Editor’s Guide to Editorial Style

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Understand the power of editorial and house style for executing effective copy-editing.

Course description

Editorial style controls all aspects of consistency in the presentation of words, numbers and punctuation. Most copy-editors realise that consistency is important, but they may not always understand why. This module focuses on the core areas of editorial style, including spelling and hyphenation, punctuation and capitalisation, numbers, abbreviations and the use of italic and quotation marks. When you have mastered those, you will be equipped to think through more complicated aspects of styling for yourself.

Course content

  1. What is editorial style?
  2. The core areas of editorial style
  3. Making editorial style decisions
  4. The editorial style sheet
  5. Using the editorial style sheet

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

  • define “editorial style” and “house style”, and distinguish these from other uses of the word “style” in publishing terminology
  • identify items in a script for which an editorial style decision is needed
  • make appropriate editorial style decisions, based on the readership for, and content of, the publication
  • set up an editorial style sheet and record decisions clearly, to promote consistent treatment of the text during copy-editing and beyond.

How does the course work?

There are five units within the course. Across the five units there are 12 exercises each having a model answer and commentary for self-assessment. 

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