Centre for Continuing Education

A Course in Editing and Proofreading

Business Communication. Sharpen your communication skills.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.


This editing and proofreading course will help you sharpen your written communications and improve your ability to sell, lead or inform. Those who write, or oversee the writing of others, need to ensure that the final product is polished, targeted and error-free.

This course teaches the structural editing, copy editing and proofreading techniques needed to turn early drafts into perfect finished products. You will learn to start with the big picture, move down to sentence level and finally use proofreading to ensure the slipperiest of errors are eliminated. This editing and proofreading course also gives you the tools to avoid common grammar pitfalls and punctuate with flair and subtlety.

Aims

This course aims to give you a thorough grounding in the three-part editing process. It will equip you with the skills you need to turn rough copy into powerful and effective writing.

Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • use structural editing to maximise the effect of any document
  • employ the principles of copy editing to produce clear and compelling sentences
  • set the right tone for your audience
  • use headings and sub-headings to guide the reader through the structure
  • correct common grammar, punctuation and spelling errors
  • check that appropriate wording has been used at all times
  • cut out deadwood, removing unnecessary verbiage
  • edit for style, cutting out pompous language and cliches
  • edit for consistency, using house styles and style guides
  • use proofreading techniques to finalise copy for publication.

Content

Structural or substantive editing

  • Focussing on the big picture and your key messages
  • Avoiding waffle and getting to the point
  • Assessing the content to make sure it flows logically
  • Cutting out irrelevant material and filling content gaps
  • Ensuring the tone is right for your audience
  • Using transitional words and phrases to link paragraphs
  • Using headings and sub-heads for maximum effect

Copy editing

  • Making sure all sentences have maximum readability and impact
  • Correcting grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Picking the right words to do the job
  • Cutting out clichés and pompous, overly formal wording
  • Getting rid of redundant words and phrases
  • Avoiding business buzzwords

Proofreading

  • Eradicating stubborn errors and inconsistencies
  • Mastering proofreading techniques
  • Adapting your reading style for effective proofreading
  • Checking all wording against a relevant style guide

Intended audience

Suitable for anyone who wants to edit or proofread their own work or that of others. It is suitable for all who edit content, online or in print.

Prerequisites

None

Delivery style

Delivered as a one-day, interactive workshop consisting of an instructor-led lecture, group and individual activities. This training approach allows you to work through concepts introduced by the instructor in an application-focussed teaching environment.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught training on University premises
  • online training via the platform Zoom.

Materials

Course workbooks are distributed electronically.

Before the course

Please print the course workbook and bring it to class. You will not be able to actively participate throughout the day without a printed version of the workbook.

Please bring a notebook and pen to class.

Recommended reading

There is no prescribed reading required, but these books provide valuable in-depth information relating to editing and proofreading:

  • Bryson, B. 2009, Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Anchor Books, New York.
  • Clark, R.P. 2011, The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English, Little, Brown, New York.
  • Mackenzie, J. 2011, The Editor’s Companion, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
  • Murphy, E.M. 2014, Effective Writing: Plain English at Work, 2nd edition, Lacuna Publishing, Armidale.
  • Australian Government Style Manual. (This free online edition published in 2020 supersedes the print book Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 6th edition, 2002, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton.)
  • Taggart, C. and Wines, J.A. 2011, My Grammar and I (or should it be ‘me’?), Michael O’Mara Books, London.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

A Course in Editing and Proofreading

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A Course in Editing and Proofreading

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What others say.

  • The small group sizes made it very personal. The tutor was very attentive and enthusiastic.
  • As an stand-alone course, it was most satisfactory. It has whet my appetite to enrol in the advanced course. The tutor's knowledge and delivering were both entertaining and informative.
  • The size of the class was good so there were lots of opportunities to ask questions. We also had plenty of classroom activities to test our understanding after each topic.
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