Editing for Specialists and Professionals  - Are you an editor? Do you have speciality or niche knowledge in a specific area?

This course focusses on aspects such as - 

  • Language use and introducing higher order language and grammatical concepts.
  • Referencing, notations, notes, the Oxford comma.
  • Working with multiple authors.
  • Media and project types - online work, commercial work, academic texts etc.


In general editing, language skills usually refer to grammar and, in some cases, structure. Editors are hired to clean up a text, but they do not directly influence it. Understanding this is vital to working as an editor: you're there to help the author shine.

Advanced and specialised editors influence the text, but in ways that are almost undetectable. They gather together their knowledge and skill sets, then offer these to the writer as perspective. This helps the writer bring shape and voice to their work.

  • In this course, you will learn about language, development, and management.
  • Study some of the more niche aspects of specialist editing, such as academic referencing. 

Lesson Structure and Course Content

There are 10 lessons in this course.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 6. Defining Editorial Queries, Presenting Corporate Briefs, Goal Setting

  • Editorial Queries.
  • How to Write an Editorial Query.
  • Corporate Briefs.
  • Pitch Decks.
  • Ad Copy.

Lesson 7. Developmental and Substantive Editing, and Managing Projects

  • Introduction.
  • Ghost Writing.
  • Discretion.
  • Constructive Criticism.
  • Structure.

Lesson 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.

Lesson 9. Specialist Commercial Editing

  • Introduction.
  • Corporate Communications Editing.
  • Corporate Storytelling.
  • Problem Based Learning Project (PBL) - Corporate Editing Project.

Lesson 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.

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 sub-par.

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. 

Improve Your Career Prospects

Editing III will improve your job and career prospects by giving you an advanced qualification in editing. You can enrol now - studying online or by eLearning means that you choose where and when you choose to study to enhance your editing skills.

If you have any questions, you can get in touch with us now, by

Phone (UK) 01384 442752, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected], or connect with our specialist tutors, use our