Course Title: Develop writing and editing skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: COMM5397

Course Title: Develop writing and editing skills

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4171 - Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Brendan Lee

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254368

Course Contact Email:brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Penny Johnson (Course Lecturer)
Building 94, level 2, room 6
23–27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
9925 4383 (phone); 9925 4362 (fax)
penny.johnson@rmit.edu.au

Stephanie Holt (Course Lecturer)
Building 94, level 2, room 6
23–27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
9925 8089 (phone); 9925 4362 (fax)
stephanie.holt@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None

Course Description

This course develops your writing and editing skills in a professional context. You study vocabulary, grammar, syntax, paragraphing, punctuation and style. You gain an overview of the publishing process (particularly book publishing) and explore the roles and relationships of authors and editors within it. Other areas covered include manuscript assessment, writing editorial reports, copyediting and proofreading.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP551 Develop writing and editing skills

Element:

 Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts

Performance Criteria:

- The conventions of grammar and syntax in written English are analysed
- Words and their meanings are appropriate for the writings
- The conventions governing the expression of numerical data are demonstrated
- The conventions governing the use of quoted material is demonstrated
- The conventions governing the display of illustrations and tables is demonstrated
- The conventions for expressing specialised and foreign material are demonstrated, where necessary

Element:

 Apply the appropriate voice and tone

Performance Criteria:

- The type of authorial voice/s appropriate to the publication are determined and applied to writings
-The language requirements of the publication are analysed and demonstrated in writings
- The language requirements of the readership are devised and incorporated into writings
- Consistency of tone is maintained in writings
- Text is monitored for non-inclusive or potentially offensive language

Element:

 Ensure the clarity of language

Performance Criteria:

- The principles of clear language are applied to writings
- Ambiguity, repetition and verbosity are avoided in writings
- Clear and logical connections between phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections are made
- Punctuation is used to ensure clarity of meaning and ease of reading

Element:

Use correct spelling and punctuation

Performance Criteria:

- Australian spelling and punctuation conventions are demonstrated in writings
- Alternative spelling and punctuation conventions are applied when appropriate


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable


Details of Learning Activities

Students learn through a variety of methods. Classes are, in general, a mixture of lectures, discussion, practical exercises and group work. Students also teach one another by presenting class papers and conducting discussion on the presentation topic. Some class time in Semester 2 is given over to completing the collaborative editing project, and freelance editor and a book designer will give guest lectures. Students are responsible for managing their learning and undertaking an appropriate amount of out-of-class independent study and research.


Teaching Schedule

Semester 1

WeekWeek
beginning
Monday
TopicsAssessment
Tasks Due
112 Feb.Course outline
Class presentation
Role of the editor
 
219 Feb.Class presentation
The production process
Spelling, tautologies, vocabulary
 
326 Feb.
Class presentation
Grammar
Readership/markets
 
45 MarchGrammar
Text analysis
 
512 MarchGrammar
Text analysis
No class Monday*
Labour Day
619 MarchGrammar
Effective communication
 
726 MarchTest
Editorial report writing
Editing and Grammar Test
82 April/
9 April
Grammar
Editorial report writing
 
  Mid-Semester (Easter) Break 5–11 April 
916 April   
Grammar
Paragraphs
 
1023 AprilGrammar
Paragraphs
 
1130 AprilGrammar
[Address Copyright Requirements]**
Editorial Report
127 MayGrammar
[Address Copyright Requirements]**
 
1314 May
   
Grammar
[Address Copyright Requirements]**
  
1421 May
Grammar
 
1528 May
   
Grammar
Grammar revision and practice test
 
164 June    
Test
Freelance editing: guest speaker 
Paragraphing and
Grammar Test
 
1712 June        Introduction to Major Project
Journals and anthologies
No class
Queen’s B’day
 
1819 JuneSemester review  
* To make up for this class, tasks will be set for home.
** The competency CUSADMO8A Address Copyright Requirements will be covered here. For assessment tasks for this course see the course outline.



Semester 2


WeekWeek
beginning
Monday
TopicsAssessment
Tasks Due
19 July
House style
Capitals
 
216 July
Editing
Italics
 
323 July
Editing
Numbers
 
430 July
Punctuation
Writing for Major Project
56 Aug.
Punctuation
613 Aug.
Punctuation 
720 Aug.
Punctuation
Test revision

827 Aug.
Tests
Major Project
Punctuation and
Copyediting Tests
9 3 Sept.
Editing
Major Project
 
1010 Sept.  
Editing
Major Project
 
1117 Sept.
Editing
Major Project
 


Mid-Semester Break 24–31 Sept.

121 Oct.
Proofreading
Major Project
 
138 Oct.
   
Proofreading
Major Project
  
1415 Oct.
Proofreading
Major Project
Major Project
1522 Oct.
   
Proofreading
Role of the designer
 
1629 Oct.   
Proofreading
Test revision

 
175 Nov
TestProofreading test
No class Cup Day
(5 Nov TBC)
 
1812 Nov
Test (for classes who missed Week 17)
Semester review
  


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Editing 1 Grammar Unit Handbook

Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 6th edn, John Wiley & Sons, 2002

The Concise Macquarie Dictionary, 4th edn, Macquarie Library, Sydney, 2006 OR The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2004


References


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes a written report, an editing project, in-class tests and an oral presentation.


Assessment Tasks

Students will receive a numerical grade for their overall achievement in this competency.

For written and oral assessments students will receive a letter grade and written feedback. Tests will be given numerical grades.

Grades
High Distinction (HD) 80–100%
Distinction (DI ) 70–79%
Credit (CR) 60–69%
Pass  (PA) 50–59%
Fail (NN) Less than 50%

Class Presentation

A 10-minute presentation on an aspect of editing, publishing, writing or the English language. The presentation should be relevant to a publishing context, and to you and your classmates as people who will be working as editors or writers being edited.

Due date
In either Semester 1 or 2, on a date negotiated with your teacher.

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your:
•    ability to frame and explain your topic and to maintain relevance to a publishing context throughout the talk
•    ability to present your talk to the class in a clear, audible and interesting way and to conduct a class discussion
•    ability to structure your talk so that it is logical, coherent and balanced within the time limit
•    knowledge of your topic and the depth of your research
•    organisational skills shown by submitting a plan, arranging and attending a tutorial, presenting the talk on the arranged day, and submitting all notes (including a list of sources) on time.

Editing and Grammar Test

A 45-minute closed-book test on spelling, tautologies, word confusions, plurals and the apostrophe.

Due date
Week 7, Semester 1 (week beginning 26 March)

Percentage weight
7.5%

Editorial Report

A 1000-word editorial report on an unpublished manuscript.

Due date
Week 11, Semester 1 (week beginning 30 April)

Percentage weight
15%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    provide a concise yet comprehensive synopsis and an appropriate recommendation
•    find a reasonable number of strengths and weaknesses in the manuscipt
•    back up your comments with explanations, including examples from the text if appropriate
•    write logically, coherently and clearly, without spelling or grammatical errors
•    understand and respect the author’s intentions
•    communicate sensitively, honestly and directly.

Grammar and Paragraphing Test

A 1.5-hour test on all grammar and paragraphing work covered in Semester 1.

Due date
Week 16, Semester 1 (week beginning 4 June)

Percentage weight
20%

Editing Test

A one-hour open-book test where you copyedit a short piece of writing according to a brief and the style provided. You will be marked on your use of the editing symbols as well as your ability to find and correct mistakes.

Due date
Week 8, Semester 2 (week beginning 27 August)

Percentage weight
7.5%

Punctuation Test

A 45-minute open-book test where you correct punctuation problems in a series of sentences and check parallel structure and compound words as appropriate. You need to work with the style provided.

Due date
Week 8, Semester 2 (week beginning 27 August)

Percentage weight
7.5%

Major Editing Project

You are required to edit another student’s piece of writing submitted for a simulated anthology. To participate in the project, you will need to submit a 1000–1200 word piece of writing according to a brief. As the editor, you will be required to do an electronic clean up of your author’s piece and then do a hard-copy edit. You should edit the piece according to the brief, the demands of the piece and market needs. A one-page reflection on your experience of the project as both editor and author should also be submitted.

You should attend both classes for author–editor meetings in the weeks beginning 1 October and 8 October. If, for strong reasons, you are unable to attend one of those classes, you are required to notify your author/editor in advance and make alternative arrangements to complete the work.

Due date
Writing – Week 4, Semester 2 (week beginning 30 July)
Editing Project – Week 14, Semester 2 (week beginning 15 Oct)

Percentage weight
20%

Assessment criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
•    edit the piece according to conventions of grammar, spelling, punctuation, house style etc.
•    make appropriate use of email and Word programs to communicate with your author, manage files and do an electronic clean-up of the document
•    mark up correctly, including using both copyediting and structure mark-up, using a style sheet, and marking in corrections after the author has responded
•    understand the author’s intentions and edit according to the demands of the piece and to market needs
•    communicate with and query the author appropriately, and deal appropriately with the author’s responses
•    reflect thoughtfully on the editing process as experienced through the project as author and editor, and articulate any insights gained.

Proofreading Test

A one-hour open-book test, where you proofread page proofs of a book according to the brief and style provided. You will be marked on your proofreading mark-up as well as your ability to find and correct errors.

Due date
Week 17/18 (Friday 9, Monday 12 or Tuesday 13 November)

Percentage weight
7.5%


Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

Course Overview: Access Course Overview