Embrace the power of the written word and discover how your flair for writing could lead to an exciting new career as a journalist, magazine editor or children's author. Australian College of Journalism is part of Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of online education. Read more
Editing & Proofreading
Have you got an eagle eye for grammar, punctuation and perfect prose? Like helping writers refine their craft and get the best possible message across? Then Editing and Proofreading could be the right path for you, whether you want to work towards working as a freelance professional, or just sharpen your own way with words.Find out more
Do you have a passion for words and an eye for detail? Does poor punctuation, gratuitous grammar, and waffling writing make your blood boil a little bit? If so, this specialised course could be the perfect fit for you!
Got a nose for news or a way of telling stories about current affairs, travel, sport, or more, that engages audiences? Want to learn the business side of journalism and photojournalism as well as refining your techniques and talent? Then a journalism course with the Australian College of Journalism might be for you.Find out more
Writing & Communication
If you've got a way with words, we've got courses that could help you turn your raw potential into a profession. With courses across creative writing, script writing, and non-fiction writing, and specialist courses in writing fantasy, romance and writing for children, we'll help you find and refine your style, and bring your stories to life.Find out more
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Copy Edting vs. Proofreading – What’s the Difference?Read More
Copy editing and proofreading tend to be thought of as the same thing, and although the two often go hand in hand, there are some significant differences.
In the old days, most manuscripts were reviewed by two people separately – first by a copy editor and a then a proof-reader. With the advent of computers, however, the whole process has become far simpler and it’s now common for both editing and proofreading to be done by the same person.
If you’re interested in working as a professional copyeditor and proof-reader, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what might be expected of you in each role, so here is a quick look at how these skills vary from one another.
Aside from ensuring that the writing conforms to the desired style guide, it is the copy editor’s job to bring the first draft of an article or manuscript up to par by making and suggesting edits to cut down on wordiness, fix awkward phrasing and eliminate repetition.
Sometimes, the copy editor will also be expected to check the accuracy of dates, names, places and other facts mentioned, and in the case of fiction writing, he or she may work to ensure the consistency of characters and clarify any confusing scenes.
The copy editor may also want to make changes to titles, subheadings and chapter titles or reorganize portions of content so that it appears in a more logical order.
Such changes will rarely be made without the writer’s knowledge, and a good copy editor works together with the writer to ensure they are both on the same page. With this in mind, he or she often goes over the same draft multiple times.
Proofreaders deal with the final version of a manuscript before it is published and unlike copy editors, they aren’t expected to make any revisions to the content or style.
Their job is to check for any typos or missing punctuation marks, remove any repeated words or paragraphs, and catch aesthetic issues that may have been introduced during production, such as words that have been accidentally broken into two or a sentence that finishes at the top of a new column rather than at the end of the previous one.
Proof-readers also check for consistency. For instance, they may check that the captions placed under photos, images and graphs actually match the content and that the same font type and size have been used throughout the whole document.
Overall, proofreading tends to be a much quicker process since the editor/proof-reader will be dealing with a draft or manuscript that has already been edited by one or more people.
5 Tips for Better Travel WritingRead More
What’s the difference between a mediocre travel piece and the sort of narrative that makes you want to drop everything and get on a plane tomorrow? While the answer isn’t a simple one, the following five tips might shed some light on to go about improving your travel writing.
1. Read other travel writers
One of the best ways to find your own style is to read what other travellers have written. Reading a wide variety of travel books and articles gives you a better idea of what you like and sometimes even shows you what not to do.
Along with celebrated authors like Bill Bryson or Isabella Tree, try to make a point of reading material by lesser known writers as well. Keep track of what you’ve read and figure out why you enjoyed or hated a particular book or article. Did the author use self-deprecating humour? Were there personal anecdotes? Was it too dry and factual?
2. Don’t be self-absorbed
While it might sound harsh, the truth is that readers don’t really care about you, the writer. They want to get a sense of what a place looks like, smells like and sounds like, not hear about how much you hated the chicken kebabs or how sore your feet were after trekking to Machu Picchu.
Big names like Paul Theroux can get away with being a bit self-absorbed, but most good travel writers will paint a picture of a place without dwelling too much on their personal opinions or experiences.
3. Take detailed notes
Even if you think you’ll remember something later on, taking detailed notes that jog your memory when you’re putting the story together will make your job a lot easier. A simple pen and paper is usually best as it never needs to be charged and getting out a tablet or laptop can ruin the moment.
Note down everything from dates and times to the names of people you meet and locations you visit, along with how you heard the locals pronouncing these names.
If you plan to use quotes, make sure you get people’s full names and quote them accurately, without changing what they said to better fit your story. Quick entries about the emotions and sensations you experience throughout your journey can also help to transport you back there later on.
4. Cut to the chase
Many newbie travel writers think they have to start at the very beginning and include everything that happened in chronological order. But unless something really memorable happened while you were picking up your luggage or getting a taxi to your hotel, readers don’t want to know about it.
If what you really want to talk about is the remote Maasai village where you spent one night or your deep sea fishing adventure on the Indian Ocean then just start there.
5. Always check your facts
It’s great to include interesting facts about the place you’re visiting or a funny story your taxi driver told you, but always do some fact-checking beforehand. Inaccuracies in travel writing can either lead travellers astray or perpetuate myths and misconceptions about a destination or culture.
If you heard a great story from someone on your travels but aren’t able to verify it, be sure present it as something you were told rather than a historical fact.
If you have a passion for travel and enjoy writing, why not turn that passion into a career with Australian College of Journalism's Certificate in Freelance Travel Writing & Photography Course.