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EDIT981 – Language, Writing and Editing

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Adam Smith
Contact via adam.smith@mq.edu.au
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to GradCertEditElecPub or MCrWrit or GradDipCrWrit
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit focuses on language, including variation in grammar, usage and punctuation, and linguistic approaches to writing style, discourse development and readability. It examines the features of different text types, spoken and written, as well as those evolving on the internet. It discusses communicative approaches to writing, including plain English for mediating complex content, and promotional writing for advertising purposes. It includes modules on editing Aboriginal English, and on academic writing and editing, especially theses and journal articles.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  2. Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  3. Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  4. Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  5. Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Online discussion 1 20% 03/09/17
Punctuation 20% 01/10/17
Online discussion 2 20% 29/10/17
Practical work (2 options) 40% 19/11/17

Online discussion 1

Due: 03/09/17
Weighting: 20%

The first assessable discussion of this unit focuses on nominal style and the extent to which nominalizations are essential to the discipline or type of discourse, or unnecessary to it. Your task is to find:

(i) a short paragraph in which nominalizations are part of the professional language of writers in the discipline (= essential nominalizations)

(ii) a short paragraph in which nominalizations are unnecessary for the communication, or perhaps a deliberate strategy to mask difficult information which will be unwelcome, for whatever reason (= nonessential nominalizations)


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Punctuation

Due: 01/10/17
Weighting: 20%

Your punctuation assignment is to repunctuate a passage from an Australian short story which has had all its punctuation removed.  Your punctuation should make the syntactic structure and meaning of the passage clear, while indicating features such as direct speech, titles, etc. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes

Online discussion 2

Due: 29/10/17
Weighting: 20%

Your task is to find two short pieces of electronic communication (say 2 to 3 sentences each), which contrast spoken and written styles of English as much as possible. They can be taken from any of the electronic media you access regularly.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes

Practical work (2 options)

Due: 19/11/17
Weighting: 40%

OPTION 1: Promotional writing

Choose any two books, one (a) from the general trade area of publishing, the other (b) from the professional/educational area.

For each of them, write copy for

  • the banner for electronic advertising
  • the feature line for a single-page advertisement (or the front side of a leaflet/flyer).  You should also indicate in a couple of sentences what graphics you’d suggest to go with the feature line, to support the intended message and ensure its impact.
  • two or three paragraphs for the back cover of the book

OPTION 2: Scholarly editing

Project yourself into the role of an editorial project manager responsible for producing an anthology of scholarly articles in a particular field (in print or online).

Your task is to create a cohesive collection of fresh papers in a specialized field with which you are familiar.  Such papers often appear first in the “working papers” of a university or academic discipline, and are easily found on the web via a Google search >> working papers education/ geography/ linguistics.  You should select five interesting papers from at least two different sources publishing during the last five years, to make a coherent set with a common topic or theme. 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes

Delivery and Resources

Students will require Internet access with a reliable web browser and e-mail facility, and must be able to play back recorded lectures (audio only).

Unit Schedule

Week 1                 Grammar in the context of editing

Week 2                 Sentence patterns                                                                          

Week 3                 Nominal and verbal style

Week 4                 Cohesion and coherence in writing

Week 5                 Information delivery: topic and topical progression

Week 6                 Punctuation system and  its functions 

Week 7                 Readability and lexical density

Semester Break

Week 8                Writing, speech, and the language of the internet 

Week 9                Editing Indigenous texts

Week 10              Persuasive and promotional writing

Week 11              Editing theses and dissertations

Week 12              Editing scholarly articles  

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Full awareness of the parameters of language with which writers and editors work
  • Familiarity with alternative linguistic styles and forms of communication
  • Ability to assess manuscripts for readability, and to suggest measures for their enhancement
  • Ability to write for particular audiences and purposes
  • Familiarity with the demands and limits of editing academic theses

Assessment tasks

  • Online discussion 1
  • Punctuation
  • Online discussion 2
  • Practical work (2 options)