Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More (Private)

Course Overview

Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More (Private)
Self-Directed Course
This $29.95 course is free of charge thanks to the support of Knight Foundation.
Time Estimate:
This course takes about one to two hours to complete.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

This self-directed course helps journalists and others understand the basics of grammar, spelling, punctuation and AP style. The course has four content sections that focus on the most common mistakes and teach you how to avoid them. When you’re ready, take the "Copy Quotient Test" and see how well you can clean your copy.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and solve grammatical problems in your copy
  • Pick the right word when choosing between tricky pairs such as "that/which," "that/who" and "who/whom"
  • Use the correct AP style for addresses, ages, money and numbers
  • Identify and correct common punctuation errors
  • Correctly spell words that are tough to get right
  • Avoid typos caused by homonym trip-ups
Who should take this course:

Writers, reporters, bloggers, visual journalists and anyone who wants to avoid typos and grammatical mistakes in their writing.

Course Instructor:

Vicki Krueger

Vicki Krueger is director of interactive learning/News University at The Poynter Institute and author of Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More – a self-directed module that consistently is ranked as one of the most popular courses at NewsU. She has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years, including work on "Best Newspaper Writing," the annual collection of the ASNE Distinguished Writing Award winners and finalists, as well as other Poynter publications. She recently completed editing "Aim for the Heart," a book by Poynter's Al Tompkins for TV reporters and producers and developed an e-learning module at NewsU to accompany the book, Reporting, Writing for TV and the Web: Aim for the Heart. You can follow her on Twitter at vkrueger.

Technical Requirements:

For this course you will need to have at least version 7.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
  • you set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • you use a high speed connection
  • Senior Producer/Programmer: Casey Frechette
  • Graphic Design: Jen Wallace, Justin Langley
  • Copy Editor: Vicki Krueger
  • Executive Producer: Howard Finberg