Course Title: Develop writing and editing skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

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 : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:mctafe@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Penny Johnson
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
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. It introduces you to the publishing process and emphasises the roles, responsibilities and relationships of authors and editors. The course contains a detailed study of English spelling, vocabulary, grammar and syntax, and of paragraphs. You also analyse and assess writing from a range of styles and for different audiences.
The course also focuses on punctuation and style issues, as well as copyediting and proofreading. You learn editing and proofreading mark-up and technique, and handle proofs with numerous design features.
 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP551 Develop writing and editing skills

Element:

1. Ensure the clarity of language  

Performance Criteria:

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

Element:

2. Apply the appropriate voice and tone

Performance Criteria:

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

Element:

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

Performance Criteria:

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

Element:

4. Use correct spelling and punctuation                           

Performance Criteria:

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


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• understand the book publishing process and the role of the editor
• apply the fundamentals of English grammar, spelling and vocabulary to a range of written contexts
• use reference tools with confidence, including style manuals and dictionaries
• critique short pieces of fiction and non-fiction according to principles of genre, audience, style and clarity
• communicate effectively in editorial report writing and in author–editor relationships
• apply punctuation correctly and for effect
• use the publishing industry’s technical language and its copyediting and proofreading marks
• edit short pieces of fiction and non-fiction according to principles of genre, audience, style and clarity
• edit and communicate research through delivery of a class talk.
 


Details of Learning Activities

You learn through a variety of methods. Classes are, in general, a mixture of lectures, discussion, practical exercises and group work. You also teach your fellow students by presenting class papers and conducting discussion on the presentation topic. Some class time in Semester 2 is given over to completing a collaborative editing project, and industry guests speak about professional practice. The Editing 1 website on Blackboard also provides information, resources, activities and web links to support your studies. You are expected to manage your learning and undertake an appropriate amount of out-of-class independent study and research.


Teaching Schedule

Semester 1

WeekTopicElements of competency taught
1Orientation week
Course outline
Class talk: Introduction
Ensure the clarity of language
Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
Apply the appropriate voice and tone
Use correct spelling and punctuation
    2Class talk: Organise time slots
    Language: Spelling
    Role of the editor and the production process
    Ensure the clarity of language
    Use correct spelling and punctuation
      3Class talk: Research and presentation tips
      Language: Tautologies and word confusions
      Readership/market
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      4Grammar: Introduction and nouns
      Text analysis: Non-fiction
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      5Grammar: Possession
      Text analysis: Fiction
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      6Grammar: Test revision
      Effective communication
       Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      7Test
      Editorial report writing
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      8Grammar: Subjects, objects and complements
      Editorial report writing
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      9Grammar: Finite verbs
      Paragraphs
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Ensure the clarity of language
      10Grammar: Non-finite verbs
      Paragraphs
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Ensure the clarity of language
      11Grammar: Pronouns and Agreement Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      12Grammar : Adjectives, adverbs, determiners, prepositions Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      13Grammar: Conjunctions and clauses
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      14Grammar: Phrases and misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      15Guest speakers
      Grammar revision and practice test
       Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      16Test (Friday groups)
      Introduction to Major Editing Project
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      17Test (Monday groups)
      Introduction to Major Editing Project
       Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation

      Semester 2

      WeekTopicElements of competency taught
      1Style: Introduction to house style
      Style: Capitals
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      2Style: Capitals, italics and titlesApply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      3Punctuation: Commas, semi-colons and colonsEnsure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      4Punctuation: Hyphens, ens and emsEnsure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      5Punctuation: Quotation marks – fiction and non-fiction conventionsEnsure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      6Punctuation: Lists, shortened forms and remaining punctuation issues
      Test Revision: Punctuation
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      7Test
      Editing symbols and mark-up technique for text and structure
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      8Editing fiction
      Major Project: Project requirements
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      9Editing non-fiction
      Major Project: Style sheet
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      10Style: Numbers
      Major Project: Author queries
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      11Major Project: Revision and in-class editing
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      12Major Project: First author–editor meetings Proofreading: Proofreading symbols and mark-up techniqueEnsure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      13Proofreading: Proofreading technique
      Major Project: Second author–editor meetings
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      14Proofreading: Typography and page proofing terminology
      Major Project: Author–editor sign-off
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      15Proofreading: Illustrations and figures
      Test Revision: Proofreading
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      16Test (Friday groups)
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation
      17Test (Monday groups)
      Ensure the clarity of language
      Apply the accepted conventions of grammar and usage to a range of written contexts
      Apply the appropriate voice and tone
      Use correct spelling and punctuation


      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

      Students will receive additional handouts in class.


      Overview of Assessment

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


      Assessment Tasks

      You receive a numerical grade for your overall achievement in this competency.

      For written and oral assessments you 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. Your presentation relates 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
      Semester 1, Week 7 (week beginning 23 March)

      Percentage weight
      7.5%

      Editorial Report

      A 1000-word editorial report on an unpublished manuscript.

      Due date
      Semester 1, Week 11 (week beginning 4 May)

      Percentage weight
      15%

      Assessment criteria
      You are 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 manuscript
      •    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
      Semester 1, Week 16/17 (Friday 12 June or Monday 15 June)

      Percentage weight
      20%


      Punctuation Test

      A 1 hour open-book test where you add punctuation to an unpunctuated paragraph and correct punctuation problems in a series of sentences, checking parallel structure and compound words as appropriate. You work with the style provided.

      Due date
      Semester 2, Week 7 (week beginning 17 August)

      Percentage weight
      12.5%

      Major Editing Project

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

      You attend both classes for author–editor meetings in the weeks beginning 5 October and 12 October. If, for strong reasons, you can’t attend one of those classes, notify your author/editor in advance and make alternative arrangements to complete the work.

      Due date
      Writing – Semester 2, Week 4 (week beginning 27 July)
      Editing Project – Semester 2, Week 14 (week beginning 19 Oct)

      Percentage weight
      20%

      Assessment criteria
      You are 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 1 hour open-book test, where you proofread page proofs of a book according to the brief and style provided. You are marked on your proofreading mark-up as well as your ability to find and correct errors.

      Due date
      Week 16/17 (Friday 6 November or Monday 9 November)

      Percentage weight
      10%

      Submission of work for assessment
      All assessment submissions require a completed School Cover Sheet. You can obtain this form from your course teacher or from the course site in the Distributed Learning System (DLS).

      Late submission

      If you are unable to complete your assessment project, assignment or essay by the due date, you can apply for an extension. If you are seeking an extension of up to 7 calendar days, please apply to your teacher who will let you know whether your request has been granted. Application for Extension forms are available from the Distributed Learning System (DLS) or from the Creative Media Office. The application must be submitted by email or in person, before the official due date together with supporting evidence such as a medical certificate.

      If you are seeking an extension of longer than 7 calendar days, or if you are seeking an extension for a test or lab-based assessment, you will need to apply to the University for Special Consideration.

      If you submit late work without an approved extension, 5% of the total marks for that piece of assessment will be deducted each week (or part of a week) it is late.


      Assessment Matrix

      Not applicable

      Other Information

      Submission of written material

      •    You must keep a copy of all assignments submitted.
      •    All assessment tasks must be submitted with the School of Creative Media cover sheet.
      •    Submitting substantially the same work to meet the requirements of any other subject requires the written permission of the supervising teacher.
      •    All work should be submitted in hard copy by the due date. Submissions by fax, by email or on disk are not acceptable, except for the writing piece for the Major Editing Project, which should be submitted as an email attachment in Word.

      Academic administrative procedures

      •    You are expected to attend all classes, as teachers cannot provide catch-up tuition.
      •    If you are unable to attend a class, it is your responsibility to collect any handouts and to catch up on work missed.
      •    For information about appealing assessment decisions, and about learning and support services (Disability Liaison Unit, Study and Learning Centre and library services) refer to the RMIT website and the Student Handbook/Diary.
      •    For information about Recognition for Prior Learning and credit transfers, please liaise with your teacher or the PWE Administration Officer, Brendan Lee, on 9925 4368.
      •    Any work submitted must be your own and any resources used must be cited properly.
      •    RMIT regulations prohibit plagiarism in any form. (For more information see RMIT’s Policy on Plagiarism on the website.)

      Private appointments

      Your teacher will be available for individual appointments during the last half hour of class.

      Course Overview: Access Course Overview