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PUB5004 Writing for Editors: Advanced

Semester 2, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Pamela Hewitt
Moderator: Bryce Barker


Pre-requisite: PUB5002

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course is a response to developments in the publishing industry. This course details many of the writing tasks editors undertake when in the process of producing print and online publications. Whereas the earlier course focused on establishing an effective author–editor relationship, this course moves on in terms of the production process to responding to typesetters, briefing an indexer, negotiating with printers and developing written text for a variety of promotional and production needs. The topic on more complex author queries will cover the appropriate tone and register required when dealing with a manuscript that may need substantial rewriting. Online editing for electronic texts will provide students with relevant skills for contemporary publishing practice.


This course further develops the skills editors will need to write in simple, polite language during the publishing process, specifically, to communicate with typesetters and designers in response to colour proofs and provide comprehensive briefs for printers and indexers. Instruction will focus on the writing skills required by editors to negotiate an acceptable result for print and electronic communication. Coverage will include writing back cover copy, brochure, box, catalogue and jewel case copy; ethical issues, writing and rewriting for non-print media. A text will be evaluated for tone and register and advanced author queries written. Throughout the course the focus will be on clarity and precision in decision-making and expression to develop and produce a wide range of professional publications. Skills will be practised in an online discussion group.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. justify comments on design, typography and typesetting of a publication;
  2. negotiate an acceptable result with others involved in the production process using appropriate terminology;
  3. develop a brief to be sent to a printer for quotes for a print publication;
  4. develop a brief for a web developer or other on-screen professional for quotes for an electronic publication;
  5. write captions for illustrative material;
  6. write and rewrite material for non-print media;
  7. restructure text for on-screen environments, including CD-ROM and the web;
  8. adopt and appropriate approach to the editing and production of electronic journals, and brief contributors;
  9. write editorial copy or an introduction for a book or home page text for a website;
  10. evaluate the scope of a writing or publishing project and then complete a post-publication project evaluation;
  11. demonstrate skills in advanced rewriting;
  12. use electronic communication for negotiation and problem solving.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Appropriate written instructions for negotiation; the language of other players and staying in touch with the production process 5.00
2. Writing appropriate comments about a sample setting, cover and internal design for print publications 5.00
3. Instructing pre-press operators and on-screen professionals and briefing printers 15.00
4. Applying for permission for images and text, writing captions 5.00
5. Writing promotional materials 20.00
6. Writing, restructuring and rewriting for on-screen delivery 20.00
7. Rewriting and reversioning text, evaluating fiction 10.00
8. Briefing journal and magazine contributors and writing editorials 10.00
9. Evaluative writing 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Commonwealth of Australia 2002, Style manual: for authors, editors and printers, 6th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane.
    (Revised by Snooks & Co.)
  • Flann, E & Hill, B 2004, The Australian editing handbook, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Brisbane.
  • Mackenzie, J 2011, The editor's companion, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
  • Peters, P 2007, The Cambridge guide to English usage, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Whitbread, D 2009, The design manual, 2nd edn, University of NSW Press, Sydney.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Green, R 2011, You are what you speak, Black Inc, Collingwood, Vic.
  • Huddleston, R & Pullman, G 2002, The Cambridge grammar of English language, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Sharpe, L & Gunther I 1995, Editing fact and fiction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Spender, L 2004, Between the lines: a legal guide for writers and illustrators, Keesing Press.
    (Available from Australian Society of Authors, P O Box 1566, Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2012.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 85.00
Private Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROMOTIONAL WRITING 100 20 04 Sep 2013
WRTG FOR NON-PRINT/ EVAL/FICT 100 40 28 Oct 2013
PARTICIPATION - DISCUSSION GRP 100 10 29 Oct 2013 (see note 1)

  1. Participation in Discussion Group will be graded in terms of argument and depth of understanding of issues

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.