Copy Editing: Intro

Learn basic copy editing skills using the AP Stylebook

  • sections:
  • Discussions Tuesdays 8-9pm ET, 6 sessions full schedule

This six-week course is designed for anyone who wants to feel more confident working with words, particularly using proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style. It will cover the basics of news and nonfiction copy editing, from avoiding rookie mistakes to dealing with difficult topics (and people). The course will discuss the various tools of the trade you'll need to produce clean, compelling content. And, you'll talk about how to market yourself as a copy editor to get full-time or freelance work.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Use the AP Stylebook, a dictionary, and online reference tools
  • Catch more errors, including commonly confused and misused terms
  • Ask the right questions to clarify convoluted copy
  • Determine whether a sentence needs tweaking or is best left alone
  • Prepare for a copy editing test
  • Tailor your resume to find work as a copy editor

By the end of class, you will have:

A solid understanding of copy editing and the basic tools required to pursue work as a copy editor.

Rebecca Smith Hurd is a word nerd whose journalism career spans nearly 25 years. Her experience includes a six-year stint as assistant managing editor of Wired, which during her tenure won a National Magazine Award for general excellence and was recently named Magazine of the Decade by Adweek. For the past five years, she's maintained a successful freelance business as an editor, writer, and communications consultant. Her clients include print and online media organizations, nonprofit groups, and design consultancies. Rebecca specializes in delivering clear, concise, and compelling copy on deadline, and she enjoys teaching others to do the same. She holds a bachelor's degree in news reporting and editing from San Jose State University.

  • "Rebecca's material was fresh, the assignments interesting, and she was a fun, dynamic, informative speaker. My experience has made me eager to sign up for other classes with Mediabistro."

    Trina Enriquez

  • "Rebecca provides valuable information about copy editing and hilarious anecdotes from the publishing world. Her teaching style engages, informs, and entertains."

    Evan James

  • "I highly recommend Rebecca. She designed a thorough and challenging curriculum and taught it with wit and warmth. She was highly accessible and always on point."

    Corey Williams

  • "Rebecca has a vast expanse of knowledge and is more than happy to let students pick her brain while challenging them to improve."

    Lindsay Sandor

  • "Rebecca covered everything from style, to rules of grammar and punctuation, to how to get the job. I definitely recommend this class."

    McKenzie Granata

  • "Rebecca offers an information-packed, professional course. Her communications were succinct and to-the-point and her edits useful."

    Phyllis Gold

  • "Rebecca was attentive, knowledgeable, and provided great feedback. She leveraged her real-life experience to construct meaningful lessons."

    John Ball

  • "Thank you so much Rebecca for your sharp eye and gentle approach. You've really given me a new way of thinking about editing and writing."

    Leah Hagan

  • "Rebecca was an excellent instructor. She made the coursework interesting and informative. Her attitude was always cordial and inviting. I look forward to taking more courses from mediabistro."

    Robert Wassom