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COMM 313, Editorial Processes (online)

Instructor: Ross F. Collins, professor of communication, North Dakota State University, Fargo

What you'll learn

This online course offers a comprehensive basic education in editor's duties appropriate for a variety of mass-media style publications, including newspapers, newsletters, magazines, brochures, booklets, websites, and other material. Topics covered include:

What you'll need

Much of the course emphasizes hands-on exercises and projects. Students are expected to be familiar with basic word processing software and, of course, know how to type. The course also covers basic use of pagination software commonly used in print media. I've written a tutorial for users of InDesign, fast becoming the dominant pagination software, but a tutorial an PageMaker, its predecessor, also is still available. Students using QuarkXPress will need to find their own manual. The instructor requires online students to have access to this pagination software, because ability to prepare "desktop published" pages often forms part of a professional editor's duties.

This is equivalent to a three-credit, 300-level, face-to-face undergraduate class. The instructor expects students to be a level of literacy equivalent to college juniors or seniors. If you feel you need a refresher in basic grammar and writing at the collegiate level, consider an introductory English class.


Work in this course must be completed within one semester's time, 16 weeks. Summer session students must complete course work within the summer session deadlines. Deadlines for each assignment are indicated on the course syllabus.