Final project

You have two choices for your final project.

Everyone will do the research paper editing assignment. How many editors any one paper has depends on the ratio of papers to client projects.

Important point You must have your client project lined up and approved by fall break. I will not approve any after that point. If you do not have a client project approved by then, you'll have to write the research paper.


Client project


Client project from Rude.


You will find a real client project, such as Rude describes. I must approve it; it I don't approve it or you substantially change it afterwards, the project receives a zero.

The project must involve comprehensive editing. Doing a copyedit of a manual does not count.

It must be a real client. You cannot perform an edit on a document, no matter how much it needs it, and then not submit it to the client.

You are the editor, not the writer. If the client wants you to create the document, the project will not be approved.

Definition of real client project

You cannot use projects from your job, from relatives, or other students within the English department. You can edit a dissertation/thesis for someone outside of English. The intent here is that you are acting as true consultant editor and using either your job or relatives will not put you in that position.

Before I'll approve the project, I need:

A description of the work

A letter/note from the client

Turn in on 12/7 

Edited document

Any correspondence you had with the client



Research paper assignment

There are two parts to this assignment. You get to be both the research paper writer (which you have done many times in the past) and act as an editor for another student on their paper. Yes, you'll be writing your paper and editing someone else's. I will assign the writer-editor pairs. You will not be editing the paper of the person who is editing your paper. Because of the projects, three of you have two editors, who will work independently.

The editor assignments are random.

Writer Editor Editor
Brenna Berger Holt, Gloria Nelson, Cliff
David Wheeler Berger, Brenna Barnes, Jennifer 
Vicki H. Lloyd Harris, Laurie  Robinson, Daniel 
Daniel Robinson Gregoire, Renae   
Holt, Gloria Lloyd, Vicki   
Barnes, Jennifer Wheeler, David   
Harris, Laurie Meadows, Jennifer  
Projects Meadows, Jennifer  
  Nelson, William  
  Gregoire, Renae  

Due dates   

11/10 Draft for comprehensive edit. Send to me and your editor. 
An incomplete draft lowers the final grade one letter grade.  Not having a draft lowers final grade 2 letter grades.

11/30 Draft for final edit. Send to your editor.

12/7  Final version to me.
You will turn in: your final paper and both edited copies (the comprehensive edits and the copyedits) that you received from your editor.

Topic:  In a research article of 8-10 double spaced pages, examine a specific issue of editorial practice by reviewing the existing literature.

I've included a folder on the web site which contains a collection of editing articles which you can use as source material. There is no pattern to these articles; when I downloaded them, I was simply looking for any article about editing. If you find others, you can send them to me and I'll include them for future classes.

For the writer

The final version will be formatted as if you were submitting it to an specific academic journal. (The paper will be too short to submit, but you can expand it later.)  Each journal has different submission guidelines, formatting demands, and citation format.  When you submit it to mee, include the journal you are writing for.

With the draft copy on 11/10, you'll need to provide the editor with the style guidelines for the journal you are formatting the document for.

Turn in:   

Final version of the paper
Cover letter addressed to the journal editor
Edited drafts with letters of transmittal from th editor (there will be at least 2)

Being unable to find the editor-marked copies will seriously impact your grade.  Being unable to keep track of files is a display of unprofessionalism on your part.

The assignment requires at least 2 drafts to the editor. Depending on how you and editor decide to work, there may be more drafts. Additional drafts are important if there is substantial rearrangement or other organizational issues found in the first edit,

For the editor (every one will do this part)

You will act as a comprehensive editor for on another student on the paper. For the final copyedit, you are responsible for making sure the document conforms to the submission guidelines for the selected journal.

You will be acting as an editor, not as a co-author. It can be hard to keep these roles distinct in a class environment, but please try.

You will be performing at least one comprehensive edit and one copyedit of the work. Comments may run the range of copyediting remarks, layout advice, or problems with expression, organization, etc. You will write a letter of transmittal for each draft you edit.

You are responsible for getting your edits done promptly to give the author time to make revisions.

The peer-editing comments will be graded for the person doing the editing.  This grade will include general editing techniques (proper mark-up, etc) and quality of editorial comments.  A quick read through and saying “looks good to me” will not get a good grade. Note that this peer editing is 10% of your grade.  Failing to do the editing or not getting the edits to the author reflect a lack on professionalism on your part and will be considered in the grading.


Ideas for the paper

This is the official Call for Proposals that appeared in IEEE Transactions on Professional CommunicationThis may give you ideas on what to write about; you do not have to write a paper addressing its concerns.

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is requesting  proposals for a special issue on “Technical Editing” to be published in  Fall 1997. We are looking specifically for articles that address the  changing nature of technical editing brought on by internet resources,  multi-media, desktop publishing, improved graphic design capabilities,  international audiences, and the rise in freelance editing. Articles  addressing the teaching of technical editing in the college classroom or  the workplace will also be seriously considered. Also, we hope to include  an article on ethics that specifically discusses editors ethical  responsibilities and ethical decisions they must make. Inquiries about  possible subjects should be addressed to the guest editor, …..

A note the guest editor sent to TechWR-L

I am looking for the following types of articles (though I am always willing to consider other ideas):

I encourage you to take advantage of this rare opportunity to improve the  scholarship in our field while sharing your expertise in these areas. Few  articles are printed on technical editing each year (mainly because  technical editors are editing). Here is our opportunity to get our  message out. 

Additional possible topic ideas