This course introduces beginning proofreaders and copyeditors to The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), focusing on grammar, punctuation, style, and citation. Students should have an excellent grasp of college-level grammar, for this course will show how CMOS surpasses and clarifies the rules found in standard grammar guides. Familiarity with MLA or APA citation is recommended but not required; the fundamentals of the CMOS notes-and-bibliography system will be covered. This course focuses not on the business of proofreading and copyediting, which is covered to some extent in part 1 of CMOS, but on the practicalities of correcting a typical author manuscript.
Be aware that this course is not a substitute for reading CMOS. Rather, it is a curation of CMOS, directing proofreaders and copyeditors to the sections that they are most likely to consult again and again. To complete this course, students will need to read approximately 17 percent of CMOS. The course lessons explain tricky points, summarize complex information, and offer practical tips. This course aims to save its students time and frustration, and to help them take the first steps toward mastery of CMOS.
At the end of this class, students will be comfortable navigating CMOS, and they will know the essential CMOS guidelines used in proofreading and copyediting.
This course consists of 16 lessons. Each lesson has a list of CMOS readings and is accompanied by an automatically graded 10-point quiz, for a course total of 160 points. Some questions may require a brief internet search, in addition to the CMOS readings. Each question answer is supported by a CMOS reference.
Required texts: CMOS 17, online version recommended.
Course designer Kirk Perry has an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, where he taught Business Communication at the Isenberg School of Management. Currently he teaches writing at Portland Community College and works as a freelance copyeditor. His clients include the University of New Mexico Press and the Huntington Library Quarterly.