Calendar

  1. Starting Line: Readers, Organization, and Ethics Week of August 19

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. Course policies, calendar, and brief project descriptions
    2. Technical Editing, 5th ed. (TE5): Ch. 1, 2, 17, and 21
    To Do
    1. Complete the COM425/529 Contract and Survey (check your @hawk.iit.edu email); please do this as soon as possible
    2. Sign up for a 37signals’ account (invite will arrive at your preferred account, after you’ve completed the Contract and Survey); also do this as soon as possible
    3. Post an introduction to yourself in the Basecamp “Virtual Introductions” discussion thread (after you get your 37signals invite)
  2. Working with Writers, Managing Projects Week of August 26

    Deliverables Due

    1. An introduction of yourself posted in the Basecamp “Virtual Introductions” discussion thread

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. TE5: Ch. 3 & 23
    To Do
    1. Respond to one of the situations (a.-e.) on pages 40-41 in TE5 in a post in the discussion thread, “Working with Writers,” in Basecamp
    2. Respond to another student’s response to one of those situations, also in the Basecamp thread
    3. Editing Exercise #1 (PDF of exercise posted in Basecamp; email instructor with the Dropbox link to your marked-up copy of the PDF)
  3. Traditional Marking & Copyediting Basics Week of September 2

    Deliverables Due

    1. Respond to one of the situations (a.-e.) on pages 40-41 in TE5 in a post in the discussion thread “Working with Writers” in Basecamp
    2. Respond to another student’s response to one of those situations, also in the Basecamp thread
    3. Editing Exercise #1 (PDF of exercise posted in Basecamp; email instructor with the Dropbox link to your marked-up copy of the PDF)

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. News and Announcements
    2. Full Project 1 Description
    3. TE5: Ch. 4, 6, 7, & 8
    To Do
    1. Discuss on Basecamp the resume to be edited on page 107 of TE5; you may wish to edit the copy first, but the discussion should be about the edits you’d make, and why (not just a list of edits)
    2. Editing Exercise #2 (PDF on Basecamp; email instructor with Dropbox link to your work)
    3. Select your copy to edit for Project 1; create a PDF of the unedited copy and email to instructor as soon as possible
  4. Mechanics Week of September 9

    Deliverables Due

    1. Discuss on Basecamp the resume to be edited on page 107 of TE5; you may wish to edit the copy first, but the discussion should be about the edits you’d make, and why (not just a list of edits)
    2. Editing Exercise #2 (PDF on Basecamp; email instructor with Dropbox link to your work)
    3. Select your copy to edit for Project 1; create a PDF of the unedited copy and email to instructor as soon as possible

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. TE5: Ch. 8 & 11
    To Do
    1. Finish Project 1 marking; project due Sept. 19
  5. Grammar and Usage I Week of September 16

    Deliverables Due

    1. Project 1 due at noon CDT on Thursday, Sept. 19

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (CMS16): Ch. 5, “Grammar and Usage” by Bryan A. Garner
    2. TE5: Ch. 10
    To Do
    1. Discussion & Application exercises 1-7; send as an email to the instructor
    2. Contribute to the Trouble with Grammar discussion thread on Basecamp (instructions in the instructor's first post)
  6. Grammar and Usage II Week of September 23

    Deliverables Due

    1. Discussion & Application exercises 1-7; send as an email to the instructor
    2. Contribute to the Trouble with Grammar discussion thread on Basecamp (instructions in the instructor's first post)

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. CMS16: Ch. 5, “Word Usage” section and glossary of problematic words (if not already read last week)
    2. CMS16: Ch. 6-10; read Overview sections of all chapters. Skim remainders all chapters to gain familiarity with their contents.
    3. TE5: Ch. 9
    To Do
    1. Editing Exercise #3 (PDF on Basecamp; email instructor with Dropbox link to your work)
    2. Contribute to the Trouble with Usage discussion thread on Basecamp (instructions in the instructor's first post)
  7. Style Manuals I: Manuscript PreparationWeek of September 30

    Deliverables Due

    1. Editing Exercise #3 (PDF on Basecamp; email instructor with Dropbox link to your work)
    2. Contribute to the Trouble with Usage discussion thread on Basecamp (instructions in the instructor's first post)

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. Project 2 Description
    2. CMS16: Ch. 2
    To Do
    1. Locate an academic journal in your field of study, and find its instructions for manuscript preparation. Post a link to Basecamp that summarizes the journal's requirements, and the ways in which it differs from the Chicago Manual of Style.
  8. Style Manuals II: Documentation Week of October 7

    Deliverables Due Wednesday, October 9

    1. Locate an academic journal in your field of study, and find its instructions for manuscript preparation. Post a link to Basecamp that summarizes the journal's requirements, and the ways in which it differs from the Chicago Manual of Style.

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. CMS16: Ch. 14, sections 14.1-43, 14.56-67 (skim all remaining sections) & Ch. 15, sections 15.1-15.19 (skim all remaining sections)
    To Do
    1. Locate a Wikipedia article with a Bibliography (that's different from the Notes and references section; see this entry on Terry Thomas for an example) that has at least 10 sources, including books and print articles. Take 10 of the sources, and write each source according to 1) CMS Note Style; 2) CMS Bibliography Style; and 3) CMS Author-Date Reference List Style. Email to instructor.
  9. Proofreading Week of October 14

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. CMS16: Ch. 2.97-2.136
    2. TE5: Ch. 13
    3. Butterick, Practical Typography: “Typography in Ten Minutes,” “Summary of Key Rules,” “Type Composition” (all sections)
    To Do
    1. Email instructor with your chosen article for Project 2 ASAP, if you haven’t already done so
    2. Editing Exercise #4 (actually a proof-reading exercise; PDF of exercise posted in Basecamp; email instructor with the Dropbox link to your marked-up copy of the PDF)
  10. Work Week Week of October 21

    Assigned Work

    To Do
    1. Finish Project 2
    To Read
    1. TE5: Ch. 24
  11. Comprehensive Editing: Style & Organization Week of October 28

    Deliverables Due

    1. Project 2 Due Friday, November 1

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. TE5: Ch. 14, 15, 16, & 17
    To Do
    1. Edit the paragraph in Discussion & Application #4 on page 230 of TE5, according to the prompt in #5 (specify which agent you’ve chosen) and post in the “Comprehensive Editing for Style” discussion thread on Basecamp; respond to at least one other student’s edit based on the questions in #6 (pp. 320-231).
    2. Email the instructor with your plans to work individually or with a partner on Project 3. The partner should be CC’d on your email, if you’re choosing that option (only one of you needs to email).
  12. Comprehensive Editing: Design & Illustration Week of November 4

    Deliverables Due

    1. Edited paragraph in Discussion & Application #4 on page 230 of TE5, according to the prompt in #5 (specify which agent you’ve chosen) posted in the “Comprehensive Editing for Style” discussion thread on Basecamp; response to at least one other student’s edit based on the questions in #6 (pp. 320-231).
    2. Email the instructor with your plans to work individually or with a partner on Project 3. The partner should be CC’d on your email, if you’re choosing that option (only one of you needs to email).

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. CMS16: Ch. 3
    2. TE5: Ch. 18 & 19
    3. Butterick, Practical Typography: “Times New Roman,” “Font Recommendations,” “Page Layout,” and “Sample Documents” (all sections for all chapters)
    To Do
    1. ASAP: Email instructor regarding Project 3 (are you working as a team, or individually)
    2. CMS Bibliography Redux (details on the Basecamp site)
  13. Editing for Global Contexts & Internationalization Week of November 11

    Deliverables Due

    1. CMS Bibliography Redux (details on the Basecamp site)

    Assigned Work

    To Read
    1. TE5: Ch. 20
    2. CMS16: Ch. 11 (11.1-11.13; skim remainder for familiarity)
    To Do
    1. Take roughly 300 words of copy from anywhere in your software project's website for Project 3 (if you're working with a partner, each of you should choose a different piece of copy; coordinate that yourselves) and use it to complete Discussion & Application question 1 from TE5 (p. 316; use the copy from the website instead of one of your own papers). Post to this Basecamp thread, with a link to the page where the copy originated.
  14. Work Week Week of November 18

    Deliverables Due

    1. Discussion & Application question 1 from TE5 (p. 316; use about 300 words of copy from your Project 3 proejct's website instead of one of your own papers). Post to this Basecamp thread, along with a link to the page where the copy originated.

    Assigned Work

    To Do
    1. By Friday, November 22, email the instructor with questions that you have about your work on Project 3.
    2. Project 3 due to instructor by 5:00pm on Thursday, December 5.

    Thanksgiving Break/Work Week Week of November 25

  15. Finals Week Week of December 2

    • Final project (Project 3) due to instructor by 5:00pm on December 5

Projects

Project 1: Basic Marking and Copyediting Due September 19

For your first project, you will choose from among the 542 Wikipedia articles identified during August 2013 as needing copyediting. You may choose any article to copyedit, so long as it:

  • provides coverage of a non-technical topic (e.g., the entry for James Beard would be a non-technical example, versus the entry for Electrocochleography)
  • is at least 1500 words, not including references (copy and paste the main text into a word processor to get a rough word count)

You will create a PDF of the copy, and mark it using the basic editorial symbols covered in Chapter 4 of Rude and Eaton.

Project Goals

  • Learn to create markable copy from Web pages
  • Effectively use editorial symbols outlined in Rude and Eaton for marking copy
  • Learn to edit non-technical copy with a general audience in mind
  • Follow the guidance of an in-house style manual (in this case, Wikipedia's Manual of Style)

Requirements

Your selected article must:
  • cover a non-technical topic
  • have running copy of approximately 1500-2000 words
Your copy for marking should be:
  • Prepared in PDF format. One way to do this is to install the Readability plugin for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and print to PDF from the resulting Readability rendering of your chosen article. (Although Wikipedia provides the ability to download PDFs of their articles, you should learn to create copyediting-friendly PDFs from any website, using your own tools.)
  • Sent as a Dropbox link in raw unedited form to the instructor immediately upon your choosing the article. No two students are permitted to mark the same article, so email the instructor with your choice as soon as possible.
  • Printed and marked with a pen or pencil and scanned, or marked digitally with drawing tools that allow you to create the marks described in Chapter 4 of Rude and Eaton.
  • Marked according to the Wikipedia Manual of Style
  • Submitted to the instructor in final, marked form as a Dropbox link to the PDF

Deliverables & Milestones

  1. An email with a Dropbox link to your unedited article in PDF format (see suggested process in the Requirements section above), submitted to the instructor as soon as possible. Due ASAP.
  2. An email with a Dropbox link to your edited article, in PDF format (marked on paper and photographed/scanned, or marked digitally using drawing tools in a PDF program). Due Sept. 19
  3. A self-critique memo that evaluates your project, your use of the Wikipedia Manual of Style on your chosen article, and your progress in the class to this point (2-3 paragraphs; submit in the email containing your Dropbox link to the final edited copy). Due Sept. 19
  4. Bonus points for submitting your work to Wikipedia; email instructor with the URL(s) that point to your changes to the article on en.wikipedia.org. Optional; due Sept. 19

Project 2: Editing for Academic Publication Due November 1

Project 2 prepares you to edit manuscripts for academic publication (which you will return to for an actual client in the final project). Choose a paper at the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN)’s Research Papers Series. You can choose a paper from any of their subject areas, but the paper must be listed as appearing in a “Working Paper Series” (see this page for examples in economics; what you cannot choose is a paper in the "Accepted Paper Series") and edit the first 4000 words and the first 20 entries of its bibliography/reference list. Refer to The Chicago Manual of Style for all matters of grammar and usage, as well as for citation.

While you will of course be working on sentence-level edits, keep in mind also issues of style, clarity, and the overall organization of the manuscript. Query the author frequently; academics are a special breed when it comes to feeling protective over their writing.

Project Goals

  • Learn to mark up copy intended for academic publication, including working with academic authors
  • Apply The Chicago Manual of Style to all grammar, usage, and citation issues
  • Prepare an article’s reference list according to The Chicago Manual of Style; submit as a separate PDF document

Deliverables & Milestones

  1. A hyperlink to your chosen article’s download page on SSRN, emailed to the instructor for approval. Due ASAP.
  2. A PDF of your marked-up article, submitted to the instructor as a Dropbox link. In-text citation should match either the Bibliography or Author-Date style (hint: if current style uses a date-style system, use author-date). Due November 1.
  3. A PDF of the article’s first twenty references as a CMS-style Bibliography or Author-Date Reference List, using the article’s first 20 items. Submit also as a Dropbox link. Due November 1.
  4. A self-critique memo that evaluates your project and your progress in the class to this point (2-3 paragraphs; submit via email). Due November 1.

Requirements

Your chosen article must:
  • Have at least 4000 words of body copy, including any figure/image captions but NOT including any extended equations or data tables
  • Have at least 20 items in the reference list/bibliography/works cited page
Your edited copy must:
  • Be marked up for grammar and usage, with many author queries and perhaps suggestions for substantive, global revisions (major cuts, reorganization, etc.)
  • Have an amended a bibliography of 20 items that follows either the CMS Bibliography or Author-Date Reference-list style; DO NOT just mark the bibliography items. Prepare a fresh bibliography in your word processor of choice, and submit as a PDF.

Project 3: Comprehensive Editing of Technical Manuals Due December 5

For this project, the instructor will assign you an open-source software project’s Web-based technical manual and project website, both of which you will comprehensively edit. You will also create a short in-house style manual for the software project’s manual and website.

Project Goals

  • Learn to apply principles of comprehensive editing, including style, organization, and visual design
  • Learn to comprehensively edit for internationalization and global contexts, as represented by open-source software projects
  • Learn to work with complex, technical material that may be beyond your comprehension, and edit it for professional audiences (the manual) and non-technical audiences (the website)

Deliverables & Milestones

  1. Decide whether to work on this project individually, or with another student; students should email the instructor with their preference by November 4. Instructor will assign then assign a project to each group or individual student.
  2. A content audit of all of a project's technical manual pages, and its accompanying website; present this as a table or a stylesheet, with URLs, page titles, and a one-sentence content summary.
  3. Ten comprehensively edited pages of a project’s technical manual
  4. Five comprehensively edited pages of a project’s website
  5. An in-house style manual for the project, presented as a PDF, that includes illustrative screenshots from the project’s materials as well as improved examples resulting from your comprehensive editing. The manual should cover language usage and style, as well as typography/visual-design styles.
  6. A self-critique memo that evaluates your project and your progress in the class for this semester (2-3 paragraphs; submit via email; students working in pairs will each submit their own memo, and also evaluate their partner’s contributions to the project)

Project 4 (COM529 Only): The Scholarship of Technical Editing Due December 5

COM529 students only: for this project, you will review the most recent ten years of a prominent academic journal in technical and professional communication, and compile an annotated bibliography of articles related to technical editing.

Instructor

Prof. Karl Stolley

  • karl.stolley@gmail.com
  • karlstolley on Twitter, App.net, & Kik.
  • Office in Siegel Hall 218
  • Office hours on Wednesdays, 4pm to 5pm & by appointment

Policies

Course Description

This course covers the theory, principles, and intensive practice of various forms of editing, including basic copyediting, comprehensive editing, and proofreading. The course includes broad coverage of grammar and mechanics, usage and style, and the rhetorical dimensions of dictionaries, style guides/manuals, and other reference works. The course covers the traditional symbols for editorial marks on paper or paper-like copy (e.g., PDFs), but also offers a look at the use of wikis and version control for handling the editing of born-digital writing.

Technical editing is just one of many professional activities that occurs almost exclusively in a remote, digital setting. The online nature of this course emphasizes and reflects the importance of learning to work remotely. As an online course, Technical Editing is meant to be more than an opportunity for students to learn while wearing pajamas. Students will learn to collaborate and communicate effectively in a remote, digitally mediated environment for individual and group projects.

  1. Course Goals

    • Develop proficiency in basic copyediting, comprehensive editing, and proofreading
    • Learn to read and write traditional editorial symbols for marking paper or paper-like copy
    • Gain familiarity with wikis, version control systems, and other born-digital means of editing collaborative writing
    • Understand and apply a rhetorically grounded approach to grammar and mechanics
    • Understand and apply rhetorical approaches to language usage and style
    • Develop an awareness of the ethical and legal issues surrounding the editing of technical writing
    • Learn effective strategies for remote work, using software tools such as group and one-on-one chats, file sharing services, discussion boards, and project management software
    • Apply course concepts and adjust/extend course projects to fit your own academic and professional interests
  2. Materials and Technologies

    Required Texts

    • Rude, Carolyn and Angela Eaton. Technical Editing. 5th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011.
    • University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. (A subscription to The Chicago Manual of Style Online is also acceptable.)
    • Required for 529/Strongly recommended for 425: Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
    • Other electronic books, articles, and materials linked to from the course calendar and/or distributed by other electronic means.

    Required Technologies

    • An email account that you check regularly
    • A Dropbox account
    • A 37signals account (invite will arrive via email)
    • A PDF reader that has functionality for marking up documents

    Recommended Technologies

    • A computer or smartphone with a camera, for video chatting with the instructor and other students
  3. Grading Policy: COM425 Students

    • Project 1: 15pts
    • Project 2: 25pts
    • Project 3: 30pts
    • Weekly Assignments (total): 30pts (22pts + 8 bonus)
    • TOTAL: 100pts

    A = 90+ pts; B = 80-89pts; C = 70-79pts; D = 60-69pts; E =< 59 pts

    Grading Criteria

    • A - Student has turned in all required components of a project, the work is exceptional in quality, and reflects the student’s dedication to adjusting the project to his or her own interests.
    • B - Student has turned in all required components of a project, and the work is exceptional for undergraduate work.
    • C - Student has turned in all required components of a project and submitted work that is acceptable as undergraduate level.
    • D - Student has turned in all required components of a project, but the work is below undergraduate level.
    • E - Student has not turned in all required components of a project.
  4. Grading Policy: COM529 Students

    • Project 1: 15pts
    • Project 2: 25pts
    • Project 3: 30pts
    • Project 4: 15pts
    • Weekly Assignments (total): 15pts (11pts / + 4 bonus)
    • TOTAL: 100pts

    A = 90+ pts; B= 80-89pts; C=70-79pts; E =< 69 pts

    Grading Criteria

    • A - Student has turned in all required components of a project, the work is exceptional in quality, and reflects the student's dedication to adjusting the project to his or her own interests.
    • B - Student has turned in all required components of a project and submitted work that is acceptable as graduate level.
    • C - Student has turned in all required components of a project, but the work is below graduate level.
    • E - Student has not turned in all required components of a project.
  5. Course Technology Policy

    Because technology is an essential part of contemporary editing as well as online learning, proficiency and skill with technology is essential to your success in this class. Difficulty with technology is not an acceptable excuse for being unprepared for class.

    If you are having trouble with technology or any other material covered in this course, it is your professional responsibility to do research beyond the resources and guidance provided in class and find materials that work for you. I also encourage all students to meet with me during my office hours or at another arranged time. I prefer that you contact me via email or GChat well in advance of assignment and project deadlines.

    All of that being said, I am committed to providing the most accessible online course I possibly can. I have gone to great lengths to make the course website accessible on mobile and desktop devices, for screen readers, etc. I have also chosen services for video, collaboration, and so on that I believe to be mobile friendly. If you should find that any aspect of the course is not working on your phone/tablet/computer, please contact me immediately via email.

  6. Weekly Assignments and Electronic Discussion

    Your timely submission of deliverables and active participation in the electronic discussions for this class are required both for your own success and for the success of the class as a whole. However, if you absolutely must miss a discussion or be late with a weekly deliverable, please contact me ahead of time via email.

  7. Academic Honesty

    As with any course at IIT, you are expected to uphold the Code of Academic Honesty as described in the IIT Student Handbook). All work for this course must be your own original effort, including print and digital page design and computer code. Summarizations and quotations of text, as well as any use of open-source code libraries and images not of your own making, should be clearly cited as legally and ethically warranted and rhetorically appropriate. Access, storage, dissemination, and other use of data from third-party sources must conform to the source’s terms of service, licensing, and other relevant legal and ethical restrictions.

    If you are at all uncertain as to whether you are submitting work that in whole or in part may violate the Code of Academic Honesty, please contact me immediately and before the work is due. The consequences of academic dishonesty are severe. Any student who violates the Code of Academic Honesty will be subject to expulsion from this course with a failing grade, and I will report the student to the Chair of the Department of Humanities, who may take additional disciplinary action, including reporting violations to the relevant offices of Undergraduate or Graduate Academic Affairs.

  8. Special Needs Statement

    Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities. In order to receive accommodations, students must obtain a letter of accommodation from the Center for Disability Resources. The Center for Disability Resources (CDR) is located in IIT Tower, 3424 S. State Street - 1C3-2 (on the first floor). Contact the Center by telephone at 312-567-5744 or via email at disabilities@iit.edu

    Students who have any difficulty (either permanent or temporary) that might affect their ability to perform in class should contact me privately, either in person or via email, at the start of the semester or as a documented difficulty arises. Methods, materials, or deadlines will be adapted as necessary to ensure equitable participation for all students.