All in the Details: New Advanced Editing Class Enables Students to Glimpse the Editing Workplace


Experimental course WRTC 401E Advanced Professional Editing prepares students for future careers as editors within small business, corporate and freelance settings.

The course builds on and enriches the content introduced in WRTC 300: Professional Editing, the pre-requisite for the course. Students enrolled in the advanced editing class will, of course, continue to build editing skills but for more specific situations. For example, students will gain experience editing to ensure inclusivity, social justice, and cultural sensitivity. Projects will include editing medical brochures for lay audiences, editing instructions for global audiences, and participating in Wikipedia's Women in Red wikiproject initiative. In addition, students will collaborate on a community-based editing project for a local business or organization, such as  Cat’s Cradle, First Step Collaborative, JMU Outreach and Engagement, Gift and Thrift, Housing Authority, and Renewal Homes of Augusta County. Students will also learn about the ethical and legal aspects of editing, writing client contracts, keeping time sheets, and creating a project plan with a budget and timeline.

Professor Cynthia Martin explains the relevance of the professional skills students will gain from the class: “Being able to edit a document to meet the varying needs of diverse readers, whether those readers live with a disability or perhaps are located in another hemisphere where the color green, not red, symbolizes danger, is essential in today’s dynamic, global workplace. This course prepares students to imagine the world beyond our JMU classroom, anticipate the ‘what-ifs’ that could impede a document’s usability, and edit in ways that change user experience for the better.”

The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30-1:45 PM. Students who are interested or have questions can contact Cynthia Martin at, or stop by her office in Harrison 2292.

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Published: Friday, November 9, 2018

Last Updated: Saturday, January 25, 2020

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