Creative Writing courses

Guidelines for submission for formal assessment
Look at OCA's Student Support Guide Assessments and how to get qualified, available to download from, OCA's student website: This will tell you about the assessment process. Also look out for videos and other tips on assessment that are posted on Look out for updates on these guidelines on oca-student. com Digital Submissions
Please note that all written work (tutor reports, learning logs and blogs do not have to be printed out, if they are submitted digitally) submitted for assessment MUST be submitted digitally as well as printed out and submitted on paper along with the rest of your submission. Digital work should be submitted to assessment@, clearly stating your name, student number, the course name and what the digital work attached is (eg critical review, essay etc) This is a requirement and is to enable OCA to carry out plagiarism checks on work, and a requirement of our validation with the University for the Creative Arts. If you are submitting an entirely digital portfolio on CD or a USB stick, or entirely via a blog, only a sustained piece of writing (such as an essay or creative reading commentary) needs to be sent to assessment@oca-uk. com as well as printed out and submitted for assessment in hard copy. If you are submitting work on a USB stick or a CD please ensure you check it thoroughly for viruses before you send it in.

What to submit
Level one (HE level 4)
• Three out of the four redrafted course assignments of your choice. (ie not assignment 1) For each one, also submit your original tutor annotated assignment. (See the course book for an indication of the required word length for each assignment.) • Your final reflective commentary of the entire course (between 1,000 and 1,500 words), not the shorter reflective commentaries written with the earlier assignments. • All tutor report forms.

Level two (HE level 5)
• Your three best redrafted course assignments. These should be a minimum of 2,500 words and up to a maximum of 3,000 words each. For poetry these word counts are not applicable. (Please refer to your course assignments for details). For each one, also submit your original tutor annotated assignment. • A 2,000 word creative reading commentary. This should be submitted as a sixth assignment, but you should be working on this along side your other work (send both physical and digital copies). • Your reflective commentary (between 1,500 and 2,000 words). • All tutor report forms.

Level three (HE level 6)
• Your three best redrafted course assignments. (2,500 -4,000 words each) For poetry these word counts are not applicable. (Please refer to your course assignments for details). • For each one, also submit your original tutor annotated assignment. • A 2,500 -3,500 word creative reading commentary (send both physical and digital copies). • Your reflective commentary (between 1,500 and 2,000 words). • All tutor report forms

Please note that if your tutor has annotated your written work, then you must submit the annotated version of the written work as well as the final version.
All Creative Writing submissions should be submitted in hard copy, with a digital copy back up emailed to The email should be clearly titled with your name and student number.

Work for all Creative Writing courses submitted for Assessment should be presented in a folder that holds the work together. You must include a contents list. This could be a ring-plan folder, a folder containing integral plastic page holders, or any similar folder. Work presented without a folder (for instance in an envelope, paperclipped into sections), is likely to get out of order or even lost in a busy office. You must also number each page and include the heading on the top of each and every page you submit. Label your work clearly ensuring that you make it clear which are the original submissions and which are the revised versions, in which you have responded to tutor feedback. Present your file of work in three separate parts – the three best assignments you are presenting as your submission – each of these parts beginning with your tutor annotated original work, followed by the relevant tutor report and finally the best redraft you can make of this original work. Use your judgement to submit the best three assignments, you will gain marks for picking the best three. Making a good selection of your work is really important, since it shows judgement. Don’t submit everything, you will lose marks if you do. Separate each item by a file divider or similar, stating what is coming next. If you have been asked to write a creative reading commentary at levels 2 and 3 (also known as a critical review), enclose this, placing it either first or last, and separating it with some form of divider or frontispiece.

Reflective Commentary
Finally enclose your reflective commentary, placing it first or last, so long as you make it clear this is the commentary. Do not split it into three and enclose with each assignment presentation; it should be a single piece of work. Remember that you should have used your writing diary (also known as a learning log) to record your thoughts on the writing process, and your progressions in the work you do but you do not submit this. You use your reflective commentary to show extracts or a précis of your writing diary. The reflective commentary creates a context for the presentation of your creative work and shows that you have brought together your thinking on the creative process. Your reflective commentary should articulate your writing journey on each piece of work, showing how and why you have made changes to each draft. The reflective commentary is an essential element of the assessment portfolio.

Word Length
Although it is very important to stay within the word – count limits for the redrafted work you send (doing so can affect your mark), this does not apply to your original tutor-marked work, which should in any case fall roughly within the limits.

Work should be presented on one side only of A4 white paper, double-spaced with wide margins. The font should be big enough to read without difficulty; 12 point size, for instance. Do not use any form of elaborate font. Number your pages wherever possible and include your name and student number on every page. It is best if you can present your work as if submitting to a publisher; that is, in Manuscript Format, with indented paragraphs, a header or footer to enclose page numbers and centralized headings. Full stops should sit squarely next to the final word in the sentence. Either style of speech mark is acceptable. Footnotes rarely have any place in creative writing, but if you need them (for instance in your creative reading commentary), place them on the relevant pages, rather than the end. Hand-written manuscripts are acceptable in exceptional circumstances and must be agreed with OCA prior to submission.

What not to Enclose
• Do not enclose your writing diary (or learning log or learning blog). Confusion often arises here, because only Creative Writing submissions should omit this from their submission. Your Reflective Commentary replaces the Log -and what you submit for assessment is a summary or synthesis of it, and should include a reflective account of how you believe you developed as a writer during your course. • Do not present your work as a scrapbook, or within individual plastic page holders without some sort of retainer – they slide about far too easily. • Do not enclose more than three assignments' work. • Do not send more than one copy of each final version you have selected to submit and one (the first if there were several) tutor annotated drafts of it. • Do not enclose any further communication for the assessor such as a covering letter or an explanation of texts, illustrations, or photographs. These will not be assessed.

Clarification on presentation of work when studying multiple courses
If you are studying more than one OCA course at the same time, you must ensure that your work on the courses you are studying do not overlap in any way. You must keep separate writing diaries, demonstrating that the research you do is specifically for each of the courses. It is essential that when you present your work for assessment that it is clear which work relates to which course. There must be a discrete set of work for each course so that the assessors are clear what they are assessing.

About assessment at OCA
The assessment process involves your work being marked by one assessor and then moderated by another assessor. The average amount of time spent reviewing each submission at assessment is 45 minutes, but this may increase at level 3 (HE6). The assessment process is validated by an external examiner who observes the assessment and reviews a sample of the submissions. The resulting marks are provisional. The marks are then confirmed by an exam board convened by the validating university, UCA.

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