For those who want to work independently and at their own speed, our self-paced courses include a series of video lessons, assignments, and answer keys to help you learn on your own in a structured way. There are no teachers and no fellow students -- just a rich curriculum to help you make progress on your own. Mediabistro staff is available for any questions that come up. You will have access to the platform for three months.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS You will need access to a computer and speakers or headphones to participate.
Find out how to pass edit tests, fact check, and launch your career as a copy editor. You'll learn how to resolve punctuation issues, spot and correct common errors, and craft elegant sentences. You'll also discover how to adapt your resume to land work as a freelancer or full-time staffer.
Assignments include copy editing newspaper stories, magazine features, press releases, marketing materials, online copy, and fiction.
In this class, you will learn how to:
Understand grammar, in-house style, and the work flow of a copy editor
Identify an em dash, en dash, and appropriate hyphen usage
Identify and correct commonly misused words, agreement, parallelism, capitalization, and headline style
Fix modifier issues like dangling participles, modifier placement, and antecedent problems
Appropriately use a semicolon, period, colon, ellipsis, exclamation point, question mark, and single quotes
By the end of this course, you will have:
Experience copy editing with both AP Style and The Chicago Manual of Style and experience copy editing seven kinds of manuscripts (fiction excerpt, medical text, press release, newspaper story, academic text, online story, and magazine feature).
The self-paced course includes:
A video introduction from instructor Cheryl Della Pietra
Eleven written lessons
Eleven resource lists
Twelve copy tests and answer keys
Eight supplemental videos on proofreading marks and queries, fact-checking, electronic editing and track changes
Cheryl Della Pietra has been a freelancer for Elle, Us Weekly, LIFE, and Fast Company, where she not-so-quietly obsessed over comma splices and misplaced modifiers. She has copyedited at SmartMoney.com and also supervised the copy department at P.O.V. magazine, where she was the research editor. Yearning to have her work copyedited for a change, she has written for Redbook and Marie Claire. Many moons ago, she was Hunter S. Thompson's editorial assistant, a job that honed her margarita-making skills.
"Cheryl is an excellent instructor. She is knowledgeable, communicates with warmth and humor, was encouraging, stimulating, and spoke to each participant with respect."
"Cheryl was amazing. Her teaching skills are excellent and she clearly knows her stuff. Very impressive."
"Cheryl's experience is a huge asset, providing us all with valuable practical advice. I would gladly take another course with her."
"Cheryl is patient and caring. I will definitely take courses with her."
"This class was the shot in the arm that I needed as I tackle new freelance assignments. Cheryl brought real-world experience and answered our various questions with ease and a sharp sense of professionalism."
"Cheryl is wonderful! She was extremely thorough and generous sharing her insights into the publishing industry."
"Cheryl is a direct, witty, and brilliant instructor! Her classes overflow with invaluable content for both entry and seasoned editors."
"Cheryl's a real pro! She did an excellent job of boiling the information down to essentials, and is clearly at the top of her game."
"Cheryl united a diversified class with her personable, approachable style and professionalism. Her course content far surpassed my expectations. I've recommended her class to friends and colleagues."
"It was a pleasure to be in Cheryl's class. She knew her material and the industry, and was very supportive."
"Cheryl was prepared, knowledgeable, professional, engaging, and giving. I would recommend her to anyone."
"Cheryl has the perfect qualities of an instructor. She knows her stuff, can explain complex ideas in simple terms, and obviously enjoys teaching."
"Cheryl was all I had hoped for -- experienced, serious about the subject matter, and able to present lectures and hold chats with a sense of humor."
"For anyone intimidated by the world of copy editing, Cheryl will quickly put you at ease with her keen insight into the field."
"Taking Cheryl's class was the most worthwhile thing I've done. She was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and I would recommend her class to anyone at any kind of job -- not just those involved with copy editing."