Each class will begin with a discussion of the assigned readings, listening and/or viewing exercises from the week before. (These materials will be made available on the server or, in some cases, emailed as links.) All students are expected to have read, watched, and listened to these materials by the onset of class and to be prepared to engage in critical discussion and detailed in-class analysis of the assigned weekly content. Failure to do so will be obvious.
    • Part Two (60 min): Seminars focus primarily on aspects of writing about nonfiction subjects, especially science, in creative ways that are engaging while still being informative. Guest speakers with relevant expertise and experience in the subject area may occasionally join in during the seminars, depending on timing and availability. Students are expected to contribute when appropriate.
    • Part Three (60 min): In-Class Exercises
      Following the break, students will participate in an in-class exercise (approx 60 min). These exercises will include a variety of illustrative tasks that involve either individual or team effort. Many of these exercises will be related to the production of the e-book (Assignment 6).
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    Please note: This a dual mode offering. For students who wish to take this as a Distance Learning paper please enrol in SCOM433.

    One 3-hour session per week.


    Recommended text:
    Forché, C and Gerard, P. [eds]. (2001). Writing Creative Nonfiction: instruction and insights from the teachers of the Associated Writing Programs. Story Press, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Course outline

    The course outline will be supplied at the beginning of the semester.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    1. Learn the skills necessary to write about science for children
    2. Write and submit an essay to an online magazine (FACTL - The Journal of Factual Literature - or an alternative)
    3. Write and illustrate a travel article suitable for submission to a magazine
    4. Write, illustrate (incorporating multi-media elements) and publish an e-book on an aspect of science
    5. Learn to write biographies


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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