Editorial Pet Peeve

Due Dates:

  • presentation = December 1, in class
  • final paper = December 8, midnight EST

Learning Outcomes

The purpose of this assignment is to have you learn more in some detail about style guides, editorial approaches in rhetorical contexts, and editorial research. You will choose one of your editorial pet peeves to explore in some detail and present your research on that peeve in writing and orally through a presentation at the end of the semester. Your research paper will become part of a handbook for future editing students (which they may continue to add to).


Using the pseudo-model of Giraffedata’s “comprised of” Wikipedia essay, you will research your own editorial pet peeve to create a paper and presentation for your current (and future) classmates.

Paper expectations

  • 3-4-ish single-spaced pages. If your pet peeve precludes you from having a written paper as your deliverable, please discuss the format with me prior to proceeding. Options are possible.
  • using the style guide of your choice (that is appropriate for the genre you’re writing in)
  • edited to be error-free
  • titled & with headers, if appropriate
  • examples of your pet peeve that are both invented by you (if necessary) and that are culled from primary and secondary sources
  • research to support your peeve from style guides, dictionaries, and other sources
  • should include a historical examination of your peeve
  • should include a strong defense for the correctness of your peeve (in context)
  • should include tips for editors to catch/change this peeve
  • bibliography/works cited/references (etc.) should have a supplementary section that includes any additional resources for editors to see out information about this peeve

Presentation expectations

  • 5 minutes in length
  • visuals/media necessary to explain your peeve
  • both oral presentation and media should follow the style conventions of their respective genres & be error-free
  • may be video-taped for posterity
  • media should be archivable in Dropbox

Turn-In Instructions

As we get closer, I will create Dropbox folders for both the papers and the presentation materials.

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