Editing Program



Click HERE to start your Editing Program application [major or minor].

Once you are finished, you will need to schedule an appointment to meet with one of the editing faculty for advisement.

Print out the email confirmation of your application, then bring it to your meeting with an editing faculty advisor.



Editors apply principles of linguistics, composition, and design as they work with authors to optimize communication. Successful editing students can demonstrate to potential employers that they have practical editing experience backed by solid understanding of linguistic, rhetorical, and design principles.


Goals of the editing program

Students are expected to—

  • Identify the principles of linguistic form, meaning, and context governing effective editing decisions.
  • Improve manuscripts through effective copyediting and substantive editing methods.
  • Use standard editing/publishing software tools.
  • Acquire, edit, and publish articles, stories, books, webpages, or other communication, in a manner consistent with approved publishing practices and ethical principles, grounded in an awareness of the history and the current state of the publishing industry.


Why Study Editing?

Editing students typically go on to careers in book, journal, and magazine publishing, but they can apply editing skills in most professional settings. All professions rely on information. Students may effectively combine the editing minor with any major on campus to enhance their marketability as editors, publishers, or content creators, or for other careers involving academic research and publishing.



BYU editing students find work in a variety of enterprises:

  • Freelance working
  • Publishing houses
  • Businesses and corporations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • such as government agencies, libraries, museums, schools, universities,
  • scientific and technical organizations

They edit and publish content in a variety of genres:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Scholarly works
  • Web content
  • Advertising and marketing materials
  • Technical materials
  • Personal and family histories

Students also leverage their editing training to pursue graduate school in a variety of disciplines.



The editing program is challenging and rigorous: the core courses (for the minor) include three courses in the history, theory, and structure of English; three courses in editing skills (plus some introduction to other aspects of the publishing industry); and one course in related computer skills. The editing major will include these same elements, plus a series of electives covering linguistic principles and software tools that deepen and broaden student understanding and skill with editing methods.


Click HERE for Editing Minor requirements

Click HERE for Editing Major requirements



Either ELang 223 or Ling 201 is a required prerequisite for ELang 322 and ELang 325.

You need to understand how linguistics study will be useful to you as an editor, YOU SHOULD REVIEW the slide presentations found below:

For the intro. to linguistics course (LING 201 or ELANG 223):


For the English grammar course (ELANG 325):


For the Substantive Editing Course (ELANG 410):



BOTH ELang 322 and ELang 325 are required prerequisites for ELang 350 and ELang 410R.

Students must formally enroll in the editing program to be given permission before enrolling in ELang 350 and ELang 410R.


Students formally enroll by clicking on the application link at the top of this page.


ELang 350 and ELang 410R may be taken concurrently, but we recommend taking ELang 350 before 410Rfirst;. DigHT 230 may be taken in any semester (except concur­rently withbefore taking ELang 430R), but we recommend taking it shortly before taking ELang 430R unless you plan to actively regularly use the programs taught in DigHT 230 in the interim before taking 430R.

This sequence of courses can be cut to a minimum ofcompleted in four semesters by taking ELang 223 (or Ling 201) the first semester, ELang 322 and ELang 325 the second semester, ELang 350 and ELang 410R in the third semester, and taking DigHT 230 in one of semesters one through three, and ELang 430R the fourth semester.


Faculty and Advisors

 Matt Baker. 4045 JFSB, 422-1253, mattbaker@byu.edu. Pro­fessor Baker’s primary interests are in feedback, social technologies, and employment communication; he has experience in textbook publishing and professional communication.

Alan D. Manning. 4053 JFSB, 422-2974, alan_manning@byu.edu. Professor Manning’s primary interests are in linguistics, especially as applied to editing and technical communication.

Suzy Bills. 4092 JKB, 422-1719, suzy_bills@byu.edu. Professor Bills’s primary experience is in scholarly and corporate publishing.  She also focuses on the business of editing.

Jacob Rawlins. 4051 JFSB, 422-2144, jacob_rawlins@byu.edu. Professor Rawlins’s primary interests are in the dynamics of the publishing industry; he has experience in business communications, scholarly publishing, and freelance work.


These faculty members serve as academic advi­sors for editing students; they are available to offer advice to individual students on academic matters and on the process of seeking jobs. Consult the table below to determine which faculty member is your advisor. If you already know one of these ad­visors, feel free to use that person as your advisor, whatever your surname. Your advisor will make sure that you understand the requirements of the major/minor and will explain some related opportunities. You must see your advisor to declare the editing major/minor.


Selecting a Section of ELang 410R: Substantive and Genre Editing

All sections of ELang 410R cover substantive edit­ing issues such as tone, organization, expression, titles, logic, indexes, and graphics. Each section practices those skills in the context of a different publishing genre and also focuses on issues spe­cific to that genre. Different genres are taught each semester, so check the course schedule for the class that best aligns with your goals. In recent semesters, the genres have included fiction and nonfiction books, technical editing, and freelance editing. Other genres may be offered in future years.

Fiction and Nonfiction Books

This section prepares students to work in the traditional book publishing industry. Projects and assignments typically include popular fiction (such as young adult fantasy or science fiction), scholarly books, textbooks, and informative books.

Technical Editing

This section prepares students to work outside of the traditional publishing industry for large corporations, tech and software companies, airlines, banks, and so on. Each of these companies produces text in manuals, instructions, policies, and websites that needs to be edited and designed. Projects and assignments include memos, letters, outlines, safety manuals, and instructions.

Freelance Editing

This section prepares students for one of the fastest growing sectors of the publishing industry: freelance editing. Students learn to attract and maintain clients, build networks, manage personal workflow, and run a freelance business. Projects and assignments include building a professional internet presence, understanding business plans, and planning for freelance success.


Selecting a Section of ELang 430R: Editing for Publication

ELang 430R provides the opportunity for you to polish the editing and other publishing skills you’ve developed during the editing program. You’ll apply these skills to complete a publishing project, which you can then use in your professional portfolio. During the course, you’ll also learn more about publishing as a profession. ELang 430R is offered in multiple genres. Please check the course catalog to see which genres will be offered in upcoming semesters and spring term.

Following are some of the ELang 4130 genres offered:

Stowaway Magazine (Print and Online)

Students plan, write, edit, proofread, design, and lay out articles for a travel magazine. Students manage the magazine’s website and complete tasks related to PR, social media, and selling and advertising.

Mormon Insights (Online)

Students plan, write, edit, proofread, and format gospel-related articles designed to engage teens and young adults. Students manage the website, create shareable picture quotes, complete tasks related to PR and social media, and oversee the translation of articles into multiple languages.

Book Publishing (Print and Online)

Students interact directly with authors to edit, proofread, and typeset the authors’ books. Students also design the cover and assist with jacket copy.


Student Journals

A great way to get practical publishing experience is to volunteer on one of BYU’s 20+ student journals. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of producing a journal, including solicitation and evaluation of manuscripts; substantive editing, copy editing, and proofreading; design and layout; and printing.

As you work on the journal, you’ll receive mentoring and feedback from more advanced students and from faculty advisors. You can volunteer on a journal before taking ELang 350 or ELang 410, and you don’t need background knowledge in the subject matter, so join a student journal as soon as possible. By starting early and trying out multiple journals, you’ll discover which type of editing and which subject matter you particularly like.

To receive academic credit, register for ELang 351R. Having the experience listed on your transcript is impressive to potential employers.

For more information about BYU’s student journals, contact Suzy Bills (422-1719, suzy_bills@byu.edu).


Editing Internships

One of the best ways to improve the editing skills that you learn in classes at BYU is to put those skills to work in an internship. We strongly en­courage all editing minorsyou to plan complete at least onean internship into their curriculumduring your college career (and to register for credit through ELang 399R, because having the class on your transcript tells a potential employer that the internship experience was genuinely a learning experience.). Many campus student editing jobs on campus are already set up to be internships, and there are also several local opportunities off campus, both part-time and full-time.

While you are ultimately responsible for finding your own internship, Professor Nancy Turley, the internship coordinator (422-0352), nancy.turley@byu.edu), can help you succeed in that experience. Requirements for the internships, instructions on how to get credit through ELang 399R, and listings for many internships can be found on the editing internship page.


STET: The Editors’ Network

STET is a club for student editors. All editing majors/minors are considered members of the club. It sponsors activities such as the following to support and enrich the editing curriculum at BYU:

  • Presentations by editing professionals on opportunities in various fields of editing and publishing
  • Workshops on career skills, such as résumé writing and interviewing
  • Notices of campus job and internship openings
  • Social and service activities
  • Leadership opportunities
  • A growing network of former editing majors/minors in companies across the United States, who can help each other in finding good employ­ment opportunities

Watch for email notices of club activities and information.


University Aims and the Editing Program

In keeping with the aims of a BYU education, the editing program strives to cultivate in its students the attitude that editing is primarily service -oriented. Upon achieving an editing major/minor, students will have received an education that harmonizes with the aims of BYU in the following ways:

Spiritually strengtheningthat : publishers serve as communication gatekeepers, sStudents will explore how editors can meet the expectations of their employers and clients while they remaining morally responsible to society and ultimately to God for the accuracy, and ethical soundness, and values and attitudes of the materials they edit as well as the values and attitudes promoted thereby. They will explore how service to authors and readers can be service to God.

Intellectually enlarging—: Editing is a lifelong pursuit of learning. Students will learn to make information and ideas more accessible to the general public by helping authors communicate that information and those ideas with readers.

Character building—: In mediating between the wishes of the author, the needs of the audience, the desires of the publisher, and the forces of the marketplace, editors must maintain integrity and respect.  Students will learn to become selfless editors, serving the needs of others above their own desires.

Lifelong learning and service—: Students will learn to appreciate the service that editing provides.  As editors, students will grow and change under the service of their chosen careers, allowing them to give back to their communities.

  • All
  • http://linguistics.byu.edu/undergraduate-faqs/
  • Editing Program Application

    click on the arrow below to