COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Editing I: Copyediting and Proofreading

Course Code: PRFU 1230
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Print Futures
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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.

course prerequisites

PRFU 1100 or permission of the coordinator

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.