Professional Editing

Discussion 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.

The 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

The course will span fourteen 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. Grades will largely be
based on the accuracy of the editing on those activities; however, there will
also be two graded writing assignments. As a class, we will also take a field
trip to a local publishing company. There will be no final exam.

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


1). The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide 16th Ed.(actual book, not online version)

2). The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications by Amy Einsohn (paperback)

3). Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Revolution will have
a $6.96 version that I would like all students to buy and have on hand
for class. However, there is also an online version students may want to
download for an annual fee of $29.95.)