Course Title: Refine editing skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: COMM7307

Course Title: Refine editing skills

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925-4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Stephanie Holt

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


Course Description

This course covers the knowledge and skills required to apply advanced editing skills to a range of texts in different media.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20278 Refine editing skills


1. Appraise the suitability of written material for a specific purpose or readership

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Broad characteristics of the readership adn the publication are clarified
1.2 Length, structure and focus are evlauted against the requirements of the intended readership and the publication
1.3 Quality of writing is assessed in terms of basic editing required
1.4 Promotional aspects of the publication are identified

Element: 5. Edit for completeness and consistency


2. Liaise closely with the author and/or client to make all significant substantive editing decisions.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Appraisal of the text is discussed with author and/or client to establish broad editing approach
2.2 Actions necessary to achieve a complete and coherent text are established in outline
2.3 Questions of balance are addressed where necessary and any legal issues identified
2.4 Broad action plan and the roles of the writer and editor are clarified


3. Undertake substantive editing of a text

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Text is restructured and reworded where necessary and material added or deleted
3.2 Paragraphing, emphasis and lists are added if necessary to hekl readers scan the text
3.3 Headings and other labelling devices are added where necessary with attention to relevance, logical grading, consistency and appropriateness
3.4 Supplementary material is added where relevant


4. Undertake editing of the style of the text

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Language is edited for consistency, appropriateness and clarity
4.2 Reading level, terminology and formality of language are edited to render them appropriate to publication and readership
4.3 Punctuation and grammar are checked for consistency and adherence to determined protocols
4.4 Conventions for quoting material are maintained throughout


5. Edit for completeness and consistency

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Parts of the text are edited for consistency and itnernal integrity
5.2 Cross-references and links are checked for accuracy and completeness
5.3 Screen-based publications are tested for performance and usability
5.4 Format and layout are checked against any design specifications and checked for consistency

Learning Outcomes

You will be able to work independently and collaboratively to edit different kinds of text at a professional level and across a range of media.

Details of Learning Activities

This course is offered as blended learning.

Online instructional modules are used to deliver core content in four of five units: Style and Consistency; Publishing and Publications; Structure and Substance; Grammar and Punctuation. These self-paced modules include videos, activities, and exercises. The unit Techniques and Technologies will be a self-directed unit supported by resources provided through the Blackboard LMS. A companion booklet is supplied with each module.

The instructional modules are supported and extended with online discussion forums, quizzes and readings through the Blackboard LMS.

Students will also work collaboratively, within the class and - where relevant - with workplace colleagues, in preparing folios and projects.

A number of face-to-face workshops, revision classes and computer lab sessions are used to ensure students are using editing techniques and technologies correctly, and to allow further discussion, group work, and assessment support. Informal student-organised study groups are also encouraged.

Individual or online meetings with the teacher may be requested, if needed.

Teaching Schedule

 Week Learning focus Assessments 
 0Introduction to course and online resources  

Copyediting mark-up
Discussion - introduction to house style

Assessment #1 (style) distributed 

- Consistency in context
Reading/discussion: developing house style


- Word and grammar styles 
Reading/discussion: the prescriptive vs descriptive debates


- Punctuation and formatting styles
Reading/discussion: consistency and/or quality


Review of Style & Consistency

Collaborating online

Introduction to Publishing and Production unit

Assessment #1 (style) due

Assessment #2 (folio) distributed

Assessment #3 (project) distributed



- planning a publishing project
Reading/discussion: print and electronic reading



- Managing a publishing project
Reading/discussion: keeping everyone on the same page
- Legal and ethical considerations
Reading/discussion: can I do that?

Assessment#3A (group project - schedule, brief and flatplan) due


Review of Publishing & Publications

Editing online

Introduction to Structure & Substance unit

Assessment#2A (2 folio pieces) due

- developing documents
Reading/discussion: starting with structure

- playing with paragraphs
Reading/discussion: between a rock and a hard place (working with writers)

- strengthening sentences
Reading/discussion: specialist language or weasel words? 
Assessment #2B (2 folio pieces) due


Review of Structure & Substance

Proofreading hard copy

Introduction to Grammar & Punctuation 

Assessment#3B (group project - progress report) due  
- finetuning sentences
Reading/discussion: the art of communication


- checking grammar
Reading/discussion: your grammar tips
- fixing punctuation
Reading/discussion: punctuation and grammar trends

Assessment#2C (2 folio pieces) due

Assessment#3C (group project and individual reflections) due week 17 (exam week)


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 resources.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources.

Recommended texts:

Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 6th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd, 2002 

Flann E., Hill B. and Wang, L., The Australian Editing Handbook, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd, 2014

You will also need access to a current Australian dictionary, either the Macquarie Dictionary or the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • participation in written exercises, in class and online
  • the application of learned skills and insights to the editing of  writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to your Blackboard site for assessment criteria). Once you have demonstrated competency, 5 elements of these tasks, as indicated below, will be graded (refer to Blacklboard for grading rubric).

Assessment Task 1 Style Assignment (individual work)
Copyediting text provided is graded.
You will compile a report on house style in your workplace or in a given publication or organisation, including discussion and annotated examples, and will show that you can apply this style to a text provided.
Due Week 5 (Sunday 9 August)

Assessment Task 2 Editing folio (individual work)
The substantive edit, sentence-editing text and proofreading will be graded.
You will submit 6 select items (2 of approx 800 words total per unit) for an editing folio. Your work will show appropriate editing of initial text, and demonstrate your solution to a range of editorial challenges relevant to a workplace. The substantive edit, sentence-editing  and proofreading texts are provided, and will be graded. Remaining folio pieces can be chosen from a selection provided, or (after negotiation with your teacher) from comparable tasks from your workplace.
Due Weeks 9, 12, 16 (Sunday 6 September, Sunday 11 October, Sunday 8 November)

Assessment Task 3 Publication project (group project)
Your individual reflection on this project will be graded.
In a team, you will work collaboratively to create a small publication which demonstrates your range of editing skills. You will then reflect individually on the key challenges faced, and how you might apply the resulting learning to future editing projects.

Part A Project schedule, brief and flatplan due Week 8 (Monday 25 August)
Part B Progress report due Week 13 (Sunday 18 October)
Part C Final delivery of project due Week 17 (publication: Monday 9 November, reflection Wednesday 11 November)

Grades which apply to this course are:

  • CHD Competency with high distinction
  • CD Competency with distinction
  • CC Competency with credit
  • CAG Competency Achieved (Graded)
  • NYC Not Yet Competent
  • DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

All graded assessments are equally weighted for the final grade.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above) and will be available on the class Blackboard when assessment tasks commence.

Other Information

Cover Sheet for Submissions:
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications

The major learning experience involves online exercises and discussion, and group collaboration. It is strongly advised that you complete most online activities and attend all Saturday intensive sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress:
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.
Student progress policy:;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

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. Special consideration, appeals and discipline :;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity :;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview