Introduction to Book Indexing
Instructor: Joanne Sprott
Dates: August 7 to September 1, 2017
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
This four-week, asynchronous online course provides an introduction to, and hands-on practice in, the indexing process for a closed-system text (as opposed to periodicals or databases). The main objective is to provide the student with a beginning skill set in producing a traditional back-of-the-book index. The intellectual and technical skills used will also be applicable to the indexing of online materials of various sorts. Topics will include: plumbing the indexer mind; how users approach and use indexes; index term selection (names and subjects); index entry formation; publisher requirements and considerations; double-posting and cross-referencing conventions; and editing the index for conciseness, completeness and usability. The course will also explore, as time allows, some best practices for indexing modular materials as well as the challenge and use of embedding index terms in electronic documents.
Joanne Sprott has been a freelance book indexer, copy editor, and proofreader since 1995. She holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of New Hampshire. Joanne’s background in instruction includes developing and presenting the six-hour Basic Indexing Workshop given at the American Society for Indexing's (ASI's) annual conference (1998–2002), and editing materials and managing exam administration for ASI's Training in Indexing course (2009–2014). Prior to starting her editorial and indexing business, Joanne worked in university administration at Brown University in Providence Rhode Island (1986–1990). Website
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
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