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 briefly 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:



  • Einsohn, Amy and Marilyn Schwartz. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications. 4th ed. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019. ($40)
  • 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)

Materials and Technologies


  • An email account that you check regularly
  • A Google account, for using Google Drive and Google Docs
  • A Basecamp account (invite will arrive via email)

Special Needs

I make it my very top priority to create 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 - 3F3-1 (third floor, in the northwest corner across from the Student Health and Wellness Center). Contact the Center by telephone at 312-567-5744, by TDD at 312-567-5135, or via email at

Students who have any difficulty, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to successfully participate in and complete the class should contact me privately, either in person or electronically, at the start of the semester or as a difficulty arises. That includes difficulties with housing, internet access, and anything that otherwise compromises your sense of safety, security, and support—especially if it impacts your ability to complete this class. Please reach out.

I will adjust methods, materials, or deadlines as necessary to ensure equitable participation for all students.

Mental Health and Well-Being

It’s no secret that attending school while managing and balancing other life concerns is incredibly stressful and at times completely overwhelming. And that’s when there’s not a global pandemic raging, disrupting all aspects of our lives. All of us, no matter how outwardly strong, successful, or put-together we might appear, struggle sometimes.

Illinois Tech provides all students with a variety of free counseling services. I encourage all students to seek support and help from the Counseling Services unit of the Student Health and Wellness Center. Students facing a crisis situation, especially outside of the Counseling Services unit’s operating hours, may wish to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Student Health and Wellness Center maintains a list of other emergency resources worth bookmarking.

Illinois Tech’s Policy on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Illinois Tech prohibits all sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and gender discrimination by any member of our community. This includes harassment among students, staff, or faculty. Sexual harassment of a student by a faculty member or sexual harassment of an employee by a supervisor is particularly serious. Such conduct may easily create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Illinois Tech encourages anyone experiencing sexual harassment or sexual misconduct to speak with the Office of Title IX Compliance for information on support options and the resolution process.

You can report sexual harassment electronically at, which may be completed anonymously. You may additionally report by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, Virginia Foster at, or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Esther Espeland at

For confidential support, you may reach Illinois Tech’s Confidential Advisor at 773-907-1062. You can also contact a licensed practitioner in Illinois Tech’s Student Health and Wellness Center at or 312-567-7550

For a comprehensive list of resources regarding counseling services, medical assistance, legal assistance and visa and immigration services, you can visit the Office of Title IX Compliance website at

Attendance & Participation

Your timely submission of work 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 squander students’ time with reading quizzes, but I do assign a lot of reading. And I expect you to be prepared to discuss that reading on Basecamp by quoting or making direct references to each week’s assigned reading.

Additionally, you should be posting to Basecamp about your individual and group progress, questions, and challenges as you complete the course’s major projects.

Students intending to earn an A for Participation should be posting substantively on the Discussion & Announcements 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 Participation grade. (While you are certainly encouraged to post to the Social Hour Basecamp, that activity does not affect your participation grade.)

Assignment Submission

All major projects for this course will be submitted via email to the instructor at Emails should never include email attachments. Instead, you will include URLs pointing to your project on Google Drive or as directed in the project description. 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.

Grading Policy

COM 425 Students

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

COM 529 Students

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

Grading Criteria

COM 425 Students

COM 529 Students

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 for failing to complete 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. I want everyone in here to succeed, but each of you has to take the first step and reach out for help.

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.