Proofreading – Elearning course

Proofreading or Proof reading? Whatever you choose, one of our proofreading top tips is that you have to be consistent. Successful proofreading can make the difference between a really effective piece of writing, and one that confuses, bores or even antagonises your reader. If you ever have to check copy or content for mistakes, then this practical interactive online course delivers everything you need to make you quicker, better and much more effective at proofreading.

"I have been a writer/editor/proofreader for 17 years and, on occasion, take refresher courses to keep my skills sharp. The proofreading class offered by ContentETC was very informative, contained challenging exercises, and touched on aspects of proofreading that many e-learning classes omit, such as how to best prepare to proofread and determining the best environment in which to proofread. Those aspects are just as important as proofreading fundamentals like grammar and punctuation. I highly recommend this e-learning course."

Web quality assurance specialist, Canada


This course is great for anyone who needs to proofread anything, for professional, corporate, academic or personal use.

The course comes in 3 parts:

Part 1: What proofreading is, where mistakes occur and the skills we need to be an effective proofreader

Part 2: The knowledge required to proofread effectively

Part 3: Methods and processes

You will learn:
  • What proofreading is and what it can achieve
  • All the areas that proofreaders need to check
  • Working with your house style
  • Layout, formatting and typography
  • Dealing with numbers, dates and facts
  • Grammar, tenses and spelling
  • Key punctuation rules and guidelines
  • The most common errors to correct
  • Getting the most out of your proofreading tools
  • A variety of reading and checking styles and methods
  • How to overcome proofreading barriers and hurdles

...and much more.

Proofreading  is an ideal companion to our Top 20 grammar mistakes and how to fix them and Sub-editing courses.


If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 3-4 hours to complete. However, the exercises and quizzes we include mean it can take longer. You can work at your own pace, and dip in and out of the course as often as you want, and go back to sections to really make sure you've understood. If you have any queries at all, you are very welcome to get in touch with the trainer as often as you want.

We set a 4 week deadline from the point you receive your enrolment information.  If you need longer though, you just need to let us know. The course covers:

What is proofreading and who does it?

Boundaries and responsibilities: some key points about proofreading
  • It is not a creative process: the proofreader's role is not to rewrite or edit
How do we spot mistakes including
  • Factual: dates, job titles, locations
  • Typographical: font style and size, spacing
  • Numerical: prices, telephone numbers
  • Spelling: names, commonly misspelt words
  • Formatting: indents, paragraph alignment, columns
  • Consistency: checking against house style or a previous document
  • Grammatical: consistent tenses, singulars and plurals
  • Punctuation: commas and apostrophes

Analysis of examples of the different types of mistakes

Proofreading skills/abilities including
  • Attention to detail
  • A methodical nature
  • Concentration
  • Patience
  • Ability to spell
  • Good command of grammar and punctuation
  • A good command of English
  • Ability to question
  • Self-reliance
  • A love of reading
Barriers and how to overcome them
  • Boredom
  • Distractions
  • Tiredness
The knowledge we need to proofread
  • Understanding grammar and punctuation
Common problems
  • Tenses
  • Singulars and plurals
  • "That" and "Which" - the difference
  • Apostrophes
  • Commas
Proofreading marks
  • The British Standards Institution (BSI) marks and how and why to use them
Working with tools and mastering methods
  • A ruler
  • A dictionary/grammar guide
  • A style guide (if you have one)
  • Reference material
  • A calculator
  • Red or contrasting pen
  • A sheet of white paper
  • Copy of proofreading marks (if you use them)
Methods we can use including
  • Reading with a ruler
  • Reading aloud
  • Reading backwards
  • Reading from the last paragraph
  • Reading in pairs
  • Splitting the page in half
  • Printing in double spacing
How we proofread
  • On paper
  • On screen
  • Tips for proofreading on screen

This course is packed with interactive exercises so you can practise what you learn as soon as you learn it.

There are handy tips and checklists at key stages of the course.  These cover vital topics including:

  • Developing a fresh eye
  • Using a dictionary
  • Making multiple passes
  • Checking corrected proofs against marked up proofs
  • 10 ways to effective proofreading

and many more.

Karen May is a writer, editor, internal communication specialist and trainer. Her experience in the UK and SE Asia spans customer publishing, entertainment journalism and business publishing.  Karen has worked with teams at Lexus, Cable and Wireless, Tesco and BT. Her training expertise and specialist knowledge encourages rapid practical learning at all levels.

The beauty of e-learning is that you can do it at a time and place to suit you. But you won't be alone! Karen will talk you through the key points to improve your skills and knowledge, and at any time during your e-learning course, you can email her with any queries or comments.

Karen can also give you invaluable one-to-one feedback on your own work. If you buy the trainer feedback option with your course, she will ask you to email a piece of work that you have proofed after you have completed the e-learning. She will supply you with individual guidance, comments and practical suggestions. Then, once you've improved your work, she will review your revised content and provide a second set of comments. This unique feedback really brings your e-learning to life and makes sure you have truly grasped - and applied - all of the key principles.

If you would like to receive a Certificate when you have completed your e-learning course, please just let us know and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

Proofreading is £19.99 + tax per user * which gives you full unlimited access to the course for one month. If you need longer though, you just need to let us know.

If you want to add personal one-to-one trainer feedback to the course, the price is £69.99 + tax.

Discounted rates are available for multiple users. The discount applies to this course or a mix of e-learning courses. We will give you an immediate 10% discount off your second course if you book with us again.