Copy-editing 3: Progress

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is the gateway to the SfEP's copy-editing mentoring scheme. It is suitable for those who already have a good grounding in copy-editing, and preferably some experience, who feel ready to advance to the next level. It is also suitable for members who are returning after a break, and wish to update, refresh or check their skills.

At a minimum, before tackling this course you should be able to answer 'Yes' to the following questions:

  • do you understand the basic role of a copy-editor, and what to look out for when copy-editing a text?
  • can you follow a client's brief?
  • do you know how to identify the different elements of a document (such as headings and lists)?
  • can you follow a house style, and make and record your own style decisions?
  • do you understand what is meant by the 'author's voice', and know how to raise queries (tactfully!) with the author?
  • do you have a basic working knowledge of Microsoft Word and of how to mark up text on paper using the British Standard symbols for copy preparation and proof correction?

Course description

This course guides you through the technicalities of copy-editing tables, notes and references, and preliminary and end pages. The exercises cover a variety of texts, from public information to academic books, and give a lot of scope for practice.

CE3 is an assessed course. Passing the final assignment acts as part qualification for acceptance into the copy-editing mentoring scheme. Two upgrade points are awarded for completing the course, and a further two for passing the final assignment.

What you should know after the course

After taking this course you should be confident in your knowledge of how to deal with material that is more complex than straightforward text – or should know where to look if something unusual crops up. You should be clear in your own mind on what sort of text best suits your copy-editing skills, and you should know as a result of your tutor's marks and comments exactly where you need to work hardest to improve.

Availability, prices and upgrade points

  Workshop Online
Price (members) n/a  
Price (non members) n/a  
SfEP upgrade points n/a 4
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Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

All workshops take place over 1 day. Online courses take between 10 and 35 hours to complete, but you have access to the course materials for 4 or 5 months (depending on the course).


Workshop course syllabus

This course is not available as a workshop option.

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Online course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months SfEP upgrade points: completion 2; pass 2
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 20–25 hours

This is an assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email), and the tutor will also mark and provide feedback on three assignments. The first two assignments are marked so that both you and your tutor can assess whether you are at about the right level for the course (if you are struggling, you can put the course 'on hold' and come back to it later, after more training or experience).

The three exercises in the middle of the course are self-assessed against model answers.

Your performance on the final assignment determines whether you have passed the course. When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states either that you have 'Passed' the course or, if you are unlucky enough not to have passed, that you have 'Completed' it.

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