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My Editing Services

What is the Difference Between Editing and Formatting?

Editing is different than formatting. The formatting service takes care of the document's margins, line spacing, page numbers, and other issues with the physical layout. Editing, on the other hand, takes care of mechanical issues (e.g., grammar, punctuation, capitalization, italics usage) and substantive issues (e.g., conciseness, clarity, logical transitions, word choice).

When I format, I'm not reading your content (except for headings, table titles, and some other specific areas). When editing, I am meticulously checking every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, section, and chapter of your document's content.

Do I Need the Editing Service?

Many students do not need editing to pass the format review. Some schools are stricter than others. I will not sell you this service if you do not need it to pass the review (Some other companies will, so keep that in mind when inquiring about editing services, and please always feel free to ask me--I’ll let you know even if you aren’t working with me.). If I’m not sure about your school, you should ask both your dissertation chair and your school’s format reviewer, because sometimes one doesn’t require the editing but the other does.

Can You Edit APA Style, Chicago Style, Turabian Style, Etc.?

I do an extremely detailed job when editing, and I am familiar with the minute details of APA style. I am also versed in Chicago (I am an active and respected contributor on the CMOS forums, with about a thousand posts). I also regularly edit MLA theses and dissertations, and I can accommodate other styles as well.

What Type of Editing Do You Do?

There are many different types of editing. For dissertations I offer two services: a full edit and a spot check.

Editing Service 1: Full Edit

The full edit thoroughly addresses mechanical and substantive issues throughout the document. Some common issues are listed below, although there are countless more:

  • basic grammar such as subject-verb agreement, relative and other pronouns, illogical comparisons, etc.;
  • anthropomorphism, attribution issues, and bias in language, etc.;
  • correct use of punctuation;
  • correct spacing after punctuation;
  • number expression;
  • spelling;
  • hyphenation;
  • capitalization;
  • correct use of italics, boldface, and underlining;
  • correct use of quotation marks as well as punctuation and ellipses within quoted material;
  • seriation;
  • formatting of in-text parenthetical citations;
  • precision, clarity, and basic transitions; and
  • all other basic editing issues as specified by the APA Manual, Chicago Manual, Turabian Manual, MLA Handbook, or other style guide as needed.

I currently charge $0.039/word for this service, and I always overdeliver the depth of editing for this rate. I know other editors who charge close to this rate just to do a surface-level proofread. With me you are getting both the mechanical and substantive edits, along with detailed comments, additional suggestions for improvement, guidance that you can apply to future writing, and a level of care that consistently impresses my clients and their professors and reviewers.

As you can tell from this page, I'm not pushing this service. You might not even need it—but if you do, you will be in good hands! I am also more than happy to provide you with a courtesy sample edit so that you can judge the quality of my work for yourself.

Editing Service 2: Spot Check

If you don't think you need the full edit but would like a bit of a cleanup just to make sure the document doesn't come off as too messy, I offer a spot-check service. For this service I will spend 4 hours on your document, fixing issues that are easily found and that I can make consistent throughout the document. I visually scan the text for obvious mechanical errors and then fix as many of those errors as I can by searching for them in the document. Then, I scan for another issue and repeat. Usually, I am looking for common problems with

  • seriation (I can usually fix all of these);
  • number expression (I can usually fix many of these);
  • hyphenation (I can fix some of these);
  • correct formatting of en dashes, em dashes, and minus signs (I can fix many of these);
  • punctuation leading into quoted material (I can fix many of these);
  • unformatted quotation marks (I can fix all of these);
  • punctuation placement around closing quotation marks (I can fix all of these);
  • obvious spelling errors (I'll usually run a spelling and grammar check too);
  • correct use of "percent" and "&" based on style guidelines (I can fix all of these)
  • ;
  • correct use of periods and commas with et al., e.g., i.e., and etc. (I can fix all of these)
  • ;
  • spacing around mathematic operators (e.g., <, >, =, -, +; I usually catch most of these)
  • italics with common statistical symbols (I can fix many of these)
  • ;and
  • other issues I notice within the allotted time frame and that are specific to your document (this often takes me in other directions).

I will not be reading your document in detail; rather, I will do what I can to clean up as much as possible during the 4 hours. Although of course your document would still benefit from a full edit (just as my document would, if I were writing), it will give a moderately cleaner presentation for some common hot points that reviewers tend to look at. This is the more popular choice among my clients. For the spot-check service I charge a flat fee of $180.

How the Editing Service Works

I edit electronically. All of my suggestions are made for specific, calculated reasons. I track my suggested changes for your review so that you can accept, reject, or modify them as necessary. In other words, you have full control over your content. I will make comments for you when a sentence might need further work, when I think it will be helpful for you to see the rationale behind my suggestion, when I have a second suggestion that you might also like, and when I am unsure if I have captured your intended meaning. If you are new to tracked changes, no worries—I have video tutorials available, or I can walk you through it over the phone at no charge.