Editing for Specialists and Professionals (Editing III)

The Editing for Specialists and Professionals is intended for people already skilled in the essentials of editing. This course introduces higher level language concepts, such as grammatical approaches, text types, and audience assessment.

Course Code: BWR307
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Specialist Editing Distance Learning Course

This online course is intended for professionals who are already working in the editing field, but would like to improve their techniques and skills.

This course is useful as a professional development or personal interest.

  • Understand the role of an editor, the scope of an editor’s work, ethics and legislation.
  • Learn about approaches to grammar and use of language.
  • Learn about style guides, notation, referencing.
  • Learn about the editor/client relationship and working with multiple authors.
  • Understand the requirements for editing in different media – online, academic, commercial etc.


Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. The Role of an Editor
    • Introduction.
    • The Role of the Editor.
    • Language Skills and Application.
    • Text Types.
    • Voice, Tone, and Style.
    • How to Work Within Voice, Style, and Tone.
    • Language Use.
    • Register.
    • Project Management and Application.
    • General Skills.
    • Editors-in-Charge.
    • Editorial Teams.
    • Managing Teams.
    • Staff Training and Development.
    • Specialisms in Editing.
    • Substantive or Developmental Editors.
    • More on the Editorial Board.
  2. A Brief Summary of Grammar
    • Introduction.
    • The Purpose of Grammar.
    • Approaches to Grammar.
    • Prescriptive Grammar.
    • Descriptive Grammar.
    • Punctuation and Clarity.
    • Word Choices.
    • Selecting a More Specific Word or Term.
    • Jargon.
    • Grammar Basics: Refresh your Learning.
    • Spelling.
    • Punctuation.
    • Grammar.
    • Common Mistakes.
    • Style Errors.
    • Style Sheets.
  3. Referencing, Style Guides and Indexing
    • Introduction.
    • Style Guides.
    • The Difference Between a Style Guide and a Style Sheet.
    • Purpose of a Style Guide.
    • Examples of Common Style Guides and Their Uses.
    • Judgement Calls.
    • Dictionaries.
    • The Oxford Comma.
    • Referencing.
    • Bibliographies and Works Cited.
    • Appendices.
    • In-Text Citations vs. Notes.
    • Repeat Citations.
    • Footnotes and Endnotes.
    • Direct vs. Indirect Use.
    • Quotation Styles.
    • Multiple Authors.
    • Sources.
    • Common Reference Styles.
    • Referencing Changes.
    • Margin Notes.
    • Cross-References.
    • Glossary.
    • Other Inclusions in a Text.
  4. Editorial Ethics and Relevant Legislation
    • Introduction.
    • Editorial Ethics.
    • Conflicts of Interest.
    • Defining the Client.
    • Scope of Work.
    • Contract.
    • Editing or Re-Writing?
    • Intellectual Property and Examination Work.
    • When to Step Back.
    • Relevant Legislation.
    • Defining the Editor's Role.
    • Copyright.
    • Cultural Sensitivity.
    • Defamation.
    • Libel and Slander.
    • False Light.
    • Moral Rights.
    • Privacy and Confidentiality.
    • Permissions and Rights for Reproduction.
    • Controversial Subjects.
  5. Editor – Client Relationships
    • Introduction.
    • Professional vs. Personal.
    • Project Definition.
    • Appraisal and Suitability.
    • The Responsibility of the Author in the Relationship.
    • Working With Multiple Authors.
    • Being Aware of the Creative Process.
    • Working With Authors.
    • Writing Enough or Too Much - Project Managing the Author.
  6. Defining Editorial Queries, Presenting Corporate Briefs, Goal Setting
    • Editorial Queries.
    • How to Write an Editorial Query.
    • Corporate Briefs.
    • Pitch Decks.
    • Ad Copy.
  7. Developmental and Substantive Editing, and Managing Projects
    • Introduction.
    • Ghost Writing.
    • Discretion.
    • Constructive Criticism.
    • Structure.
  8. Blog and Online Editorial Management
    • Introduction.
    • Online Considerations.
    • Language Considerations.
    • The Importance of Layout.
    • Visual Style.
    • Indexing and Subject Hierarchy.
    • Evergreen Editing.
    • Developmental Editing.
    • Video Production.
    • Multiple Platforms.
    • Understanding Engagement.
    • Fast Editing and Meeting Deadlines.
  9. Specialist Commercial Editing
    • Introduction.
    • Corporate Communications Editing.
    • Corporate Storytelling.
    • Problem Based Learning Project (PBL) - Corporate Editing Project.
  10. Specialist Academic Editing
    • Introduction.
    • Identify and Know the Work.
    • Scope.
    • Extent of Work and Restrictions.
    • The Author's Role.
    • Publication.
    • Version Control.
    • Order of Work.
    • Style Conventions.
    • Language.
    • Text Elements, including Grammar and Spelling.
    • Layout.
    • Non-Text Elements.
    • Types of Research.
    • Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism.
    • Intellectual Property and Ethics.Evaluating the Whole Work.
    • Expression and Clarity.
    • Don't be a Co-Author.
    • Defining Roles.
    • Is it Expressed Well?
    • Is it Clear - Drawing it Together.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

The Role of the Editor

Editing III is intended for editors who are already comfortable with proofreading and copyediting, and wish to move into more senior or specialised roles.  Senior and specialist editors usually combine specific subject knowledge with project management duties. This requires the editor to be comfortable with language in all its forms, from the "basics" learned in school through to the evolution of language as a living thing.

At this level, most editors work with writers throughout the writing process. This is distinct from working after-the-fact, when an author or client brings their existing draft in for copyediting and proofreading.

Most editorial relationships begin with a conversation. Both parties need to feel each other out – they'll be working closely, and there must be a sense of trust. This conversation serves the editor as much as the writer: if the editor can't clearly understand the client's goals, her work will be subpar.

It's important to remember that most clients don't understand this process. They think editing is a one-size-fits-all type of work, like a higher form of spell check. 

An editor's goals must be in line with the client's goals. The strategies to meet these goals will vary according to roles, but the end goals must be the same. This is often a difficult concept for editors to grasp. They want to rush in and fix all the errors they can see, to make the work clear according to their idea of clarity, and to use language they think is correct. 
What you think, as an editor, is secondary to what your client thinks. The editor advises; the editor helps changes along; the editor discusses concepts and structure. The editor does not tell the client what to do.

The editor's work may include:

  • goal discussion and setting,
  • general manuscript assessment,
  • manuscript corrections based on the writer’s goals,
  • grammatical assessment, including identification of grammatical errors, spelling and punctuation,
  • structural critique, assessing the manuscript's conceptual flow, ensure sections or chapters work together properly,
  • fact checking, particularly in freelance and consulting roles,
  • ensuring consistency across a text,
  • general project management, especially if multiple authors or sub-editors are involved,
    training and development.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

Peta Jinnath Abdul

B.Sc., Grad.Dip.Ed., M.Creative Writing

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

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