What kind of editing?

Reader-friendliness is the goal of all my editing. You have important ideas you want to get across to readers, and I want to help you communicate them as clearly and compellingly as possible. That way, readers will get right to the heart of your argument and all the information and ideas that you want them to know.

I offer two main editing packages that reflect the two kinds of help academic authors most often want: detailed help with writing style and big-picture help with choices about organization and content. The two packages can easily be combined, and if you’re not sure what’s best for you, that’s no problem! All my editing is ultimately tailored to the unique needs of you and your manuscript, so just email me and we’ll figure it out together during our initial conversations.

The Writing Style Package: Clarity and Flow

The Writing Style Package is about making your sentences and paragraphs shine. I combine line editing and copyediting to make sure your manuscript conveys your ideas clearly and is a pleasure to read. If your writing is scholarly, I can help you appeal to readers outside your area of specialization while retaining the specificity of your ideas. The result is a document that says clearly and compellingly exactly what you want to say.

The Writing Style Package includes:

  • An initial conversation by email, Zoom, or phone to discuss your project and its editorial needs
  • A sample edit of a short part of your manuscript so you can see what the final product will look like before you decide to go forward with the editing
  • An edited manuscript that features:
    • Correct grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage
    • Clear sentence structure
    • Straightforward, graceful, and concise phrasing
    • Logical ordering of sentences within paragraphs
    • Smooth and logical transitions
    • Appropriate use of active and passive voice
    • Attention to your desired word count: If you need to shorten your manuscript, I can cut and condense material or suggest places for you to cut or condense
    • Use of Word’s Track Changes feature so you can clearly see where I’ve made changes and undo any you don’t like
  • Answers to any questions about the edits after you’ve reviewed them 

This package is ideal if you are a scholarly author who:

  • Would like your manuscript to be accessible to readers outside your area of specialization.
  • Speaks English as an additional language and wants your manuscript to read as though it were written by a native speaker of American English.
  • Is too pressed for time to edit your manuscript to the level you’d like.
  • Feels confident about your ideas but would like your writing to flow more naturally.

The Big Picture Package: Organization and Argumentation

Many authors are confident in their writing but are struggling to finish their manuscript and would like help with big-picture questions like these:

  • Which of the points I’m making should be my main argument? How do I highlight that argument throughout the document?
  • How do I choose which ideas to include and which to set aside?
  • How do I lay out a linear argument when in reality everything is connected to everything else?
  • How do I integrate different aspects of the manuscript, such as data and analysis or literature review and argument?
  • Does the way I’ve organized my manuscript make sense?
  • Are there sections I should develop more? Are there any I should delete or condense?
  • How can I best respond to feedback I’ve received from reviewers or journal editors?
  • What’s working in the document, what’s not working as well, and how do I fix the parts that aren’t working as well as I would like them to?

The Big Picture Package helps with these kinds of questions. This kind of editing is different from what most people think of when they think of editing. It’s often called developmental editing, and it focuses not on writing style but on structure, content, organization, and argumentation. I read your manuscript with its main purpose in mind—or, if you’re not sure about its main purpose, I look for clues to help you identify its main purpose. Then I find ways to refine your manuscript’s content and structure to best achieve that purpose. The result is a detailed and organized set of suggestions designed to give you a clear recipe for revising your manuscript so you can get it out the door to your publisher.

The full Big Picture Package includes:

  • An initial conversation by email, Zoom, or phone to discuss your project and its editorial needs
  • A sample edit offering initial suggestions for how best to move your manuscript to the next level. The sample is designed to give you a sense of what the final product will look like before you decide to go forward with the editing.
  • A long, detailed editorial letter offering advice for revising the overall manuscript and each chapter, section, and subsection.
  • Margin comments offering more specific advice about particular paragraphs and sentences
  • In many cases, sample text you can use to help you state your argument, fill in gaps, make connections, or explain ideas more clearly
  • Answers to any questions about my recommendations after you’ve reviewed them 

This package is ideal if:

  • You would love thoughtful feedback from a colleague, but your colleagues are too busy to provide the kind of in-depth feedback that you’d like.
  • You’re confident in your ideas, but you’re struggling with winnowing them down and presenting them in a clear, organized, linear way.
  • You’re working on your first book and the size and scope of it feels like an overwhelming organizational project.
  • You feel burdened by the solitary nature of writing. You’d like to hear what a thoughtful reader might suggest as you work on revising your initial drafts. Or you’ve been revising and wrestling with your manuscript for a long time, feel caught in your own head, and want the perspective of a qualified outside reader.

Not sure which package you might like or what kind of help your manuscript needs? Please e-mail me! Attach your manuscript (or as much of it as you have available) as an MS Word document, tell me what questions and concerns you have, and let me know if you’d like to set up a Zoom or phone conversation.