Editing I: Copyediting and Proofreading

Important Notice

This course is not active. Please contact Department Chair for more information.

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Print Futures
Course Code
PRFU 1230
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course develops a basic understanding of copyediting and proofreading and the process by which editors work with writers. Students will apply editing and business skills to communicate with others and produce professionally presented, edited materials.
Course Content

  1. Editing for Standards of Grammar and Usage
    Successful students will:
    • become more familiar with Canadian English standards of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage
    • compare English, American, and Canadian language conventions
    • examine different usage manuals, editors’ reference books, and style manuals for editing applications
    • become familiar with a variety of dictionaries, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each
    • become aware of language that promotes sexual bias and racial stereotyping
  2. Basic Editing
    Working with documents on paper and/or on-screen, successful students will:
    • examine documents for spelling, grammar, clarity, and appropriateness
    • use standard copyediting symbols to suggest changes to be made in print or electronic documents
    • edit material for sexual and racial stereotyping, libelous statements, and sensitivities of the consumer
    • perform minor rewrites of material, retaining style, substance, and intent of the original
    • check material for factual accuracy
    • understand basic legal issues involved in editing, including copyright and permissions
    • become familiar with basic editing tools, including style sheets and notation sheets
    • identify problems related to grammar and provide suggestions for improvement
    • examine the relationship between the writer and the editor in the production of documents
    • discuss problems of censorship in written materials
    • prepare a professional package of information for authors of documents
    • develop the skills required to present editorial feedback in an effective, professional way
    • become aware of how copyediting and proofreading differ from each other and from other types of editing
  3. Editing and Production
    Successful students will:
    • look at the role of copyediting and proofreading in the publishing of print and electronic documents
    • become familiar with print and production terminology and tools
    • use standard proofreading symbols and techniques to indicate changes to be made in print or electronic documents

Learning Activities

The course will use a combination of lecture, discussion, individual work, and group work, with emphasis on hands-on editing of documents.

Means of Assessment

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Short editing assignments 20%
Major copyediting assignment 20%
Major proofreading assignment 25%
Final exam 25%
Professionalism (as defined) 10%
Learning Outcomes

Students will edit basic documents for readability, style, substance, and grammatical accuracy. They will learn and use standard copyediting and proofreading symbols; will practise copyediting and proofreading techniques on paper and on-screen; will practise communicating editing decisions in an effective, professional way; and will develop an understanding of the editor’s role in the scheduling and production of print and Web documents.

Textbook Materials

Texts may include the following:

  • Judd, Karen. Copyediting: A Practical Guide. 3rd ed. Crisp Learning, 2001.
  • Smith, Peggy. Letter Perfect: A Guide to Practical Proofreading. Editorial Experts, 1995.



PRFU 1100 or permission of the coordinator


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

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Institution Transfer Details for PRFU 1230
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2024