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Proofreading and Copyediting with ‘The Chicago Manual of Style’


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SKU: 213560


"CMOS is the most comprehensive style guide out there. Get the essentials here." —Kirk Perry, instructor
Important Information About Our Self-Paced Courses

Self-paced courses are undertaken by the student at their own pace. No instructor feedback is given, although models are provided in the lessons. All self-paced courses include at least one live Q&A session, held via Zoom. Students will have 365 days to access the course material. To extend access by 3 to 12 months from the initial access end date, email the education coordinator. More information about how our classes are conducted is available here.

After placing your order, your course will be added to your personal course library on our education site. That site has different login information from the main EFA site. Please check your email for information on how to access the course.

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 text: The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., online version recommended.


This course is open to students at all levels.

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.

Information and Policies
Our class information page has detailed information on registration, accessibility, duration of access to course materials, and refunds. All participants in EFA courses must abide by our anti-harassment policy.

Office Closed Monday April 8.

The EFA Offices will be closed Monday, April 8, 2024. We will reopen on Tuesday, April 9. Job postings, discussion list subscriptions, and other customer service requests may not be responded to until then.

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