BMA0D307 – Feature Writing

Module code
Module title
Feature Writing
This module creates an opportunity for students to develop practical and theoretical knowledge involved in producing feature articles for a variety of media platforms. Students will be required to research markets and content and to develop appropriate interview and writing techniques.
  • BM7000
  • BM9601
  • CO0005
NZQA Level
Level 7
NZQA Credits
Delivery method
  • Web-Based
Learning hours
Directed hours
Self directed hours
Total learning hours
Resources required
Learning Outcomes
2.1 Understand a project development process which integrates cognitive, practical and communication skills discuss, identify and evaluate the issues within the project brief
research, analyse and incorporate negotiated criteria for self-directed projects
integrate acquired practical, communication and analytical skills in the process of resolving writing problems individualise a self-critical working process for developing and refining ideas show evidence of drawing together and applying skills and knowledge acquired in previous and concurrent courses to selected projects
adopt independent and interdependent project development processes
explore a range of texts by various authors analyse appropriate modes of address for specific audiences develop strategies to develop copy show evidence of ability to refine copy develop strategies in copy presentation

2.2 Develop critical skills in the analysis of written text
explore a wide range of texts by other authors analyse an understanding of appropriateness of mode of address for specific purposes or audiences
develop strategies to evaluate and refine copy

2.3 Understand the values, strategies and methodologies which inform current professional practice in the mass media compare and evaluate selected texts identifying issues relevant to a specific contemporary practice analyse a selection of current works and identify the specific methods used in their production compare significant changes in research methods of practice and production strategies for production relevant to a specific contemporary practice in a specific media context over a specific timeframe
develop and implement a methodology for the production of work which explicitly applies the contextual analysis of values from a domain evaluate self practice in conjunction with normative criteria derived from a current domain plan and implement a conventional presentation of own works develop critical synergies between representative texts, examples of work and self practice

2.4 Analyse the differences between news and feature stories
recognise the influence of hard news and soft news values on features discuss types of features consider the appropriateness of subject matter for soft news discuss types of features analyse the different roles played by features: personality profiles, human interest stories, trends, in-depth backgrounders

2.5 Critically examine relationship of market research and publication genres
recognise differences in market niche recognise market limitations on creativity
understand the commissioning process tailor writing for specific publications
recognise the relationship between illustrative possibilities and specific text
identify and analyse different platform styles

2.6 Aquire knowledge of writing reviews
examine different review formats
analyse examples of review writing
write a review to a publishable standard

2.7 Acquire knowledge of writing features
examine different interview formats
analyse examples of feature writing
discuss and reflect on interview procedures and protocols
develop an interview plan
develop a question line appropriate to subject
show ability to conduct feature interviews

2.8 Acquire knowledge of the structure of the feature
describe the purpose of the feature
analyse examples of selected features
design a key or sketch for the article
write a logical progression
recognise the value of quotes, anecdotes and experiences
use descriptive passages effectively
craft introductions that succeed as hooks in capturing readers' attention
develop toward an effective conclusion

2.9 Comprehend the process of graded assessment
actively participate in class and group critiques and presentations consider and reflect upon the relationship between the information gathering process and the final product for normative evaluation
participate in summative assessment
3.1 The feature and review
Differences between news and feature stories and reviews
News values and types of feature story and review
Anatomy of a feature and a review
Reader preferences
Sources for ideas
Focussing ideas

Differences between magazine, newspaper and internet features
Backgrounders, personal profiles, DIYs, documentaries, investigative trends, time out, travel, gardening

One of: live performance work, book, film, music CD, TV programme, video, DVD

3.2 Researching the feature market
Students research the magazine, newspaper and internet market
Investigate audiences and market niches of publications
Select suitable outlets for their feature ideas
Length of articles
Editorial slants

3.3 Interviewing for the feature
Types of interview
Suitable sources
Interview arrangements
Difficult sources
Interview research

3.4 Writing the feature
Organising material
Story structure
The lead structure
Logical progression in the body
Writing the finish - conclusions, circles, predictions, editing

3.5 Ethics and Law
Professional behaviour

3.6 Communicating with a range of cultures
Content of interest to a Mori audience
New Zealand cultural identities
Content from at least one other culture
Modes of address appropriate to the audience
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lecturer prescribes industry or professional focus in project brief.
Students negotiate criteria.
Lecturer monitors students' progress through the time management of individual projects.
Students contribute to research of course content.
Students research briefs to extend and individualise projects.
Students identify problems with their process and adopt strategies to address those problems.
Lecturer prescribes issues, students identify specific questions in relation to those issues.
Students initiate times for critiques.
Students participate in formal assessed presentations of their work.
Students contribute to the delivery of course content.
Students negotiate and define criteria and procedures for graded assessment.
Graded assessment performed by self, peers and tutor.