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Spring 2011 PRWR617.001 Editing Th 5-7:40 Lithicum 208 INSTRUCTOR: Assoc. Professor Marlana Portolano Office Hours: TuTh 9:30-11 & 2-4 pm; & by appointment, LI219H Email: phone: 704-3770 “Error is discipline through which we advance.” -- William Ellery Channing, American moralist & Unitarian minister TEXTS:

Required to purchase, available in bookstore: Einsohn, Amy. The Copyeditor’s Handbook, 2nd ed. University of California Press, 2006. Gross, Gerald. Editors on Editing, 3rd ed. Grove Press, 1993. The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. The Chicago University Press, 2003. Required online workbook (free): Gregg Reference Manual Worksheets. Available on Blackboard and here:

Required online networking sites: Required for any online class days and group work. Also, we’ll keep online Homework Journals for copyediting worksheets and exercises here, and a class blog. --Bb (Blackboard) will sync with Fb (Facebook) sometime this semester. Connect with the PRWR program’s student-run, charitable press here: Required software: Microsoft Word 2000 or later is required for documents in this class. GRADES:

Exercises, journals, online discussion 10-page research paper & presentation Midterm Service learning portfolio (approx. 15 pp) Final exam=presentation on service project

30% 20% 10% 30% 10%

DESCRIPTION: This course examines several technical and rhetorical aspects of professional editing and enables students to gain real life experience with clients. Although clients in the course will be nonprofit organizations, the principles students learn will apply to editing in multiple contexts, including business, academic publishing, and publishing for general audiences. The course will focus on copyediting, content editing, webpage editing, style sheets and standards, editorial project management, and professional interaction with clients. In addition, we will address bibliographic issues such as how editors arrive at an edition of a certain work, as well as some guidelines for editing works-in-progress, whether one’s own or others’, for clarity and grace. Finally, students will learn how rhetorical constraints such as the client, audience, social and temporal context, and genre standards guide a professional editor’s decision-making. Guest speakers may include editors of academic, news, business, or literary publications. OBJECTIVES:

--Increased knowledge of oral and written forms of communication --Increased knowledge of nonverbal forms of communication --Increased knowledge of cultural and social contexts of texts --Increased knowledge of grammar and syntax

* = Possible online class day, depending on video oral reports and other variables

Readings will be discussed on the day they are listed. ___________________________________________________________________________ Week 1

Feb 3 Introduction to our course and our clients ** find Blackboard course site at **


Feb 10 Copyeditor’s Handbook, Chs. 1, 2 and 15

Intro to small press, CQ, wiki editing, & web editing service projects Compare 1st ed. Chicago Manual of Style with current edition Homework due: Gregg Manual, Diagnostic Survey in Worksheets Week 3*

Feb 17 Copyeditor’s Handbook, Ch. 3

In Gross: “An Open Letter” & “Are Editors Necessary?” Begin in-class reports on reference and editing books Meet in service learning teams for project planning EDITORIAL STYLE and LANGUAGE EDITING

Week 4

Feb 24 Guest speaker: Kevin Atticks, publisher of Apprentice House Books Copyeditor’s Handbook, Chs. 4 & 5 (Punctuation & Spelling)

In Gross: “Lunch with a Favorite Agent” & “A Publishing Parable” Homework due: Copyed. Handbook, Gregg Manual worksheets 2-6, 16-19 --Check answers & record progress in your Homework Journal on Bb --Be ready to discuss first contact with your service-learning clients Week 5

Mar 3 Guest speaker: Clarinda Harriss, editor-in-chief of BrickHouse Books Copyeditor’s Handbook, Ch. 14 (Grammar, part 1) Lesson on Joseph Williams’ Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace

In Gross: “Mista Perkins—He Dead” Check-in to discuss progress of service learning project Homework due: Copyed. Handbook, Gregg Manual worksheets 20-22 Week 6

Mar 10 Copyeditor’s Handbook, Ch. 14 (Grammar, part 2) Lesson on Joseph Williams’ Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace

In Gross: “The Ethical and Moral Dimensions of Editing” Homework due: Copyed. Handbook, Gregg Manual worksheets 23-24 Week 7*

Mar 17

Copyeditor’s Handbook, Chs. 6 & 7 (Capitalization and Numbers)

In Gross: “How Books are Chosen” & “Editing for the Small Press” Homework due: Copyed. Handbook, Gregg Manual worksheets 7-11 --Contract should be client-approved by now! Week 8

Spring Break

Week 9*

Mar 31 Copyeditor’s Handbook, Chs. 8 & 9 (Quotations and Abbreviations)

In Gross: “What Editors Look for In a Query, etc.” & “The Editor at the Writer’s Conference: What They Do” Check-in to discuss progress of service learning project Homework due: Copyed. Handbook, Gregg Manual worksheets 12-15


Apr 7

MIDTERM EXAM Copyeditor’s Handbook, Chs. 10, 11, 12, 13 Homework due: Copyeditor’s Handbook, exercises for Journal: K-O --Gregg Manual worksheets 25-28

Week 11*

Apr 14 In-class meeting of editing teams to discuss service learning project

In Gross: “The Editor as Negotiator” & “Developmental Editing” Homework due: Gregg Manual worksheet 29 Due today: Homework Journal and Gregg Manual worksheets packet! Week 12*

Apr 21 Language editing practice: loose sentences, faulty connections, mix-matched partners – oh my!

In Gross: “Line Editing: Drawing Out the Best Book” & “Line Editing: The Art of Reasonable Suggestion” Homework due: Gregg Manual worksheet 30, 31 --Have research paper ready to exchange for editing Week 13

Apr 28 Guest speaker: Christoph Cassamassima, editor-in-chief of Furniture Press In-class meeting of editing teams to discuss service learning project

In Gross: “The Copy Editor and the Author” and “Editing Scholars in Three Modes” Due today: 10-page research paper! Homework due: Gregg Manual worksheet 32 Week 14*

May 5

What decisions are involved in preparing an edition of collected works?

In Gross: “Editing Nonfiction: ‘Political Correctness” & “On Editing Nonfiction: Multiple Majors in a University of Subjects” Homework due: Gregg Manual worksheet 33 Week 15

May 12

Due today: Service Learning Portfolios! Student presentations of service learning projects

Final Exam

May 19 Student presentations of service learning projects

PRWR617 Editing

Assoc. Prof. Marlana Portolano Research Paper Assignment

Please write a 10-page research paper on the topic you sign up for, using standard academic prose style for a general audience. Bibliography should be in Chicago style with approximately 7 sources (as a rule of thumb). On April 21, you will exchange your paper with a classmate for electronic, on-screen editing (editors will post edited document on Bb for homework credit). All final papers will be due on April 28. On the date listed next to your topic, be ready to deliver a 15-minute oral report to class about your research and thoughts on the topic so far (for 2 daily/discussion grades). There may be an option to do your oral report as a YouTube video for an online class day. Feb 17 Dictionaries: A survey of types & their process of development __________________________ Maxwell Perkins, American editing icon _____________________________________________ Feb 24 A brief history of periodical publishing/editing in America _______________________________

Job markets for editors now & in the near future ________________________________ Mar 3 The top 10 places for editors to work in Baltimore/Washington _____________________

Wikipedia & the role of wikis in contemporary editing ___________________________ Mar 10 Ezra Pound’s role in editing Eliot’s “The Waste Land” ______________________________

The top 10 periodical editors right now ________________________________________ Mar 17

The small press compared to mass market publishers today______________________________ Ethical & moral issues in editing____________________________________________________

Mar 31 The author-editor relationship from acquisition to copyediting____________________________

Apr 14 Editing & publishing in the electronic era_____________________________________ Apr 21 HAVE RESEARCH PAPER READY TO EXCHANGE FOR EDITING Raymond Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish_______________________________________________ Apr 28 COMPLETE RESEARCH PAPER DUE

Book agents and book editors: their roles past & present___________________________ May 5

How books (or articles, you pick) are solicited and chosen by publishers ___________________________________

PRWR617 Editing Assoc. Prof. Marlana Portolano Service Learning Project This is the major project for the class: to solicit, structure, carry out, and deliver an editing project for a nonprofit organization. The project will require you to work in a team with classmates. The results will be one or more professionally edited documents or web pages and a portfolio documenting each step of your project for class. You’ll gain hands-on experience, learn how to collaborate in an editorial team, and practice communicating effectively and professionally with clients. Each team’s (and each individual’s) tasks will vary according to the needs of the client and the project itself, but all the projects will include the following: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Creating a name and a “professional identity” for your editing team Learning about your client in order to anticipate needs Contacting the client to offer pro bono editing Communicating with the client to define and establish the tasks, due dates, and outcomes 5. A written contract deliverable to the client 6. Actual copyediting and any other proofing or coding tasks carried out in a step-bystep method that your team will define 7. Follow-up communication with the client Your individual portfolio (a FLAT folder) includes copies of all relevant paperwork, plus: a. An introductory reflection describing the project, your team, how it went, and what you learned (5-10 pages) b. A timeline of your project c. Any worksheets, charts, or developmental material relevant to your project which you do in class (or as part of your team) but which is not shown to the client Flexible Schedule and Due Dates: Feb. 17 Meet in teams during class for project planning Feb. 24 Be ready to discuss first contact with your service learning client Mar. 17 Check-in during class– Contract should be secured by now! Mar. 31 In-class meeting of team or check-in Apr. 6, 14, 28 In-class meeting as needed May 12 Service learning portfolios due, In-class presentations May 19 In-class presentations

PRWR617 Service Learning Project, p. 2 Our Clients: Students will be placed in groups to serve the following organizations. I’ve provided a brief description of the jobs available for each client. 1. Inwelle Study and Resource Centre Christiana Okechukwu, Ph.D, Professor, Montgomery College ESOL Program Dr. Okechukwu is a Nigerian immigrant who started a computer study center in her home town, Enugu, Nigeria. It serves four colleges and has a special focus on the education of African women. She currently needs website editing and copyediting on her annual report. At the end of the semester, she hosts a big African dinner-dance and usually invites volunteers as a thank-you. This project provides experience with business editing and communications with a client who uses a dialect other than American English. 2. The Global Giving Foundation Alexis Nadin, Program Associate, Marc Maxson, Web Master and Project Developer (last year’s contact) Global Giving connects donors with charitable causes in underdeveloped countries. Ms. Nadin and Mr. Maxson need web page copy editors for descriptions and field reports from charitable projects overseas. They also need minor .html coding for search engines. Some of the text is produced by ESOL writers. For Global Giving, this work contributes to easily personalized correspondence with each of their overseas projects and an empirical analysis of what makes donors want to contribute to charities. Last year Towson volunteers provided “more that was immediately useful than university projects at MIT, Thunderbird, GWU, NCST, and University of Texas.”

3. Wikipedia Undergraduate Project Management This start-up project in my undergraduate editing class involves the expansion of “American editor” stubs on Wikipedia into complete, referenced encyclopedia articles. Graduate staff members would assist with managing assignments for content development, writing, editing, and proofreading, which students in my undergraduate editing class will be completing for credit. Participants gain experience editing wikis, content editing, managing a large-staffed editorial project, and working with college writing students. 4. The Calvert Quarterly, Patapsco Valley Press at Towson University Contact: Calvert Quarterly Editorial Committee, Prof. George Hahn, chairman Correspondence: emailed to the Committee c/o Prof. Portolano Modeled after The Concord Review, showcased here: Our new academic journal for outstanding high-school research papers will bring together an editorial staff of secondary English teachers, Towson professors, PRWR grad students and others. CQ will have three online issues per year (in American, British, and World literature) and one print issue (a best-of volume published by my upstart charitable organization, Patapsco Valley Press). Group work will include establishing the journal’s editorial process for print and web issues and editing website copy on Drupal, which includes a manuscript-management platform.

Instructor: Assoc. Prof. Marlana Portolano CLASS POLICIES 1. Emergency policy: In the event of a University-wide emergency, course requirements, deadlines, and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternate delivery methods, alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and /or classmates, a revised attendance policy, and a revised semester calendar and / or grade scheme. In the case of a University-wide emergency, please refer to the following about changes in this course: Course web page: Instructor’s e-mail: For general information about any emergency situation, please refer to the following: 1. Web site home page; 2. Emergency recording: 410-704-2000 and 410-704-NEWS 3. TU Alert System: emergency/ 2. Attendance policy: You are required to attend class. An online class day is not an optional class day, nor is a hybrid course reason not to attend on-campus class days. You may be tested on any material covered in class. I appreciate it when you email me to let me know when you will be missing class. More than two weeks of unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for the course (that’s 4 for a class that meets twice per week, 2 for an evening class). 3. Reading assignment policy: You are required to bring your book to class on the day we discuss something in it. You are also, of course, required to do the reading. 4. Online and email policy: I will use your Towson email account to communicate about all matters pertaining to class assignments, cancellations, etc. If we have an online class day, you are required to log in to Blackboard between the designated hours in order to complete the class work in real time. 5. Classroom conduct: Please turn off cell phones during class. Tardiness and leaving in the middle interrupts the teaching and learning of a class session, so I make note of these. 6. Grading policy: Grade weights are listed on the syllabus. I cannot figure grades for individual students before the end of the semester, so keep track of your own marks. It usually takes no more than two weeks to return a paper, often less. Essays are graded for content and structure (50 points together), style (30 points) and mechanics (20 points), although very serious sentence problems can result in a failing paper. I often make specific requirements in these categories, which are defined on the assignment sheet. On essays I usually put both a number grade and its equivalent letter, 90-100 A; 80-89 B; 70-79 C; etc. I record both letter grades and checks/check plusses on my spreadsheet in the 4 point system: A or check plus = 4.0; A- = 3.67; B+ = 3.33; B or check = 3.0; B- = 2.67; C+ = 2.33; C or check minus = 2.0; D+ = 1.33; D or minus = 1.0; F or zero = 0 7. Late paper policy: For every class day a paper is turned in late, your grade is lowered by one letter-grade. If you don’t turn in ALL major papers, you fail the course. If you need to make up work because of an excused absence, see me. (Continued)

8. Plagiarism policy: Students caught cheating will immediately receive a grade of F in the course. The incident will be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs. For definitions of cheating, the student is directed to Appendix F of the Undergraduate Catalog, particularly the sections on plagiarism and cheating, sections V.A. and V.C. 9. Special needs policy: Please see me during the first week of class if you will need accommodations for a special need or disability, please make an appointment to see me, and bring a statement from Disability Support Services (4-2638) authorizing your accommodation. 10. Repeating the course: Students may repeat this course only once without the express permission of the Academic Standards Committee. H1N1 Swine Flu policy: Students should not attend classes or other university events from the onset of flu-like symptoms until at least 24 hours after the fever subsides without the use of fever reducing medications. Such absences will be considered excused absences; however, students are responsible for the material covered during the period of their absence

Editing 416 Syllabus  

This Word document is a syllabus for my undergraduate editing class.