The Art of Querying

What is The Art of Querying?

Every project comes with questions and anomalies. This course teaches you how to ask your author about the problems you’ve identified, and do so tactfully and efficiently.

Anyone whose work involves editing, proofreading, indexing, dealing with writers or managing a publishing project will benefit from taking this course, especially if you already have a little experience.

The Art of Querying takes around 30 hours of self-directed study time, and there's up to an hour of support from a tutor should you need it.

Learn how to query tactfully

The Art of Querying will help you to:

  • define what, when and how to ask (and what not to!)
  • formulate a tool with standard questions and effective wording
  • offer guidance on procedure, timing and technical issues
  • build a reputation as an editor who communicates effectively
  • query narrative, tables, graphs and pictures
  • develop strong working relationships

What does The Art of Querying include?

There are four units in this course:

  • Unit 1: The questions you should ask at the start of a project, and the answers you need from your client
  • Unit 2: Developing a good working relationship, approaching the material and using a decision tool
  • Unit 3: Dealing with inconsistency, ambiguity and omission, and handling errors
  • Unit 4: Improving the content of different elements of a publication with sensitivity

Each unit includes study notes, exercises, commentary, and examples and model answers where appropriate, plus end-of-unit quizzes to test your knowledge.


Curriculum snapshot

What's in the course syllabus?

Want to dig a little deeper? Explore the topics covered in each unit of The Art of Querying.

Unit 1: Questions and answers

1.1 Questions (what you need to ask yourself)
1.2 Before you start (what you need to ask the person who gave you the job)
1.3 Practicalities (how best to present queries and contact the author)
Study notes and exercises

Unit 2: Approaches

2.1 How to start (developing and maintaining a good working relationship)
2.2 It looks funny (introducing the decision tool - what to query and how to decide)
2.3 Formulating queries (effective and ineffective questions)
2.4 Formulating notes (to the author)
2.5 Six rules (guidance on what to query)
Study notes and exercises

Unit 3: Topics

3.1 Inconsistency (of content and style)
3.2 Ambiguity (and how to help the writer clarify it)
3.3 Omission (what's not there that should be)
3.4 Error - what error? (how to point out errors tactfully)
Study notes and exercises

Unit 4: Content

4.1 Prelims (what might go wrong in the preliminary pages)
4.2 Narrative and argument (what goes wrong with the content)
4.3 Vocabulary and terminology (using language to good effect)
4.4 References (essential queries for the reference list)
4.5 Tables (what to query in a table)
4.6 Artwork (what to query in any illustration)
4.7 Six last things (a roundup of the art of querying)
Study notes and exercises

How much does The Art of Querying cost?

Price (members)  
Price (non-members)  
CIEP upgrade points 3

Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

E-learning courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Prices are exclusive of tax, which will be added automatically at your local rate at checkout.

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: 3
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 25–30 hours