You will choose a Wikipedia article from a list of articles identified in June 2018 or July 2018 as needing copyedits. You may choose any article to copyedit, provided that the article itself still includes a notice that it may require copyediting. The article you choose must be paragraph-like narrative text, meaning that the article should not be a list, timeline, or other short-form text. The article should also be at least 1000 words, excluding references.
You will create a PDF of the article’s copy, and mark it using the basic editorial symbols covered in Chapter 2 of The Copyeditor’s Handbook (33-35). You can make your marks on paper and then scan the result, or use a PDF program that allows you to make clear and precise digital marks.
- Learn to create markable copy from web pages.
- Learn to edit copy with a general audience in mind.
- Mark copy using traditional editorial symbols outlined in The Copyeditor’s Handbook.
- Follow the guidance of an in-house style manual. In this case, Wikipedia’s Manual of Style.
- Create a style sheet that ensures internal consistency within the article you are marking, especially regarding punctuation, spelling, capitalization, numbers/numerals, and abbreviations.
Deliverables & Milestones
An email to the instructor proposing the article you wish to copyedit. No two students
may mark the same article, so do this as soon as possible (by Friday, August 31). The
email must contain the project’s initial deliverables:
- The URL to your chosen Wikipedia article marked as needing copyedits
- The Dropbox or Google Drive share link link to your copyediting-friendly but unmarked PDF
An email to the instructor containing the project’s final deliverables (by Thursday,
September 20 at 11:59pm CT):
- A share link pointing to the PDF of your scanned marked paper copy, or digitally marked copy
- A Google Docs share link to your style sheet derived from problems and inconsistencies in the article
- A 4-5 sentence self-critique memo of your project and your progress in class to this point
- Your chosen article must:
- have running copy (not counting captions or tables) of approximately 1000-2000 words; copy and paste the main text into a word processor to get a rough word count
- be primarily paragraph-like narrative content
- Your marked article copy must be:
- Formatted as a PDF. One way to do this is to install a readability or print-friendly addon/extension for your web browser. You want generously sized text and plenty of space in between each line. Create the PDF based on the output from your readability add-on of choice. Although Wikipedia provides the ability to download PDFs of their articles, they are not well suited to copyediting. Neither are the printable versions of their articles. You should therefore learn to create copyediting-quality PDFs from any website, using your own tools. Check Basecamp for a discussion of possible addons or approaches.
- 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 The Copyeditor’s Handbook.
- Compliant with the Wikipedia Manual of Style