JOU4201 Editing Lecture
McCarty Hall A G186:
11:45 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
Dr. Ronald R.Rodgers
3053 Weimer Hall
Schedule/office hours Editing Blog

We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely

 wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.
Dave Barry
Course Goal
This course’s goal is to help you become a careful and precise editor of your own writing and that of others. While this is a basic journalism editing course designed to acquaint you with the skills you will need to master in order to work on a newspaper, magazine, online site, or broadcast newsroom copy desk, what you learn in this class will (1) help you excel in any media field and (2) make you a better writer and editor of your own copy

Description of Course
The lecture portion of this course will offer a major emphasis on the nuts and bolts of editing and writing -- spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, style (in this case, AP) and math-for-journalists skills.

Own Your Own Education
But ultimately, the onus is on you to acquire these skills outside of the lecture. If you believe you have some weak spots in these skills, then make a point of studying the sites listed below, many of which have programmed quizzes in different areas of grammar and punctuation that will offer you explanations. I note this because these are skills you need to succeed, but also because 40 percent of your overall grade for this course comes from the lecture, which emphasizes these skills.

Newsroom 101: Exercises in Grammar, Usage and Associated Press Style
If you look at no other, look at this one.
(When it asks for your Newsroom 101  name, just hit "OK" twice and you are in.)
Purdue Writing Lab
Exercise Central for AP Style
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
Modern English Grammar: A Hypertext Book
Purdue Writing Lab
Modern English Grammar: A Hypertext Book

Classroom Meetings
The lecture portion of this class meets twice a week. The grade you receive in this lecture will be combined -- in consultation with your lab instructor -- with your editing lab grade in figuring your final grade. Your course grade is 40 percent lecture and 60 percent lab.

Office Hours
I am available to you this semester – and beyond – to talk about this class, to talk about journalism and communications, to talk about your career, or to just talk. My office hours are on my schedule:

  • Here is a Link to my schedule
  • Or just stop by – my door is pretty much always open, and if I am in and I am free, we can talk.
  • You should also note  that  I check my e-mail  once in the morning and once in the evening  Monday  through Friday.

Pre-requisites for JOU 4201
MMC 2100 – Writing for Mass Communication – and JOU 3101 – Reporting. If you have not taken and passed these classes with a C or better, then you are not supposed to be in this class.

Required Texts and Supplies

Class attendance is required.  More than three absences may result in an incomplete for this course. For sure, after your first absence, every lecture you miss means your grade drops a level A becomes B+ and B+ becomes B- and so on. Arriving late or leaving early will be considered an absence. To receive credit for tests and quizzes, you must attend and be on time. No make-ups will be arranged for unexcused absences or tardiness.  In addtion, whether the absence is legitimate or not, there will be no classwork make-ups. Life is just too darn complicated as it is, and when I have 80-some students juggling deadlines - well, it is just too complicated. The key here is whether your absence is legitimate or not.

Note: University-approved absences must be documented (in advance, if for an approved university activity) according to official university policy. Obtaining written verification for an excused absence is your responsibility.

As noted,
your course grade is 40 percent lecture and 60 percent lab. The lecture portion of your grade will be determined based on:

  • Two  tests worth 100 points each. Tests are always comprehensive and  will come from anything discussed in class and the readings, which you need to not only read, but study. However, as noted, they will strongly emphasize the nuts-and-bolts.  Tentative test dates are listed on the schedule below.
  • Your class participation, which will be determined by such things as your attendance and your preparation to answer questions regarding the issues of editing.

Grade Scale for the lecture portion of this course

See Grades and Grading Policies regarding UF's new policy on minus grades

A = 100 to 93 B+ = 89-87 C+ = 79-77 D+ = 69-67 E = 59-0
A- = 92-90 B = 86-83 C = 76-73 D = 66-63

B- = 82-80 C- = 72-70 D- = 62-60

Your final lecture grade is based on:

  • 80%  On the two tests 
  • 20% Such things as your attendance,  your  participation, your classroom demeanor, your willingness to work with and collaborate with others, your participation in class discussions, and your contributions to the class in whatever form that may take.

Please let me know immediately if you have any kind of problem or disability that would hinder your work in this course. I will do my best to help you. Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office, which will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Campus Helping Resources
See links on front page.

Academic Conduct
Commit yourself to honesty and integrity if you haven’t already. If you engage in any form of academic misconduct, including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and aiding and abetting, the penalties could be severe
You are required  to read Academic Honesty. I will work under the assumption that you have done so. In addition, go to  link to Honor Code on front page and read this.

Sometimes a class such as this will deal with controversial topics, so be warned that words that may be considered offensive or even ideological may be spoken in the context of the subjects we are discussing. As a teacher, I have no political or social agenda, so do not try to answer in a way you believe might comport with what I want to hear or read. Feel free to advocate any position as long as you remain respectful of others' opinions, and always be able to defend your point of view.

Policy on Electronic Devices
I do not allow electronic transmission devices, such as beepers, cellular phones and computers of any size in my classes. You must have all such devices in the "off" mode and stored away when in class. When I do what looks like the gator chomp, I am saying close your cell phones and laptops.

Policy on Indifference

I do not allow indifference in my classes and instead require that you be engaged. How does indifference manifest itself? It includes:

  • Chatting during class, which is rude
  • Arriving late or leaving early, which is rude
  • Doing homework or scrolling the ’net during class, which is rude
  • Nodding off or sleeping, which is rude

If you cannot check your indifference at the door, then drop this class.  I and your fellow engaged students do not have time or the inclination to accommodate your behavior.

Of course, all of this is tentative if we have
 some excellent guest speakers visit.

In Lecture
Outside Lecture
Week 1
Jan. 5-8
  • First day of lecture on Thursday
  • Meanwhile, review Job For Me lecture on e-Learning site.
  • Check out the job board at and then follow on your Twitter account. This will give you a good sense about what is available out there.

Kinds of Headline Deks: Standard vs. Narrative

Practice, Practice, Practice: Own your own education:
Newsroom 101

Week 2
Jan. 11-15
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 2.1 Headline 1 Lecture
  • 2.2 Headline 2 Lecture

  • Print Punctuation and Comma Worksheets and bring completed worksheets to Tuesday lecture. They are in e-Learning.
  • Print and study Punctuation Junction Worksheet.
Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 3
Jan. 18-22
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 3. Punctuation Lecture
  • 4.1 Comma Lecture
  • 4.2 Participals & Punctuation Lecture
Print Possessive and Essential Clauses Worksheets and bring completed worksheets to Tuesday lecture. They are in e-Learning.

Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 4
Jan. 25-29 
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 5. Possessive Lecture
  • 6. Essential Clauses Lecture

Print Verbs; Agreement, Verbs; & Agreement, Pronouns Worksheets and bring completed worksheets to Tuesday lecture. They are in e-Learning.

Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 5
Feb. 1-5 
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 7. Verbs Lecture
  • 8. Agreement, Verbs Lecture
  • 9. Agreement, Pronouns Lecture

Print Pronoun Case & Modifiers Worksheets and bring completed worksheets to Tuesday lecture. They are in e-Learning.

Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 6
Feb. 8-12
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 10. Pronoun Case Lecture
  • 11. Modifiers Lecture

Print Lay & Affect, Accuracy & Extra Words Worksheets and bring completed worksheets to Tuesday lecture. They are in e-Learning.

Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 7
Feb. 15-19
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 12. Lay & Affect Lecture
  • 13. Accuracy Lecture
  • 14. Extra Words

Load as comment to this blog post  any questions you have for a Midterm review next Tuesday. This is due by Sunday at noon.

Print Misused Words Worksheet and bring completed worksheet to Tuesday lecture. It is in e-Learning.

Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 8
Feb. 22-26
Lectures Tuesday & Thursday
  • 15. Misused Words
  • Midterm Review
  • Jeopeditry Nuts & Bolts
Grammar Practice:
Newsroom 101
Week 9
March 1-5
Midterm Exam Tuesday

No Lecture Thursday


Week 10
March 15-19 

Tuesday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Computation

Thursday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Application

To go along with Dr. Norman Lewis' lectures on numeracy for journalists you might want to review some of the following readings linked on Scriptorium:
Newsroom 101
Week 11
March 22-26
Tuesday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Polling 1

No Lecture Thursday - Career Fair 
Career Fair March 25
Week 12
Mr. 29-April 2
 Tuesday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Polling 2

Thursday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Chance

Newsroom 101
Week 13
April 5-9
Tuesday: Numeracy for Journalists Lecture: Logic

16. Bias Lecture
Newsroom 101
Week 14
April 12-16
No lecture Tuesday

Final Exam Thursday: Covers all from Day  1 but especially  the numeracy lectures.

Week 15
April 19-21
April 21 last
day of class