Recommended Textbooks

What textbooks do you recommend for the Transcript Proofreading course, and when should I get them?

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 with 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).

RELATED: 21 Resources and Tools for Proofreaders That Make Work Easier

For more information on proofreading in general, try our free 7-day intro course.

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  1. Hi Caitlin,

    Is there a significant difference in terms of content between the 10th and 11th editions of The Gregg Reference Manual that would warrant purchasing the 11th edition?


    1. Hi, Jessyka,

      There aren’t really any big changes between the two editions. Many of our students and graduates, myself included, own the 10th edition and like it!

  2. Hello, I am very close to signing up and just wanted to confirm that I should not buy the Marie Wakeman Wells books until I have completed the Jumpstart level and passed the test? What you have above is very clear, but I ask because on the course overview page one of the FAQs is if there is any supplemental text recommended for the Jumpstart section, and the answer is the Margie Wakeman Wells texts. I agree that it makes the most sense to wait until I have passed the test, but I just don’t want to get into that module and then find I don’t have what I need. Thanks very much! Bridget

    1. Hi, Bridget! It never hurts to have those resources ahead of time, but it’s completely up to you what you decide to do. 🙂

      1. Thanks for your quick response, Brooke. Part of my issue is money, so unless I definitely need it for that part of the course, I’d rather hold off. Is it a definite need at that point? Thanks!

        1. Hi, Bridget! We don’t recommend buying the textbooks until after you complete the 30-Day Jumpstart portion of the course. 🙂

  3. Hello Caitlin,
    I just ordered the spiral bound University of Phoenix Edition (10e) of The Gregg Reference Manual but now I am wondering if there are major differences with the regular edition and it is better to get that one instead.

    1. Nope! That one’s fine. Many of our students and graduates have that one and haven’t noticed many, if any, differences. 🙂

  4. I have taken the 7 day intro course and I'd like to get started in the transcript course. Please send information on buying and starting the program.
    Thank you so much,
    Laura Chaise

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