Developmental and Substantive Editing

Professor: Rebecca Vogan
Course code: WRR316H1
Format: Lecture/discussion

About this course

Did you know that editing begins before words appear on the page? Early in the editorial process, editors look for good ideas, imagine possible projects, and help writers to develop them. Then, once a first draft exists, editors suggest ways for the writer to strengthen the content and structure. Using a book publishing context, this course introduces developmental editing and substantive editing — two early stages that focus on the big picture rather than the details.

What you’ll learn

  • Successful writing connects with its intended readers; practice thinking more about what readers want and need.
  • Learn how to envision a possible project.
  • Discover how to analyze a text, zooming out of the sentences to assess the larger components.
  • Learn how to communicate your ideas positively and persuasively.

Course highlights

This course best suits good critical thinkers with confident writing skills. In addition to two editing assignments and two essays, WRR310 includes two projects. In the group project, students interview a professional editor and present their findings to the class. In the pairs project, students experience the author-editor relationship by working with a partner, offering each other developmental and substantive advice on the second essay.

A personal note from your instructor

Rebecca Vogan

Being able to effectively express ideas in writing is key to success in university and beyond. In WRR103 I will help you build your skills and confidence so you can get your point across and add your own unique voice to debates that matter to you. Through small group work and peer feedback I will give you the tools you need to become the writer you want to be.

Good to know

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Have a question?

Need more info? Want to discuss if the Writing & Rhetoric Program is right for you? Looking for help in choosing courses? Jannie Chien, the Innis College academic program coordinator, can help!