Although the work of copy editors and proofreaders is invisible, their contributions to the publishing process are invaluable. Copy editors and proofreaders play an essential role in ensuring the consistency and accuracy of text and preparing manuscripts for publication. Gain skills that are in demand across all types of media, including book publishing, magazine publishing, and online media. Job opportunities are available through the robust freelance market, as well as in full-time in-house positions, and the skills are transferable to all industries that utilize written communications.
As a participant in the Advanced Diploma in Copyediting, Proofreading, and Fact-Checking, you will become familiar with standard copyediting and proofreading symbols and terminology, style guides, and house styles. You will develop techniques to edit text for accuracy, clarity, and flow. Through hands-on practice, you will learn how to proof against a manuscript; utilize appropriate reference works; and solve common grammar, punctuation, and word use issues. The program also will cover the ins and outs of book and magazine publishing, including the standard production cycles and the roles and relationships of proofreader, copy editor, editor, and production editor, as well as all other staff positions. You will receive hands-on training in Adobe InCopy and InDesign, the two most commonly used software programs for copyediting and proofreading.
The work product will be a project that is meant to assess, upon successful completion of the Diploma, your mastery of grammar and standard word use, attention to detail, ability to catch errors in consistency, proper utilization of reference tools, and understanding of style guides.
You will be presented with three pieces of text, including an excerpt from a book manuscript and rough pages from a magazine. The book manuscript pages may include the book’s front matter (title pages and copyright information), introduction, and the beginning of a chapter. The magazine excerpt may include a few pages from the front-of-book section (typically brief news items) and one feature spread. Both samples will incorporate photographs/artwork and captions.
You will be asked to copyedit and fact-check the excerpts. You will need to identify and correct grammatical errors, incorrect word use, mislaid type, inconsistencies in font and layout, and mislabeled or misattributed artwork/photographs—all without the assistance of a style guide. Using the text itself as a guide, you must discern the overarching “house” style and apply it consistently through the excerpt. For example, you will need to note if the document uses a series comma, standard American vocabulary and spelling, indents for the first paragraph of new subchapters, etc; and, if so, apply these stylistic choices throughout the document.
- Demonstrated expert knowledge of English grammar, including punctuation, parts of speech, and spelling
- An understanding of and the ability to apply standard proofreaders’ marks
- The knowledge to generate a style sheet of grammar, spelling, and formatting choices unique to a publication
- Techniques for using print and online resources to fact-check and eliminate errors
- The skills to communicate text changes and questions to authors and publishers with tact and sensitivity
- The ability to participate and contribute as part of a production team
- Expertise with InCopy and InDesign to input text changes
- Copy Editor of books, magazines, academic publications, newspapers, websites, and other media
- Freelance Copy Editor and/or Proofreader
- Research Editor or Fact-Checker
You'll Walk Away With
- The ability to understand and accurately use grammar rules and conventions
- The skills to copyedit and proofread a variety of texts (books, magazine, academic texts, websites)
- The skills to fact-check texts for accuracy
- The ability to input text changes in InCopy and InDesign
- Knowledge of the roles of copyediting and proofreading in the production cycle