and practice in professional editing. Specific focus on editing of articles,
books, and reports with a focus on logic, clarity, coherence, consistency of
tone and style, and conventional grammar and punctuation. Pre: 306, 311, 313,
403, or 405; or consent.
Overall Course Goals for English 408 are twofold: 1). to introduce students to the very real elements
involved in becoming and establishing one’s self as a professional editor/copyeditor/proofreader
in the ever-evolving world of publishing and 2). to nurture students in their
individual investigations into the difference between writing well and editing
well by helping them develop the ability to find and fix everything possible in
a given manuscript.
are three Student Learning Outcomes for English 408: 1). develop thinking and problem solving
skills in relation to working with written text (i.e “What are the problems
with this manuscript, and how do I fix them?”), 2). understand the research and depth of knowledge
required to be a strong and effective editor/copyeditor/proofreader (i.e. “Know
the basics, do the research, and make a manuscript the best it can be.”), and 3).
be able to apply what is learned in class to any new piece of writing with the
confidence of an emerging professional editor/copyeditor/proofreader.
a class, we will take a field trip to a local publishing company. The overall
design of the course will span sixteen weeks with a different editing “problem”
or “situation” as the focus for each week (i.e. “Clichés, Jargon, and Clutter”
and “The Digital Revolution”). Classes will involve weekly readings and editing
activities along with quizzes. Grades will largely be based on the accuracy of
the editing on those activities and taking those quizzes; however, there will
also be one graded writing assignment that has two parts (hence two separate
writing grades). There will also be a final exam worth 20% of your grade.
must express strongly that students enrolled in 408 should have a solid grasp
on grammar consistencies within the English language. All enrolled will be
expected to work on a professional level and will be graded accordingly.
primary course text is The Copyeditor’s
Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications (Third
Edition) by Amy Einsohn. The secondary course text, which is still required, is
The Chicago Manual of Style: The
Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (16th
Edition). If you have an earlier edition or have the online version, please
discuss this with me on the first day of class. In addition, students should
have access to a dictionary (whether print or online) that is more prescriptive
(proposing “correct” usage) and less descriptive (“neutral”) and one that lists
the most common definition first, versus giving definitions in historical
order. Other grammar and language usage handbooks will also be useful to
students enrolled in 408.