Facebook logo
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo

Fall 2018 registration begins in late-June.  Login to myAccount to check your registration date and time.

back to search

Professional Readiness III: Business Skills and Legal and Ethical Issues

Course Code: PRFU 2390
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Print Futures
Credits: 1.0
Semester: 3 intensive 6-hour sessions
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is the third of four professional readiness courses intended to help students develop a career as a professional writer. The course focuses on the primary business skills required to work in a salaried writing job and as a self-employed professional writer. It provides an overview of legal and ethical issues for writers. Students also begin preparing for their graduating semester’s Portfolio Show.

Course Content

  1. Business Skills for Writers
    Students will:
    • identify methods of work delivery
    • review and prepare proposals for writing jobs
    • review and draft writing-project contracts
    • calculate the cost of a job and prepare an invoice
    • review how to set up a writing office
    • understand basic tax requirements for self-employed professionals
    • identify the key features of a small business plan
  2. Legal and Ethical Issues for Writers
    Students will:
    • learn about the kinds of liability associated with different kinds of writing
    • review the legal options available to protect writers
    • review the major elements of current copyright law
    • review censorship laws and the concept of freedom of information
    • discuss plagiarism, conflict of interest, confidentiality, and accountability
    • describe the importance of professional responsibility, including how to handle conflict
    • compare and contrast the legal and ethical issues involved in writing for different forms of media
    • write and present a case study of a current legal or ethical issue for writing professionals
  3. Inventory of Writing Projects
    Students will compile an inventory of writing projects suitable for their graduating-semester writing portfolio.

Methods of Instruction

The course will be delivered by lecture, seminar, and guest speakers. In the seminar, students will be expected to share their findings, experiences, and writing.

Means of Assessment

Students will demonstrate their mastery of course material through assignments and participation in discussion, group work, and a final examination.  

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, and effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Proposal for writing job 30%
Case study (written) 30%
Case study (oral) 10%
Writing-project inventory 5%
Final exam 15%
Professionalism (as defined) 10%

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. identify the primary business skills required to work as a professional writer (in-house of freelance)
  2. explore current legal and ethical issues for writers (copyright, censorship, plagiarism, libel, permissions, accountability, and so on)
  3. prepare an inventory of writing projects for development into a writing portfolio in PRFU 2490: Professional Readiness IV

course prerequisites

PRFU 1290 or permission of coordinator                               

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.