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 emphasizes technologies that support digital editing, also known as redlining.

Technical editing is just one of many professional activities that occurs almost exclusively in a remote, digital setting. The online structure of this course provides you the opportunity to learn to work remotely. Students in this course will learn to collaborate and communicate effectively in a remote, digitally mediated environment for individual and group projects as well as weekly reading and exercise discussions.

Course Goals

Students successfully completing this course will:

  • 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 editing writing electronically, in ways that authors or others can see, approve, modify, or reject all edits
  • Understand and apply rhetorically grounded approaches to grammar and mechanics
  • Understand and apply rhetorical approaches to 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 the student’s own academic and professional interests

Books and Technologies

Required Books

  • Einsohn, Amy. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications. 3rd ed. Berkely, CA: University of California Press, 2011. ($35)
  • Saller, Carol Fisher. The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. ($15)
  • University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. ($39 for a one-year subscription to The Chicago Manual of Style Online; or $70 in print)
  • Strongly Recommended: Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern English Usage. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. ($50) Also available as an app on iOS or Android ($25)
  • Other electronic books, articles, and materials linked to from the course calendar and/or distributed by other electronic means.

My policy for assigning books: Required Books are all required in the edition indicated; the total retail pricetag for the entire course should be less than $100 (this one is $89 on the high end, assuming you opt for the online subscription to The Chicago Manual of Style); and each book should be worthy of a place on your bookshelf or electronic device of choice long after the class has ended.

I want to help you build your professional library while also being sensitive to your personal finances. While many things about the course calendar may change, the reading schedule will not. I invite you to hold off on purchasing specific books until closer to the time that we read them.

Required Materials and Technologies

  • An email account that you check regularly
  • A Dropbox account
  • A Google account, for using Google Docs
  • A Basecamp account (invite will arrive via email)
  • A PDF reader capable of marking up documents
  • A scanning app on your tablet or smartphone for scanning marked hardcopy

Grading Policy: COM 425 Students

  • Project 1: 10 pts
  • Project 2: 15 pts
  • Project 3: 25 pts
  • Weekly Editing Assignments (total): 20 pts
  • Discussion Participation: 30 pts
  • TOTAL: 100 pts

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

Grading Policy: COM 529 Students

  • Project 1: 10 pts
  • Project 2: 10 pts
  • Project 3: 20 pts
  • Project 4: 10 pts
  • Weekly Editing Assignments (total): 20 pts
  • Discussion Participation: 30 pts
  • TOTAL: 100pts

A = 90+ pts; B = 80-89 pts; C = 70-79 pts; 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.

Assignment Submission

All major projects for this course will be submitted via email to the instructor, at karl.stolley@gmail.com. Emails should not include email attachments, but rather URLs pointing to your project in Dropbox, on Google Drive, or however indicated on the assignment. You will post links to your weekly work as part of class discussions on Basecamp.

Late Work

I do not accept late work. All work must be submitted before the date and time specified in each project description. Weekly work is due every Monday at noon, although additional mid-week deadlines will appear in assignments posted on Basecamp, and reading-discussion threads will run for the entire week. You should not wait until you’re done with all the reading to jump into discussion on Basecamp; post as you’re having questions or thoughts about the reading.

Participation

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. I do not give reading quizzes, but I assign a lot of reading. And I expect you to be prepared to discuss that reading on Basecamp. Students wishing to earn an A on Discussion Participation should be posting substantively on Basecamp five times or more per week, with contributions appearing multiple days per week, all semester long. Students earning a B will post three to five times, and students earning a C will post two times, every week. Fewer than an average of two discussion contributions per week will result in a failing Discussion Participation grade.

Course Technology Policy

Technology is an essential part of learning and day-to-day living. It is therefore essential to this class. You are just as responsible for learning to command various technologies as for any other course content. Difficulty with technology is not an acceptable excuse for being unprepared for class or late with assignments.

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 supplemental materials that work for you. I also encourage all students to contact me during my office hours or at another arranged time. I prefer that you contact me via Basecamp Ping or email well in advance of assignment and project deadlines.

Academic Integrity

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.

Special Needs Statement

I place a very high value on developing courses that are welcoming and accessible to all students. I will make additional reasonable accommodations 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 is located in IIT Tower, 3424 S. State Street - 1C3-2 (on the first floor). Contact the Center by telephone at 312-567-5744, by TDD at 312-567-5135, 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 electronically, 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.