Editing is a specialised job. Some writers edit their own work, if they have the skill and training. Other writers depend upon contract or in house editors engaged by publishers.

Editing is more than just correcting spelling mistakes and gramatical errors. It should always attend to these issues; but also to achieving a consistency in standard, presentation and style across a publication. Editors need to be meticulous, but not pedantic. They need to understand the needs of the publisher and writer who they work with, and appreciate the economic realities which affect what should be done to a piece of work.

Publications that generate greater income can afford the luxury of attempting near perfection, but those which are on a shoestring budget may in reality operate on the basis of tolerating a certain level of error. (eg. One magazine publisher told me that he does not start worrying until he receives the fifth complaint about errors in a single publication).


Distance Education Courses

Editing I (Click here to enrol)
Read below for a detailed course outline

Editing II (Click here to enrol)


Seeking Work as an Editor

Editors are not only employed in newspapers and magazines. Many book publishersemploy full or part time editors. Some outsource work to editors who work from home.

Contract Editors are people who establish themselves as a small business, editing anything and everything that comes their way. This might include advertising literature for local companies, reports for businesses or private individuals, submission documents (eg. submitting for government approval on something), or books being written by a freelance author.

Contract editors may develop a network of opportunities by joining professional writing, publishing, editing or business associations; or they might advertise (eg. Editors often advertise in Writers magazines or journals).

Detailed Outline for EDITING I - BWR106

Duration:   100 Hours (you study at your own pace).


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.


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
2.The Mechanics of Clear Writing – spelling, punctuation, grammar, language;
style; tense
3. Assessing Manuscripts – readability; word length; structure; consistencies and
inaccuracies; the reader’s report; substantive editing; the author’s
responsibilities; the author/editor relationship
4. Copy Editing I – what the copy editor does; the procedure; house style;
style sheets
5. Copy Editing II – marking up; parts of a publication; editing non-text material;
6. Preparing Copy for Printing – type design and page layout; proof stages
7. Proof Reading
8.The Final Stages – indexes; blurbs; checking final proofs


Here are just a few examples:
Learn how to eliminate wordiness. Space and time are important considerations for editors. Writing concisely and reducing trite expressions takes practice
Search the internet or visit your local library for information pertaining to
a. plagiarism
b.libel and defamation legislation in your country
Compile a resource file, as used by any editor
Analyse published articles for deficiencies in editing
Edit various passages of text supplied by the school
Undertake internet searches
Prepare a style sheet
Prepare style sheets
Evaluate different types of publications including fiction and non-fiction books, reports, magazines and journals
Mark up a page proof
LEARN MORE (click below on courses or books of interest)
Courses offered by ACS Distance Education include-
Recommended Reading
The following ebooks written by our principal (John Mason) and staff, are excellent supplementary reading for anyone studying bookkeeping. Click on a title for more information about contents as well as purchasing details through the school's online bookstore.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.