Indexing: An Essential Art and Science
An index to a non-fiction book is like a map: it informs the reader of what lies ahead and how to get there. This online course is designed for aspiring indexers and for editors who oversee and edit indexes. Through critiques of existing indexes in various documents (non-fiction books, technical manuals, and textbooks), course readings, forum discussions, and software demonstrations and practice, you will explore what constitutes a good index and how to create one efficiently. We will also cover the business of indexing, including finding and dealing with clients, networking, and pursuing opportunities for continuing education.
Instructional hours: 15
Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.
- Tue, May 3 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, May 10 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, May 17 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, May 24 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, May 31 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 13 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 20 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 27 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 4 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 11 (self-paced all week)
What you will learn
After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:
- Analyze and evaluate the contents and format of an index.
- Create indexes for non-fiction works as well as technical and other documents.
- Design an index using the indexing function of a word processing software.
- Design an index using dedicated indexing software.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the range of indexing opportunities and professional indexing standards and practices.
How you will learn and be evaluated
- Prepare to spend 10–15 hours per week on coursework
- Expect reading, exercises and other assignments on a weekly basis
- Plan to access the course at least once every few days to keep up with your work and group assignments
You will be evaluated on:
- Assignments (individual and group)
- Participation in online discussions
To graduate with the Technical Communication Certificate, complete all courses with minimum average grade of B- (70%).
Course fees do not include textbooks. We recommend you purchase your textbook as soon as you’ve registered. We will provide additional course materials online.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition (or later). University of Chicago Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0226104201
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 download a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style.
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.
This course requires:
- CINDEX, MACREX or SKY demo software (available as free downloads during the course)
- 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.