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PUB5002 Writing for Editors

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Writing for Editors
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 100799 - Communication and Media Studie
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Kate Cantrell

Other requisites

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


This editing and publishing course follows the stages in modern publishing during which editors and publishers need to communicate effectively through the written word. It introduces students to styles of writing which foster productive relationships within publishing teams and appropriate tone and register in different situations. Editing and publishing professionals should have an understanding of grammar, syntax, language usage and punctuation, and be able to communicate clearly and concisely. They should be able to critically evaluate a range of written materials and identify discriminatory language and defamatory material as well as errors and inconsistencies. Electronic communication will be used for students to practise these skills online. Students undertaking this course are expected to have an undergraduate degree and possess sound literacy and computing skills. There is an expectation that students will be self-directed and will participate in an online discussion group.


This course develops the skills editors and publishing professionals will need to write a range of materials during different stages of the publishing process, including manuscript assessments and readers' reports, author queries, briefs for publishing teams and publishing project planning documents and reports. Instruction will focus on the writing skills required by editors and publishers that: contribute to effective communication and the development of professional relationships. Emphasis will be on the principles of good writing including grammar, consistency, punctuation, jargon, syntax and expression. Technical knowledge of language will be underpinned by critical analysis of the means by which language changes over time as well as appropriate forms of expression in different contexts, for different audiences and document types. The communication challenges posed by digital production processes and freelance or off-site editing and publishing will also be examined.


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

  1. identify, discuss and perform the writing and communication tasks editors and publishers need in the publication process;
  2. critically appraise the extent, structure, focus and appropriate target audience of manuscripts and publishing project documents;
  3. apply high-level language skills including use appropriate document structure, grammatical construction, syntax, expression and punctuation;
  4. apply information literacy by recognising, evaluating and effectively using information in a range of media targeted to key stakeholders.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Identifying when editors and publishers need to write and to whom 20.00
2. The stages of editing and publishing and their associated communication needs 20.00
3. Critical evaluation of texts, manuscripts and publishing project documents 20.00
4. The bones of language: Grammar, syntax, expression and punctuation 20.00
5. The communication challenges of the digital age 20.00

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 Australia, Brisbane.
(Revised by Snooks & Co.)
Flann, E & Hill, B 2014, The Australian editing handbook, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Brisbane.
Peters, P 2007, The Cambridge guide to Australian English usage, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Macquarie Dictionary , latest edn (unabridged) OR access to the online version through

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.
Greene, RL 2011, You are what you speak: grammar grouches, language laws and the power of words, Black Inc, Collingwood, Vic.
McPhee, D.J 2016, Keysong, Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, Cannon Hill, Queensland.
McPhee, D.J 2016, Waycaller, Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, Cannon Hill, Queensland.
Subway, N 2016, Dying in the first person, Transit Lounge, Melbourne, Victoria.
Taylor, K.J 2016, The price of magic, Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, Cannon Hill, Queensland.
Tredinnick, M 2009, The little green grammar book, UNSW Press, Sydney, NSW.
Students are advised to browse through relevant internet sites such as the Copyright Council's. Others, including web sites about legal issues, are recommended in the study material.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 83.00
Independent Study 82.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 100 20 23 Mar 2021
GROUP PRESENTATION 100 30 03 Jun 2021
PARTICIPATION 100 20 04 Jun 2021 (see note 1)

  1. Students must participate throughout the semester, using the online discussion tool. Participation will be graded in terms of level of engagement, argument and knowledge of issues. In addition, students may attend occasional, voluntary live online tutorials.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    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.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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.

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination 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

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.

Date printed 18 June 2021