Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at these questions before getting in touch

Yes, The Art of Copyediting will gradually offer all the 25 courses over time. Right now, 7 self-paced courses are available, which together are worth a year's learning (assuming you're working to earn a living and can afford 4–5 hours for learning every week). Before you complete your first course, 1 or 2 courses would have been added. Soon, many courses will be available through this website, and your learning can progress smoothly, without any waiting period.

You can choose any of the offers available for a course and make the necessary payment. Once the payment is made, you will receive a user name and password to access it.

Course offerings to companies will follow a similar process, but may require an initial registration step.

The Art of Copyediting currently uses PayPal for international payments. (Stripe may be added later, but that depends on many factors.)

For one-time payments, you can simply pay with a credit card or debit card without any PayPal account. If you choose a part-payment option or a membership subscription, you must have a PayPal account connected to a credit card or debit card. (You can create a PayPal account for free.) This is to ensure that subsequent payments happen on time.

Payments from companies will be via invoices raised and direct transfer into bank account.

Your password will be sent to you or you may be given a new password.

The Art of Copyediting courses will be so completely self-sufficient and all-rounded that you would definitely want to take more courses and at your own pace. To encourage learning, discounts will definitely be made available. In fact, combo offers are already available.

Also, when you want to take a second course (even after a few months), you will be eligible for a 10% discount on the course price. When you take a third course, you will be eligible for a 15% discount on the course price. And when you take up a fourth course, you will be eligible for a 20% (maximum) discount on the course price. The only prerequisite is that you will have to take the new course before your access to the current course expires.

Please write to me in advance for any discount so that I can provide you with the appropriate coupon for availing it.

Course access times would generally depend on the length of the course. Shorter courses may generally be accessible for a shorter period. The cap on course access times is purely to encourage learning and move on to become a better copyeditor—and perhaps start earning more!

When you pay for a course, you will have immediate access to the course, and so the amount paid will not be refunded. Also, you will have access to the course for a specific period, during which you will still be able to learn.

I do not expect you to race through any course, as copyediting, by its very nature, is a tough profession that requires sustained effort and interest! Also, each course will be broken down into sections that have one or more video lessons (modules). Although you may be able to open the modules within a section in any order,  I expect you to basically go through the modules sequentially. To suppress such frenzied urges to race through, the sections are generally kept locked, each section being released when the last module in the earlier section is completed. You may be able to mark each module as completed, and this will show up on your dashboard.

When you choose an offer with part-payments, content will be released to you in two parts, depending on the duration of your course. Whenever such drip content is released, you will also receive a notification mail from The Art of Copyediting, letting you know which module (in the course outline) has been released.

I am not sure whether the training provided by The Art of Copyediting can be called unique, but it will certainly be quite different from what you may see in general. The four slides you see on the website (or the video on the courses) will give you an idea of the approach. The approach will also be different in one aspect, namely its emphasis on principles and preferences. All the clamor about the various styles (particularly on mechanical aspects) may simply vanish because of the way things will be taught and the templates that may be provided, to compare and contrast different styles—and even add new styles as one moves along.

Because of its approach, many things will simply be "implementable" soon after you take a course. So, providing a certification for style aspects may not really mean much. Rather, if you've taken a certain course, I would expect you to be able to apply the concepts to any style—things would be that simple. So for many courses, certificates of completion will be provided if requested. A basic certificate will also be provided if one takes all the courses in Basic Copyediting. For the intermediate and advanced levels, we will bring in assessments and certifications over time.

First, the training provided for any course will be quite detailed. I'm not sure whether you'll find such detailed training anywhere else in the world. Second, there may be some work-related downloads (summary concepts, practical aids, or form templates) that may come with the course. Some courses may even have practice material (for you to download and practice).

The basic course on grammar (Essentials of Written English) is special in the sense that all courses in Standard editing and Professional editing are based on this single course. Essentials of Written English has so much of information condensed into one course that it would not be appropriate to test someone immediately after the course. The ideas presented in this course will be expanded in three courses (see Mastering the Basics), where aspects introduced in the Essentials course will be discussed threadbare. These later courses will therefore have some practice material. When you complete them, you would have truly mastered the basics. Some of the more subtler ones will then be taken up in Advanced editing.

As mentioned earlier, The Art of Copyediting approach will be very different from the general approach that presents only facts or specific styles, which will require some form of testing. The Art of Copyediting courses will be, in addition to presenting facts, more in terms of guiding you to look at things at in a certain way or analyze things in a certain way. If you can simply follow the guidelines or work on the practice material provided, you will be intensely aware of the power of the training and how it is taking you forward.

That itself will give you the confidence to work on live material—and also start earning—quickly.
Mechanical aspects of copyediting are best learned by training followed by individual practice (as much as possible to understand principles and preferences thoroughly). Line editing (or language editing) is also learned the same way, but with an additional mentoring stage. Here, a mentor looks at every edit you have made and provides one-to-one feedback. The interaction helps the mentor to understand your unique thought process and guides you to examine, analyze, understand, and interpret things in a specific way. Over time (with 3–6 months of steady interaction), you can blossom into a good editor.

Testing a person after sufficient practice is a practical and more realistic way to assess a person's capabilities. For that reason, over time, some form of assessment and certification may be added for Basic, Standard, and Professional levels of editing.

Yes, you will be able to interact with others in the form of comments for every video lesson in the course. In fact, I would appreciate if you could leave comments for every lesson that you take—tell us what was good, how it helped you, what may need more attention, what else you may want, etc. You can tell us all the pros and cons for every lesson. All these will help me to serve you better.

You can also ask questions (on any points that you want additional clarification) to the instructor or other course participants.

A common thing that copyeditors enjoy doing is to apply a concept learned on a specific sentence (say, in some live work you're wracking your brains on). You can always bring in such sentences for discussion, much as you do in many FB groups. And everyone trained the same way will be able to train their guns on the same sentence—just imagine the additional learning that can happen! The additional learning will generally be in the form of reiteration of concepts and the increase in confidence levels within you in solving your many day-to-day problems.

These things are possible in the membership subscription model, where you will have access to a private community (with no distractions as in Facebook), the very purpose of which will be to encourage these discussions. In the subscription model, people taking any course from The Art of Copyediting may be able to interact.

The complete list of courses provides a timeline for each set of courses. Generally, it would be good to complete the courses in a group before going to courses in the next group. Also, the timelines are only general guidelines. But what is more important is the realization that there is so much to cover in the first year. It does not matter even if you take a longer time—many will! Simply keep moving ahead despite all the challenges; one day you will reach the goal.

Depends on your geographical location (time zone) and how many in that time zone want a live course. Also, live courses, if at all offered, will be priced higher. With so many time zones to cater to, the e-learning method seems to be the best. Nevertheless, short free webinars and paid webinars in different time zones are not ruled out.

Please see the earlier answer. Your time zone, my time zone, the number of people interested in face-to-face sessions, and the price—all these will play a role.

I provide only training. You will have to find work on your own. But I can assure you that if you follow my methods, you will become a first-class editor and clients would find it difficult to not use you for editorial work (depending of course on the availability of work at the client end).

Although I worked in-house for 22 years, it took me around 10 years to be sure of myself—but that was probably because I was struggling alone and aiming at excellence. In The Art of Copyediting courses, I've put together what I've learned in over two decades, and have taken all the examples from my magnus opus, Principles of Copyediting, currently at 312,500 words and still incomplete.

A huge chunk of your progress would depend on how fast you can pick up and what genre you are currently working on to sustain yourself. But you can apply most of the principles you learn here on any genre, as long you use your sense of discretion—what to apply where.

I would assume you are already working somewhere to sustain yourself. I would assume that you spend about 4–5 hrs on this every week: watching the training videos (2–2½ hrs), taking notes (1–1½ hours), rewatching certain portions (1 hr), and the like, and then (if possible) apply things every day. That way, your application of principles learned may be cumulative, even though for some sections, you may have to wait till you complete a series of modules before you start applying them.

If you are working in a related field, you can apply what you learn immediately, and you should be good enough to become an independent editor in about a year. But please keep in mind that no matter how good you are, it will take about 3–5 years to become a solid, professional editor.

Yes, group mentoring will be a part of the membership subscription model. That's where I guide your thoughts and train you to think in certain ways. Initially, you'll only answer my questions, but over time, you'll know what questions to ask. At that point, you may be good to go on your own. But till that time, mentoring will be the best blessing in an editor's life.

Once you go through a proper training and mentoring process, then your work can be vetted. For this, you need not necessarily have gone through my training. It's simply that you should have had a formal training and mentoring for a reasonable period of time to be able to do a basic level of editing.

It is important to understand that a vetting exercise attempted on the work of a person who has not had a formal training would simply be a waste of time.


Individual mentoring can never be effective unless an editor goes through a formal training process and attains a certain threshold level of understanding. But during this period of training, group mentoring can be effective and even affordable for the learner. The Art of Copyediting membership subscription model aims to provide exactly this mentoring support, which is so vital in the field of copyediting.

No. You will have access to the course for a specified period of time (depending on the length of the course), and I would expect you to take down notes. Despite all my years of working with computers, I firmly believe, after two decades of teaching, that note-taking by hand is the best way to learn, as it has the most powerful influence on a student's memory. I know that a few of my best students have many, many books of handwritten notes they never refer to today—but it is because of all that note-taking that they have become what they are today.

I'm afraid the publishing/editing field by itself does not have any such uniformly accepted standards, leave alone recognition by a government body. Some well-respected manuals serve as standards. There are also some well-respected organizations that have evolved their own standards, in accordance with their experiences. And I have personally come up with some recommendations for a uniform set of standards for editing, which I presented at the first international conference for editors, held at Toronto, Canada, in June 2015. I may release those recommendations via the website in due course.

Yes, I do. Please get in touch with me at [email protected] with your requirements, and we can work out a plan based on your requirements.


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