Editing and proofreading for academic purposes

Finding mistakes, clunky syntax or inconsistencies in a thesis, paper or article after it has been submitted is the stuff of nightmares. The ability to edit and proofread your own work is an essential skill for anyone writing in an academic setting.

This highly practical course aims to build skills so that you feel confident in your own ability to identify and correct errors – and to make your writing stronger and more effective. It also provides you with strategies and checklists to help you to edit and proofread more quickly and efficiently.

This course is suitable for lecturers, researchers and students. We have delivered it to academics in Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and the University of Limerick. Content is based on authentic materials, such as research reports, journal articles and abstracts.

On successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Understand how to ensure documents are clear, correct and readable
  • Feel confident that they know why they are making changes
  • Understand how to edit students’ work
  • Have the skills to ensure documents will:
    • Enhance their professional image
    • Communicate information effectively
    • Display a consistent and professional style
    • Look accessible and easy to read
    • Contain no errors of grammar, punctuation etc

Course content

Topics covered include:

  • Defining editing and proofreading
  • Setting standards: best practice
  • How to create strong documents, using clear language and layout
  • How to assess content and structure
  • Editing an abstract
  • Creating strong paragraphs and sentences
  • Common mistakes in punctuation, grammar and syntax
  • Editing strategies
  • Ways to provide constructive feedback to colleagues and students
  • Proofreading tips
  • Using professional proofreader’s marks
  • Useful tools: style guides and readability tests
  • Practice

Participants will receive a comprehensive resource pack with editing and proofreading checklists.

Pre-course work
We ask participants to:

  • Complete a pre-course questionnaire about objectives, writing experience and issues they would like to cover.
  • Send examples of recent writing. This will be used in an individual editing exercise during the final part of the course (as a tool to measure progress and skills).

This is the outline for a one-day course. It can also be delivered as a half-day course, focusing on either editing or proofreading. Please contact us for details.

Download the outline

Editing and Proofreading for Academic Purposes – one-day course outline