role of professional writing advisor

Professional Writing COMM 3037
Assignment 2 instructions
Word count: 1350
Weighting: 30%
For assignment two you will take on the (fictional) role of professional writing advisor to a
notable guest who will be giving a presentation at UniSA.
Choose either:
A) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be presenting this year’s Annual
Hawke Lecture at UniSA. She will announce a new partnership between UniSA and
NZ’s University of Canterbury, with the establishment of a new research centre for
kindness, empathy and wellbeing.
B) Yorta Yorta man, rapper, comedian and actor Adam Briggs is to deliver this year’s
UniSA Nelson Mandela Lecture for the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre. Briggs
will be talking about issues affecting First Nations people and arguing for a new
national anthem or flag or alternative to Australia Day (your choice).
Your task:
Ardern’s advisors/Briggs’ management has employed you to do two things:
1) You have 600 words to give some briefing notes including tips on oral communication as
it applies to a South Australian university audience. (This could be around vernacular,
appropriate topics and overall tone.) The brief may also include useful info around the
venue, audience, VIPs attending etc.
2) The second part will be 750 words for Ardern’s or Briggs’ speech.
It is advisable that you peruse the content from chapters 8 and 9 to help you formulate
these documents and do some supplementary research on cross-cultural communication
and previous speeches by Ardern/Briggs to get some ideas on the tone you would like to
You will be assessed on your ability to write clearly and appropriately for the chosen
speaker, to provide tips for persuading the audience, to use visuals and to clearly address
the plan and structure for your overall message.
Please note that 5% of your mark will be based on your engagement with course content
via participation in tutorials/online forums.
Extra info/links/advice:
Briggs explains Advance Australia Fair:
Briggs on Indigenous disadvantage and racism on social media on Q&A (Briggs starts at
Ardern on measuring success through wellbeing the World Economic Forum:
Interview with CNN
Jacinda Ardern’s UN speech:
Jacinda Ardern’s speech at Christchurch memorial:

How much should I use the textbook?
Make sure you’ve read and are drawing upon Chapters 8 and 9 of the text, but do tailor the advice on oral
communication to the speaker and the audience.
Do I need to use PowerPoint?
Choose whatever you think suits the style of the person and their message. Putting it on a word doc (or PDF) is
totally fine. You should consider the visual aspect, but that may end out being something relatively simple, like
a few images that are pertinent to key points in the speech, as we see in a lot of TED talks (remember if you
find images online that you want to use, make sure you acknowledge their original source). Handouts,
prototypes and logos are all other kinds of visual aids that could be considered, depending on the person,
audience and message.
Do I have to structure my briefing notes like the example on learnonline?
No. There’s nothing wrong with drawing some inspiration but the example is not perfect and we want you to
take initiative, do your own research and be original in your approach.
What should I put in the briefing notes? Does it all have to be about oral communication?
Provide info and tips that would be helpful to the speaker but please avoid patronising them. For example,
telling a student to breathe deeply if they’re nervous might be good advice for them but this is not something
Ardern needs to hear. You’d be better off using your words to give her the pronunciation of some key Kaurna
terms that she may like to use and/or proving detail and insight into specific social and economic issues
affecting South Australians.
A note on culturally-sensitive language
Consider word choice carefully, particularly if you’re writing for Briggs. Inform yourself about culturally
sensitive language and avoid being inadvertently racist. Check out this Diversity Arts
sues_Handbookv2.pdf and see the language guide on pages 4-5.
What about referencing? Does it have to be Harvard style?
Your briefing notes and speech should be as close as possible to how they would be presented if this was a real
life situation, so no, it doesn’t have to be Harvard style with in-text referencing. However it should be clear to
the speaker (and your tutor) where you got the information from, so a reference list and image list at the end
is a good idea (please don’t just include URLs without any order or info about where they’re from). Depending
on the speaker and the sentence, you may include some in-sentence info about where you got the information
(eg: “According to the World Health Organisation, more than 70% of young people have experienced anxiety
around climate change.”) Aim to make it easy on both the reader and the audience.
What about the visual component?
There’s no one set way to approach this; just show you’ve considered it. Some people have decided to make
the event a live-streamed affair (updating for the current COVID-19 lockdown), so your visual component could
be providing advice/visuals around that; others might be inspired by the TEDX style of presentation where
there are a couple of key images or quotes that the speaker refers to projected onto a back screen. Some
people choose to use a PowerPoint, others decide to eschew bells and whistles and keep it simple with a
person and a lectern. The important thing is that you choose what you think is appropriate for the speaker,
venue, audience, and message.
What if I need an extension?
Please apply via learn online.
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