Copy Editing and Computerized Design
Objectives: This is a laboratory course designed to help you become a careful editor of your own writing and that of others. The three primary facets of this course will be copy editing, headline writing and print/online design and layout. Included will be consideration of news judgment, fairness, balance and diversity, law and ethics, AP style, grammar, spelling, punctuation and word usage.
Prerequisite: Communications 200 (Introduction to News Writing) or permission of instructor
Grading: Activities will be graded according to the following weights:
Grading scale: Grading will be based on the number of points earned. Letter grades will be given according to the following ranges:
Attendance: It is mandatory. I will take roll each day and will consider absences in borderline grade situations. For those students who, for physical reasons, must ride the elevator, I will be tolerant of problems that arise when the elevator is not working. Be sure to tell me if such a situation occurs.
Accommodations: All students who face medical/physical challenges will be provided appropriate accommodations to meet their educational needs. However, those students must bring me a letter from the UTM Office of Disabilities within the first two weeks of the semester in order to qualify for special accommodations. Anyone who believes he or she may need extra help or may have other special needs should visit the Disabilities Office for information, and should also bring those concerns to my attention.
Respect: The computers in the lab are tools, not toys, and I will not tolerate students checking their email or surfing the Internet while I am lecturing. Lecture time is my time; you may check your messages or update Facebook on your own time.
Late work and makeup work: Not accepted or allowed unless a legitimate reason exists to do so. In case of legitimate crises (school activities, family, health, etc.), notify me as soon as possible, preferably via email or text message. If you are absent and do not explain why, I will consider it unexcused in terms of missed work.
cheating: Academic dishonesty and plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Cheating on quizzes or copying a previous or current student’s work will
certainly result in a zero for the assignment without a chance to redo the work
and, depending on the severity of the offense, could result in a zero for the
course. Plagiarism is defined as using or stealing others’ work and
presenting it as your own. If you wish to be
sure that you are not guilty of plagiarism, please do not hesitate to consult
with me on how to use others’ words in an appropriate manner. If you’ve read your
Student Handbook, you already know that plagiarism is a cardinal sin in the
academic world and could get you expelled from the university.
Extra credit: I give few extra-credit opportunities in this class. If I do assign extra-credit work, it will have a due date, just like any other assignment. No extra credit will be given beyond the last day of classes.
Reminder: If you have any questions or concerns about the content or direction of this course, or your progress in it, please do not hesitate to contact me. Any discussions we have are privileged and will not affect your grades. I prefer to keep problems to a minimum, and I am here not only to teach, but to help you if I can.
Course outline (tentative)
Jan. 11 – Introduction to course, discussion of syllabus, question-and-answer
Jan. 14 – What is copy editing?
Jan. 16-18 – Back to basics
Jan. 21 – No class – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Jan. 23 – Editing symbols quiz
Jan. 25-28-30-Feb. 1 – Back to basics continued
Feb. 4 – Spelling quiz
Feb. 6-8 – Back to basics continued
Feb. 11 – Grammar/punctuation/word usage quiz
Feb. 13-15-18-20 – Basic and “beat” editing, law and ethics, etc.
Feb. 22 – No class – SEJC conference
Feb. 25-27 – Exam No. 1 (and continue editing)
March 1 – Workday
March 2-10 – Spring Break
March 11-13-15 –– Basic and "beat" editing continued
March 18-20-22 – Headlines and photos (possible quiz)
March 25-27 – Introduce layout/design
March 29 – No class – Good Friday
April 1-3-5-8-10-12-15-17-19 – Layout/design and Web (possible quiz; project assigned)
(Thursday, April 4 – Communications Awards Banquet)
April 22 – Exam No. 2
April 24 – Workday
April 26 – Project due
NOTE: Bring pencils, erasers and stylebook to all exams/quizzes. The project requirement is in lieu of a final exam.
Spring commencement is at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4.