A command of grammar is one of the best tools for making you a more confident writer or editor. Strong grammar skills allow you to express your ideas clearly, experiment with style and improve the writing of others—without changing an author's voice.

In this course, you will focus on the basics of English grammar, with particular emphasis on common errors. Topics will include the key parts of a sentence, sentence structure, punctuation, consistency, and more.

You should have a strong command of spoken and written English. This is not an EAL course.

The final exam for this course is due one week after the course ends.

Instructional hours: 18


Location: Online
Format: Self-paced within deadlines set by instructor
Duration: 6 weeks
Tuition: $668
Can be applied to:
Editing Certificate

Upcoming Offerings

Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateWed, Mar 8, 2023
  • Wed, Mar 8 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Mar 15 (self-paced all week)
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  • Wed, Apr 5 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Apr 12 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available26
Start DateWed, May 17, 2023
  • Wed, May 17 (self-paced all week)
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  • Wed, May 31 (self-paced all week)
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  • Wed, Jun 14 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jun 21 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available30
Start DateWed, Jun 14, 2023
  • Wed, Jun 14 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jun 21 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jun 28 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jul 5 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jul 12 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jul 19 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available30
Start DateWed, Sep 6, 2023
  • Wed, Sep 6 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Sep 13 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Sep 20 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Sep 27 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Oct 4 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Oct 11 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available30
Start DateWed, Nov 1, 2023
  • Wed, Nov 1 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Nov 8 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Nov 15 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Nov 22 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Nov 29 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Dec 6 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available30

What you will learn

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

  • Identify and correct common errors in sentence structure
  • Improve writing by identifying and correcting common grammatical errors
  • Apply the rules of punctuation
  • Assess a piece of problematic writing and determine the most effective editing approach

How you will learn and be evaluated

Prepare to spend 6–10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Readings
  • Discussions
  • Exercises

You will be evaluated on:

  • Participation in discussions
  • Assignments
  • Final exam (due 1 week after course ends)

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Recommended reading:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. University of Chicago Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0226287058

Note: Courses use the author-date style from the Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide.

Once you begin the course you’ll be sent SFU library access information for this text. Alternatively, you may wish to access a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style.

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

You will need access to the following:

  • Microsoft Word (2010 or newer) and being comfortable with Track Changes function
  • A printer
  • A scanner or camera to create a digital copy of editing examples to be submitted for one of the assignments
  • High-speed internet access
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.