MCom 100w

Writing Workshop

Archive for the tag “Copy editing”

Extra credit options

The last day to submit anything for extra credit for this class is Monday, Dec. 8. As previously noted, you can submit up to 30 points worth of extra credit.

Your extra credit options are:

  • Copy Edit the World: You are required to submit 30 points worth of Copy Edit the World (with your corrections) for this class. If you get on a roll, you can submit up to 15 more points worth of Copy Edit the World for extra credit.
  • Common Sayings: Look up the meaning and origins of up to three common sayings (or unusual phrases). Each one is worth five points for up to 15 points extra credit. One that we discussed in class was “a long row to hoe,” which turned out not to mean or be spelled the way most of you expected. For a good example of this option, you might want to check out Colette’s recent “sayings” submission on her blog.
  • IMHO: Write a second In My Humble Opinion. (See the assignments page for specifics of this option.)
  • Letter to the Editor: Write a letter to the editor to the Spartan Daily or a local newspaper (or to the CSU Board of Trustees or your state legislator). Your letter should be 125-250 words; it’s worth up to 15 points). If you’re looking for topic inspiration, check out these two articles:



Editing practice

Your first 10 points worth of Copy Edit the World is due Wednesday, so it’s time to get in some practice. Check out the images posted below to see if you can spot the errors.

If you find an error, click on the “comments” link at left and write a comment identifying and correcting the error. Each error is worth 2 points extra credit, and the first person to get it right gets the points.

The two print items have one sneaky error each; the ad contains several errors. (One error per person, please. Give someone else a chance to earn some extra credit too.)

typo exampletypo example 2  errors in ad
Good work so far, but there are still a couple errors left to find. Good luck!

Convo typos

Imagine my dismay to see so many AP style and other errors in the JMC spring 2014 convocation packet. Oh dear. Apparently they didn’t pay attention to these kinds of things in JOUR 61, MCOM 100W, or PR 190.

But you can benefit from their carelessness by identifying and correcting their errors. I’ll add 2 extra credit points to your grade if you add a comment to this blog post that identifies and corrects one of their errors.

One correction per person, please, so several of you can share the “wealth.”

JMC convocation Good job! Thanks to all who suggested corrections.



Speaking of the upcoming Copy Edit the World assignment … here’s an example of the kind of trouble you can get into if you don’t proofread carefully. And here’s another example.

I sure wouldn’t want to be the person who let these errors slip by. Goodbye job, hello unemployment!

Typo time

To get you started on the Copy Edit the World assignment, I like to send a few typos your way.

Here are the rules: the first person to identify and correct the typo (use the “comments” link at the bottom of this post), gets two points extra credit. One typo per person, please.

Here are two gems, both pretty blatant errors.  One, I am sorry to say, appeared on the doors of Dwight Bentel Hall last fall.

Copy Edit the World

Can you spot (and correct) the errors in this photo?

How about this one?

Extra Credit

I’ve been getting some questions about extra credit options for this class, so here they are. You may submit up to 30 points worth of extra credit, in any combination. All extra credit submissions are due by Wednesday, May 12. Late submissions will not be accepted.

  1. Copy Edit the World: You are required to submit 30 points worth of Copy Edit the World errors (with your corrections) for this class. If you get on a roll, you can submit up to 15 more points worth of Copy Edit the World for extra credit.
  2. Letter to the Editor: Write a letter to the editor and get it published in the Spartan Daily or another local newspaper. (100-150 words, 10 points)
  3. Personal Obituary: Write your own obituary. Imagine for yourself a full, rewarding and interesting life. Please read some obituaries before writing your own, and be sure to take note of the difference between obituaries (written by journalists) and death notices (written by a family member). I’ll be looking for an obituary, not a death notice. (250-350 words, 15 points)
  4. Similes & Metaphors: Collect some similes and metaphors that you find to be particularly striking and effective. These examples should be gleaned from your daily reading – from books, newspapers, magazines, or web sites. Type up each example, note the source and whether it’s a simile or metaphor, and briefly explain why you think it works. That is, explain how it clarifies or enlivens the common and familiar, and allows the reader to “see, hear, smell and feel” what is being described.  Please note: handing in a list of examples plucked from a “simile/metaphor” web site will garner you no credit for this assignment.  (5 points per pair – that is, one simile and one metaphor. You can submit up to three pairs for a maximum of 15 points)
  5. Write a Review: Write a review of a current film, theater production, television series, music performance or video game. Be sure to read some reviews first; this should be a critical review and analysis, not just a plot summary. (350-500 words, 20 points)

Copy edit extra credit

I hope you’ve had fun finding your first 10 points worth of Copy Edit the World errors. Here’s another chance to sharpen your editing eyes …and earn a little extra credit.

If you can spot and correct one of these errors, you’ll get 2 points of extra credit. Just post your correction as a comment on this blog post. (One error and correction per person, please, so we can spread the extra credit around.)

I particularly like the first example shown above because it’s a correction that needs correcting — it contains another error. I spotted the one on the right in today’s SF Chronicle. I used to watch The Three Stooges on TV when I was a kid, so it was a fun read … except for that misused word (hint). Both of these have been corrected. Congrats to Brittany M. and Danreb!

I found this error in an email from PoynterOnline, a journalism organization. Oops … setting a bad example! One possible correction posted, but there’s another way this could be read … and corrected. It’s worth two points if you can figure it out.

Yes, I find errors on Facebook too. So can you  … I hope.  😉  This one has been corrected too. A big “way to go” to Yezel, Suzanne, Shirene and Corina.

I figure Robert Redford must have been red-faced when he realized that his Sundance catalog holiday letter to customers contained an embarrassing error. Can you find it? It’s a little tricky, but it’s funny one. Hmm … is anyone going to figure this one out? Or will I have to break down and tell you?

Proofread your papers!

In class on Monday, I talked about some of the things that good writers do.

Careful writers, I noted, choose the right words and phrases, including concrete nouns and vigorous verbs. They provide details, including relevant information and focused observations. And they make sentences flow by cutting unnecessary words, using active voice, and varying sentence lengths to create rhythm and pacing.

Another thing good writers do is proofread. They get good at catching errors and fixing them … before submitting their work. That’s what professionals do, and that’s what you need to do.

That’s why I emphasize the Copy Edit the World assignment … and that’s why I’m cracking down on copy editing errors this semester.

Here’s how it’s going to work: If I find three errors (in AP style, spelling or grammar) as I’m grading your paper, I will stop grading it and return it to you for further revision. I will not finish grading your paper until you’ve revised it and resubmitted it. Every time I have to hand a paper back to you because of errors, you will lose a grade — that is, a “B” paper will become a “C” paper. This also applies to assignments submitted as blog posts and assignments that are graded Credit/No Credit.

So please make sure to proofread your assignments carefully before you submit them.

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