Copy Editing

Copy editing makes a good publication better. A copy editor can improve any document by eliminating errors, addressing grammar problems, and ensuring consistent style. This course is for people who want to develop the skills that professional copy editors need.

Topics include assessing your copy editing aptitude, using editing marks, watching for mistakes in spelling and punctuation, striving for accuracy, preparing style sheets, and electronic copy editing. You’ll have the opportunity to complete assignments based on non-fiction book excerpts, journal articles, newsletters, and other print material.

This course was formerly called Basic Copy Editing.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Judy Phillips $530.00 0 Join Waitlist
Online - Rowena Rae $530.00 17 Register
Online - - TBD $530.00 25 -

Instructional hours: 15

For online offerings, registration may close up to two business days before the course begins. Your course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the stages in the editorial process, including the place and responsibilities of the copy editor
  • Estimate how long it will take to copy edit a document
  • Copy edit a simple document
  • Identify and correct common errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, usage, mechanics, style, and content
  • Use editing symbols to mark copy and explain why they are important
  • Develop and follow editorial style and query sheets, and explain why they are important
  • Use the Microsoft Word track changes function to edit onscreen

How will I learn?

  • Readings
  • Online discussions
  • Practical exercises

How will I be evaluated?

Your grade will be based on the following:

  • Participation in discussions, quizzes and self-tests: 20%
  • Final examination: 80%

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide all course materials online. 

Hardware and software requirements

  • A printer to print the practice exercises and exam.
  • A scanner to scan the completed exam for uploading to the online course site.
  • Microsoft Word (2010 or newer)

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

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