A collection of editing course syllabi.


This syllabus bank was created for the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. It has two components:

1. An index of links to online syllabi for teaching editing.

2. A file of editing syllabi that are not online at their host schools.

If your syllabus is not on file here, either as a URL or in its entirety, please send its Web address or your paper syllabus as a Microsoft attachment to <ffee@email.unc.edu> and I will put it up on the EditBank page. If you know of someone else's syllabus that is not listed at this site, please encourage that person to forward the information to me.

Online Syllabus Index
  • California State University, Chico, Jour 127 Editing and Copyreading, Glen Bleske
  • Louisiana State University, MC 3210: Editing for Print and Electronic Media, Andy Bechtel
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver, JRN 120 Beginning Editing, Jay Brodell
  • Moorhead State University, MC310 Copy Editing, Shelton Gunaratne
  • New York University, Editing Workshop, Sonia Jaffe Robbins
  • Simpson College, Communication Studies 311: Editing and Design, Brian Steffen
  • Towson University, MCOM 358 News Editing, Thom Lieb (Note: Requires Adobe Acrobat reader to look at syllabus.)
  • University of Georgia, Advanced Newspaper Editing and Design, Hugh J. Martin
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, JOMC 57 News Editing, Frank E. Fee Jr. (2000 - )
  •  Washington and Lee University, J-353, Editing and Design, Ham Smith

  • Syllabus File
    The following editing course syllabi are available on this site.
  • California State University, Fullerton, Comm 332, Editing and Page Design, Tom Clanin
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, 351 Newspaper Editing, Randy Beam
  • Louisiana State University, MC 3210: Editing for Print and Electronic Media, Andy Bechtel
  • Midwestern State University, Journalism 3233 News Editing and Copy Reading, Jim Sernoe
  • Ohio University, J333 News Editing, Deborah Gump
  • Oklahoma University, JMC 3103: News Editing, David Craig
  • University of Maryland at College Park, J-202 Editing for the Mass Media, Jay P. Goldman
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Principles of Editing 280, Charlyne Berens
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, JOMC 57 News Editing, Bill Cloud
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, JOMC 157 Advanced News Editing, Bill Cloud



    Communications 332 Editing and Page Design

    Spring 1998
    Lecture: Monday and Wednesday, noon to 12:50 p.m.
    Lab: Monday and Wednesday, 1 to 2:15 p.m.
    Tom Clanin Office: H-720D Phone: 714-278-5305; Fax: 714-969-6292 E-mail: tclanin@exchange.fullerton.edu
    Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 2:30 to 4 p.m. Friday 11 to 11:30 a.m. and by appointment

    This is an advanced journalism course, not a grammar course. You will not do well if you do not have a firm command of the English language. Fundamentals of writing and English grammar must be mastered before students enroll in this course. Students deficient in grammar and spelling are urged to take an English refresher course.
    Adolph Ochs, who ran the New York Times more than a century ago, once said that copy editors were most useful people in a newsroom. Copy editors check the reportersí stories for errors in grammar, spelling, usage and style. Catching and correcting mechanical errors is only a small part of their job, however. Copy editors must also have a working knowledge of myriad subjects so that they can spot factual errors in stories. They must also be able to recognize potentially libelous statements or inconsistencies in stories. In short, copy editors are the last line of defense for a newspaperís credibility.
    Today's editors must also know how to work with photos and graphics to design eye-catching news page. In addition, copy editors are expected to keep abreast with current events on topics ranging from sports and entertainment to world, national and local news. Knowing what is going on in the world is essential for good news judgment and for ensuring that the stories going into the paper are current.
    This course will give students experience in the art of news judgment, copy improvement, headline writing, and page layout and design.
    At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to:
    Classtime will be divided between instruction and the realistic application of each unit of study. Laboratory sessions will require the student to complete editing or layout assignments in a controlled setting. Since most assignments will require a computer, the lab time will be used for homework assignments. Students also may do homework assignments during regularly scheduled open lab hours or elsewhere.
    Classroom computers. Computer monitors must be turned off during class lectures. You may not work on the computers during lectures. Using the computers to work on assignments for this or other classes is not allowed except during lab time.
    Grades. Grades are based on homework assignments, quizzes, class participation/attendance and a final project. There is no final in this course. Grades are determined by:
    The grading is based on 10 percent increments for each grade. 90 percent and above is an A; 80 percent to 89 percent is B; 70 percent to 79 percent is a C; and 60 percent to 69 percent is a D. Grading for homework and style quizzes are on a curve. If, for instance, the highest score on a qui z is 15, then 15 will be a 100 percent.
    Project. A final project to layout and e dit a 4-page newspaper w ill be due during finals week. The project involves:
    THERE IS NO FINAL EXAMINATION. Editing quizzes, four quizzes on copyediting, AP style, grammar, assigned readings and lectures will be given during the semester. You may use a stylebook, dictionary or other language-reference during the quiz except your textbook. Makeup quizzes will be given only by prior arrangement or if you contact me as soon as possible about the emergency that prevented you from attending class.
    Homework. One of the characteristics of a good journalist is making deadline. Late work will be marked down 10 percentage points. Late work will not be accepted once we have discussed the assignment in class. If you cannot make to it to class to turn in your homework, you may leave it for me at the Communications Department office or fax it or send it as e-mail. I must receive it by the evening of the day it is due.
    Note: When you send me e-mail, please put "Comm 332" in the subject line.
    All editing and other writing assignments are to be done on the computer and must be turned in typed, double spaced in at least 12-point type. Stories edited with a pen or pencil, other than last-minute fixes, will not be accepted. All assignments involving headlines and photo captions must also be typed.
    Reading assignments should be completed before the first class of the week they were assigned.
    Current events quizzes. You will be given a short, multiple-choice quiz at the beginning of the first class period each week. The questions will usually cover major news events of the previous week.
    Attendance. While you will not be graded on attendance, roll will be taken at the start of class. Absences will affect the quality of your work and your grade bcause you cannot expect to do well if you are not present to go over the work and receive help.
    Since many students taking this course hope to enter the journalism profession, class time will be also devoted to discussing the newspaper industry and other current mass-media issues.
    Week One Jan. 31
    Discussion: introduction to class, the copy editor's role in the newsroom, copy editing
    Week Two Feb. 7
    Discussion: news judgment, copy editing, AP style
    Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 1 (Working on the Desk) and Chapter 2 (Understanding News Judgment)
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week Three Feb. 14
    Monday is Presidents Day (no class) Discussion: copy editing, grammar, AP style
    Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 3 (Editing for Grammar)
    Current events quiz on Wednesday
    Style quiz on Wednesday Note: Tuesday, Feb. 16, is last you can drop a class without a grade of "W"
    Week Four Feb. 21
    Discussion: copy editing, AP style Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 4 (Editing for Precision and Accuracy) and Chapter 5 (Editing for Style)
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week Five Feb. 28
    Discussion: copy editing, wire services, headline writing, AP style Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 7, pages 117-121 and 124-129, (Writing Headlines); and Chapter 8 (Wire Service Copy)
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week Six March 7
    Discussion: ethics, libel, photos, AP style Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 6 (Libel and Ethics) and Chapter 9 (Pictures)
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Style quiz on Wednesday
    Week Seven March 14 Discussion: copy editing, page design, AP style Readings: Fellow & Clanin, Chapter 10 (Inforgraphics) and 11 (Designing Pages)
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week Eight March 21 Discussion: copy editing, page design, AP style
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week of March 28 is Spring Break ( no class)
    Week Nine April 4
    Discussion: copy editing, page design
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week 10 April 11
    Discussion: copy editing, page design, AP style
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Style quiz on Wednesday
    Week 11 April 18
    Discussion: page design, final project
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week 12 April 25 Comm Week ( no class)
    Wednesday Discussion: final project
    Current events quiz on Monday
    Week 13 May 2
    Work on project (No class)
    Week 14 May 9
    Work on project (No class)
    Week 15 May 16
    Discussion: final project and other related problems/topics
    Editing and current events quiz on Monday
    Style quiz on Wednesday
    Week 16
    Finals week The final project is due noon Wednesday, May 26
    STORY LENGTH Newspaper articles are measured in column inches, that is, the depth in inches of a column of type. Here is a conversion from word count to column inches for a typical newspaper:
    1" 35 words
    5" 175 words
    10" 350 words
    15" 525 words
    20" 750 words
    25" 925 words
    30" 1,050 words
    40" 1,400 words

    JMC 3103,
    SPRING 1999
    8:30-11:20 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 342 Copeland Hall
    Instructor: David Craig
    Office: 120-B Copeland Hall
    Office hours: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday or by appointment
    Office phone: 325-5206 Home phone: 447-8651 E-mail: dcraig@ou.edu
    Required texts
  • Jane T. Harrigan, The Editorial Eye (1993)
  • Brian S. Brooks, James L. Pinson and Jean Gaddy Wilson, Working With Words, 3rd ed. (1997)
  • Working With Words Exercise Book
  • Tim Harrower, The Newspaper Designer's Handbook, 4th ed. (1998)
  • The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (latest edition)
  • A good dictionary, preferably Webster's New World, 3rd ed.
  • I also expect you to read The Oklahoma Daily and one other newspaper regularly.
  • Course objectives
  • To develop your ability to edit copy precisely and consistently, with an eye to problems of language, content and clarity.
  • To equip you to create accurate and compelling headlines and other "points of entry" for readers.
  • To provide you basic skills in newspaper page design.
  • To give you a broad picture of the roles of editors now and in the future.
  • Course methods
    To accomplish these goals, we will cover the following topics:
  • Editor roles and newsroom organization
  • Wire services
  • The editing process
  • News judgment
  • Leads and story organization
  • Accuracy and fairness
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Trimming and tightening
  • Grammar and usage
  • AP style
  • Working with writers
  • Writing headlines, captions and other text elements Handling photos and graphics
  • Page design
  • Editing for broadcast and online
  • Working conditions
  • Grading
    40 percent: in-class work
    You will develop your deadline work skills by editing local and wire stories and writing headlines, captions and other text elements. You will also take quizzes on grammar, AP style, current events and spelling. Current events and spelling quizzes may include questions on readings in The Editorial Eye. I will also consider attendance and attitude.
    20 percent: homework
    You will have homework for some class periods to reinforce topics covered in class.
    10 percent: "big picture" test
    This will cover material from the first four weeks on editor roles and newsroom organization, wire services, the editing process, news judgment, accuracy and fairness, and libel and ethics.
    10 percent: grammar test
    This will cover several areas of grammar, primarily material in Working With Words.
    20 percent: final exam
    Attendance and missed assignments
    This class will move rapidly, with many sessions building on work in earlier ones, so your attendance is crucial to your success. I will treat you like professional journalists. That means I expect you to attend every class session -- and to turn in homework on time -- unless you are ill or have a real personal emergency. I will not accept late homework or let you make up in-class assignments unless your absence is excused. It is up to you to talk with me as soon as possible. Otherwise, late homework or missed in-class work will receive a score of 0. It is also up to you to follow through and turn in assignments done or assigned in classes you missed. Test makeups, except in the case of illness or emergency, must be arranged in advance.
    Required conference
    Every student must schedule an individual meeting with me in the seventh or eighth week of the semester, preferably during my office hours. We will discuss your progress in the course and any areas you're finding difficult.
    Academic honesty
    Honesty is basic to good journalism, so I expect it on tests and other assignments. For this class you may consult one another occasionally on homework assignments, but I expect the work to be substantially your own. In-class assignments are to reflect your own knowledge and good questions, not someone else's. Academic misconduct will be taken seriously.
    As gatekeepers of information, editors play a key role in shaping the perceptions of society. We will explore how good editing can prevent expression of distorted views of diverse groups in our culture.
    Students with disabilities
    If any member of the class feels that he/she has a disability and needs special accommodations of any nature, I will work with you and the Office of Disabled Student Services to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the class. Please advise me of such disability and the desired accommodations at some point before, during or immediately after the first scheduled class period.
    Religious holidays
    "It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required classwork that may fall on religious holidays." (Section 3.13.2, OU Faculty Handbook)
    This schedule is subject to adjustment, but I will let you know about any changes. Reading assignments, listed below in light type, must be completed before the class periods for which they're listed. Graded in-class and homework assignments will be announced in class.
    WEEK 1
    TUE., JAN. 12 Introduction to the course. The joys and value of editing.
    THU., JAN. 14 Editor roles and newsroom organization. The Editorial Eye (EE), Chs. 1-2. Wire services
    WEEK 2
    TUE., JAN. 19 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Working conditions. The editing process: an overview. Copy editing symbols EE, inside back cover. Editing for priority: news judgment EE, review pp. 12-19.
    THU., JAN. 21 More on news judgment. Editing for grammar: an overview EE, Ch. 3. Working With Words (WWW), Ch. 1
    WEEK 3
    TUE., JAN. 26 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Editing meaning EE, Ch. 12. Editing for grammar: subjects and objects WWW, Ch. 2.
    THU., JAN. 28 Editing for accuracy and fairness EE, Ch. 5. WWW, Ch. 10. WWW, Appendix A (pp. 235-42 only). Editing for ethical problems EE, Ch. 6.
    WEEK 4
    TUE., FEB. 2 CURRENT EVENTS AND SPELLING QUIZ Editing for grammar: verbs WWW, Ch. 3. Editing for legal problems.
    THU., FEB. 4 Editing for writing style EE, Ch. 4. Editing for space: tightening phrases and sentences WWW, Ch. 8. Review for "big picture" test
    WEEK 5
    TUE., FEB. 9 "BIG PICTURE" EDITING TEST Editing for grammar: More on verbs. Editing for space: trimming stories. Editing people EE, Ch. 10.
    THU., FEB. 11 GRAMMAR QUIZ Editing for grammar: modifiers WWW, Ch. 4. Editing for AP style: abbreviations and acronyms WWW, pp. 261-64; AP Stylebook entries. Editing information EE, Ch. 11. Editing information for different media.
    WEEK 6
    TUE., FEB. 16 CURRENT EVENTS AND SPELLING QUIZ Editing for grammar: more on modifiers. Combining skills: story editing -- wire news.
    THU., FEB. 18 AP QUIZ: ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS Editing for AP style: capitalization WWW, pp. 264-66; AP Stylebook entries. More wire news editing.
    WEEK 7
    TUE., FEB. 23 CURRENT EVENTS AND SPELLING QUIZ Editing for grammar: connecting words WWW, Ch. 5. Editing for word usage WWW, Ch. 9. Story editing: overview of local news obituaries.
    THU., FEB. 25 AP QUIZ: CAPITALIZATION Editing for AP style: numerals WWW, pp. 266-67; AP Stylebook entries. More editing for word usage. More editing local news.
    WEEK 8
    TUE., MARCH 2 CURRENT EVENTS AND SPELLING QUIZ Editing for grammar: phrases, clauses and sentences WWW, Ch. 6 Presentation: headlines and other points of entry EE, Ch. 7 Newspaper Designer's Handbook (NDH), Intro., Chs. 1 and 5.
    THU., MARCH 4 AP QUIZ: NUMERALS Story editing: crime news. More on headlines and other points of entry.
    WEEK 9
    TUE., MARCH 9 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Editing for grammar: punctuation WWW, Ch. 7. Editing for AP style: punctuation and hyphenation WWW, Appendix A (pp. 242-60 only). Punctuation guide in back of AP Stylebook. More on headlines and other points of entry.
    THU., MARCH 11 Editing for AP style: miscellaneous AP Stylebook entries Story editing: numbers stories Combining skills: editing, headlines, points of entry.
    (****WEEK OF MARCH 14-20: SPRING BREAK****)
    WEEK 10
    TUE., MARCH 23 Presentation: photos and captions EE, pp. 209-34, 255-64 NDH, review pp. 28-31, read Ch. 4 Review for grammar test
    THU., MARCH 25 GRAMMAR TEST More on photos and captions Editing features; writing hammers/feature headlines
    WEEK 11
    TUE., MARCH 30 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Graphics and breakout boxes EE, pp. 234-55 NDH, Ch. 6. More editing features.
    THU., APRIL 1 Combining skills: story editing, headlines/points of entry, captions, graphics.
    WEEK 12
    TUE., APRIL 6 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Presentation: page design EE, Ch. 9 NDH, Chs. 2 and 3.
    THU., APRIL 8 More page design.
    WEEK 13
    TUE., APRIL 13 and THU., APRIL 15 More page design.
    WEEK 14
    TUE., APRIL 20 CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ Editing for online Reading TBA.
    THU., APRIL 22 More editing for online.
    WEEK 15
    TUE., APRIL 27 More editing for online
    THU., APRIL 29 Our last round of print editing Review for final exam
    ******THU., MAY 6, 4:30-6:30 P.M. FINAL EXAM*******

    MC 3210: Editing for Print and Electronic Media Spring 1999
    NOTE: The editing course at LSU encompasses print and broadcast. It's team-taught, and what you see here is the print side, which I teach. Andy Bechtel
    CLASS TIME: Wednesday/Friday, 12:40 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
    CLASS PLACE: Room 115, Journalism Building
    INSTRUCTOR: Andy Bechtel
    OFFICE: Room 344, Hodges Hall
    OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
    PHONE: 388-3488 E-
    MAIL: abechtel@mindspring.com, abecht1@lsu.edu

    The print portion of this course will focus on accuracy, style and correct use of the English language. You will become an expert on AP style. You will learn how to edit copy, write cutlines and craft headlines under deadline pressure. You will understand how layout and design reflect a publication's news philosophy. You will also discuss the broader issue of how editors decide what news will be published and where it will appear in the newspaper.
    MC 3210 is not a lecture course but an intensive editing lab. Because nearly all assignments take place in class, attendance is very important. Excused absences are those that LSU recognizes: illness, family emergency, special curricular requirements, etc. For an absence to be excused, you must provide written documentation. If your absence is unexcused, you will not be able to make up that day's work, and you will receive a zero for any assignments you miss. Preparation and punctuality are also important for an editor to succeed. Please come to class on time and ready to work.
    Most assignments for this portion of MC 3210 will take place in class. Good editors know what is happening in the world, nation and community. To get you in the habit of keeping up with the news, you will take a current events quiz each week. Other in-class assignments will include in-depth tests on AP style, editing exercises and headline assignments. The one assignment outside of class will require you to analyze a newspaper's layout and design. This analysis will be in the form of a two-page critique.
    The instructor will determine grades through the use of a point system. The more important and complex the assignment, the more points it will be worth. For example, a current events quiz may be worth 10 points, and an editing exercise may count for 50 points. To reward improvement, assignments near the end of the course will count more.
    This portion of the course will conclude with an exam that will consist of a comprehensive test on AP style and an editing/headline assignment. The instructor will compare your overall points vs. the total possible points (typically about 600) and use this scale to calculate your grade: 90-100: A 80-89: B 70-79: C 60-69: D 59 or less: F Your grade in this half of the course will be averaged with your grade in broadcast half of the course for your final course grade.
    Wednesday, Jan. 13 Topic: Introduction Assignment: Diagnostic test
    Friday, Jan. 15 Topic: What is an editor? Readings: Editing Today, chapters 1 and 2 Assignment: Mock budget meeting
    Wednesday, Jan. 20 Topic: Fundamentals of editing Readings: Editing Today, chapters 3 and 4; AP Stylebook, A-E Assignment: AP style quiz
    Friday, Jan. 22 Topic: Conciseness and clarity Readings: Editing Today, chapter 5 Assignments: Current events quiz; editing exercise
    Wednesday, Jan. 27 Topic: Story editing Readings: Editing Today, chapter 6 and 7; AP Stylebook F-M Assignments: Style quiz; editing exercise
    Friday, Jan. 29 Topic: Headlines Readings: Editing Today, chapter 9 Assignments: Current events quiz; headline exercise
    Wednesday. Feb. 3 Topic: More headlines Readings: AP Stylebook N-R Assignments: Style quiz; headline exercise
    Friday, Feb. 5 Topic: Cutlines Readings: Editing Today, chapter 13 Assignments: Current events quiz; editing exercise
    Wednesday, Feb. 10 Topic: Standalone cutlines Readings: AP Stylebook, S-Z Assignments: Style quiz; cutline exercise
    Friday, Feb. 12 Topic: Briefs columns Readings: Editing Today, chapter 8 Assignments: Current events quiz; briefs exercise
    Wednesday, Feb. 17 Topic: Layout and design Readings: Editing Today, chapter 14 Assignment: Layout critique
    Friday, Feb. 19 Topic: The Internet and online editing Guest speaker: Barbara Schlichtman of The Advocate Online Assignments: Current events quiz; World Wide Web exercise
    Wednesday, Feb. 24 Topic: Ethical and legal considerations Readings: Editing Today, chapter 10
    Friday, Feb. 26 No class; work on layout critique and prepare for midterm
    Wednesday, March 3 Due: Layout critique Assignment: Midterm exam

    JOURNALISM 202 (Section 0201)Editing for the Mass Media
    Spring 1999
    Professor Jay P. Goldman
    Office phone: 703/875-0745 Home phone: 301/565-2506 E-mail: jg36@umail.umd.edu
    Required Texts and Materials:
    Procedures and Scope:
    Classes will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 to 8 p.m. in Room 3103, College of Journalism. Students are expected to be prompt on a regular basis.
    Objectives of this course are 1) to acquaint the student with basic skills used in editing news and feature content of newspapers and in on-line editing; 2) to help students understand how a journalist's attitudes and knowledge, the community's characteristics, and the internal and external pressures affect news and feature evaluation, editing and presentation, and 3) to use newsroom technology,
    The course will emphasize newspaper practices because they provide a model for editing in other media, although references will made to other forms. The process of planning and producing the news and feature content will be discussed and analyzed during the term. Students will receive extensive practice in copyreading, headline writing and page design, and special emphasis will be placed on tightening, correcting and clarifying news copy. Accuracy and conformance to style will be stressed.
    During the term, each student is expected to be a daily newspaper reader in order to draw upon readings for discussion in class. Regular reading of The Diamondback and one of the Washington or Baltimore dailies is recommended. Skimming of a weekly newsmagazine and periodic monitoring of television and radio news would be helpful.
    Class attendance will be critical to performance in the course as students will be expected to participate in discussions and critiques. Students will not be penalized for absence due to personal illness or a family death although notification to the instructor in advance of class is expected so that arrangements can be made for the missed work. Participation in fraternity and sorority events, assignments for other courses, athletics or other extracurricular activities is not considered an excused absence.
    Virtually all work assigned in this course will receive a grade. This includes periodic quizzes, in-class work and homework exercises. The quizzes will cover reading material assigned in the workbook, reserve readings, class presentations, guest speakers' presentations and current events. These will not be announced in advance. A student who is absent for a quiz or an in-class exercise will be given a zero for that work unless the instructor is informed in advance or an official medical excuse statement is provided.
    In addition to the exercises and quizzes, you will complete three major writing/reporting/research assignments that will contribute to your understanding of the editor's role. The first will be a short paper about the work of a professional copy editor. The second will be a short paper that examines one publication's corrections policy. The third involves analyzing a daily newspapers page design. The final exam -- which students will complete on a take-home basis -- will assess the various editing skills you should have mastered during the semester.
    Three rules about written assignments in this course:
    Students can earn the opportunity to drop as many as four of their lowest grades on the quizzes and exercises by successfully completing the six extra credit quizzes available from your professor. To be considered, these extra-credit quizzes must be submitted by May 6.
    Students also may submit overdue homework assignments (but not in-class exercises or quizzes) until May 6 for credit. All overdue assignments receive an automatic 30-point deduction.
    Reserve Materials:
    Students will find the following materials on reserve under Journalism 202 and the instructor's name in McKeldin Library. The call numbers may be the easiest way to request these.
    (1) Along with certain rights, students also have the responsibility to behave honorably in an academic environment. Academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty and plagiarism, will not be tolerated. Any abridgement of academic integrity standards will be referred directly to the assistant dean and forwarded to the university's Office of Judicial Affairs. Students uncertain as to what constitutes academic dishonesty should consult the university publication "Academic Dishonesty."
    (2) Since I do not have a faculty office on campus, I encourage students who have questions, who need help on assignments or who need to advise me of their expected absence due to illness to contact me by phone at my office or home (until 10:30 p.m.) or via electronic mail. I will be available to meet with students after class sessions.
    JOURNALISM 202 (Section 0201) Editing for the Mass Media Spring 1999
    WB = workbook; Rich = textbook Professor Jay P. Goldman Reserve = packet at McKeldin Library
    Th 1/28 Course Intro; Interview Exercise
    Tu 2/2 The Job of the Copy Editor / WB 1-5; Reserve 1-10 Th 2/4 Using the Stylebook / WB 7, 9-10, 13-16, 21; Reserve 83
    Tu 2/9 Using the Stylebook Th 2/11 Grammar / WB 39-42, 47-49, 53-54, 59-60, 65-67; Reserve 70-74
    Tu 2/16 Wordiness and Effective Leads / WB 77-78, 91; Reserve 75-78, 81 Th 2/18 NO CLASS
    Tu 2/23 Accuracy, Corrections, Quotations (Major #1 due) / WB 85-86; Reserve 79, 82 Th 2/25 Content Editing / WB 99-101
    Tu 3/2 Content Editing and Stereotypes / Reserve 26-39 Th 3/4 Rewriting Press Releases / Reserve 80
    Tu 3/9 Editing Wire Copy / WB 161 Th 3/11 Tour & Presenter at National Public Radio
    Tu 3/16 Editing Wire Copy Th 3/18 Headline Writing (Major #2 due) / WB 177-178
    Tu 3/30 Headline Writing Th 4/1 On-line Editing / Rich Chapter 6
    Tu 4/6 On-line Editing / Rich Chapters 7-8
    Th 4/8 Guest Speakers: On-line Editors Tu 4/13 Libel, Privacy and FOI Act / WB 179-180 Th 4/15 NO CLASS
    Tu 4/20 Photos and Cutlines Th 4/22 Layout and Design
    Tu 4/27 Layout and Design Th 4/29 Tour & Presenter at USA Today
    Tu 5/4 Layout and Design (Major #3 due) Th 5/6 Ethics / Reserve 59-69, 84
    Tu 5/11 Course Review and Evaluation Th 5/13 Final Exam Distributed (at Ledo's in Langley Park)
    Tu 5/18 Final Exam Due
    JOURNALISM 202 (Section 0301) Editing for the Mass Media Fall 1998 WB = workbook Professor Jay P. Goldman Reserve = packet at McKeldin
    Tu 9/1 Course Intro: Interview Exercise Th 9/3 The Job of the Copy Editor WB 1-5; Reserve 1-10
    Tu 9/8 Using the Stylebook WB 7, 9-10, 13-16, 21 Th 9/10 Using the Stylebook
    Tu 9/15 Grammar WB 39-42,47-49; 53-54,59-60, 65-67; Res. 70-73 Th 9/17 Wordiness and Effective Leads WB 77-78, 91; Reserve 75-77
    Tu 9/22 Accuracy, Corrections, Quotations WB 85-86; Reserve 81-82 Th 9/24 Content Editing (Major #I due) WB 99-101, 129-133
    Tu 9/29 NO CLASS (Yom Kippur) Th 10/1 Content Editing and Stereotypes Reserve 26-40
    Tu 10/6 Rewriting Press Releases Reserve 80 Th 10/8 Editing Wire Copy WB 161
    Tu 10/13 Editing Wire Copy Th 10/15 Libel, Privacy and FOI Act WB 179-180
    Tu 10/20 Broadcast Editing Th 10/22 Headline Writing WB 177-178
    Tu 10/27 Headline Writing (Major #2 due) Th 10/29 On-line Editing Reserve 85-90
    Tu 11/3 On-line Editing Th 11/5 Guest Presenter on On-line Editing
    Tu 11/10 Photos and Cutlines Th 11/12 Layout and Design
    Tu 11/17 Layout and Design Th 11/19 Tour & Presenter at USA Today (Arlington, Va.)
    Tu 11/24 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving break) Th 11/26 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving break)
    Tu 12/1 Layout and Design (Major #3 due) Th 12/3 Ethics Reserve 59-69
    Tu 12/8 Course Review and Evaluation Tu 12/10 Final Exam Distributed (at Ledo's in Langley Park)
    Tu 12/17 Final Exam Due

    351/Newspaper Editing (6770) Fall 1998 Randy Beam
    General information
    Office: 200-L Ernie Pyle Hall
    Hours: 9-10 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 3-4 p.m. Tuesdays, or by appointment
    Phone: Office, 856-5589 (has voice mail). Home, 339-1252 (before 9 p.m.; has answering machine)
    e-mail: rabeam@indiana.edu
    Home page: http:
    AI: Ryan Piurek
    Prerequisites: J200, J201 and J210 or by permission
    Meeting times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Withdrawal: Wednesday, Oct. 28 Final project: Due to my mailbox by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14.
    Newspaper Editing teaches the mechancial and intellectual skills used to prepare newspaper content for print and online publication. Professional journalists know that thoughtful editing enhances reporting, writing and visual communication. That's why most good journalism schools teach editing, and that's why students who want to be reporters or designers can benefit from an editing course. Newspaper Editing should benefit you in other ways, too: It will expand your repertoire of journalistic skills, which should make you a more valuable employee because you'll be more versatile. It will hone your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which are keys to succeeding in any professional career. It will acquaint you with issues and challenges facing the newspaper business in the late 1990s, which should make you a more savvy news consumer. It will explore job prospects for those with strong editing skills, which may help you decide what kind of work you'll seek after graduation.
    Learning Goals
  • Upon successfully completing Newspaper Editing, you should be able to:
  • Evaluate and decide how to handle content intended for publication in general-circulation and specialized newspapers. Understand jargon that newspaper editors use in their work.
  • Thoughtfully critique newspapers.
  • Identify and repair structural problems in writing, such as inelegant sentence composition and ineffective story organization.
  • Identify and repair mechanical problems in writing, such as errors in AP style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax and word usage.
  • Write high-quality display text (headlines, drop heads, jump heads, summary drop heads, photo captions) for news, feature and visual content.
  • Select, organize and compile a story from multiple sources.
  • Crop, size and scale photographs, both manually and using Photoshop.
  • Lay out newspaper pages of simple to moderate complexity using QuarkXPress.
  • Understand the filing practices of the Associated Press news service.
  • Manage dispatches that the AP files during one publication cycle.
  • Write, edit and organize content (at an elementary level) for publication on a Web site.
  • Create a simple informational Web site using Netscape Navigator.
  • Classroom Decorum and Policies
    We'll meet twice a week for two-hour labs. I want the lab to be a loose, professional setting. With some exceptions, it's OK to talk with your colleagues, swap information and help out one another just as you would in a newsroom. The exceptions are lab presentations and assignments on which you're asked not to collaborate. School of Journalism policies prohibit smoking, drinking or eating in the lab. Please follow those policies. Eat or drink in the hallway. Smoke outside the building. While in class, please respect the dignity of fellow students, instructional assistants, faculty and support staff, just as you would in a work setting. Show respect to people without regard to their gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability.
    Course Materials
    Here are materials you'll need:
  • A recent edition of The Associated Press Stylebook, which you should bring to each lab. You'll use this book frequently, so I'd recommend you buy your own copy.
  • The Newspaper Designer's Handbook (4th), by Harrower. This is an excellent book on layout and design written by a graphics editor at The Oregonian in Portland. It's the kind of book you might want to keep, so I'd recommend you buy your own copy.
  • Editing for Clear Communication, by Lieb. This is an editing workbook. We'll do a lot of assignments that will be torn out of the book and turned in.
  • A dictionary. Buy a cheap pocket dictionary and bring it to each lab.
  • To function effectively in lab, you'll also need to keep up with the news. Read the IDS daily. Try to scan at least one general-circulation daily newspaper (i.e., The Herald-Times, The Indianapolis Star, The New York Times, The Louisville Courier-Journal) several times a week. Besides the reading materials, you'll need access to a pica pole (also called a pica stick or pica ruler) for one or two assignments. You'll use this for page layout and photo editing. If you buy a pica pole, get one that's 12 inches or longer.
    Assignments and Grading
    The final course grade will be based on Grammar School and design exercises from your texts, regular lab assignments and a final project.
  • The Grammar School and design exercises will count for 30 percent of the course grade. Most of these will be take-home assignments. The Grammar School exercises focus on improving language skills ( grammar, punctuation, AP style, spelling and word usage. The design exercises prepare you for page layout.
  • The regular lab assignments count for 60 percent of the course grade. Most of these assignments will be done in class, though occasionally you'll have homework. The regular assignments focus on headline writing, word editing, page layout and news decision-making. For some assignments, you'll turn in the work, it will be critiqued, and then you'll be expected to revise the assignment for a recorded grade.
  • A final lab assignment will count for 10 percent of the course grade and will be done in place of a final exam.
  • Final course grades will be computed this way: I'll total the points for each category of assignments (Grammar School/design, regular lab, final project). I'll assign a letter grade according to the scale below. I'll weight these letter grades as I've promised. I'll assign a course grade according to the scale below.
    Here's the grading scale:
    The final grade computed using the process described above will be your "floor" grade ( you won't get a grade lower than that. But if you've consistently performed above your floor grade during the last four weeks of the term and if you've worked diligently throughout the term, I might raise your final grade.

    Late Work
    As you know, deadlines are important in journalistic work. Consequently, they're important here, too. Please be mindful of how much impact late work can have on your grade. Assume that all assignments are due at the start of class unless you're told otherwise. Assignments that come in after the start of class will be considered late.
    In some circumstances, I'll extend deadlines on regular assignments or the final project if you have a good reason for seeking an extension and if you ask in advance. An extension is entirely at my discretion. An example of a good reason would be a serious illness or a circumstance clearly beyond your control.

    What about other course policies?
    About the instructors
    Here's background on the two of us who will be teaching the course.
    Randy Beam: This is my fourth year at IU. I've taught journalism at the University of Oregon and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I received a doctorate in mass communication. I have a master's degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My professional experience includes about 12 years of work at daily and weekly newspapers, mostly in editing jobs. I was managing editor of the Flaherty Division of Pacific Media Group, a company that publishes about a dozen community weekly and monthly papers in the Seattle area. Before that, I was assistant national editor at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer (circ. 220,000), night copy desk chief at the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald (circ. 230,000) and copy desk chief at Grand Island (Neb.) Independent (circ. 23,000). During school, I had part-time reporting and editing jobs at the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal, Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal and Journal Newspapers of Springfield, Va. I was on leave last year managing continuing education programs in computer graphics, multimedia, data communications and technical writing and editing.
    Ryan Piurek: Biography to come later.
    Tentative course schedule
    Here's a tentative course schedule. As the semester goes on, I may adjust the schedule to devote more or less attention to topics we'll cover or to take advantage of speakers visiting campus. NDH stands for Newspaper Designer's Handbook; ECC stands for Editing for Clear Communication); and AP stands for AP Stylebook and Libel Manual. Readings should be completed before the class in which they're listed.
    Date Topic, readings and assignments
    9/1 Introduction to course. Introduction to QuarkXPress.
    9/3 Topic: Headline writing. Readings: ECC pp. 235-246 (to "Advertising Headlines" and pp. 251-263 ("Headline Helpers" to end). Assignments: Critique headlines. Asgn 1: Rewrite news headlines.
    9/8 Headline writing, AP Style. Final project assignment. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 8-10. Do exercises on pp. 11-17. Due 9/15 at start of lab. Readings: Handouts "How to Take Criticism Gracefully, "Empty heads," "Remove reader hurdles" and "Headline strategies conserve time." Assignments: Revise Asgn 1. Asgn 2: Write news headlines.
    9/10 Feature headlines. Readings: ECC pp. 246-251 ("Advertising Headlines" to "Headline Helpers). Assignments: Revise Asgn 2. Asgn 3: Write feature headlines.
    9/15 Headlines. ECC exercises pp. 11-17 due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 47-50. Do exercise on p. 55. Due 9/22 at start of lab. Assignments: Revise Asgn 3. Asgn 4: News and feature headlines.
    9/17 Improving copy. Readings: ECC pp. 275-277, 302-305; handouts "The New York Times letter," "Combat story clutter," "Tight and bright," "Stuffing the suitcase," "Prepositions cloud good writing, if you know what I mean." Assignments: Asgn 5: Eliminating clutter in writing.
    9/22 Improving writing. ECC exercise p. 55 due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 81-85. Do exercises pp. 87-91. Due 9/29 at start of lab. Readings: Handouts "Snake Rules," "Newsspeak," "A manner of speaking," "Journalese: A Guide" and "Cliches to live by." Assignments: Asgn 6: Revising to eliminate cliches, journalese and to create better prose.
    9/24 Mini-exam. Asgn 7: 50-point assignment on writing headlines and improving copy.
    9/29 Common content lapses. ECC exercises pp. 87-91 due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 121-122, handout "Misplaced modifiers." Do exercises pp. 123-125. Due 10/6 at start of lab. Readings: ECC pp. 59-73. Assignments: Asgn 8: Recognizing common content problems.
    10/1 Fact problems in copy. Readings: ECC pp. 93-113. Assignments: Revise Asgn 8. Asgn 9: Recognizing fact problems in copy.
    10/6 More on content lapses. ECC exercises pp. 123-125 due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC 156-161. Do exercises pp. 163-167. Due 10/13 at start of lab. Readings: Handout "Finding truth in numbers." Also review section of stylebook on handling numerals. Assignments: Revise Asgn 9. Asgn 10: Recognizing problems with numbers.
    10/8 Sensitive copy. Readings: ECC pp. 127-142 (to "Copyright"). Assignments: Asgn 11: Handling sensitive copy.
    10/13 More on sensitive copy. ECC exercises pp. 163-167 due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 189-196. Do exercises pp. 197-204. Due 10/20 at start of lab. Readings: Handouts "Ten bugaboos" and "Ten ways to improve readability." Revise Asgn. 11 or do Asgn 12: Handling sensitive copy, Part 2. 10/15 TBA.
    10/20 Sensitivity and taste; handling quotes. ECC exercises pp. 197-204 due at start of lab. Takehome: Week off. Readings: ECC pp. 205-226 and pp. 227-228. Assignments: Asgn 13: Handling sensitive copy, quote problems.
    10/22 Assignments: Revise Asgn 13.
    10/27 AP filing practices, managing the wire. Takehome: Read handout "Editors cite 50 common writing errors" and read ECC pp. 365-370. Do handout exercise on grammar and usage. Due 11/3 at start of lab. Readings: Handouts "Wires get wired," "Supplemental wires vie or clients" and filing practices section in AP. Assignments: Asgn 14: Managing the wire.
    10/29 Organizing and compiling wire stories. Assignments: Asgn 15: Compiling wire stories.
    11/3 Assignments: Revise or complete Asgn 15. Grammar and usage handout exercise due at start of lab. Takehome: Read ECC pp. 399-405 and pp 423-430. Do handout exercise on usage. Due 11/10 at start of class.
    11/5 100-point lab assignment (Asgn 16) covering all material to this point.
    11/10* Design fundamentals. Usage exercise due at start of lab. Readings: NDH pp. 2-37. Assignments: Asgn 17 on design fundamentals, features of QuarkXPress.
    11/12* Story design. Takehome: Read 94-120. Do handout exercise on cropping, sizing and scaling. Due 11/17 at start of lab. Readings: NDH pp. 42-64. Assignments: Asgn 18 on story design.
    11/17* Using Photoshop to handle photos. Cropping, sizing and scaling exercise due at start of lab. Assignments: Asgn 19: Handling photos, writing cutlines.
    11/19* Page design. Readings: NDH pp. 68-89. Asgn 20: Page design plus editing.
    11/24* Page design. Assignments: Complete Asgn 20.
    11/26 No class. Thanksgiving holiday.
    12/1 Web workshop for final assignment. Readings TBA.
    12/3 Web workshop for final assignment.
    12/8 Web workshop for final assignment.
    12/10 Final assignments demonstrated.

    JOMC 57 News Editing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bill Cloud
    Spring 1999
    (Site manager's note: Bill Cloud's syllabus is a QuarkXPress document done with good humor and fun that are hard to capture here. What follows is a basic rendering of the syllabus. Bill says he will be happy to send hardcopy to anyone requesting it.)
    The Professor: George William "Bill" Cloud, associate professor.
    Office hours: 2-2:30 p.m. MW; 1:30-1:45 p.m. TR.
    E-mail address: bill_cloud@unc.edu
    Phone: Office: 962-4070. Home: 967-5522.
    Personal data: Married (Gail), two children (Amy, 20, a junior at William and Mary; Daniel, 18, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington), one cat (Evita, 8). Former newspaper copy editor (Miami Herald, Newsday). Joined faculty in January 1982.
    The game
    Like word puzzles? Like trivia quizzes? Like working with a computer? JOMC 57 combines word and thinking skills and blends them with design and digital dexterity to present students with a challenge.
    The goal
    Not to get a good grade, but rather to improve as much as you can in a field that can be both perplexing and pleasing.
    The gains
  • Greater grasp of grammar and work use.
  • Accentuated analytical ability.
  • Competence with QuarkXPress.
  • Pride in productive performance under pressure.
  • The grand prize
    A career. Every semester, a few students find that copyediting fulfills them. They go on to careers that have led to jobs at such papers as The Washington Post and The Sun of Baltimore.
    The rules
  • Be here on time.
  • Be here for every class.
  • Be prepared for questions on the day's assigned readings. You may not make up missed work in this class, with two exceptions:
  • Peripherals to possess
  • News editing notebook.
  • The Associated Press Stylebook, a recent edition.
  • The School of Journalism and Mass Communication Stylebook, January 1998 edition.
  • Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition.
  • "Working With Words, a Concise Handbook for Media Writers and Editors," third edition, by Brooks, Pinson and Gaddy Wilson, St. Martin's Press.
  • Pencils with soft lead or erasable pen.

  • The scoring system
  • Five-minute quizzes, unannounced, 20 points each, 11 total (est.); drop one grade or miss ..... 200
  • Style quizzes, scheduled, 50 points each, five total, drop one grade or miss ..... 200
  • Major tests, scheduled, 100 points each, three total, (missed test may be dropped in place of an editing assignment drop) ..... 300
  • Editing assignments, most classes, 18 total (est.), drop two lowest grades or misses ..... 1,600
  • Final editing assignment, last class period ..... 500
  • Total points possible (est., after drops) ..... 2,800
  • In addition, bonus points will be added to your total.
    I'll divide your point total, after drops, by the total of semester points, after drops, and award grades on this scale:
    90-100 A
    80-89 B
    70-79 C
    60-69 D
    0-59 F

  • Major factual error, -50.
  • Misspelled name (unless you can't check it), omitting a first reference, other name error, -50.
  • Flagrant libel, -50.
  • Unquoted material in quotation marks, altered quote, -25.
  • Misspelled word (indicated by "Sp") -10.
  • Garbled text (Garble), -10.
  • Bad word choice (WC), -5.
  • Grammar error (common mistakes: verb, noun, pronoun disagreement; use of comma to separate subject and predicate), (Gram), -10.
  • Major punctuation error (almost all punctuation errors, but especially failure to close appositives, end quotations, hyphenate compound modifiers or place a comma at the end of an introductory clause or phrase) (Punct), -5.
  • Minor punctuation errors (including improper use or omission of a comma before an "and," stray extra periods) (Punct), -3.
  • AP, local style error (AP, Loc), -3.
  • Not New Word Dictionary spelling (NWD), -3. (Note: Stylebooks take precedence over dictionary.)
  • No name on story, -10.
  • Wrong slug on story, -5.
  • Late work, -10 or no credit.
  • Too long or too short: per line under desired length range: -5. per line over desired length: -10.
  • Other offense (Oops, Arrgh), -3 to -25.



    Rewards: I'll award what I deem to be good editing with 2, 4, 8 or 12 points at each occurrence. You can earn these points by polishing ledes, tightening wordy copy, improving sentence structure and otherwise improving stories.

    Headlines are worth 25 points each. I'll follow these guidelines:
    25 (A) Headline shows special flair; it does an unusually good job of attracting readers, either through cleverness or by encapsulating the story clearly and forcefully.
    23 (A-) Solid, publishable headline. It is clear, attracts interest in the first line, focuses precisely on this story.
    21 (B) Headline might be usable, but it lacks precision or it delays stating the key words or giving the active elements in the story.
    19 (C) Headline is too general or is too difficult to understand. It may split awkwardly from line to line; it lacks a "to be" form with the passive verb as the second verb in the headline.
    17 (D+) Headline contains a major flaw; it's a first-day headline on a second-day story; it splits very awkwardly from line to line; it contains a minor punctuation error, such as use of a semicolon where a comma belongs; it is misleading or very difficult to understand; it is offensive or has inappropriate double meanings.
    0 (F) Headline contains a grammatical error, such as subject-verb, pronoun-antecedent disagreement, or it has a misspelled word or is blatantly libelous.
    These are general guidelines; other factors not listed may affect your grade. In addition, a good quality may make up for a bad one, such as good content in a headline making a bad split more acceptable, or vice versa.
    Picture cutlines also are worth 25 points. Some guidelines:
    25 (A) Cutline shows special flair; it does an unusually good job of attracting readers, especially by explaining the picture and complementing its related headline.
    23 (A) Solid, publishable cutline that works well with the picture and the related headline to complement the story.
    21 (B) Cutline might be usable, but it's imprecise or incomplete.
    19 (C) Cutline is too general; it leaves important points unexplained; it repeats information in the story's headline or in other related elements.
    17 (D+) Cutline contains a major flaw; it fails to identify people or important elements in the picture; it mislabels people in the picture.
    In addition, grammar, spelling, style and name errors will be deducted from cutlines as they are from stories. A long cutline is worth 50 points, 25 each for the headline and text block.
    Layouts, pictures
    Point averaging: Most lab editing assignments will be worth 100 points. When headlines, cutlines, layouts, more than one story are included, your point total will be divided by the total points possible and multiplied by 100 to obtain your grade on that day's work.
    Side bets
    Win Bill Cloud's points.
    Maximum earnings per student: 25 points (not counting current events challenge).
    The Quest: Unlocking basic secrets
    Do the readings before you come to class.
    1. Wednesday, Jan. 6: Welcome - Going mouseless, learning the red-flag rules, writing your autobiography. Readings: computer editing manual: Digesting the system, Pages 3-7; Editing the story, Pages 8-12; Using the spelling program, Page 13; Searching out your problems, Pages 14-15; Printing and quitting, Page 16.
    2. Monday, Jan. 11: Punctuation, grammar, picky things. Readings: LOCAL STYLEBOOK: The P-Sheet, Pages 42-43. AP STYLEBOOK: Punctuation guide; who, whom; essential clauses, nonessential clauses; it's, its; their, there, they're. WORKING WITH WORDS: Review Chapters 1-6; study Chapter 7.
    3. Wednesday, Jan. 13: First style quiz; one word, two words, hyphenated? Readings: EDITING NOTEBOOK: Procedure for editing, Pages 9-10; About names and titles, Page 11. SYLLABUS: Taking style to heart, Page 4. AP STYLEBOOK: Ages, addresses, capitalization, months, numerals, titles, tomorrow, yesterday. !!!Closed-book quiz on style basics. The Quest: Searching for clarity and accuracy
    Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr.
    Day 4. Wednesday, Jan. 20: Trimming wordiness; first graded exercise. Readings: SYLLABUS: Scoring system, Pages 2-3; Code of conduct, Page 5. WORKING WITH WORDS: Chapters 8-9.
    5. Monday, Jan. 25: Creating a "sty"; editing to length. Readings: computer editing manual: Working with XPress, Pages 17-21; Making a story fit, Pages 22-24; Rescue me! Page 25.
    6. Wednesday, Jan. 27: In reference to references. Readings: computer editing manual: Fact-checking, Pages 26-32. EDITING NOTEBOOK: 50 common writing errors, Pages 1-7.
    7. Monday, Feb. 1: Editing quotes. Readings: EDITING NOTEBOOK: Editing quotes, Pages 13-28. !!! 100-point test: 50 common writing errors. The Quest: Riddle of the headline
    8. Wednesday, Feb. 3: Headlines. Readings: EDITING NOTEBOOK: Headlines, Pages 49-57. computer editing manual: Writing headlines, Pages 37-38. AP STYLEBOOK: All of A-E, especially abbreviations and acronyms, academic degrees, departments, composition titles, courtesy titles, datelines, dimensions, distances, directions, ellipses. LOCAL STYLEBOOK: Academic courses, academic titles, academic units, abbreviations and acronyms, courtesy titles, datelines, Indiana University, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. !!!OPEN-BOOK QUIZ ON STYLE POINTS.
    9. Monday, Feb. 8: Attribution; headline practice exercise.
    10. Wednesday, Feb. 10: Placing heds on stories; back to editing. Readings: COMPUTER EDITING MANUAL: Making room for a headline, Pages 34-36. AP STYLEBOOK: F-O, especially sections on fractions, governmental bodies, grades, highway designations, holidays, legislative titles, legislature, millions, billions, nicknames, organizations-institutions. LOCAL STYLEBOOK: Fractions, General Assembly, legislative titles. !!!OPEN-BOOK QUIZ ON STYLE POINTS.
    11. Monday, Feb. 15: Dek headlines. The Quest: Code of the wires
    12. Wednesday, Feb. 17: Editing wire service copy. Readings: COMPUTER EDITING MANUAL: Cleaning up wire copy, Page 39. EDITING NOTEBOOK: Wire service glossary, Pages 39-47. AP STYLEBOOK: P-Z, especially sections on parentheses, party affiliation, percentages, political parties and philosophies, race, state names, temperatures, time element, times.. LOCAL STYLEBOOK: Time, date, place, state names. !!!OPEN-BOOK QUIZ ON STYLE POINTS
    13. Monday, Feb. 22: Watching out for wirewrite LOCAL STYLEBOOK: that, this and that, Pages 16-17. !!100-point test: Wire Terminology.
    14. Wednesday, Feb. 24: Midsemester conferences. The quest: Confronting hidden pitfalls
    15. Monday, March 1: Dealing with numbers. EDITING NOTEBOOK: Dealing with numbers, Pages 29-38.
    16. Wednesday, March 3: Editing a graphic. !!100-point test: numbers problems, terminology.
    17. Monday, March 15: Watching out for bias. Readings: WORKING WITH WORDS: Chapter 10. AP STYLEBOOK: foreign names; Arabic names; Chinese names; Russian names; Spanish and Portuguese names.
    18. Wednesday, March 17: Polishing skills.
    19. Monday, March 22: Handling a roundup. Readings: LOCAL STYLEBOOK: All of style section. !!!OPEN-BOOK QUIZ ON YOU KNOW WHAT. The Quest: Message under the picture
    20. Wednesday, March 24: Pictures and cutlines. Readings: EDITING NOTEBOOK: Cutlines, Pages 59-64. Computer editing manual: Placing a picture, Pages 40-41; Placing a cutline, Pages 42-43.
    21. Monday, March 29: Cutlines and stories. Readings: Computer editing manual: Picture-story relationships, Pages 46-47.
    22. Wednesday, March 31: More cutline work. The Quest: hidden power of placement
    23. Monday, April 5: Laying out pages. Readings: EDITING NOTEBOOK: Newspaper page design, Pages 65-72. Computer editing manual: Finishing an XPress file, Page 45; Layout quick reference, Pages 48-49; Layout cheat sheet, Page 50.
    24. Wednesday, April 7: More on layout. The Quest: journey to competence
    25. Monday, April 12: Bringing it all together.
    26. Wednesday, April 14: Practice. Emphasis: fact-checking.
    27. Monday, April 19: Practice: Emphasis: wire stories.
    28. Wednesday, April 21: More practice. The Quest: final challenge
    29. Monday, April 26: Review for final.
    30. Wednesday, April 28: Final exercise (500 points).

    JOMC 157 Advanced New Editing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
    Bill Cloud
    Spring 1999

    The Professor is in ...
    The instructor: George William "Bill" Cloud, associate professor (just a Mr., not a Dr.).
    Office hours: 2-2:30 p.m. MW, 1:30-1:45 p.m.TR and by appointment.
    General College hours: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. MW.
    E-mail: bill_cloud@unc.edu
    Phone: Office: 919-962-4070. Home: 818-967-5522.
    Personal data: Married (Gail), two children (Amy, 20; Daniel, 18), one cat (Evita). Former newspaper copy editor (Miami Herald, Newsday). Joined faculty in January 1982.

    Welcome, editors
    Welcome to JOMC 157. In this class, our exercises and our readings will focus on skills that copy editors will need on newspapers. Our topics include:
    What you'll use
  • The Associated Press Stylebook.
  • The local stylebook.
  • Webster's New World Dictionary.
  • Cappon, Rene J., "The Word: An Associated Press Guide to Good News Writing," second edition, 1991, The Associated Press.
  • Moen, Daryl, "Newspaper Layout & Design, a Team Approach," third edition, 1995, Iowa State University Press.

  • Required reserve reading: Evans, Harold, "Pictures on a Page" (copies of chapters on reserve for JOMC 157).
    How you'll be graded
    Grading for JOMC 157 will be similar to grading on JOMC 57 although standards will be applied more strictly. Most exercises will be worth 100 points each, but three major editing exercises will be worth 200 points each. On all editing assignments, headlines will represent a larger part of the total grade. Class attendance is essential. No one will be allowed to make up a 100-point assignment unless the miss is due to a university-related event and the makeup date is arranged in advance. If you are sick for more than one class period, or if illness forces you to miss a 200-point assignment, makeups will be permitted. I'll drop a studentÕs lowest grade on a 100-point exercise. If you miss a class in which no graded assignment is given, you'll lose your right to that drop.
    How to lose points:
  • Major factual error, -50.
  • Misspelled name (unless you can't check it), missing first reference, other name error, -50.
  • Flagrant libel, -50.
  • Unquoted material in quotation marks, altered quote, -25.
  • Misspelled word, -10.
  • Bad word choice, -5.
  • Failing to please Cappon, -3 to -5.
  • Awkward phrasing, -3 to -5.
  • Verb, noun, pronoun disagreement, -10.
  • Major punctuation error (including failure to complete quote mark and comma enclosures), -5.
  • Minor punctuation errors (including improper use or omission of a comma before an "and)," -3.
  • Garble, -10.
  • Grammar error, including a comma left between subject and predicate, -10.
  • AP, local style error , -3.
  • Not New World Dictionary spelling, -3. (Note: Stylebooks take precedence over dictionary.)
  • No name on copy, -10.
  • Late work, -10.
  • Too long or too short:
  • Other offenses, -3 to -25.
  • How to gain points: I'll award what I deem to be good editing with 2, 4, 8 or 12 points at each occurrence. You can earn these points by polishing ledes, tightening wordy copy, improving sentence structure and generally doing what is necessary to make stories read more smoothly.
    The main headline with a story or package will be worth 50 points. Other headlines (including all heds in a briefs column) are worth 25 points each. The following deductions will be made:
  • Too long, no credit.
  • Misspelled word, no credit.
  • Major grammatical error, no credit.
  • Too short, -3 to -10.
  • I'll follow these guidelines for headlines:
    50 (A) Headline shows special flair; it does an unusually good job of attracting readers, either through cleverness or by encapsulating the story clearly and forcefully.
    46 (A-) Solid, publishable headline. It is clear, attracts interest in the first line, focuses precisely on this story.
    42 (B) Headline might be usable, but it lacks precision or it delays stating the key words or giving the active elements in the story.
    38 (C) Headline is too general or is too difficult to understand. It may split awkwardly from line to line; it lacks a "to be" form with the passive verb as the second verb in the headline.
    34 (D+) Headline contains a major flaw; it's a first-day headline on a second-day story; it splits very awkwardly from line to line; it contains a minor punctuation error, such as use of a semicolon where a comma belongs; it is misleading or very difficult to understand; it is offensive or has inappropriate double meanings.
    0 (F) Headline contains a grammatical error, such as subject-verb, pronoun-antecedent disagreement, or it has a misspelled word or is blatantly libelous.
    These are general guidelines; other factors not listed may affect your grade. In addition, a good quality may make up for a bad one, such as good content in a headline making a bad split more acceptable, or vice versa.
    Cutlines are worth 25 points. I'll follow these guidelines:
    25 (A) Cutline shows special flair; it does an unusually good job of attracting readers, especially by explaining the picture and complementing its related headline.
    23 (A) Solid, publishable cutline that works well with the picture and the related headline to complement the story.
    21 (B) Cutline might be usable, but it lacks precision or is incomplete.
    19 (C) Cutline is too general; it leaves important points unexplained; it repeats information in the story's headline or in other related elements.
    17 (D+) Cutline contains a major flaw; it fails to identify people or important elements in the picture; it mislabels people in the picture. In addition, grammar, spelling, style and name errors will be deducted from cutlines as they are from stories.

    Layout assignments
    Every layout assignment will be worth 100 points. On one assignment (students will do them at varying times), you'll do a full-size mock-up of the page using QuarkXPress. You'll receive an additional 100-point grade for how well you do the mock-up. See the grading sheets on Pages 5 and 6 in the handouts.
    Attention memos
    Twice during the semester, you are to turn in short reports on articles you've read in trade journals. The reports will be due on Jan. 28 and April 1. See instructions on Page 7 of the handouts. Each memo is worth 50 points.
    Tests and quizzes
    There will be three 50-point style quizzes and two 100-point word-use quizzes. There will be a traditional midterm test and a traditional final, each worth 300 points, covering lectures and your readings. There may be 20-point pop quizzes.
    Your final grade
    As long as you've missed no classes (whether or not graded work was done), I'll drop your lowest 100-point grade and divide your total points by the total possible points. I'll award grades based on the resulting percentage using this scale:
    90-100 A
    80-89 B
    70-79 C
    60-69 D
    0- 59 F

    Semester Schedule
    1. Thu., Jan. 7: Quarking the newspaper "Quarking the Newspaper," handout.
    2. Tue., Jan. 12: Type use, photo relativity Moen, Chaps. 8-10.
    3. Thu., Jan. 14: The front page Moen, Preface, Chaps. 1-4.
    4. Tue., Jan. 19: Front page, continued.
    5. Thu., Jan. 21: Picture cropping Evans assignment due Moen, Chap. 5; Evans reserve readings.
    6. Tue., Jan. 26: Front page Moen, Chaps. 11-12.
    7. Thu., Jan. 28: Front page Attention memo No. 1 due
    8. Tue., Feb. 2: Major test on readings.
    9. Thu., Feb. 4: Headlines AP quiz (50 points) A-K AP Stylebook.
    10. Tue., Feb. 9: More on headlines AP quiz (50 points) L-Z AP Stylebook.
    11. Thu., Feb. 11: Feature (featury?) headlines.
    12. Tue., Feb. 16: Team layout and headline exercise (bonus points) Local style quiz (50 points)
    13. Thu., Feb. 18: Major headline exercise (200 points) Local stylebook.
    14. Tue., Feb. 23: Cutline, editing review Moen, Chap. 13.
    15. Thu., Feb. 25: Inside pages, editing (do inside page; edit one story). Cappon, Chaps. 1-5.
    16. Tue., Mar. 2: Inside pages, editing (do inside page; edit one story) Cappon, Chaps. 6-8, 12-13.
    17. Thu., Mar. 4: Major team exercise (bonus points) Spring break week.
    18. Tue., Mar. 16: Briefs column.
    19. Thu., Mar. 18: Segmenting.
    20. Tue., Mar. 23: AP pairs quiz (100 points) Handouts, Pages 5,6.
    21. Thu., Mar. 25: Information graphics Moen, Chaps. 6-7.
    22. Tue., Mar. 30: Combining stories.
    23. Thu., Apr. 1: Major editing exercise (200 points) Attention memo No. 2 due.
    24. Tue., Apr. 6: Feature page layout, word use I Moen, Chaps. 14-19, especially Chaps. 15 and 18; Handouts, Pages 9, 10.
    25. Thu., Apr. 8: Editing features, word use II Cappon, Chaps. 9-11; Handouts, Pages 11, 12.
    26. Tue., Apr. 13: Editing features, word use III Handouts, Pages 13, 14.
    27. Thu., Apr. 15: People column, word use IV Handouts, Pages 15, 16 (team exercise?).
    28. Tue., Apr. 20: Editing features Word use quiz (100 points).
    29. Thu., Apr. 22: Food pages, editing a recipe.
    30. Tue., Apr. 27: Editing features.
    31. Thu., Apr. 29: Major feature editing exercise (200 points)
    Thurs., May 6, 4 p.m. (3:30 class time slot): Final test (300 points). Cappon, Moen readings, lectures since last test .

    Principles of Editing 280, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Charlyne Berens
    Fall 1999
    Lecture: 9:30 -10:50 a.m. Monday, Avery 108D
    Laboratory: 9:30-10:50 a.m. Wednesday or Friday, Avery 108
    Charlyne Berens
    Assistant professor
    FAX 472-8597
    110 Avery Hall, City Campus 0132
    e-mail: cberens@unlserve.unl.edu
    Goal of the course:
    Principles of Editing is designed to help you learn and apply the purpose and techniques of editing. Upon completing the course, you will be expected to know:
    Course description:
    The course will include study and practice in techniques of editing, fundamentals of line editing, news judgment, ethics and decision-making. Exercises are designed to promote constructive criticism of the work of others and of your own writing, a skill that is valuable in any discipline. The course is also designed to prepare you for advanced courses in editing and writing.
    The course will consist of lecture/discussion sections on Mondays and lab/discussion sections on Wednesdays and Fridays.
    No student may take this course pass/no pass. You may withdraw from the course according to the guidelines in the Schedule of Classes. "Incompletes" will be granted only in unusual circumstances and almost never to someone with a grade below a C.
    Required texts:
    Required reading:
    You must read a daily newspaper regularly and be prepared for quizzes on current news topics. Choose at least one of the following -- the more the better: USA TODAY, The Journalist, The Lincoln Journal Star, the Omaha World-Herald, the Daily Nebraskan
    Assignments, readings and examinations:
    Reading assignments listed for a particular week should be completed by the time you come to lab that week. Lab exercises will be based, at least in part, on material I will expect you to have read by that time. Assignments/exercises given to you during your lab session will be due at your lab session one week later. They are designed to give you practice in applying the particular skills you read about and discuss that week and in all previous weeks.
    Each week after the middle of the semester, editing assignments will be posted under your name in the Macintosh computers in Room 108. You may do your editing on these computers or save the assignments on disk and do them on any Macintosh available to you. You will have one week to complete the assignments. They are due when your laboratory meets each week.
    It will soon become obvious to you that you will have access to other people's work on the computers. Some of you may be tempted simply to copy another student's work into your own file. Don't try it! It is cheating, and it becomes very obvious very quickly that such a scam is under way. Just do your own work and learn as much as you can by doing it.
    Because the material for this course includes so much detail, I have lowered the percentages required for each grade. Generally, a grade of 95 percent or above is an A+; 87-95 percent is an A; 80-86 percent is a B+; 73-79 percent is a B; 66-72 percent is a C+; 59-65 percent is a C; 52-58 percent is a D+; 45-51 percent is a D; anything below 45 percent is an F.
    The tests will be, primarily, application of the skills you learn in class, from your readings and by doing your weekly assignments. Some news questions will also be included.
    Grades for late assignments will go down by an entire grade for every day the assignment is late. However, every assignment must be completed before the end of the course.
    Aug. 23 Week 1 Introduction to line Frazell, Intro & editing; the Big Chapter 1, through p. 36 Ten of Line Editing Kessler, Ch. 1&2.
    Aug. 30 Week 2 Introduction to style; AP Stylebook how to use a stylebook Frazell, pp. 36-50.
    No Monday class because of Labor Day. Labs meet as usual.
    Sept. 6 Week 3 Writing style rules AP Stylebook; Frazell, Ch. 2.
    Sept. 13 Week 4 The sentence; how to Frazell, Ch. 3, analyze structure pp. 79-100.
    Sept. 20 Week 5 Handling quotations; Frazell, Ch. 3, sequence of tenses pp. 101-105; Kessler, Ch. 7.
    Sept. 27 Week 6 Using the right word. Frazell, pp. 105-118 Words often confused; Kessler, Ch. 4 & 8 troublesome words.
    Oct. 4 Week 7 Review; first test in labs Review all readings.
    Oct. 11 Week 8 The art of the headline. Frazell, Ch. 6.
    No class Monday because of fall break. Labs meet as usual.
    Oct. 18 Week 9 Introduction to Frazell, pp. 157-166. editing wire news.
    Oct. 25 Week 10 Achieving reader Frazell, pp. 143-157 appeal: leads.
    Nov. 1 Week 11 Tightening; dealing Kessler, Ch. 9 with wordiness and redundancy.
    Nov. 8 Week 12 Fairness. Media power Daily Nebraskan stories in packet.
    Nov. 15 Week 13 Troubleshooting: Frazell, pp. 120-142 libel, privacy AP libel manual.
    No labs because of Thanksgiving holiday. Monday class meets as usual.
    Nov. 22 ?? Catch up on whatever we're behind on.
    Nov. 29 Week 14 Troubleshooting; Quiz on libel. plagiarism, hoax, fabrication.
    Dec. 6 Week 15 Review; second test in labs Review all readings.

    The Journalist Style Guide Revised, September 1998
    addresses. Abbreviate street, avenue, boulevard in specific addresses. 1724 D St., 3301 Melrose Ave., 6602 Cotner Blvd. If no specific address is given, no abbreviations are used. Ninth Street, Normal Boulevard. Do not capitalize streets when identifying intersections. 13th and O streets.
    anti-abortion. Use it in preference to pro-life except in direct quotations or in the names of organizations.
    Association of Students of the University of Nebraska. ASUN is acceptable in headlines and in leads, but the full name should appear somewhere in the story.
    Board of Regents. Use "the regents" or "the board" after first reference.
    cities and towns. Do not use "Nebraska," "Neb." or "NE" after the names of Nebraska cities and towns.
    coeds. Do not use. Men and women are students.
    colleges and divisions. Capitalize colleges and divisions within the university. College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Engineering and Technology, College of Fine and Performing Arts, Division of General Studies, College of Human Resources and Family Sciences, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Teachers College. Use "the college" after first reference. See deans and departments.
    datelines. Use the Associated Press logo (AP) only with the name of a city in a dateline. On undated stories (no city of origin is named), spell out The Associated Press on the line above the lead. In datelined leads, follow the AP logo with a dash -, not a hyphen -.
    Do not use Lincoln as a dateline, even in wire stories. All stories originating in Lincoln should be undated.
    deans. Titles should follow their names. John Doe, dean of arts and sciences (not dean of the College of Arts and Sciences).
    departments. For academic departments, capitalize only proper nouns. department of history, department of English, news-editorial department.
    greek. Lower case in reference to fraternities, sororities and their members.
    identification. Students should be identified by class and home town. John Doe, Scottsbluff senior; Jane Doe, Des Moines, Iowa, freshman. NOTE: This is The Journalist's style for identification. It differs from the Daily Nebraskan's.
    Legislature. Do not call it the unicameral (one house) unless the term is pertinent to the context. Members are state senators.
    Medical Center. This is the preferred term for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which may also be called UNMC.
    names. Use last name only after first reference. First names may be used for children 12 years old or younger. If more than one person in a story has the same last name, use both first and last names to avoid confusion. Do not use first names for adults, and do not use honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) except in obituaries.
    pro-choice. Pro-abortion rights or abortion rights advocate is preferred.
    pro-life. Anti-abortion is preferred.
    titles. Most titles should follow the names and are not capitalized. Exceptions include university system President John Doe and University Chancellor Jane Doe. Never use a long title before a name. Jane Doe, NU vice chancellor for student affairs; John Doe, professor (or associate professor or assistant professor) of mathematics, or instructor or lecturer in (not of) mathematics.
    University of Nebraska. Refer to the Lincoln campus as the University of Nebraska, NU or the university. Use University of Nebraska system to refer to the whole, including NU, UNK, UNO and the Medical Center, or to the central administration.
    UNK. Acceptable in all references for University of Nebraska at Kearney.
    UNO. Acceptable in all references for University of Nebraska at Omaha.



    Last updated: Aug. 25, 2002

    Comments: Frank E. Fee Jr.