Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Words into Print: Editing Texts for Publication

ENGL 150.001
M 3-6

This course is meant to serve as a practical introduction to the science and profession of editing, which I define as all the processes which deal with the transformation of an author’s manuscript into any number of printed forms.  While there are no prerequisites for this course, students interested in enrolling in it should know how to write well and should be capable of correcting the many facets of poor prose.  I have conceived of the course principally as a workshop, emphasizing participation rather than lectures, although I expect that there will be several field trips and that we will have occasional visiting specialists.

The basic material for the course will be manuscripts for editing and correction; we will work with such materials every week.  In addition, we will cover every stage of the publication process, from copy editing to production, and including proofreading, stylistic guidelines, the design of the printed work (i.e., type paper, binding, graphics, color, ink, illustrations, ornaments, and charts), indexing, printing processes, and paper.  For those who may be interested in careers in the communications world, there will be discussion of vocational possibilities.  The work for the course will consist of weekly exercises and, moreover, each student will be encourage to prepare on special project, consisting of a full design for every stage of a printed work.