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.
Instructional hours: 15
Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.
- Wed, Mar 8 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Mar 15 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Mar 22 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Mar 29 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Apr 5 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, May 3 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, May 10 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, May 17 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, May 24 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, May 31 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Sep 13 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Sep 20 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Sep 27 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Oct 4 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Oct 11 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Nov 1 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Nov 8 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Nov 15 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Nov 22 (self-paced all week)
- Wed, Nov 29 (self-paced all week)
What you will learn
At the end of the course, you will 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 you will learn and be evaluated
Prepare to spend 6–10 hours per week on coursework, including:
- Practice exercises
You will be evaluated on:
- Participation in discussions
- 3 assignments (final assignment due 1 week after course ends)
No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. University of Chicago Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0226287058
Note: Courses use the author-date style from the Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide.
Once you begin the course you’ll be sent SFU library access information for this text. Alternatively, you may wish to access a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style.
For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.
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.