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EDIT8080 – Tools for Editing

2020 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Adam Smith
Minna Korhonen
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to GradCertEditElecPub or MCrWrit or GradDipCrWrit or MAccComm
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit lays the groundwork for professional editing, focusing first on the roles and skills of the editor, as defined by the editorial standards set in Australia (the Australian Standards for Editorial Practice (ASEP 2012) and the Institute of Professional Editors' Accreditation Board exam); and those set overseas by professional organisations in Canada, the US and the UK. It examines the different requirements for copyediting on hardcopy and on screen, and the 'tools' and resources editors can draw on. Reference guides in style, usage and grammar are reviewed, as well as regional (British v. American) preferences, and issues of editorial policy in relation to inclusive language. Selections in typography and layout for optimal legibility are also discussed.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Analyse standard guidelines set out for editorial work, and identify scope for individual decision making.
  • ULO2: Apply skills in the use of standard tools and techniques for editing, both in print and in electronic media.
  • ULO3: Examine texts for variable language use, and justify their suitability for different audiences.
  • ULO4: Appraise the effectiveness of different font and layout choices, and assess their impact on legibility.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

How to apply for a late submission of an assignment

All requests for special consideration, including extensions, must be submitted via ASK.mq.edu.au and provide suitable supporting documentation

Late Assignment Submission

  • Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 5% of the total mark available for the assignment per day.
  • Late submission of an assignment without an extension will not be permitted after marks have been released to the rest of the class.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation.
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration
  • Assignments submitted after the deadline, regardless of the reason, will be marked and returned at a date determined by the unit convenor.
  • Extensions cannot continue beyond the start of the following semester, and students should be aware that long extensions may impact graduation dates.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Students will require Internet access with a reliable web browser and e-mail facility. Online lectures are available as audio recordings with supporting slides.

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Week 1:               Roles of the professional editor

Week 2:               Editorial skills, standards and accreditation

Week 3:               Introduction to copyediting: working on hard copy

Week 4:               Copy-editing text onscreen

Week 5:               Web-editing

Week 6:               Global English and regional variation in editorial style

Week 7:               Style manuals and style guides                            

Semester break

Week 8:               Usage guides: prescription and description

Week 9:               Inclusive language: avoiding sexism and other language biases

Week 10:             Plain English

Week 11:             Typographic choices

Week 12:             Legibility, layout and visual access

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.