I just had the pleasure in completing the NewsU Cleaning Your Copy course. This course has a pretest that you take that tells you your strengths and weaknesses in four areas: Grammar, AP Style, Punctuation and Spelling. After taking the pretest, you can focus on the lessons that you need improve on.
I found out that my strengths are Punctuation and Grammar. Looking through every section helped me learn about the specific rules. Some examples are “Interstate 4” and “Jan. 4”. Interstate is never abbreviated and several months can be abbreviated. For some reason, I have trouble remembering AP Style rules. This course made me realize that I really need to focus on learning that style. After all, I am a Public Relations major. Learning AP Style is a necessity.
I was surprised about how great the setup is of this course. Before you begin, you get to find out what sections you need improvement in. Each section is broken down through each rule. Each rule gives you two practice questions to help increase your understanding of the lesson. In the very end of the course, you get to test what you learned. I thought that this test was very difficult because it is completely fill in the blank. When I would type in my answer, I would end up changing words to help clarify the sentence. Every question that I did this to was incorrect. The test was kind of tricky, but I was still amazed by the simplicity of the course, and how much it helped improve several aspects of my writing.
After taking this course, I really want to practice AP Style more. The course really made me realize how much I need to improve on my writing. I am serious about my career, so I am serious about learning more about AP Style. Learning this style with help improve my overall writing style.