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R5,495.00

Copy-editing and Proofreading


! Please note that this course is now waiting list only. You are welcome to apply for the course, and we will put you on a first-come-first-served waiting list. We expect places to be available at the beginning of November.

 
 

Welcome to the Copy-editing and Proofreading Course at SA Writers College. 

Being a copy-editor and proofreader can be a satisfying job in the writing industry, whether you work as a freelancer from home, or in-house for a company.

This five-month practical course will teach you the basic skills of copy-editing and proofreading so that you can make consistent and confident decisions when correcting texts.

The course covers copy-editing of fiction, non-fiction and academic writing, as well as proofreading of master’s or doctoral dissertations using the APA style guide (the latter is optional).


Students are expected to consult one of the prescribed style guides below for every editing decision they make. The style guides are an additional purchase, and are essential reference material for those students wishing to pursue a career in copy-editing and proofreading. A second-hand edition from the last five years will suffice perfectly well. Please note that we use UK English at the college.


 

Option 1:
(Print)

 
Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders
Option 2:
(Print)

 
The Oxford Style Manual
or the
New Oxford Style Manual
Option 3:
(e-Book)

 
New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide this edition does not include a dictionary so you will need to get one separately
Option 4:
(Online)

 
Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style (free online, but not as effective or up to date)
We recommend the following suppliers:
   
SAWC-Certified


 Copy editing and proofreading at SA Writers College

 

“Excellent clarity and details of explanations and feedback. Excellent applicability of course content to industry.”

Fiona Corcoran, Copy-Editing and Proofreading Course

 

 

 

Course Details:


 
  • Modules: 10 Modules; 120-page course manual
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace: within eight months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round via our website
  • Read course feedback here.




Students must complete:


 

Admission Requirements:


 
  • Excellent grasp of grammar, punctuation, spelling and English usage (You should consider our Grammar for Writers course if you need to sharpen your grammar skills).
  • Access to one prescribed style guide and dictionary are required. These books are in addition to the course fee. (Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders, New Hart's Rules:The Oxford Style Guide (e-Book), The Oxford Style Manual; Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, available free of charge at http://www.bartleby.com/141/; The Oxford English Dictionary; Collins English Dictionary)
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • Use of Microsoft Word and the 'track changes' function
  • Will require a printer and scanner
  • No previous tertiary qualification required
 
 
 


Tutor for this course:


Di-Smith  
Di Smith has worked as an editor for over 20 years for various publication houses, including Pan Macmillan, Shuter & Shooter, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press and Flora & Fauna Publications Trust. Di has extensive experience as an author/editor of scientific publications (including works such as Pooley’s Trees of Eastern South Africa, Bird Atlas of Botswana, Zulu Medicinal Plants, among many others).

With a Master’s degree in science, Di has been a key member of the author team who have produced Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and other text books for the South African education market, shepherding these through multiple curriculum changes over the past few decades. Read more about Di here >
 


Course Curriculum



Module 1 - An Introduction

  • Introduction to the course
  • Recommended reference works and resources
  • Using ‘Track Changes’
  • Using a house style guide
  • Writing Exercise 1.1
  • Writing Exercise 1.2
  • Writing Exercise 1.3


Module 2 - What is Copy-editing?

  • What is copy-editing?
  • Correcting punctuation
  • Writing Exercise 2.1
  • Writing Exercise 2.2
  • Writing Exercise 2.3

 

Module 3 - Copy-editing in Practice

  • Explore copy-editing in practice
  • Maintaining a style sheet
  • Correcting spelling, hyphenation and homophones
  • Writing Exercise 3.1
  • Writing Exercise 3.2
  • Writing Exercise 3.3

 

Module 4 - What is Proofreading?

  • Correcting capitalisation
  • Understanding the treatment of names and numbers
  • Writing Exercise 4.1
  • Writing Exercise 4.2
  • Writing Exercise 4.3

 

Module 5 - Proofreading in Practice

  • Explore proofreading in practice
  • Correcting quotations and references
  • Writing Exercise 5.1
  • Writing Exercise 5.2
  • Writing Exercise 5.3


Module 6 - Study Common Grammar Gremlins

  • Correcting grammar errors
  • Writing Exercise 6.1
  • Writing Exercise 6.2
  • Writing Exercise 6.3


Module 7 - Checking Facts

  • Writing Exercise 7.1
  • Writing Exercise 7.2
  • Writing Exercise 7.3


Module 8 - Copy-editing Assignments

  • Writing Exercise 8.1
  • Writing Exercise 8.2
  • Writing Exercise 8.3


Module 9 - Proofreading Assignments

  • Where to look for work
  • What to charge
  • How to invoice
  • Writing Exercise 9.1
  • Writing Exercise 9.2
  • Writing Exercise 9.3


Module 10 - Choose one of the following

  • 3 Tasks
  • Substantive Editing
Or
  • 3 Tasks
  • Proofreading Academic Theses
Or
  • 3 Tasks
  • Hard copy Proofreading
 
*Students may choose to do more than one elective. These will be invoiced separately.

 

 

“I really enjoyed the course and found it challenging in a positive way. I have learnt new skills which I can apply to my job.”

Aleksandra Mijovic, Copy-Editing and Proofreading Course

  •  

 

How does the course work?

 
Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students. At the end of each module, students will be required to complete several writing exercises. Once the writing assignment has been completed and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete.
 
 

Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an SA Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:
  • Students must have completed all assignments.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course.
  • The course must have been completed within eight months of registration.
 

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

  • Reading time: Minimum 20 hours depending on your reading speed. A read-through of a recommended style guide for grammar and punctuation rules is vital.
  • Editing time: Minimum of 30 hours of editing



Need more advice about the best course for you?
We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.
If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 021 813 9224. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in South Africa and internationally.
 
  •  

Enrol here

Daniel Bristow, Copy-editing and Proofreading Course“This course was more challenging than I expected. When I told my mother (a sub-editor) this, she replied icily: ‘If it were easy, anyone could do it!"’ while giving me the hairy eyeball.... My tutor was excellent: approachable, prompt and very well restrained.”

Aleksandra Mijovic-Cirilovic, Copy-editing and Proofreading“I really enjoyed the course and found it challenging in a positive way. I have learnt new skills which I can apply in my job and which enhance my performance. [My tutor’s] comments were always fair and communicated in a positive way. The turnaround of results was quick and his explanations clear and to the point. An excellent source of information, education and up-skilling resources for writing professionals in any media.”

Lulu Barnard, Copy-editing and Proofreading Course“I enjoyed the course but found it very difficult in the beginning. I did improve as I started to get into it and believe I will improve the more I proofread. My tutor was very kind and understanding – I am an amateur at this and he did not make me feel like I should not be attempting this course. I enjoyed the professionalism and the ease at which the course can be taken.”

“Doing the course was an awesome experience. I have learned a lot! My tutor was very good. Constructive criticism was given and it was very clear about where I could improve; he was always prompt on replies and feedback. I will definitely consider doing another course – I’m still deciding which one. The course was interesting and not as easy as I thought, but I like a challenge and enjoyed it immensely.” Marli van Rooyen, Proofreading and Copy-Editing

 

 

More Testimonials Here






Course image by sj_sanders

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About Us

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers in South Africa. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice.
 

Locations

Study from anywhere in South Africa: Cape Town, Western Cape; Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng; Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Kimberley, Northern Cape and Polokwane, Limpopo.

About Us

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers in South Africa. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice.
 

Locations

Study from anywhere in South Africa: Cape Town, Western Cape; Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng; Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Kimberley, Northern Cape and Polokwane, Limpopo.
 

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: [email protected]

You can also leave a voice message on 021 813 9224 and we will phone you back within one working day.

9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Work for Us

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Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: [email protected]

 

9-5 Monday to Friday

Work for Us

Vacancies at SAWC
 
 
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