Editorial Skills for All

esa 2022

We all rely on the written word to communicate with clients, stakeholders, and the public. The text that we produce is our shopfront to the rest of the world. How can we ensure that the copy for our company reports, websites or marketing material is clear and well structured, or that we won’t be let down by spelling and grammar errors in our letters and emails?

This interactive course provides a practical introduction to the role of editing and proofreading digital or print content in any business. Specially created for those who generate or prepare copy for presentation or publication, but have little or no editorial background, it guides you through what needs to be done – and why. Using an active learning approach, combining individual study with group activities and discussion, it explores how best practice from the publishing industry can be adapted to your own working environment.

By the end of the course you will have gained skills and strategies that will help you to ensure that the text you produce is in the best possible shape for its intended readers. You will be more confident in your editorial judgement, more accurate in your proofreading, and more efficient in the way you work.

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who works with words
  • Editorial staff at charities, membership organisations or any business with some publishing function
  • People responsible for, or who work on, corporate communications
  • Administrators who brief editorial freelancers or who are involved in quality control


What will you achieve?

On completing this course you'll be able to:

  • spot errors, ambiguity and poor structure, and know how to fix them
  • feel more confident in your use of the English language
  • understand how editorial best practice can be applied to your own work
  • use skills and strategies to edit and proofread more efficiently as well as more accurately
  • communicate effectively and knowledgeably with clients, writers, designers, programmers, freelancers and other stakeholders 


Session 1: What do we mean by editing and proofreading?

  • Overview of editing, proofreading and editing for the web
  • How is proofreading different from editing?
  • Where do we start? Strategy and approach
  • How do we do it? Basic methods

Session 2: Getting the message across and fixing the words

  • Organisation and structure
  • Clarity and tone
  • Grammar gremlins, punctuation pitfalls and sloppy syntax
  • Misused words and other common problems

 Session 3: Consistency, style and communication

  • The power of consistency
  • Developing and using a house style
  • Style sheets and Find and Replace
  • Communicating with writers and freelancers

Session 4: Ways of working efficiently

  • Taking a methodical approach
  • Digital workhorse and human brain: effective use of Word and Adobe
  • Layout issues and other proof-stage problems
  • Concluding discussion and top tips

How the course is delivered

The course consists of four x 1.5 hour units plus breaks, comprising two half-day sessions on two separate days. You will be encouraged to complete a 'homework' exercise between the two sessions and bring it along for discussion. 

You will need access to a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone and with Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (or similar) installed. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is free software for downloading, viewing and commenting on PDFs. You will need to activate a free Zoom account to join the course. This takes two minutes and does not require any payment. It is purely for administrative purposes.

Any information to be completed beforehand will be sent via email.


Please contact us at with any accessibility or special requirements, for example having in-session captions or the learning materials sent to you in advance.

If you have any concerns about technical requirements or access please contact us on  or telephone (+44) 020 8874 2718.

Delegate feedback

“The course was collaborative but not overly intensive. I’ve refreshed my basic grammar skills, know what errors to look out for that I have missed in the past, and have learnt to slow down!” Ellen MacArthur Foundation delegate

“The course was interactive and well led. I’ve gained editing tips for applications including MS Word and Adobe.” James Hambro & Partners delegate

“Caro was an engaging tutor. Immediate gains include proofreading/editing strategies and grammar advice.” Content and Learning Specialist

“The course was well run and I enjoyed Caro’s teaching style. I will have better processes going forwards with lots of new tips.” Co-founder and Project Lead, Good Beans

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The tasks were great and the breakout rooms really helpful to discuss our thoughts. I'm more confident doing the QA work in my role and more aware of the areas that I'm less confident about.” Content and Learning Specialist

I loved the course! It was fun and informative. I’ve gained confidence in my proof-editing skills and good direction for further improvements.” Marketing Manager, McNeela Music

About the tutor

caro drake

In an in-house career that took her to Berlin, London, Oxford and Cambridge, Caroline worked on a wide range of academic books, journals and illustrated trade titles. She was trained at Blackwell and Cambridge University Press, where, as senior subeditor then copy-editorial manager, she in turn trained copy-editors and proofreaders for fifteen years. She updated Butcher’s Copy-editing, with a colleague, for the fourth edition.

Now freelance, Caroline enjoys helping authors to get things right, first time. She has created and taught courses for a variety of clients, including publishers, educational organisations, the CIEP (formerly the SfEP), the reporters of the Scottish Parliament and the Parliamentary Research Service at the House of Commons.

Session 1: 5 November | Session 2: 7 November (mornings only)


Tuesday, 05 November 2024


Date information for future sessions

November 2024

  • Dates: 5 & 7 November 2024
  • Times: Each session will run from 9.30am to 1.00pm 

Course format

  • Virtual classroom
  • Please check the list above for the session times
  • Four x 1.5 hour sessions plus breaks, comprising two half-day sessions on two days, two days apart

 A number of discounts are available

 Enrol on this course

What you will need

To join the course, you will need access to a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone. You will need to activate a free Zoom account to join the course. This takes two minutes and does not require any payment. It is purely for administrative purposes.





Enrol on this course

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