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Posted on Jan 08, 2021

The 8 Best Proofreading Courses for Editors and Writers

Knowing how to proofread is a critical skill in today’s media-saturated world. Even if you have no intention to become a proofreader, writing is a major part of our everyday lives. Of course, if you do want to be a proofreader or editor (or even a writer), learning how to perform a professional final check on a piece of text could make all the difference to your success. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of the best proofreading courses available online. 

From in-depth programs to short overview courses available at various price points, there is bound to be something in this selection that is suited to your needs. 

For beginners and writers 

Maybe you’re a student who’s looking to secure those A*s or a freelance writer who just needs to make sure all your submissions are flawless. Maybe you’re considering proofreading as a career but do not have the time or resources to invest in an extensive program. In other words, you’re probably looking for a shorter course that can give you an overview of the proofreading craft. If that’s the case, you may wish to consider these two courses. They don’t go into specific details like collaborating on a digital document or managing the nitty-gritty of formatting. Still, they do cover basic grammar and most major types of editing, and not just proofreading. 

Writing Editing Masterclass (Skillshare)  

🎯 Perfect for: someone looking for a course with low time commitment

💰 Cost: Lesson transcripts available for free. Sign up here

Writing Editing Masterclass Lessons

This goes a little bit beyond just proofreading: the teacher (a professional writer and editor) provides an overview of writing structure, copyediting, and proofreading — all within three hours of lectures. If you’re signing up for a free 14-day trial of a premium Skillshare account at the end of the program, you get an optional test. For those hoping to learn the basics of proofreading but do not have a lot of time, this can be a suitable course. 

How to Find & Correct Writing Errors (Udemy) 

🎯 Perfect for: self-editing writers

💰 Cost: $129.99. Sign up here.

Duncan Koerber — the instructor of this course — has experience working at newspapers and magazines. He’s also taught at university level and created several popular online editing courses, including this one on Udemy. It includes 19 lectures that you can watch in your own time, covering editing techniques and technical guidance regarding styles and formatting. So while it doesn’t provide a certificate, this Udemy course will equip you with the skills needed to proofread your own work without a hitch. 

Top tip: Udemy run occasional sales, so be sure to check their courses regularly!

For professional proofreaders and editors

Being a professional freelancer (as most proofreaders are) involves more than just the mastery of proofreading skills — it also means understanding the style used by each client, knowing how to market yourself, and managing your finances. Luckily, some courses cover these topics, taught by experienced proofreaders themselves. Most of the ones we list below also offer completion certificates so you can verify your own expertise once you’ve ‘graduated’. 

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Becoming a Proofreader (Knowadays) 

🎯 Perfect for: those who want a comprehensive understanding of proofreading

💰 Cost: $399 (you can also get a 7-day free trial). Sign up here

Knowadays Proofreading Course Description

Knowadays (previously known as Proofreading Academy) isn’t messing around — their flagship course covers everything from style guides and academic proofreading to getting the most out of Microsoft Word! It sounds strange, but getting to know the software and keeping up to date with the latest features could be crucial to your success as a freelance proofreader. Having attained the comprehensive set of skills taught in this course, you can keep your workflow smooth and your reputation professional — all of which are worth investing in. 

Proofreading and Copyediting 101 (Universal Class)

🎯 Perfect for: aspiring proofreaders on a budget 

💰 Cost: $80. Sign up here.  

If you’re looking for something a bit less costly, check out Universal Class. Their assessment-based proofreading course comes with 14 lessons, each with a test that you have to pass to move on. Proofreading and copyediting are both covered, giving you a more diverse range of skills, AND you get a certificate upon completion (always a plus when it comes to job hunting). All this for the price of $80, which is quite a good bargain.   

Essential Proofreading: Editorial Skills One (The Publishing Training Center) 

🎯 Perfect for: those based in the UK and are willing to invest in detailed training 

💰 Cost: Roughly $550 (£405). Sign up here.

Logo of The Publishing Training Centre

If you’re ready to loosen your purse strings a little, you might want to check out The Publishing Training Center’s intensive proofreading course. Intended as a training program for professionals, it is assumed that students already have a good grasp of grammar. The syllabus instead focuses on the collaborative and technical elements of a proofreading job, explaining standard practices in the publishing world and offering guidance in the form of a mentor. While the center is based in the UK, its knowledge through this program can be applied almost anywhere. 

Proofreading Camp (Scribendi and Inklyo) 

🎯 Perfect for: getting the expert, corporate take on what they look for in proofreaders

💰 Cost: $199. Sign up here

Brought to you by the editors and managers at Scribendi, a service that employs many part-time editors, this boot camp program offers insight into what employers expect from a proofreader. From linguistic knowledge to digital competency, there is a lesson for every aspect of being a proofreader in this course. It’s in-depth, no doubt, and it requires a bit of time investment, but you’ll get a solid start to your career upon completing the program. 

Kickstart Your Freelance Editor & Proofreader Career on Upwork (Skillshare)

🎯Perfect for: those who want to know about freelance work 

💰 Cost: Lesson transcripts available for free. Sign up here

Skillshare Course on Freelance Proofreading on Upwork

In 22 bite-sized lessons, Duncan Koerber shares his insights into becoming a freelance editor and proofreader on Upwork. While it does not come with a certificate, this course covers plenty of tricky issues related to being a freelancer — from how to find proofreading jobs and how to make sure you get paid, to understanding personal finance. He still touches on editing philosophies and what editing tools you should master, but those are more like additions to the nuggets of wisdom on managing your independent work. 

Top tip: Don't stop at creating a strong profile, demonstrate your professionalism with a well-designed freelance proposal

Proofreading Power Basics (Udemy) 

🎯 Perfect for: learning about the technicalities of proofreading 

💰 Cost: $99.99. Sign up here

Understanding proofreading marks, choosing your approach to a document, noticing the little things like capitalization and numeration — these are some of the things you can expect from Proofreading Power Basics. As with many of these professional courses, make sure you come with a world-class understanding of grammar because there’s no talk of punctuation and homonyms here. As the name suggests, this is all about proofreading power and proficiency, and it’ll be suitable for those looking to hone their professional skills. 

With these eight proofreading courses, you’ll have a good selection of choices regardless of your level of commitment, career goals, and budget. We hope you find the course that will bring you one step closer to being a successful freelancer.