Course Title: Develop writing and editing skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: COMM5397

Course Title: Develop writing and editing skills

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4197 - Certificate IV in Creative Industries

Course Contact : Program Administration - Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: 03 9925 4976

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Elanor Tan

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

There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this unit

Course Description

This course develops your writing and editing skills in a professional context. Semester 1 introduces you to the publishing process and emphasises the roles, responsibilities and relationships of authors and editors within it. The course contains a detailed study of English speaking, vocabulary, grammar and syntax, and of paragraphs. You also analyse and assess writing from a range of styles and for different audiences, with the outcome of communicating your response effectively and professionally.

Semester 2 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. In the major editing project you edit a piece of writing for a simulated anthology and collaborate closely with your author.

Throughout the year you gain practical experience in the use of industry resources and publishing terminology.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP551 Develop writing and editing skills


1. Ensure the clarity of language  

Performance Criteria:

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


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 readership are devised and incorporated into writings
2.3 Consistency of tone is maintained in writings
2.4 Text is monitored for non-inclusive or potentially offensive language


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 expressions 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 expressing specialised and foreign material are demonstrated, where necessary


4. Use correct spelling and punctuation                           

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Australian spelling and punctuation conventions are applied when appropriate
4.2 Alternative spelling and punctuations and conventions are applied when appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to demonstrate;
• an understandings of the book publishing process and the role of the editor
• the ability to effectively apply the fundamentals of Englisg grammar, spelling and vocabulary to a range of written contexts
• familiarity with reference tools including style manuals and dictionaries
• the ability to critique short pieces of fiction and non-fiction according to principles of genre, audience, style and clarity
• research, presentation, communication and editing skills through delivery of class papers

Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
o Teacher directed group activities
o Practical exercises
o Independent project based work
o Class presentations
o Group discussion

Out of class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
o Online research
o Group work

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Week #Class contentOtherElements
Week 1 Orientation week
Course outline
Class talk: Introduction
Week 2 Class talk: Organise time slots
Language: Spelling
Role of the editor and the book production process
Week 3 Class talk: Research and presentation tips
Language: Tautologies and word confusions
Week 4 Grammar: Introduction and nouns
Test analysis (fiction)
Week 5 Grammar: Possession
Text analysis (non-fiction)
Week 6 Grammar: Test revision
Effective communication
Week 7 Test
Editorial communication
 Editing and grammar test today 1-3
Week 8 Grammar: Subjects, objects and complements
Editorial report
Week 9 Grammar: Finite verbs
Week 10 Grammar: Non-finite verbs
Week 11 Grammar: Pronouns and agreement  Editorial report due 3
Week 12 Grammar: Adjectives, adverbs, determinesers, prepositions  3
Week 13 Grammar: Conjunctions and clauses  3
Week 14 Grammar: Phrases and misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers  3
Week 15 Guest speaker
Grammar revision and practice test
Week 16 Test
Introduction to Major editing Project
 Grammar test today 3
 Semester Break 
Week 1 Semester Break
Week 1 Style: Introduction to house style
Style: Capitals
Week 2 Style: Capitals, italics and titles  4
Week 3 Punctuation: Commas, semi-colons and colons  4
Week 4 Punctuation: Hyphens, ens and ems Writing for Major Project due 4
Week 5 Punctuation: Quotation marks – fiction and non-fiction conventions  4
Week 6 Punctuations: Lists, shortened forms and remaining punctuation issues
Test Revision: Punctuation
Week 7 Test
Editing symbols and mark-up technique for text and structure
Week 8   
Week 9 Editing fiction
Major Project: Project requirements
Week 10 Editing non-fiction  1-4
Week 11 Style: Numbers
Major Project: Author queries
Week 12 Major project: Revision and in-class editing  1-4
Week 13 Major project: First author-editing meetings
Proofreading: Proofreading symbols and mark-up technique
Week 14 Proofreading: Proofreading technique
Major project: Second author-editor meetings
Week 15 roofreading: Typography and page proofing terminology
Major Project: Author-editor sign-off
 Major Project due 1-4
Week 16 Proofreading: Illustrations and figures
Test Revision: Proofreading

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

Pen, paper, laptop computer.

Overview of Assessment

The ability to demonstrate competency in this unit will be able to perform the outcomes described in the elements to the required level detailed in the performance criteria. The knowledge and skill requirements described in the range statement must also be demonstrated. For example knowledge of the principles of clear language applying to writing that underpins the performance of the unit is also required to be demonstrated.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

1 Class presentation (15%) Due TBC
2 Editing and grammar test (7.5%) Due Semester 1, week 7
3 Editorial report (15%) Due Semester1, week 11
4 Grammar and paragraphing test (20%) Due Semester 1, week 16
5 Writing for major project. Due Semester 2, week 4
6 Punctuation test (12.5%) Due Semester 2, week 7
7 Major editing project (20%) Due Semester 2, week 14
8 Proofreading test (10%) Due Semester 2, week 16/17

The details on these assessments and the grading criteria for this competency can be found on the course blackboard site.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview