What is Copy-Editing?

The role of the copy-editor is essentially 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.

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 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?

What is Copy-Editing? is organised in two sections. The first section covers the editorial process, what a copy-editor does, and the publishing workflow. The second section looks at the elements of a publication, house style, and gives an overview of more specialist editorial subjects. There is also 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.


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



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

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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