Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Editing

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2008

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 Email:Brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

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: 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

Element:

Determine and organise resource requirements for work

Performance Criteria:

The specific resource requirements which arise from the use of techniques and experimental approaches are assessed
Potential sources of supply of writing resources are researched and accessed
Constraints that may impact on the development of work are evaluated

Element:

Develop and refine conceptual vision for work

Performance Criteria:

A conceptual vision for writings are developed based on a knowledge and understanding of different writing techniques
The criteria for selecting techniques are considered based on results of experimentation
The criteria which are most likely to facilitate the achievement of the conceptual vision are established
The approach to work which meets established criteria is selected
The conceptual vision is refined based on on-going experimentation and analysis of writing techniques

Element:

Inform work through experimentation with writing techniques and media

Performance Criteria:

The potential for new approaches to writing based on the capabilities of techniques already used are evaluated
New techniques are selected, adapted and introduced for the achievement of different effects
The capabilities of writing techniques are extended through experimentation to inform practice
Relevant ideas and approaches from other practitioners are researched, adapted and used with consideration of intellectual property, moral rights and copyright requirements

Element:

Plan the writing

Performance Criteria:

The writing task is planned to reflect the media, scope, structure and content of the work and to meet agreed timelines
Ideas are organised and developed into an ordered sequence of scenes
All resources required to deliver the writing task are organised
A timeline for the completion of the writing task that reflects the critical milestones is determined

Element:

Realise the writing

Performance Criteria:

Writings are realised using techniques and media selected from research and experimentation to meet the conceptual vision
The potential for changes in the use of techniques are evaluated and responded to
The conceptual vision is refined  based on on-going experiences with the production of writings
Issues of design and presentation of writings are considered and appropriate actions taken


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable                        


Details of Learning Activities

During weekly classes:

  • lectures
  • demonstrations
  • guest lecturers
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • exercises
  • discussion
  • group activities/projects
  • workshopping
  • field trips
Related independent learning:
  • practice/revision exercises as required
  • research
  • reading (included recommended weekly reading)
  • discussion and comment via the class website, Blackboard
  • assignment/project work


Teaching Schedule

The teaching schedule is based around six focus units throughout the year, in addition to ongoing development of style, copyediting and proofreading skills, and engagement with issues of professional practice.

A detailed teaching and activity schedule will be issued at the start of each focus unit.

There is some scope for students to nominate or negotiate content for the advanced style, copyediting and proofreading and professional practice sessions.

The key focus areas within the schedule are:

WeeksClass Focus
1Orientation
2-17Professional Practice for contemporary editors
2-17Advanced style, copyediting and proofreading
2-4Genre
5-10Developmental and substantive editing (fiction)
11-17Developmental and substantive editing (nonfiction)
18Semester review and revision
19-35Professional Practice for contemporary editors
19-35Advanced style, copyediting and proofreading
19-26Periodical editing and publishing
27-35Book publishing
36Year review


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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

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


References

Pam Peters, The Cambridge guide to Australian English usage, 2nd ed., University Press, 2007.
AND/OR
Nick Hudson, Modern Australian usage, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 1997.
AND/OR
H W Fowler, The new Fowler’s modern English usage, rev. 3rd ed. edited by R.W. Burchfield, Oxford University Press, 2000
AND/OR
Barrie Hughes et al (eds), The Penguin working words: an Australian guide to modern English usage, Penguin Books, 1995.

Elizabeth Flann & Beryl Hill, The Australian editing handbook, 2nd ed., Wiley & Sons, 2004.
AND/OR
Janet Mackenzie, The editor’s companion, Cambridge University Press, 2004.


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. In addition to hard copy handouts, some readings are made available on the class website, Blackboard, and others can be accessed via the web.

A list of recommended books (from which many of the weekly readings are drawn) will be distributed in class, and students should have easy access to at least one of these. They include:

David Carter & Ann Galligan, Making books: contemporary Australian publishing, University of Queensland Press, 2007.

Robin M. Derricourt, Ideas into books: a guide to scholarly & non-fiction publishing, Penguin Books, 1996.

Sol Stein, Stein on writing: a master editor of some of the most successful writers of our century shares his craft techniques and strategies, St Martins Press, 1995.

Brenda Walker (ed.), The writer’s reader: a guide to writing fiction and poetry, Halstead Press, 2002.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes projects, assignments and negotiated tasks. 


Assessment Tasks

There is an assessment task for each focus unit. These have both a compulsory core component and an elective extension component. All students will submit the compulsory core component for each task and, in addition, will undertake the extension component of one task per semester.

An assessment task for issues in publishing, editing and professional practice will be negotiated with the teacher at the start of the year.

Assessment of advanced style, copyediting and proofreading is integrated in the compulsory assessment tasks.

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

1. Genre analysis project
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.

Compulsory core component
This component entails researching a given genre and analysing a recent bestselling Australian book of that genre (genres will be selected by each class) to prepare a 400-500 word review suitable for the genre audience, and a 400-500 word report on the conventions of the genre, illustrated with reference to your selected book. You will also collaborate to run a class discussion on the genre, and to prepare a single-sheet class handout of tips for editors working in this genre.
Due:
Writing: 19 March
Discussion and handout: first semester as negotiated
Weighting:
15%
Elective extension component
This component entails producing (drawing on group discussions with our genre team, and in collaboration with other interested members) a ‘bookshop newsletter’ to introduce the class to this genre.
Due:
First semester, as negotiated
Weighting:
10%

2. 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 brief chapter summary and evaluation, and a point form summary of the most significant structural / substantive issues identified.
Due:
15 May
Weighting:
10%
Elective extension component
This component entails writing a letter to the author giving your editorial response to the manuscript, including comments about its development and, where appropriate, suggestions for revision.
Due:
15 May
Weighting:
10%

3. 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 a title, introduction, and contents page.
Due:
19 June
Weighting:
10%
Elective extension component
This component entails preparing a detailed copyediting brief for your publication, including an electronically edited copy of the first three texts to appear in your publication, with a detailed style sheet.
Due:
19 June
Weighting:
10%

4. 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 refining the brief for the Serial Comma class newsletter and working as a member of a team to plan and prepare one issue, with special attention to group processes, procedures and documentation to enable efficient completion of the newsletter to an appropriate standard.
Due:
Second semester, as negotiated.
Weighting:
15%
Elective extension component
This component entails posting a response of c250 words on the class website, Blackboard, within 1 week of receiving each issue of the newsletter, and submitting a reflection of c500 words discussing insights into periodical editing and publishing gained through your work on the newsletter.
Due:
Posting to Blackboard: throughout second semester
Reflection: 6 November
Weighting:
10%

5. 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, and deciding on suitable illustrations/captions and boxes/sidebars.
Due:
September 11
Weighting:
10%
Elective extension component
This component entails electronically subediting the chosen extract, preparing a detailed style sheet, creating content for any boxes/sidebars, and identifying suitable breakouts (if appropriate).
Due:
September 11
Weighting:
10%

6. 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 and publishing schedule for a small publisher, collaboratively producing a promotional brochure to publicise this list, and individually pitching one of the books from the list at a mock sales conference.
Due:
6 November
Weighting:
15%
Elective extension component
This component entails preparing a cover brief and in-house summary for your individual book, on behalf of the publishing team.
Due:
6 November
Weighting:
10%

7. Issues in publishing, editing and professional practice
Task to be negotiated.
Due:
Due date to be negotiated
Weighting:
5%


Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

Course Overview: Access Course Overview