Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Editing

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: COMM5407

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Editing

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Professional Writing and Editing Administration

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4368

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Stephanie Holt (Course Lecturer)
Building 94, level 2, room 6
23–27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
9925 8089 (phone); 9925 4362 (fax)

Nominal Hours: 85

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

VBP551 Develop Writing and Editing Skills
CUSADM08A Address Copyright Requirements

Course Description

This course covers the knowledge and skills required to research and experiment with writing and editing techniques and media to generate writings. It looks at further developing the skills needed for editing for a range of media.  The course also explores the varied and changing environments within which editors work and the range of projects to which they may contribute.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Editing

Learning Outcomes

Not applicable                        

Details of Learning Activities

During weekly classes:

  • lectures
  • demonstrations
  • guest lecturers
  • peer teaching
  • exercises
  • discussion
  • group activities/projects
  • workshopping
  • field trips
Related independent learning:
  • practice/revision exercises as required
  • research as required
  • reading (included recommended weekly reading)
  • assignment/project work

Teaching Schedule

The teaching schedule is based around a number of focus areas throughout the year. Weekly classes are generally divided into three sessions, of which one is devoted to a copyediting or proofreading activity. There is some scope for students to nominate or negotiate additional content. The key focus areas within the schedule are:

Weeks 1-25
Advanced copyediting

Weeks 1-15

Weeks 5-11
Developmental and substantive editing (fiction)

Weeks 10-17
Developmental and substantive editing (nonfiction)

Weeks 18-36
Periodical editing and publishing

Weeks 20-36
Advanced proofreading

Weeks 23-35
Book publishing

Weeks 31-36
Professional practice

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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


•    The Concise Macquarie Dictionary, 4th edn, Macquarie Library

•     The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2004

•     Elizabeth Flann & Beryl Hill, The Australian Editing Handbook (2nd edition), John Wiley and Sons 

•     Janet McKenzie, The Editor’s Companion, Cambridge

Other Resources

A recent Australian bestseller is needed for the genre analysis project (a list of possible titles will be provided in class).
Extracts, readings and additional references are provided throughout the course, including recommended weekly reading.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes projects, assignments and negotiated tasks. 

Assessment Tasks

There are 2 compulsory assessment tasks. There are also 6 assessment tasks that have both a compulsory core component and an elective extension component.
All students will undertake the 2 compulsory assessment tasks and the compulsory core components of the remaining 6 assessment tasks.

All students will also submit the elective extension component of 2 assessment tasks. (If students choose to submit extension components for more than 2 of the tasks, the best 2 marks will be taken for the year’s mark.)

Detailed specifications for all assessment tasks are distributed and discussed in class at relevant points throughout the year.

Genre analysis project (compulsory)
This project focuses on establishing familiarity with a broad range of publishing genres, while developing an ability to analyse, assess and edit writing in accordance with genre conventions.
It entails
o    a written report analysing a recent bestselling Australian book of a given genre (genres will be selected by each class)
o    a panel-led discussion of each genre, led by the students who have analysed such books
o    a collaboratively produced ‘bookshop newsletter’ to introduce the class to this genre
o    a collaboratively produced overhead identifying some key issues for editors of this genre
Weighting: 5% for report, 5% for newsletter / overhead
Week 6 (written report)
Weeks 8-16 as negotiated (discussion, newsletter, overhead)

Fiction editing assignment
This assignment focuses on the requirements of, and editorial tools available for, structural/substantive editing of book-length fiction

Compulsory core component
This component entails analysing the opening chapters of the fiction manuscript supplied, and preparing a plot summary, character map and point-form assessment of key structural / substantive elements.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 11

Elective extension component
This component entails writing a letter to the author containing your editorial response to the manuscript including comments about its development and suggestions for revision.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 14

Non-fiction editing assignment
This assignment focuses on a commissioning editor’s and managing editor’s role for a short nonfiction reference-cum-guide, including structural/substantive editing, and the development and application of an appropriate editorial style.

Compulsory core component
This component entails supplying a short written text to a brief supplied, and considering all the texts contributed by the class as the basis for a short nonfiction publication. Each student will decide the audience, purpose, title, substance and structure of their resulting publication, and will submit an introduction, contents page and detailed brief for a copyeditor.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 17

Elective extension component
This component entails supplying electronically edited copy of the first six texts to appear in your publication, with a detailed stylesheet.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 20

Issues in publishing and editing (panel presentation)
This presentation focuses on issues of interest in the contemporary editing and publishing context, as shortlisted by the class.

Compulsory core component
This component entails preparing, presenting and discussing a 5-8 minute presentation on a topic shortlisted by your class, within a panel format, as part of a class conference.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 19

Elective extension component
This component entails preparing an appropriately referenced and researched written report of 1500-2000 words, based on your conference presentation and subsequent discussion.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 22

Newsletter publishing project
This project focuses on the writing, subediting, editing and project management tasks involved in periodical publishing.

Compulsory core component
This component entails participating in developing a brief for a class newsletter and working as a member of a team to plan and prepare one issue of the newsletter, with special attention to group processes, procedures and documentation to enable efficient completion of the newsletter to an appropriate standard.
Weighting: 5% for newsletter, 5% for project management
Due: Weeks 20-34 as negotiated

Elective extension component
This component entails preparing a written reflective report of 1500-2000 words which considers insights into periodical editing and publishing gained through your work on the newsletter and consideration of the newsletters produced.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 36

Magazine editing assignment
This assignment focuses on the feature editing and subediting roles within magazine publishing.

Compulsory core component
This component entails selecting a book extract from examples provided, for an imagined magazine of your own devising, and planning how to adapt it into a magazine feature article by writing a headline and precede, deciding on suitable illustrations/captions and creating suitable boxes/sidebars (if appropriate).
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 24

Elective extension component
This component entails subediting the chosen extract (using proofreading mark-up), preparing a detailed stylesheet, and identifying suitable breakouts (if appropriate).
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 27

Book publishing project
This project focuses on building a publishing list and project managing the publication of a related book.

Compulsory core component
This component entails working with a team to develop a suitable list of books for a small publisher from a given list of proposals, collaboratively producing a promotional brochure to publicise this list, and individually preparing a schedule and in-house summary for one book from the publisher’s list.
Weighting: 5% for brochure, 5% (in total) for schedule and in-house summary.
Due: Week 29

Elective extension component
This component entails preparing a cover brief and marketing memo for your individual book, on behalf of the publishing team.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 33

Proofreading test (compulsory)
This test focuses on proofreading of book material, with particular attention to the completeness and correctness of the pages, and adopting appropriate standards, priorities and time-management strategies.
Weighting: 10%
Due: Week 35

Assessment Matrix

not applicable

Course Overview: Access Course Overview