I read somewhere recently that proofreading courses are nothing but a scam.
This might be true in some cases. Some places charge ridiculous amounts of money and there’s no guarantee at the end of it that you’ll get any work.
Some people say you can’t be a proofreader or copy editor unless you have some kind of training.
If you Google “proofreading courses” it will come up with lots of different places offering them. Such as Chapter House Publishing, The Publishing Training Centre which I have heard all very good courses.
I was doing a comprehensive writing course through Writers Bureau last year via distance learning, and saw their Proofreading and Copyediting Course advertised.
Check that course out here
I didn’t really know very much about proofreading at the time or what it involved. Like most people, I thought proofreaders just looked for typos in a book before it was published.
So, I decided to give their proofreading course a go and enrolled.
Of course, I discovered that there is much more involved in proofreading and editing than I had imagined.
Not only do you have to look for typos, you have to check facts, and be good at spelling and punctuation.
So, I started reading my first module and jumped into my first assignment.
Needless to say, I didn’t do very well.
You have to be very disciplined to be a proofreader! My tutor made comments that I found rather confusing like checking words that have to be spelt a certain way.
I always thought words were only spelt one way. Obviously, I was wrong.
Most proofreaders and editors follow a style guide to see how words are spelt and how different things are used.
I didn’t find Writers Bureau course very in depth and was prepared to give proofreading up as a bad job.
Nothing bad against Writers Bureau themselves, but their course just wasn’t for me.
But in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I signed up with the course from an online college I’d never heard of before called CMP (College of Media and Publishing – formerly CTJT) in a last-ditch effort to learn proofreading.
I only got a C on my first assignment but I have very good advice and feedback from my tutor Cleland.
I realise where I was going wrong. I didn’t even know how to use the Guardian style guide very well.
Through time, effort, a lot of hard work and the help and support of my tutor Cleland I’m now only five modules away from completing the course.
I learned so much in the past 10 months about proofreading and editing. This has helped me to grow not only as a proofreader but as a writer as well.
I now proofread my own work much more thoroughly and I’m less likely to have those annoying typos.
So yes, I’d say proofreading courses do work. It’s just very important to look around, find out what’s involved and find the right course for you.