We receive a lot of questions about the supplemental textbooks we recommend on our syllabus and when it’s necessary to purchase one — or if it’s necessary to purchase all of them.
We don’t recommend buying the textbooks until after you complete the 30-Day Jumpstart portion of the course. Why? Because if you don’t pass the Word Skills Test at the end of Module 2, you won’t be advised to move on with the rest of the course. No sense in buying a bunch of books until you’re sure you qualify to move on, right? The results of the Word Skills Test will give you insight into where you need to focus your further studies beyond the lessons in the course. For example, if you miss three comma-related questions, you’d want to focus in on the comma rules.
But won’t the textbooks help me on the Word Skills Test? The lessons within the course content are all you need to do well on the test. The test is designed to gauge your ability to properly use basic punctuation and to choose correct words. If you need a textbook to do that, it’s probably a sign you’re not meant to be a proofreader.
If you insist on getting some kind of textbook right away, fine — but keep costs low by getting The Gregg Reference Manual, 10th Edition, which is available on Amazon for less than $5 shipped.
For those who move on with the full course, we recommend a particular set of books listed at the beginning of Module 2 (they are not required for completing the course).
For more information on the course, including the 30-Day Jumpstart, visit our Overview page.
For more information on proofreading in general, try our free 7-day intro course (enter your details below).