I offer copyediting, proofreading, and light substantive editing services for a wide variety of documents, including scientific/technical/medical journal articles, surveys, dissertations, theses, proposals, résumés/cover letters, and full-length fiction and nonfiction books. I specialize in academic editing, but I have a secondary focus on business manuscripts (marketing materials, instruction manuals, reports, web sites, presentations, white papers, etc.). I also have extensive experience with documents written by people who are not native speakers of English (I contributed substantially to Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, aimed at ESL speakers).
All jobs will include a minimum of three full passes, as well as separately checking slang, hyphenation, tables/figures/artwork/illustrations, and chapter titles/headings, before the manuscript is returned. The editing services automatically come with one final, additional proofreading pass. Reference formatting is available at an extra charge.
In general, publishers are more likely to approve of submissions that follow the requested style guide. I specialize in the Chicago Manual of Style, but I am also familiar with APA and MLA. If your submission must comply with a specific journal style (such as PLOS ONE), I will verify consistency with that style and consult the author checklist, if one is provided. I can also generate and provide a style sheet for the specific manuscript, if desired.
In addition, I include US localization as part of any editing or proofreading assignment, if preferred; this means that I can render the manuscript consistent with US English spelling, usage, and idiom. Essentially, the document will read as if it were written by a native speaker of US English; this is helpful in cases where the publisher, journal, or intended audience expects or requires US style.
I work in both the Word and PDF formats, with tracked changes in the former and highlighted comments in the latter. I am happy to explain how to handle either file format, if necessary.
Please see my “publications credits” page for a list of book-length works that I have edited or proofread and a summary of shorter published projects.
In general, I follow the definition of copyediting provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association in the US (http://www.the-efa.org/res/code_1.php), which is sometimes also known as “line editing.” This means that I correct the mechanics of style, such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word choice, as well as checking for internal consistency of facts and ensuring that the language is clear and the arguments understandable. I verify that the document is appropriate for the intended audience and medium and reduce redundancy and jargon. In addition, I can reduce word count, if necessary.
Light substantive editing means that I reorganize the text for clarity and make suggestions for strengthening the arguments and the overall presentation in addition to copyediting, but I do not rewrite or offer major revisions. (If you wish to have extensive content revisions before engaging a copyeditor, I can refer you to a number of experienced and expert colleagues who specialize in that service.)
Proofreading generally takes place at the very end of the process and involves checking for minor errors, such as typos. For a publisher, proofreading entails literally comparing the new proofs with the earlier marked-up copy.
Whether I am editing, copyediting, or proofreading, I also include gentle suggestions and explanations to highlight common issues. Everyone has their own quirks when it comes to repeated mistakes, and while I do not offer comprehensive coaching services, it’s often helpful to hear from an unbiased observer about slight changes that can substantially improve your writing.