This course takes a critical and practical approach to the art of editing. Is the editor simply a “failed writer,” as T. S. Eliot claimed, or is good editing the key to a writer’s clarity and integrity? In addition to exploring theories and histories of the red pen—including Marianne Moore’s five-decade quest to revise a single poem and the editor who was discovered to have invented Raymond Carver’s distinctive narrative style—we immerse ourselves in the technical aspects of editing, covering such topics as the difference between developmental and line editing, the merits of MLA and Chicago style, proofreading in hard copy and digital environments, and when to wield an em dash. Students gain practical editing experience, learn about a range of different levels of editorial interventions, and investigate the politics of language usage and standards. This course is suitable for aspiring copyeditors or any writer who wants to polish up their grammar and punctuation skills.
*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.
- Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Creative Writing
- Director, Creative Writing Program
Julia Bloch received a BA in political philosophy at Carleton College, an MFA in creative writing/poetry at Mills College, and an MA and PhD in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests in twentieth-century poetry and poetics include the North American long poem; formal hybridity; subjectivity; gender and sexuality; and genre theory. Her current book project, "Lyric after Epic: Gender and the Postwar Long Poem," investigates generic concordance and contention in the… Read more