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A comprehensive guide to copy-editing

TUpdated 2021 Badgehe role of the copy-editor is to make a publication readable by the intended audience - free from distracting errors and inconsistencies, and structured in a way that is easily navigable. To achieve this, there are seven key topics and this module introduces you to the essence of each.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

  • understand where copy-editing fits into the publishing workflow
  • understand what the work of a copy-editor involves
  • have had first-hand experience of a copy-editing exercise

How does the course work?

A comprehensive guide to copy-editing is organised in two sections. The first section covers the editorial process. It contains three units about the process, what a copy-editor does, and the publishing workflow. The second section looks at how to manage the publishing process, with four units focusing on the elements of a publication, managing the process, style and house style, and an overview of more specialist editorial subjects. 

At the end of the module there is a practical exercise accompanied by a model answer and commentary. This gives you a chance to try out your understanding and gauge if you have an aptitude for the work. The module also contains a list of references, useful briefing templates and an extensive glossary of publishing terms.


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



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Study time

Eight to ten hours with eight months access to the module.

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