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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Feature Writing
Module Code CM2800
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Saumava Mitra
Semester 2: Saumava Mitra
Autumn: Saumava Mitra
Module TeachersSaumava Mitra
Alice O'Sullivan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This course will teach students how to write compelling features, stories that look to a corner of the news and illuminate it. Unlike news stories, features are imbued with scenes and vignettes which often show rather than tell. A good feature is grounded in a specific time or place and is almost always inhabited by people. They can be embedded in an ongoing new events, or come at a story from an offbeat angle. The class will be grounded in a workshop environment in which students will begin to work on and understand this craft, critiquing their own and each other’s features.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the qualities of feature writing and how they differs from news.
2. Learn to develop a writing process that carries a story from concept to publication
3. Sharpen skills at focusing stories along a single, clearly articulated theme
4. Evaluate the importance of backgrounding in establishing the context, focus and sources of soundly reported stories
5. Analyze the connection between strong information and strong writing
6. Explore different models and devices for structuring stories
7. Constructively critique and be critiqued

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Weekly lectures
Assignment Completion25Types of feature stories. Practicum
Assignment Completion24Writing the first feature story
Assignment Completion10The 800-word newsfeature. A staple.
Assignment Completion22The longer feature
Independent Study22Reading from a wide variety of feature materials
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Writing Skills
50 per cent

Research Skills
25 per cent

Angles and story ideas
25 per cent

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Performance evaluationEvaluation based on a mix of features across genres and formats produced during the module. Focus on principal formats, with flexibility to reflect students' interests and ability.100%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Carl Sessions Stepp,: 2007, Writing as Craft and Magic, 2nd, Oxford University Press,
  • Sharon Wheeler,: 2009, Feature writing for journalists, Routledge,,
  • Harold Evans: 2000, Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers, 2nd,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
JRBA in Journalism

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