Skip to main content
Unit of study_

ENGL6936: Writers at Work

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit focusses attention on the work of writing from the perspective of writers. What kinds of labour are entailed in literary production and publication? What does it mean to describe oneself, or be described, as a writer? Who does a writer work for and what processes produce the literary work as we encounter it? What about 'writer's block'? We will explore different aspects, contexts and genres of writers at work through a mixture of detailed case studies and representations, always with an eye to relations between particular writers, works and readers.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ENGL6936
Academic unit English and Writing
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Briohny Doyle,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Final creative/critical work
See Canvas for assessment details
60% -
Due date: 04 Jun 2023 at 23:59
4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation Seminar presentation and participation
See Canvas for assessment details
20% Ongoing 1000 words (equivalent)
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO6 LO3
Assignment Research plan/ outline for creative/critical work
See Canvas for assessment details
20% Week 08
Due date: 23 Apr 2023 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO5

Assessment summary

See Canvas for further details.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

A grade at this level indicates creative work of outstanding overall quality. Ambitious and highly intelligent writing that achieves its goals. Excellent craft skills and creativity. Significant evidence of deep and thoughtful engagement with the material covered and a sophisticated critical awareness of the possibilities of literary form, genre and style. Very polished and of publishable or near-publishable standard.


75 - 84

A grade at this level indicates work that overall achieves a superior standard. The work has achieved most of its goals and demonstrates a high degree of creativity and ambition as well as a superior level of technical competence and writing craft skills. It shows superior critical awareness of form, genre and style and some sophistication. Well-presented and without significant error.


65 - 74

A grade at this level indicates work that overall achieves a good (low credit) to very good (high credit) standard, more than competent writing craft skills and critical awareness of possibilities of form, genre and style. Good presentation and evidence of thoughtful, creative engagement with the materials of the unit. Generally correct though there may be some errors.


50 - 64

A grade at this level indicates work of a satisfactory standard, competent writing and craft skills, acceptable presentation and reasonable engagement with course materials. Some awareness of possibilities of form, genre and style. Acceptable presentation and expression though there may be significant errors and problems.


0 - 49

A grade at this level indicates work of overall poor and unsatisfactory quality. Very significant technical problems and errors. Lack of appropriate creative and/or critical engagement with course materials. Unacceptable presentation and/or expression.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through Reading List on Canvas. This will be available two weeks before classes begin.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. trace the thematic and contextual connections between a range of contemporary writers and their work
  • LO2. demonstrate familiarity with various notions of 'work' in relation to the processes and production of literary and other texts and paratexts
  • LO3. conduct independent research and analysis on selected writers and their texts, critically evaluating the sources, value and currency of the information the student has gathered
  • LO4. analyse and discuss set texts, interviews and reviews, producing complex analytical arguments that demonstrate understanding of notions of 'work' in relation to contemporary writers
  • LO5. demonstrate awareness and evaluation of the autobiographical, historical, geographic, political, or technological contexts and influences on particular writers and their work
  • LO6. present arguments that show evidence of independent, analytical and creative thinking aimed at creating new modes of understanding about the topics covered.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.