Editing Technical Publications (Eng 475)

Spring 2023
Eng 475-01: Wednesday, 7:00 to 8:30 pm (CST), online

Instructor: Roland Nord
Office: 229E Armstrong Hall
Online office hours: MW 1:00 to 4:30, 6:00 to 7:00, and 8:30 to 9:30 pm; T 1:00 to 2:00 and 3:30 to 4:30 pm; or by appointment
Phone: 507-389-5402
Email: roland.nord@mnsu.edu

This syllabus contains the following sections. Click up arrow to return to this list.

up arrow Required materials

All students in an online section should have a fast internet connection, a microphone, and a webcam. I highly recommend your using the microphone in a headset rather than the microphone in a webcam in order to reduce audio distortion or echoes. Check the Student Tech Guide or the Student Technology Tools and Resources for Online Learning page for additional help and instructions.

The following text is required:

Cunningham, Donald, Edward Malone, and Joyce Rothschild. 2020. Technical editing: An introduction to editing in the workplace. New York: Oxford University Press. [TE]

The following texts are required (and available 'free' online to Minnesota State Mankato students):

Chicago manual of style. 2017. 17th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [CMOS]

CMOS is available to Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff, and students through Memorial Library. Note that The Chicago Manual of Style Online includes links to a number of resources, including a Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, Chicago style Q&A, and a Shop Talk blog.

Scientific style and format: The CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers. 2014. 8th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [SSF]

SSF is available to Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff, and students through Memorial Library. Note that the SSF (8th ed.) includes links to Tools and to a SSF Citation Quick Guide. The Council of Science Editors maintains an impressive website useful to members and non-members.

I recommend the following texts:

Amare, Nicole, Barry Nowlin, and Jean Hollis Weber. 2010. Technical editing in the twenty-first century. Boston, MA: Prentice-Hall.

Borel, Brooke. 2016. The Chicago guide to fact-checking. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

Buky, Erika, Marilyn Schwartz, and Amy Einsohn. 2019. The copyeditor's workbook: Exercises and tips for honing your editorial judgment. Oakland: University of California Press.

Editors of EEI Press. 2006. Copyeditor's guide to substance & style. 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: EEI Press.

Einsohn, Amy, and Marilyn Schwartz. 2019. The copyeditor's handbook: A guide for book publishing and corporate communications. 4th ed. Oakland: University of California Press.

Flanagan, Suzan, and Michael Albers, eds. 2019. Editing in the modern classroom (ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication). New York: Taylor and Francis.

Hart, Geoff. 2019. Effective onscreen editing: New tools for an old profession. 4th ed. Pointe-Claire, Quebec: Diaskeuasis Publishing.

Order print or online versions through Geoff Hart's website.

Ginna, Peter, ed. 2017. What editors do: The art, craft, and business of book editing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Murphy, Avon, ed. 2010. New perspectives on technical editing. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Co.

Pinker, Stephen. 2014. The sense of style: The thinking person's guide to writng in the 21st century. New York: Penguin.

Rude, Carolyn, and Angela Eaton. 2011. Technical editing. 5th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Saller, Carol. 2009. The subversive copy editor: Advice from Chicago (or, how to negotiate good relationships with your writers, your colleagues, and yourself). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

In addition, I encourage you to use a style manual appropriate to your field of study or area of content expertise; examples include the following:

ACS style guide: Effective communication of scientific information. 2006. ACS Publications.

The various sections of The ACS Style Guide are available as PDFs from ACS <https://pubs.acs.org/isbn/9780841239999>.

American Mathematical Society. 2014. AMS author handbook. Providence, RI: AMS.

American National Standards Institute. 2009. American National Standard for the preparation of scientific papers for written or oral presentation. ANSI.

American National Standards Institute. 13 May 2010. Scientific and technical reports – Preparation, presentation, and preservation. Baltimore, MD: National Information Standards Organization.

American Psychological Association. 2019. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 7th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bates, Robert, Rex Buchanan, and Marla Adkins-Heljeson, eds. 2004. Geowriting: A guide to writing, editing, and printing in earth science. 5th ed. rev. Alexandria: American Geological Institute.

Christian, Darrell, Sally Jacobsen and David Minthorn, eds. 2010. Associated Press stylebook. New York: Basic Books.

Coghill, Anne, and Lorrin Garson eds. The ACS style guide: Effective communication of scientific information. Washington D.C.: American Chemical Society.

DeRespinis, Francis, Peter Hayward, Jana Jenkins, Amy Laird, Leslie McDonald, and eric Radzinski. 2012. The IBM style guide: Conventions for writers and editors. Upper Saddle River, NJ: IBM Press.

IEEE Standards Association. n.d. Raising the world's standards. IEEE <https://standards.ieee.org/> 9 January 2020.

Gastel, Barbara, and Robert Day. 2016. How to write & publish a scientific paper. 8th ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

JAMA Network Editors. 2020. AMA manual of style: A guide for authors & editors. 11th ed. Oxford University Press.

Michaelson, Herbert. 1990. How to write & publish engineering papers and reports. 3rdn ed. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

Microsoft. 2018. Welcome. Microsoft writing style guide. <https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/style-guide/welcome/> 6 June 2018.

The Microsoft Writing Style Guide replaced the Microsoft Manual of Style.

Modern Language Association. 2009. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Modern Language Association. 2010. MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing. 3rd ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

New York Public Library writer's guide to style and usage. 1994. New York: HarperCollins.

Sabin, William. 2013. The Gregg reference manual. 12th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.

Skillin, Majorie, and Robert Gay. 1974. Words into type. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall.

Swanson, Ellen. 1999. Mathematics into Type: Updated edition. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society.

U.S. Government Printing Office style manual: An official guide to the form and style of Federal Government printing. 2016. U.S. Government Printing Office <https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2016/pdf/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2016.pdf>.

If you do not know what constitutes an appropriate style guide for your profession or discipline, please consult with me or with one of the instructors in your major.

I encourage you to subscribe to the Copyediting (COPYEDITING-L) discussion list and to subscribe to other discussion lists or newsgroups as appropriate to your major, minor, or interests. You may not, however, submit quiz or exam questions or questions about class exercises to a discussion list.

I encourage you to consult the Conscious Style Guide for resources and articles about bias-free language.

up arrow Course description and learning outcomes

This course serves as an introduction to substantive editing and to copyediting. Students will concentrate on the following activities:

    1. editing the content, organization, format, style, and mechanics of documents;
    2. managing the production cycle of documents; and
    3. discovering and learning software applications for technical editing tasks.

Class will follow a (modified) workshop format.

Students who successfully complete the Editing Technical Publications (Eng 575) course are able to

Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a documented disability, please notify me as early in the semester as possible to discuss the necessary accommodations or contact Accessibility Resources at (507) 389-2825 (V) or (800) 627-3529 (MRS).

Students may not make unauthorized, electronic recordings of lectures or electronic copies of course materials (e.g., PowerPoints, formulas, lecture notes) using personally owned recording devices (e.g., smart phone, iPad, computer, digital recorder). Unauthorized downloading, file sharing, distribution of any part of a recorded lecture or course materials or using information for purposes other than the student’s own learning may be deemed a violation of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s “Statement of Student Responsibilities” subject to disciplinary action (http://www.mnsu.edu/atoz/policies/recordingoflecturesandmaterials2015.pdf).

up arrow Evaluation

You will be expected to act and to work as a professional. This includes your submitting work on time and in an appropriate form, and it includes your treating your fellow students with courtesy and respect. The Statement of Student Responsibilities is available from the Office of Student Conduct.

I expect you to use your texts and any appropriate reference materials on all exams, quizzes, and assignments. You may work collaboratively on specified assignments and quizzes. When working collaboratively, submit a single document for the entire group; however, be sure each collaborator signs and receives a copy of the document.

Your grade will be based upon your performance on your editing assignments, group work, in-class exercises, and final exam. I provide point totals for each assignment in the assignment specifications. Although I will evaluate your performance on most of the major editing assignments, exercises, quizzes, and on the final exam, please note that I will not evaluate or comment on all of the work that you submit. Note that the copyediting, proofreading, and comprehensive editing assignments for the second half of the course are weighted more heavily than the assignments for the first half of the course.

I will assign grades based upon the following scale for undergraduate (Eng 475) students:

A = Superior (90–100%)
B = Above average (80–89%)
C = Average (70–79%)
D = Below Average (60–69%)
F = Failure (Grading Policy, 1)

The University's Grading Policy was reviewed and posted (August 20, 2019) to the University Policies website. I will assign only straight (non-shaded) grades in the course.

Any work that you submit late must be accompanied by a cover memo explaining why the work is submitted late and why I should comment on and evaluate the work, and all late work is subject to a 10% reduction in points possible. I will not accept work that is submitted late because of unexcused absences. Any requests for deadline extensions or incompletes must be made in writing and must be submitted before the assignment is due or, in the case of incompletes, before the final exam. The university policy on incompletes is contained within the Grading Policy on the University Policies website.

All collaborative work must be completed by students working in groups of two or three (at most). All members of the group should appear as authors; however, only one person from the group should submit the document, and all members of the group receive the same score on the assignment. If you complete and submit collaborative assignments individually, the best you can earn on the assignment is 50% of the points possible.

Plagiarism results in a failing grade on the particular assignment; repeated plagiarism results in a failing grade for the course. For further information, consult the University policy on academic honesty.

All email correspondence about the course must include Eng 475 (and the section number) on the subject line. Please do not append files to email correspondence unless directed to do so in the assignment specs.

up arrow Tentative reading and writing assignments

The instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus; for example, I will post assignments weekly. I will also remind you of class assignments through email messages. Consequently, I encourage you to check your syllabus and your email frequently (at least 3x a week). All email messages will be sent to your MSU accounts, which you can access using the MSU web-email client.

I will use D2L Brightspace (D2L) to list discussion prompts, to provide exercises and answer keys (in content), to provide folders in which you can submit assignments, to record grades, and to provide a directory of email addresses. A link for system compatibility (to check to see that your computer can run D2L) appears in the Welcome section of the D2L page.

We will use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) for your assignments and exercises. Office 365 is available on all campus computers and is available to you as a free download. Office is commonly used in industry—both within the US and globally.

Since this is a 4-credit course, students are expected to spend approximately 12 hours per week (3 hours per credit per week) on the course. This includes time spent in class and time spent out of class reading, researching, and completing assignments. For further information, consult the University's credit-hour policy

Complete the following readings and assignments by the date indicated. Articles or materials under the headings "Ancillary reading," "Research," or "Web resources" are optional (not required) reading.

See the combined Eng 4/575 syllabus for weekly reading and editing assignments.

Last revised 6 January 2023
Roland Nord