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 copy-editors 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?
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. It is a course for editors with some experience; we expect you to have a grasp of the main tasks involved in copy-editing and some practical knowledge of carrying them out.
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 three 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
|Price (non members)|
|SfEP upgrade points||5|
Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.
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).
Online course structure
|Time allowed for access: 6 months||SfEP upgrade points: completion 2; pass 3|
|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.
1 Are you ready to start?
Reminds you of the principles and practice you should already know.
How to prepare and mark up tables, what problems to look out for and how to communicate your instructions to the typesetter.
3 Notes and references
Possible styles for the three most commonly used reference systems and some general tips on how to organise work on notes and references.
4 Preliminary pages
Introduces the topic of prelims and provides tips on what to look out for when copy-editing them.
5 End matter
Provide a good grounding in editing and preparing end matter, which is not dealt with in great detail in books about editing.
6 Final assignment
Choose one of the two assignments (humanities or sciences) to send to your tutor for assessment.