A more detailed look at my services: Unlike many individuals offering editing services, I do not differentiate between proofreading and editing in my pricing or my approach. My basic editing rate includes, if necessary, a fairly thorough revision of your work. This may reflect the fact that a large proportion of my work has been for foreign academics whose writing sometimes requires a lot of language correction. Native English speakers will however also benefit greatly from a second pair of eyes and a candid critique. My aim is to get your writing into the best possible shape.
My editing process involves carefully reading your work, correcting spelling mistakes, substituting words used incorrectly, purging grammatical errors, making sure it reads well, communicates your research clearly and, hopefully, becomes a piece of work with appeal for a broader audience than you may have initially anticipated. I have a facility for squeezing the water out of the writing of others and I can help develop your work into something powerful, confident, and concise.
How I edit: First, my editing service involves reading your work, in its entirety, to acquaint myself with your subject and your style of writing. At this point, I generally make some notes about the overall structure of the work; in the case of editing a research paper I will look at the main arguments you make, and the weight you give to each. I will also look out for contradictions in your research, and interpretative issues – e.g. if you have misunderstood or misattributed the opinions of other authors.
- Using the Word ‘Track changes’ feature, I will begin by correcting spelling mistakes (I will need to know if your work is aimed at European readers or further afield to determine which English spelling is appropriate). I will correct grammatical issues, punctuation, word spacing, and amend any inconsistencies or issues with the tenses used.
- Looking carefully at your work I will appraise the extent to which you really meet the research objectives you have set, and ensure that your most crucial points are clearly signposted. I will think carefully about how you organise your arguments and help you develop an engaging abstract and a clear and purposeful introduction, answered by a pertinent and persuasive conclusions section.
What I will NOT do with your work:
- Plough through your Bibliography looking for transcribing errors (in titles/author[s] names) etc. If you think you may have been somewhat negligent in this respect, then this is something you can address while I work on the content. However, if I notice an obvious mistake in the title of a journal/book I will check online and amend as necessary.
- Format your references/citations. If you are hoping to publish your research in a journal then take care to observe their preferred referencing style, if I notice irregularities then I will point these out, but my time is better spent editing the main text.
- Format the text. Be sure to allow time for reformatting after I return your work.
- Provide you with a high quality piece of writing from notes, or half finished work.
What I will achieve for you:
- I will improve the general flow of your text to avoid non sequiturs or break up torturously long sentences.
- I will improve the language. Although I always aim to respect the author’s voice, style is important and it may bias the reader about the quality of your work. I do not impose my own style, but I try to make sure your writing is clear, lucid and assertive. I also seek to minimize unnecessary technical jargon, to make sure your work is accessible to readers beyond your own field. It is also important that the language is appropriate. For example, I have found that researchers in the fields of history or literature are sometimes prone to absorbing the modes of expression and vocabulary of the sources and subjects they are studying. Originality is important and a unique voice can help set you apart from the crowd, but offbeat writing can be distracting and may detract from the seriousness of your work. At the other end of the scale, some academics – particularly those whose primary task is to present vast quantities of empirical data – can be a little ‘dry’; while one expects empirical research to be presented differently to theoretical or interpretative work, your findings should be engagingly presented, and their relevance should be immediately clear. I will use my intuition to ensure the most salient parts of your work really stand out, enliven lacklustre vocabulary, where necessary, and highlight instances of excessive repetition, or of inappropriate, or ‘jargonautical’, language.
- I will alert you to any critical issues in terms of content, or if any significant restructuring is needed. If I am concerned about a particular aspect of your work I will contact you immediately to give you time to consider my suggestions.
- I will ensure that your footnotes/endnotes are orderly, relevant, and correctly inserted within the text. Some points made in the main text might be better relegated to a footnote/endnote, or there may be pieces of information in your references that deserve to be in the main text. I will explain the rationale behind any suggested changes in this respect.
- I will check and correct any translations into English that you have undertaken – please ensure these are referenced clearly in your footnotes/endnotes (e.g. Translation Author’s Own).
- When an academic sends me their work, I assume at some point they will want to publish. If your goal is to have your work published, please don’t be shy about this. Let me know the journal(s)/publishers to which you plan to submit your work, so I can adhere to their in-house style (e.g. spelling, italicization, quotation length etc.) If there are any serious issues with the standard of your work - that my editing is unable to remedy - I will be frank with you. Ultimately, where content is concerned, your supervisor or experts in your field should be your first port of call. However, by having your work carefully edited, you are immediately in a better position to have your research reviewed. Asking a busy academic to read a piece of poorly composed, half-baked, or confounding writing is likely to put them off helping you again in the future; let them concentrate their energy on evaluating your arguments and the research you have conducted, by making sure your work is already of a high quality.