Editing clarifies writing and increases its impact on the reader. Editing amplifies your message.
What kind of editing can I do for your manuscript? I offer several different levels: line editing, copy-editing, and proofreading.
I specialize in academic and trade non-fiction. I edit books, dissertations, theses, journal articles, white papers, reports, and research proposals. I work in American English, with broad expertise across the social sciences and the humanities, including political science and international relations, gender studies, communication studies, sociology, anthropology, history, library science, literature, American studies, ethnic studies, and religious studies.
Copy-editing comes in two varieties: line (or substantive) editing and light editing. Line editing is generally called for when multiple authors or voices need to be integrated or smoothed into one voice, or when the author does not have English as their first language. A line edit will smooth out inconsistencies, awkward transitions, and eliminate overused words or clichés. Line editing also includes rephrasing for clarity and for style, and can include rewriting sentences or paragraphs. Line edits include editing for grammar, usage, spelling, and style as well as the more substantive work.
Light editing is what most people think of when they think of copy-editing. A light edit comes towards the end of the process, very close to the page-proof stage of publication, and after major issues have been resolved. A light edit will ensure your manuscript, and your citations, adhere to the desired style guide (such as APA, AP, or Chicago), and are grammatically correct. If any awkward or unclear passages remain, these will be flagged, as will repeated and overused words and phrases. I will also verify URLs and proper names, and review tables, figures, and charts, and their references in your manuscript. A light edit will also verify consistent formatting across sections (such as headers, subheads, captions, and text boxes) and flag elements which might require permissions.
Authors often come to me asking for a proofread, meaning one of the edits above. Proofreading is a specific stage in the publishing process, and is usually done with the final page proofs. At this point, the manuscript should be as close to complete as possible, and we hope to find little needing correction at this stage. Whereas the other stages of editing require reading the manuscript for content and meaning, proofreading is a character-by-character read of the text, looking for spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors before final submission.