Copyediting Lite

No red pens allowed on my beat.

I think it’s pretty common for a graduate student to teach undergraduate classes while working toward an MA, MS, or PhD. I’d like to do that eventually, but right now I have no teaching skills. I could not even begin to understand how to work up a curriculum, how to keep students engaged, how to present material–how to teach. As well, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older–there are some things you can learn as you go, and there are some things where you really need some core knowledge. That is especially true when others depend on you. Just as you would not want a novice learning on the job at say, a nuclear waste facility, so too is it compelling for experienced and capable people only to teach–not greenies like me.

I’m working hard at becoming un-green (that is, experienced and capable). However, I’ve got bills to pay. So, with a stroke of luck and some great guidance from a professor of mine, I landed a supah-sweet job at the University as a copyeditor of scholarly journals and articles. I’m not sure I can even express how grateful I am to have this awesome job. It fits my personality. It’s satisfying, interesting, and it gives me an opportunity to read about research outside of my major.

I’ve put together a list of the resources I use as a copyeditor. I take my job and skills very seriously, but I do appreciate a bit of wit and humor in my daily work. So, here’s my list. And, if your favorite copyediting resource is not on my list, you should let me know about that.

Copy Editing Resources

American Heritage Dictionaries Editorial Staff;. (2008). 100 Words to Make You Sound Great. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Fogarty, M. (2008). Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. New York, NY: Holt.

Lederer, R., & Shore, J. (2007). Comma Sense. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Merriam Webster. (2010, August 31). Retrieved from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: http://www.m-w.com

Saller, C. F. (2009). The Subversive Copy Editor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Trenga, B. (2006). The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.

University of Chicago Press. (2003). Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.). (M. D. Mahan, Ed.) Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

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