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Editing and Proofreading for Advanced Students of English as a Second Language

Course Code: EASL 0376
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course supplements the four-level series for students who wish to upgrade their writing for further education or improved employment opportunities. It is designed for students who have experience writing paragraphs and short essays and some control of grammar and sentence structure, but who still make consistent errors in language use. Students will develop strategies for editing and proofreading their own work. Working with short academic writing composition samples, students will practice identifying problems and errors in language use, editing for style, conciseness and accuracy, and proof-reading for basic errors in grammar, structure, diction and mechanics.

Course Content

Strategies for Individual and Peer Editing

  1. Editing for Style
    • writing appropriately for audience, purpose and form.
    • using the appropriate level of formality, (tone, voice, word choice, source citations).
    • creating continuity in a piece of writing, (unity, coherence, logic).
    • creating variety,
      • structure: sentence type, sentence opening, sentence length, sentence order, clause order, phrase placement, transition placement;
      • diction: making points in different ways.
  2. Editing for Conciseness
    • using words effectively by replacing
      • weak or boring words
      • words with inappropriate connotation or level of formality
      • inappropriate slang expressions or jargon
      • imprecise, ambiguous or confusing words
      • meaningless words
      • clichés, trite and overused words
    • avoiding wordiness by eliminating
      • redundancy
      • repetition
      • unnecessary words, phrases or clauses
      • overdeveloped elaboration
  3. Editing for Accuracy
    • using correct grammatical forms
    • writing correct syntax
    • using correct words and word form
    • avoiding mechanical errors
  4. Proofreading for Errors
    • identifying and correcting grammar errors, e.g.: verb tense, verb form, modals, number, agreement, word order, word form, pronoun reference, prepositions, articles, possessives, modifiers, tense, person or number shifts, parallelism.
    • identifying and correcting structure errors, e.g.: coordination, subordination, logic, fragment, run-on, comma splice, parallelism, confused phrasing.
    • identifying and correcting diction errors, e.g.: wrong word, inappropriate word, wrong word form.
    • identifying and correcting mechanical errors, e.g.: punctuation, spelling, capitalization, use of quotations, underlining, format (titles, headings, margins, indenting, etc.), handwriting.
  5. Using basic editing tools on a word processor in order to identify where errors occur in writing.

Classroom Skills

  1. Taking responsibility for:
    • attendance and punctuality
    • classwork and assignments
    • participation and teamwork

Methods of Instruction

The instructor will facilitate, observe and evaluate students' participation in writing activities.  Whole and small group instruction will be combined with individual assistance and student directed learning.  Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their writing and language development needs, and will participate in the selection of learning activities.

Means of Assessment

A mastery model of on-going evaluation will be used.  A student will reach mastery when s/he has demonstrated through satisfactory completion of exercises, assignments and other assessments that the course objectives have been achieved.

Where formal tests of specific skills are used, mastery will be defined as a score of 70% or more.

Progress will be monitored on a regular basis by the instructor in consultation with each student.

Learning Outcomes

By developing specific strategies, students will improve their ability to identify, analyze and solve problems in language use in a piece of writing by:

  1. editing for style, conciseness and accuracy.
  2. proofreading for basic errors in grammar, structure, diction and mechanics.

course prerequisites

EASL 0375 or EASL 0360 or instructor permission

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.