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HFTA 201 Script Writing Course Outline

HFTA 201 Script Writing

Course Synopsis

The module teaches students script writing of dramatic texts and/ or ideas of performance for the stage, small screen and the big screen. Focus may be placed on the conventions required for the theatrical performance of dramatic texts and/or the explorations of putting performance theory into practice and historical contexts. In consultation with the instructor, the student will develop a study and work plan appropriate to their interests.

Teaching and learning

Classes will comprise both lectures and seminars. Lectures will be used to introduce new material and outline general issues. The seminars are for students to discuss questions from their own perspective, clarifying difficult issues and developing expressive skills.


There will be three pieces of assessed work in this course. All assignments should be typed, use 1.5 line spacing and justify paragraphs. STRICTLY follow the Departmental Harvard style guide for in-text citations and referencing. Spelling and grammatical errors are signs of sloppiness and will be penalized. Late work attracts penalties. Plagiarism is a SERIOUS OFFENCE.

  1. A seminar presentation where students will research and present on given topics in pairs and submission of a seminar paper [100 marks]
  2. In-Class test. [100marks]
  3. Individual essay  [100 marks]


Marking criteria

  1. Seminar presentations

The seminar presentation should take the form of a short talk, no more than 20 minutes long. Presentations will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of reading related to the topic (20 marks)
  • Clear presentation of the main issues at stake (48 marks)
  • Evidence of a critical independence of thought  (12 marks)
  • Clear and audible presentation  (8 marks)
  • Ability to respond to questions and comments  (12 marks)

Total  [100 marks]

  1. Presentation of write-up and essay structure

The seminar paper and essay will be judged on the following criteria:

                 Attribute    Maximum possible mark
Quality of English and Grammar 5
Well prepared list of references 5
Clearly structured essay 5
Evidence of reading (marks will be awarded for each pertinent citation)  


Clear presentation of ideas under discussion 5
Literature Review 10
Presence of a clear connecting argument 10
Relevance (Answers the question and shows understanding of concepts covered in the course)  


Use of evidence to support arguments and conclusions 20
Total 100

NB: This table is only a guideline to help students identify how they are being assessed. Essay mark sheets are not expected to bear the breakdown of your marks as detailed above.

 Structure of essays and seminar papers


The purpose of an introduction is to state a clear thesis that you are arguing. This can be used to focus the essay. As part of stating what you are discussing you may also wish to make clear areas that you are not looking at and the reasons for not including them. The rest of the introduction is there as a guide to the essay and should say briefly how it is organized.

Review of literature

Once you have stated what your essay is all about and how you propose to argue your thesis, you need to give an overview of thought and writing on the area within which the topic of the essay is situated. The purpose of this paragraph is to contextualise your work within the existing literature and research that has been done on your topic.

Central section

This is where you make your main argument. This is where any case studies should be used to extend the debate beyond what is already known and evidence provided to back up your points.


The conclusion is not just a round-up of what you have said. It needs to bring the essence of all your arguments together, refer back to the thesis you proposed and show how your arguments lead to the conclusion in a logical way.


This should be a well prepared list of resources used/cited in the essay. It should follow the Harvard Referencing System.


  1. Title Selection
  2. Theme Development
  3. Character Development
  4. Plot Types
  5. Tone and Mood
  6. Language Style
  7. Putting Performance theory into practice and historical contexts
  8. Writing for the Stage and Writing for the Screen




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