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General Proofreading Resources for Students

We receive a lot of questions about the supplemental grammar textbooks we recommend on our General Proofreading: Theory and Practice syllabus and when it’s necessary to get them.

The main text I referenced while creating the course is The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition (CMOS). In fact, all the practice worksheets and essays in the course are based off CMOS. Having that style guide on hand is critical to your success in the course. It will help you through those practice exercises AND give you some hands-on practice doing research at the same time. CMOS offers a FREE 30-day online trial, and after that, it’s only $39/year for the online version. It’s invaluable to your success not just in the course but in your general proofreading career!

The second resource I referenced was Merriam-Webster. You can access the dictionary for free online, or you can pay for the online yearly subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged as it also includes the Collegiate Dictionary and the Medical Dictionary. That subscription is $29.95/year.

I recommend other resources inside the course as well, but these two are the key resources no general proofreader should be without.

For more information on the General Proofreading course, check out the FREE 45-minute workshop.

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  1. I have signed up for the General Proofreading course – should I buy an Ipad before starting the course? If I purchase the CMOS on my laptop, will I be able to access it on the Ipad I buy later?

    1. Hi, Marcella! An iPad isn’t absolutely necessary for the GP course, and if you do decide to use an iPad to annotate, you don’t need it for the first few modules. Many people find that their clients prefer them to use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to annotate for general proofreading. You can access CMOS on any device that has a browser and Wi-Fi access. Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Any reason not to use an older (16th or 15th edition) version of CMOS? Older editions – I'm talking a physical book, which some of us oldsters prefer – are more affordable than the 17th and latest edition. I realize page number references will be different, but actual content shouldn't have changed much (right?). Please advise. Thank you.

    1. The course style guide is CMOS 17th edition. Some information will be outdated in the older versions.

  3. Do I need to have a specific version of Microsoft Word on my computer to complete the course?

    1. Hi Jeffrey, you need reliable internet and eventually MS Word using Track Changes for completing the practice essays.

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