Project One: Basic Marking and Copyediting

Due by Thursday, February 13, 2020

Project Description

You will choose a Wikipedia article from a list of articles identified in November 2019 or December 2019 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.

Project Goals

  • Learn to create markable copy from web pages.
  • Learn to edit copy with a non-specialist audience in mind.
  • Mark copy using best digital practices 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 and Deadlines

  1. Due by Thursday, January 23: 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. Your email must include:
    • The URL to your chosen Wikipedia article marked as needing copyedits.
    • The Google Drive share link to your copyediting-ready but unmarked Google Doc.
  2. Due by Thursday, February 13: An email to the instructor containing the project’s final deliverables. Be sure to include:
    • The Google Drive share link to your copyedited Google Doc.
    • The Google Drive share link to your style sheet derived from problems and inconsistencies in the article.
    • A 4-5 sentence self-critique memo, written in the body of the email itself, discussing your project and your progress in class to this point

Project Requirements

  1. Your chosen article must have running copy (not counting captions or tables) of approximately 1000-2000 words; copy and paste the main text into Google Docs to get a rough word count
  2. Your chosen article should also be primarily paragraph-like narrative content.
  3. Your marked article should reflect best practices in digital marking as outlined in The Copyeditor’s Handbook.
  4. Your copyedits should be compliant with with the Wikipedia Manual of Style. Matters not covered in the Wikipedia Manual of Style should defer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.

Project Two: Copyediting Technical Material

Due by Thursday, March 26, 2020

Project Description

Self-selected groups of two or three students will be assigned an open-source software project’s web-based technical manual and project website, both of which must be edited for content and basic formatting. Each group will also create a short in-house style guide for the software project’s manual and website.

Project Three: Copyediting for Academic Publication

Due by Thursday, May 7, 2020

Project Description

You will edit a pre-publication academic manuscript for Project Three, including formatting its citations and reference list or notes according to the Chicago Manual of Style. While you will of course be working on sentence-level edits, keep in mind also issues of style, clarity, and the consistency and overall organization of the manuscript. Query the author frequently; academics are a special breed when it comes to feeling protective of their writing.

You will choose an in-progress article manuscript from one of the following sources:

  1. The Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) Research Papers Series. You can choose a manuscript from any of the SSRN’s subject areas, for example this Working Paper Series list for the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) . The paper you choose must be listed as appearing in a Working Paper Series. You cannot choose a paper in the Accepted Paper Series.
  2. The Open Science Repository list of Papers Open to Review.
  3. With instructor permission, you can copyedit the in-progress pre-publication work of an IIT faculty member or graduate student.

You will find almost all of the research-repository papers are presented as PDFs. You will have to clean up the PDF and present it as a Google Doc for digital markup.

You are responsible for editing the first 4000 words of the manuscript and the first 20 entries of its bibliography/reference list or the first 20 note references, depending on the citation style the paper uses. Refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for all matters of grammar and usage, as well as for citation style and formatting.

Project Four: COM 529 Students Only

Due by Thursday, May 7, 2020

Project Description

Graduate students will work with the instructor to determine a project that presents additional editing challenges and relates in some way to the publishing industry.