Course Outcomes

This editing and proofreading workshop will:

  • Explain the importance of carefully re-reading anything they or their colleagues write for the purpose of catching and correcting mistakes.
  • Introduce participants to proofing and editing tools that will enable them to locate, identify, and correct mistakes in written texts either by hand or electronically.
  • Clarify the difference between proofreading and editing.
  • Help class members understand that any changes in written texts need to be legitimate and not a matter of personal preferences.

Course Overview

“There is a chance they’re going to their summer house.” “It’s too early to tell if the two of them will be coming.” “It’s not right to write about the rite!” These three sentences confirm what we already know about English being confusing and difficult to use with accuracy.

Beyond the number of words that sound alike but have different meanings, there are abundant trouble spots that make the tasks of proofreading and editing absolutely crucial skills in the workplace. Business Training Works’ proofreading and editing training course will teach participants the distinctions between the two terms, the importance of both, and the process of using them to review workplace writing.

Program Objectives

At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the difference between proofreading and editing.
  • Appreciate the importance of both skills on a personal and organizational level.
  • Recognize the symbols used most frequently in proofreading and editing texts.
  • Define the meaning of the terms “style guide” and “style sheet.”
  • Demonstrate their understanding of correcting written texts by completing exercises given throughout the training.
  • Identify the authoritative style guide used by their organization and understand how to use it with ease.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Time to Get in Shape: When Writing Needs a Workout

Although business moves quickly and sometimes there is a need to think and act fast, there is one instance in which putting on the brakes is absolutely essential. To paraphrase an often used quotation: What’s worth writing is worth writing well. To accomplish this takes not only expertise but also time. In this introductory session, participants will learn the difference between proofreading and editing—two essential steps in the writing process. The instructor will explain the distinction with writing samples that have been proofread and edited, and participants will see that both activities require time and careful attention to differing details.

Mirror, Mirror: What Others Will See

This second unit discusses the benefits of careful proofreading and editing. By engaging in exercises that demonstrate how easily the human brain and eye correct mistakes and fill in blanks in written texts, participants will see the necessity for their proofreading with extreme care. They will also have the opportunity to discuss the potential problems and dangers associated with distributing writing that has not been carefully re-read and corrected for accuracy.

Using the Equipment in the Gym: Learning the Symbols of Proofing and Editing

In this portion of the training program, participants will learn the language of proofreading symbols. They will receive a chart of standard proofing marks that are most frequently used, and they will have ample opportunity to practice using the symbols in sample texts. They will also review the most common mistakes in grammar and spelling so they can locate problem areas that require the proofing marks.

Follow Your Leaders: Using a Style Sheet and Style Guide

Beyond learning the symbols of proofreading, participants will be presented with two valuable resources to assist them in correcting copy: a style guide and a style sheet. Based on the preferences of their particular organization and industry, they will find out what these resources are and what they are used for. Unlike a style guide, a style sheet may be an in-house list of guidelines, but the purpose for both is the same: uniformity in the application of rules.

Sizing up the End Results: Assessing the Final Product

Before the course ends, participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned by editing and proofreading sample texts: those written by others and those they have written themselves. This will involve group work to support the practice of having multiple readers work on the same texts to assure accuracy.

At this proofreading and editing training program’s conclusion, participants will know the difference between editing and proofreading and the necessity for each, especially for work-related documents. They will be able to identify and use standard proofreading symbols to indicate mistakes and changes in written texts. They will also know what style sheets and style guides are and how to use them.