Blackford Centre for Proofreading
Proofreading Course Syllabus Contents
What the Proofreading Course Covers
1. The world of the copy editor and proofreader.
- Copy editor versus proofreader: what's the difference?
- The role of the proofreader.
- Using a house style guide.
- The five Cs.
- How much to edit: bold yet tactful.
2. How to edit professionally
- How to copy edit. How to spot errors.
- Proofreading symbols and what they mean.
- Proofreading skills and tips.
- British English versus American English. Globish.
- Three proofreading myths. Split infinitives.
3. Copy editing skills.
- Great grammar
- Superior spelling. Commonly confused word pairs (or pears?).
- Subject-verb agreement.
4. The different types of document you'll encounter
- Copy editing fiction books: dialogue and other issues.
- Copyediting for business writing: reports and proposals.
- Writing better letters and emails.
5. How to write better English sentences.
- Clarity. Avoiding ambiguity. Re-writing sentences. Being passive.
- Sentence length.
- Super structure.
- Parallelism. The rule of three.
- When you can and can't use contractions.
- Sentence fragments.
- The run-on sentence.
- Unnecessarily formalised words. Intensifiers. Florid writing. Pruning.
- English expressions: what they mean and should you use them?
6. How to master punctuation
- Proper punctuation
- Correct capitalisation. People's titles. Companies.
- The awful apostrophe.
- Exclamation marks.
7. Making a document more attractive and legible through improved layout, fonts and formatting.
- Paragraph length.
- How to lay out text. Spacing. Headings and body copy.
- Microsoft Word skills for proofreaders. Autosummarise. Headers and footers.
- Technology that helps proofreaders. Other software.
8. Setting up your business
- Starting out
- Job sites
- Pitching for work
- Time Management
- Business forms and records
- Processing the work
- Your company
- What's the Plan?
- A Place to Work
- Being self-employed
- Basic business tools
9. Managing your money.
- Basic budgeting
- How much should you charge?
- Keeping clients and the bank manager happy
- The 'form' of your business
- Your business name
- How to keep financial records in four easy steps
- Paying tax
- Bookkeeping and other essentials.
- Selecting a Business Type
10. How to launch your business and find clients
- Setting Your Pricing
- What is the going rate in your area?
- Building a clientele
- The initial enquiry
- Marketing yourself/your service/practice/business
- Positioning your business
- USP - standing out from the crowd
- How to find clients
- Sources of work
- Promotional material
- Your website.
- Getting more traffic to your site.
- Gaining experience
- Handling clients
- Sustaining your profile
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