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CARIMAC Adds Summer Courses in Proofreading and Editing

The Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) has added two intensive writing courses in Proofreading and Editing to its Summer School programme.

The courses are designed for staff and freelance journalists, writers, publishers, communication specialists, marketers, students, and others whose work depends on the quality of their writing.

Veteran journalist, John Maxwell, says based on his experience with hearing and reading the work of students and other media professionals, he often finds errors in the use of words, in subject-verb agreement, and other basic errors in grammar. Much of this, says Maxwell, stems from poor skills in editing and proofreading, two core elements of the writing process that are commonly overlooked.

Editing is the process of preparing content for publication by correcting errors, reorganizing text, and deleting or adding information to ensure accuracy and clarity. Proofreading is a subset of the editing process, and specifically involves reading the proofs of a text in order to correct factual and grammatical errors, and errors in punctuation.

Proofreading and editing are important skills to master to ensure clarity and to protect the integrity of one’s work. Two writers can have the same content, but receive two completely different levels of understanding and impact, depending on how well each edits and proofreads his work.

According to Marjan de Bruin, Director of CARIMAC, these skills impact more than the quality of one’s writing, but carry implications for the credibility of the author.

“If errors can be made in language, then errors can be made in other things,” says De Bruin. Language errors, especially those made in the media, show a lack of care on the part of the writer. Your readers will begin to wonder if the publication lacks the credibility ascribed to it.”

“People need to be more rigorous in their own self-editing,” says Maxwell. “They need to be taught how to do it. You can’t necessarily just do it; it depends on what type of school you went to and how you were taught English to start with.” Maxwell will lead CARIMAC’s Editing course, which will provide professionals with language tips and techniques to prepare more compelling copy for publication.

According to Paul Williams, proofreader for the Gleaner, and writer of the weekly feature ‘His Story’, good editing requires knowledge of sentence structure, punctuation, mechanics, and style. It also requires a lot of self-study.

“At some level, these are skills you have to develop on your own….it is a lifelong learning process,” says Williams, who will lead the course in Proofreading. “The proofreader and the editor have to be equipped with certain fundamental skills: a very good understanding of [the] rules of grammar and the exceptions.”

CARIMAC’s Proofreading course will run from June 18 to 27. Editing will run from June 9 to 30. For more information, visit www.summerschool.carimac.com or call 977-2111.
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