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Unit outline_

MECO6916: Editing and Proofreading

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Students will develop the skills of structural editing, copyediting and proofreading, on screen and paper, across a range of content for both print and digital output. They will understand the significance of the roles of the editor and proofreader and how these roles have been affected by technological change and globalisation.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Media and Communications
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Agata Mrva-Montoya,
Lecturer(s) Claire Linsdell,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Structural edit and report
More details are available on Canvas.
40% Week 06
Due date: 31 Mar 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 14 Apr 2023
1,800 words equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7
Assignment Copyediting project
More details are available on Canvas.
30% Week 10
Due date: 05 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 19 May 2023
Equivalent of 1,350 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO7 LO9 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO8
Assignment Proofreading project
More details are available on Canvas.
30% Week 13
Due date: 26 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 09 Jun 2023
Equivalent of 1,350 words
Outcomes assessed: LO10 LO2 LO3 LO6

Assessment summary

Structural edit and report: Students are required to carry out a structural edit on the provided document and write a report.
Copyediting project: Students are required to format and copyedit a manuscript using Microsoft Word.
Proofreading project: Students are required to proofread a short document on paper using universal proofreading symbols and another document on screen using PDF mark-up tools.
Detailed information for each assessment will be available on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High Distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a Credit a good standard, and a Pass is an acceptable standard.

More details about the grading of each assignment is available on Canvas.


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 The role of editors and professional practice Seminar (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 The editing process Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Management and liaison Seminar (3 hr) LO4
Week 04 Substance and structure Seminar (3 hr) LO5
Week 05 Completeness and consistency Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO6
Week 06 Grammar and punctuation Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO6
Week 07 Plain English Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO6 LO8
Week 08 Legal and ethical issues in publishing Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Week 09 Diversity and inclusion in publishing Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Week 10 Editing practice: artwork Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO8
Week 11 Editing practice: references and indexes Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO9
Week 12 Proofreading Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO10
Week 13 Editing for the web Seminar (3 hr) LO2 LO10

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: students are expected to attend 80% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board which will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture Recording: Lectures will not be recorded except in specific circumstances.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

The reading list is available on Canvas.


Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe the editorial workflow and the role of editors and proofreaders in the contemporary publishing process
  • LO2. edit engaging, immersive content across various media platforms including books, magazines, mobile and web
  • LO3. use technology effectively and efficiently, including conventions for handling digital files and the proficient use of Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat
  • LO4. communicate with authors to establish and maintain a constructive and positive editorial relationship and, in their editorial practice, to maintain the author’s voice, intention and style
  • LO5. understand the differences in structure types (fiction vs non-fiction) and apply editorial best practice to solve challenges in comprehension, structure, omissions and consistency
  • LO6. apply basic best practice editorial principles and conventions, including version control, following a brief, creating a style sheet, correcting grammar and punctuation and editing for plain English
  • LO7. identify and act on legal and ethical issues, including editing for diversity and inclusion
  • LO8. use and manage artwork files, including assessing file size and image suitability, file naming, accessing DAM databases and commercial image libraries, creating captions, credit lines, permission requests and alt text
  • LO9. copyedit references according to style conventions, and understand the process for creating and editing indexes
  • LO10. proofread PDF documents onscreen using best practice conventions, and provide the same information in hard-copy markup using universally accepted editing symbols.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The assessment tasks have been revised to better align them with the unit learning outcomes, and in response to the degree review, and staff and student feedback.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.