What is Proofreading?

The word ‘proofreading’ means different things to different people. This module is designed to help you understand just what it means for four sectors; book and journal publishers, other organisations who may not be publishers but who have information or messages to share, independent authors and students.

e-Learning Modules are optimised for desktop and laptop devices and not tablets and smartphones. You will need a PDF reader to view some of the materials for this module.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

  • understand where proofreading fits into the publishing workflow
  • understand what the work of proofreading involves
  • have had first hand experience of a proofreading exercise

How does the course work?

What is Proofreading? is organised in two sections. The first section  covers the purpose of proofreading and essential techniques and good practice. The second section comprises a practical exercise that is accompanied by a model answer and commentary. This gives you your first chance to try out your understanding and to gauge if you have an aptitude for the work.


How to enrol

To enrol, you need to click on the Add to Cart button on this page. You will be asked to register (if you have not already done so). You will, at that point, be asked to pay by credit/debit card.

Important note: You will have access to the course for eight months from the date of your enrolment.

Refunds: Fees for e-Learning Modules are non-refundable, as immediate access is available to all the relevant course material.

What is included?

Course Materials

Full access to the PTC's online learning platform where you will find all the materials you need to complete the course. Where relevant, downloadable materials are provided so you can practise your new skills as many times as you need to feel confident that you have mastered them.


Upon successfully completing the course you will receive a completion certificate from PTC.

Who is it for?

This module is for anyone wanting gain a full understanding of the work of a proofreader and to take the first, small step towards aquiring proofreaders' skills.

About the author

Margaret AherneMargaret Aherne has worked since 1986 as a proofreader, copy-editor, project manager and tutor/mentor, for clients including Blackwell Publishers, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Arnold, Routledge/Taylor & Francis and Robinson Publishing, covering both academic (arts, humanities and social sciences) and more popular subjects, as well as for bodies such as the Audit Commission.

In 2005, Margaret became a tutor on PTC's distance learning course Basic Proofreading, and subsequently co-author with Gillian Clarke of the latest edition. She was also commissioned to create and deliver the PTC's Advanced Copy-Editing one-day course.

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This e-Learning Module was developed with the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust.



Study Time

Five to seven hours with eight months access to the module.

Related Courses

PTC e-Learning Modules are concentrated, online courses that focus on specialist topics relevant to an editor's working life. They are designed to build on a foundation of existing skills and experience.

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The Publishing Training Centre is a registered charity. Registered name: The Publishing Training Centre Foundation, a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.
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