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 ...'.
Table of contents
Here is a table of contents and a detailed list of outcomes for the course (PDF, 744 KB).
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.
After mastering the course's contents, you'll be able to:
- What are some of the difficulties involved in editing other people's work?
- How can style manuals and style guides help us?
- How do we use bulleted and numbered lists correctly?
- How do we correctly and consistently use commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, dashes and other punctuation marks?
- When should we use capital letters, and when should we avoid them?
- How do we correctly and consistently use abbreviations, contractions, acronyms and symbols? (For example, why does Prof. have a full stop, yet Mr doesn't?)
- How can we minimise our use of acronyms in order to aid clarity?
- And much more.
Some of these topics are also covered in the Report Writing course.
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.