Training course: Editing and Proofreading

Course overview

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How should you punctuate a bulleted list?
  • When should you use commas?
  • Should every word in a heading have a capital or just the first one?
  • Is it okay to 'split an infinitive'? (And just what is an infinitive anyway?)
  • Was it okay to start the previous sentence with and?

It's hard enough making these decisions when you're editing your own work. If you're responsible for editing the work of others, it can be a nightmare. Everyone you ask will have opinions. Often, though, no one will be able to justify these opinions with anything more convincing than 'Well, when I was at school my teacher said ...'.

Course duration

One day.

Table of contents

Here is a table of contents and a detailed list of outcomes for the course (PDF, 219 KB).

Course rationale

The course meets the following business needs:

  • You need the knowledge with which to provide good and justifiable answers to editing-related questions such as the ones above.
  • You need the skills with which to apply this knowledge to practical situations in your workplace.
  • You need to be able to follow best-practice, contemporary guidelines for punctuation, capitalisation, abbreviation and more.

Course outcomes

After mastering the course's contents, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and overcome the challenges involved in editing other people's work.
  • Make best use of style manuals and style guides.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists correctly.
  • Correctly and consistently use commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, dashes and other punctuation marks.
  • Use capital letters correctly and know when to avoid them.
  • Correctly and consistently use abbreviations, contractions, acronyms and symbols. (For example, why does Prof. have a full stop, yet Mr doesn't?)
  • Minimise your use of acronyms in order to aid clarity.
  • And much more.

Some of these topics are also covered in the Report Writing course.

Target audience

This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to improve his or her writing skills or who has responsibility for editing the work of others.