The Keys to Effective Editing

Learn the essential skills and resources you will need to become a successful and confident copyeditor. This course provides the fundamentals of top-notch editing for both fiction and nonfiction.
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6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting  August 18, 2021
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

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Learning method

Course code: kee

Ask any published writer and you will hear that a good editor is not just helpful, but essential. If you aspire to be an editor, this copyediting course will teach you the fundamentals of top-notch editing for both fiction and nonfiction. If you're already working as an editor, you will not only brush up on your skills, but will also learn about recent advances in your chosen profession. If you're a writer, you will learn essential self-editing tools to give your manuscripts the professional look that publishers like to see.

From the language of editing to grammar, punctuation, and syntax to the all-important relationships between editor, author, and publisher, every facet of editing will be explored in this copyeditor course. Online editing is gaining popularity; its complexities will be unraveled and its advantages and pitfalls explored. Can you make a living as an editor? Tips and resources for finding work will be addressed at length. When you finish with this course, you will feel confident enough to tackle even the most complex of manuscripts.

What you will learn

  • Examine the roles of the copy editor and other editors who work within the publishing industry
  • Utilize the copy editors' symbols, try your hand at editing electronically, and practice editing PDFs
  • Discover the tools editors use to produce clarity and consistency
  • Apply the basics of grammar and punctuation that copy editors need to know
  • Learn to apply editing rules and guidelines for spelling, capitalization, and number usage
  • Recognize the rules governing abbreviations and hyphens, and discover the basics of bibliographies and copyright law
  • Identify the editing needs of tables, charts, and photos, and discover the components of front and back matter
  • Explore ways to build and maintain good editor-author-publisher relationships

How you will benefit

  • Take steps to establish an editing career
  • Become more confident in your ability to quickly and accurately edit any type of document
  • Learn skills that can help you become a better writer and communicator

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-led or self-paced online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

Have you ever wondered just what editors do with writers' manuscripts? In this first lesson, you will find out. You will learn about the different types of editors—copy editors, acquisition editors, developmental editors, production editors, and more—and exactly what their jobs entail.

If you've ever seen a document that an editor has marked up, you probably wondered what all those symbols meant. This lesson focuses on traditional copy editors' marks and how to use them. By the end of the lesson, you will have a solid foundation for editing both on a paper manuscript and on-screen.

Editors must focus on many details to produce a final manuscript that's as error-free as possible. This lesson covers the tools used to catch inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, and more. By the end of the lesson, you will have a clear understanding of what tools you need to edit effectively and efficiently.

This lesson will offer a refresher on the basics of grammar and punctuation as well as reveal some of the more common related problems that arise in writing. You will come away with a solid understanding of the basic grammar principles as they apply to copyediting.

This lesson takes you into the world of spelling, capitalization, and numbers. Many people are surprised to learn that there are actually rules governing how words are spelled and capitalized, and whether numbers should be spelled out or in digit form.

This lesson explores all the writing pitfalls that can leave readers in a state of confusion. You will learn to recognize and fix garbled syntax, mixed metaphors, nominals, redundancies, and much more. You will also learn how to untangle overly wordy sentences and create parallel structure.

When is it appropriate to use an abbreviation? When should you hyphenate words? Most people have a general knowledge of abbreviations and hyphens, but when it comes time to actually use them, they can be mystifying. This lesson examines the rules that guide their use.

In this lesson, you will learn how to edit such peripheral material as tables, charts, photos, and captions. If you've ever seen a caption that didn't fit the photo it was describing, you will understand the need for this extra scrutiny. You will learn the function of the foreword, table of contents, index, and many more.

Every novel is different, and a good fiction editor will help guide the author to take the story where it wants to go. This lesson defines narrative summary, exposition, point of view, and character arcs. By the end of the lesson, you should have the necessary tools to tackle fiction editing.

This lesson examines how to keep life harmonious within the author-editor-publisher relationship. Writers will be able to see things from the editor's perspective, and editors will learn how it feels to be in the author's shoes. Both of you will gain insight as well as a good brush-up of your people skills.

After 10 lessons of absorbing the technical elements of editing, it's time to have some fun. This lesson explores the intricacies, inconsistencies, and irregularities in the English language. You will learn about oddball words and phrases, the dos and don'ts of usage, and why language is like a puzzle.

This might be the most important lesson of all. In this lesson, you will learn how to find work as an editor. Whether you want to begin a freelance career or are interested in a staff position, all the help and advice you will need to achieve your goals is in this lesson.

Jacquelyn Landis has worked as a nonfiction editor for more than 15 years. Her editing repertoire includes books, articles, and business manuals written by authors such as Eva Shaw, George Carpozi, Anthony Robbins, and Tom Blair. She has been a speaker in the UCSD Extension program and has participated in writing panels at the University of San Diego. Landis is also the author of numerous published books and magazine articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or newer.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Prerequisites:

Although this course will teach English grammar, punctuation, and style, you must be fluent in English and have a better-than-average spelling ability.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.

Instructor-Led: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have 3 month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.