Structural Editing

Structural editing is the process of assessing and organizing or reorganizing material to improve its flow, logic, and readability.

In this course, we discuss various editorial issues and solutions, and work through practical examples to build your understanding of what structural editing is and how to successfully conduct a structural edit.

When you have finished this course, you will have developed your structural editing skills. Topics we cover in this course include considering the audience's needs; identifying and addressing structural problems; reorganizing, reworking, and rewriting material; working with visual elements; and communicating with writers. Though this course is based on a general understanding of structural editing as it relates to content, there are some sections that provide more information on structural editing for fiction.

The final assignment for this course is due one week after the course ends.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Ellie Jean Barton $555.00 17 Register
Online - Adrienne Montgomerie $555.00 29 Register
Online - - TBD $555.00 29 Register
Online - - TBD $555.00 30 Register
Online - - TBD $555.00 30 Register
Online - - TBD $555.00 30 Register

Instructional hours: 15

Schedule clarification: This course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. Between those times, you work at your own pace within the timelines set by the instructor.

What will I learn?

By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify structural issues in manuscripts
  • Write sentence summaries of paragraphs
  • Conduct a structural edit of a manuscript
  • Write and edit effective headings and transitions
  • Communicate effectively with a writer

How will I learn?

Prepare to spend six to 10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Weekly course modules accessed through Canvas
  • Readings
  • Discussions
  • Practice exercises
  • Assignments

Course materials will be available 24/7, and assignment deadlines will be posted well in advance, allowing you to set your own pace for learning.

How will I be evaluated?

  • Participation in discussions
  • Three assignments (final assignment due one week after course ends)

Textbooks and course materials

We will provide all required course materials online. Links to recommended readings will be provided online.

Hardware and software requirements

  • Microsoft Word (2010 or newer) and being comfortable with Track Changes function

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.

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