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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn about the Editor's role by distance learning

Make good work great work with this foundation editing course.

  • Discover the keys to clear, effective messaging.
  • Learn about the role of the editor.
  • Understand the different types of editing and proofreading.
  • Learn how to mark a manuscript.
  • Learn more about the publication process from start to finish.

An excellent course for writers, book lovers, teachers, instructors, and more.

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Learn how Editors turn good work into great work

  • Understand the mechanics of clear writing.
  • Develop your skills in use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Develop your use of language.
  • Learn about working to house styles and using style sheets.
  • Develop a knowledge of design and layout.
  • Learn about the final stages of proofing and preparing content for publication.

The Role of the Editor

The best editors are detail-oriented and love language. They're not nit-picky for the sake of nitpicking - they are nit-picky because they're focussed on communication and messaging. An editor's role is to work with a writer, to achieve the best version of a piece.

Although it may seem like only editors need editing skills, the clarity, concision, and precision required are useful across many industries. In this course, you'll work with our expert academics to improve your understanding of these core concepts, and take your communications skills to the next level.

Gain Valuable Skills with Many Applications

Throughout this course, you'll learn about the role of the editor, different types of editing and proofreading, and how to mark a manuscript. You'll also study the publication process from start to finish.

  • Learn a skill that can help your employment or business prospects across a range of industries.
  • Work in publishing as an editor, proof reader or writer.
  • Editing skills bring together the ability to focus with an ability to communicate – highly valuable life skills in marketing, management and elsewhere.
  • Interact with and be monitored by experienced editors.


Lesson 1. Introduction to Editing
  • The Role and Scope of Editing
  • Tools for Editing
  • Editing Skills
  • The Production Process
  • An Overview
  • Who Does What in Publishing?
Lesson 2. The Mechanics of Clear Writing
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Language
  • Style
  • Tense
Lesson 3. Assessing Manuscripts
  • Readability
  • Word Length
  • Structure
  • Consistencies and Inaccuracies
  • The Reader’s Report
  • Substantive Editing
  • The Author’s Responsibilities
  • The Author/Editor Relationship
Lesson 4. Copy Editing I
  • Copy Editing
  • Procedure
  • House Style
  • Style Sheets
Lesson 5. Copy Editing II
  • Marking Up
  • Parts of A Publication
  • Editing Non-Text Material
  • Illustrations
Lesson 6. Preparing Copy for Printing
  • Type Design
  • Page Layout
  • Proof Stages
Lesson 7. Proofreading
  • Role
  • Procedures
  • Tips
Lesson 8. The Final Stages
  • Indexes
  • Blurbs (Promotional Content Summaries)
  • Checking Final Proofs


  • To gain an understanding of the role and scope of editing.
  • Understand the importance of clear, effective writing throughout all stages of the publishing process.
  • Describe the procedure of manuscript assessment.
  • Describe the procedures used by copy editors.
  • Explain procedures used to prepare copy for printing.
  • Describe the checks and procedures used in the final stages of preparing and printing publications.

The Scope of Editing

When someone writes or illustrates something, they are attempting to communicate with their readers. We naturally think of editing as relating to books, magazines and newspapers, which are the traditional media with which an editor would work. These areas, commonly referred to as “print media”, are still very much part of the work covered by editors, but today the scope is far wider.

Print media is generally “commercial” work; that is, publications that are created for selling. Writing and illustrations are also created for other situations though, beyond the traditional print media, including:

  • Marketing material, such as advertisements, brochures, posters, signs, labels and packaging
  • Newsletters (printed or electronic). Newsletters may be commercial (e.g. for promotional purposes, or subscriptions) or non-commercial (e.g. a school or club newsletter, or a family Christmas letter)
  • Business letters
  • Contractual documents
  • Web sites
  • Calendars
  • Educational material (course notes)
  • Scripts (plays, videos, radio shows, etc.)

Writing and/or illustrations used in any of the above situations can fail in their attempt at communication to a lesser or greater degree, for many reasons, including:

  • Typographical errors
  • Unclear communication
  • Ambiguity
  • Incorrect punctuation
  • Poor grammar
  • Poor spelling
  • Inappropriate use of language.
  • Not writing for the correct “audience”
Balance: pragmatic versus pedantic

Some editors are excessively pedantic. Others are overly pragmatic. In reality, the extent to which a document is edited should be clearly specified by the publisher, and the good editor will be able to adjust the way they edit according to those specifications.

In today’s world, where economics is a major force, the luxury of perfection is often neither required nor expected by a publisher. A certain amount of error may often be more tolerable than not meeting a deadline or over blowing the budget.

The effective editor needs to take a pragmatic approach and be comfortable with the fact that perfection is not always possible.

A Student's View of Editing I

"It took me a while but in the end it was a very useful course for my work. I would like to really thank my tutor for all her feedback which improved my proofreading skills."
Premo Jackniacki

Increase Your Value; Invest in Your Future

Editing is a highly sought after skill. Whether you want to work as a professional editor or need to use editing as part of your current job, developing your ability and knowledge can provide you with essential skills which you can apply to your work.

  • It can help to improve your job performance.
  • It can help to improve your job and career prospects.

Editing I is suitable for beginners and those who want to improve their editing skills.

Studying with ACS

Our aim is to provide a wide choice of subjects and flexible options to learning for our students. All of our courses are studied by distance learning, enabling you to study when and where you choose to. Our highly knowledgeable tutors will guide you through the course, and support is available to you whenever you need it.

Often the problem with distance learning is that you feel you are on your own, and have limited access to resources, to ask questions and obtain assignment feedback. 

ACS provides the highest level of support possible. Students can:

  • Talk directly with tutors by phone.
  • Email questions and receive an email back in 24 hours.
  • Access additional information that has been reviewed and recommended by our academics (through an online library or directly from tutors where needed for your studies).
  • Order e-books from our bookshop at

If you have any questions - please ask us

You can enrol on the course at any time, so - why delay? Enrol today.

If you have any questions about the course, or would like to know more about studying with ACS, please get in touch with our specialist Writing and Journalism tutors. They will be happy to answer your questions and discuss your goals.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

John MasonMr Mason has worked 45+ years in Writing, Education, Horticulture and Recreation. His experience in both public & private sectors is extensive; particularly across Australia and England.
Alison Pearce (general)P.G.Cert. Ed., M.Ecotourism, S.Sc. (Hons). Alison has held many positions including: University Lecturer, Writer, Quality Assurance Manager, Research Technician, Vet Nurse and stockwoman. Over 30 years industry experience, mostly in Australia and the UK.. Alison originally graduated with an honors degree in science from university and beyond that has completed post graduate qualifications in education and eco-tourism. She has managed veterinary operating theatre, responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.
Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Tracey Jones (writing)Tracey has enjoyed creative writing since she was a child. She has had several short stories published and a novella. She is also a keen writer of children's stories and poetry. She has also written many academic and non-fiction books in the fields of psychology, sociology, child development, writing and marketing.

Check out our eBooks

How to be a Successful EditorThere are plenty of books that show you the processes involved in editing; but knowing the process is in itself not enough to be a successful editor. This book not only covers aspects of the process; but it also goes beyond the process; showing you things that may help you to become better than the “average” editor.
Technical WritingThe Technical Writing ebook has been written for anybody who would like to become a technical writer, add technical writing to their repertoire of skills, or improve their technical writing skills. Technical Writing is not just limited to scientific or technical documents, is necessary for writing manuals, reports or promotional materials. To be a technical writer you must have a broad range of skills in order to secure employment or ongoing projects, if you are working as a freelance technical writer. To work successfully in this field you will need: - Excellent communication skills - Logic and precision - Excellent word processing skills - To be able to manage projects - To work efficiently and independently - A solid, broad education - Improving your skills and knowledge - Great networking skills
English GrammarThe English Grammar ebook can be a great reference for students, people who are learning English and anybody who writes anything- ever. The English Grammar ebook takes grammar back to basics to help confirm correct use of grammar. Topics that are covered within this course include 1/ Introduction- the components of language, 2/ Types of words, 3/ Punctuation, 4/ Upper and lower case, abbreviations, numbers, bullet points and 5/ Using words together.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.