What editorial services do you offer and how do they differ?

I’m working on finalizing my text, and I want to make sure it is as strong as possible and reads well. I care about grammar and syntax but also about making sure my voice and argument come through. I may also need to follow a certain style guide, and I’ve been told to check for consistency, but I’m not sure what to look for. I think I need someone else to look at this. Can that person be you?

Yes! All of these concerns can be addressed by copyediting. When I copyedit, I make sure each sentence is structured correctly so your meaning is clear, and I think carefully about word choice so your argument is vividly conveyed. I can make sure your text conforms to a publisher’s style guide, or a manual like MLA or Chicago. I will also check for internal consistency in style: many words, especially hyphenated words, have spelling variants; names of movements or groups may or may not be capitalized; the use of first and last names should be uniform throughout the text.

Copyediting is sometimes divided into levels—light, medium, or heavy—but really exists on a spectrum. How much I intervene in your text depends on the writing and on what you’re looking for and comfortable with.

I will do all of my editing with track changes in Word, and I will use the comment boxes to make suggestions or query you with any questions. If you would like a quick tutorial on how to view and use Word’s markup functions, just let me know! If you don’t have Word, you’ll be able to open the document in Google Docs and view my edits there.
I want to make sure my writing is as clear and persuasive as possible. It might benefit from rephrasing and work on the grammar to make sure the language really flows. I’m also worried about transitions, wordiness, repetition, or potentially confusing moments. I’m not too concerned about making it conform to a specific style guide yet—can you still help?
Yes! All of this can be addressed by line editing. Whether or not you’re writing in your first language, it can be hard to tell if what you’re putting on the page is communicating exactly what you want. Line editing, also done in track changes, is a chance for me to clean all of this up for you, point out possible gaps or areas of confusion, suggest stronger transitions or framing, and flag any other points of concern. I will not format your references or make the text conform to a specific style guide. I’ll correct any spelling, grammar, or mechanical errors, but ultimately copyediting is the step that ensures stylistic consistency (see above for more on what that means). 
I think both of the above apply to me! I need my text to follow a specific style guide and to be in a polished final state, but the language needs some work first. Can you do both?

Yes! Get in touch with me to discuss your project and the possibility of including line editing in a heavy copyedit of the manuscript.
I just got the page proofs, or galleys, of my manuscript. I’ve read this so many times I don’t think I can catch mistakes anymore. I’m not even sure what kind of mistakes to look for. Is this something you can help me with?

Yes! I can proofread your manuscript and return a PDF marked up in Adobe for you to review and share with your publisher. Proofreading is a crucial last step in the editorial process: it catches mistakes introduced during typesetting (such as stray runaway italics or misnumbered images) and any errors that may have made it through copyediting. It is the last line of defense, but most of us are too exhausted by this stage to be truly effective proofreaders of our own text. You should always proof your own manuscript, but professional proofreading will provide peace of mind and catch inconsistencies in design and layout. 
My manuscript is in MLA style (or my own semi-invented style…) and the publisher has asked me to switch to Chicago (or vice versa). Can you help?
Yes! I offer citation formatting. This includes making sure your text follows the publisher’s desired format, be it MLA, Chicago author-date, Chicago notes-bibliography, or another guide you’ve been provided with. I will format both your parenthetical citations and/or notes as well as the works cited section or bibliography. 
I just learned that all of the Spanish quotes in my article need to appear in English. I don’t have time for this. Is this something you can take care of?
Yes! I can translate quotations from Spanish to English. If the source you cited was originally published in English, or if there is a published English translation, I will, in most cases, track down the published English version and provide the citation information to add to your references.
I have a translated text, and I want to make sure that it reads well in English. Is this a service you offer?

Yes! As a translator, I know that translators need editors too, and I offer translation editing. If you translated your own text, or if it was translated by a professional translator or translation software, I can edit it with a particular focus on eliminating any unnecessary wordiness from the English, unclear phrasings, and clunky syntax.
If the original text is in Spanish, I can also check the translation against the original to ensure it is accurate. This is still an editing service, and I will not retranslate the text: I will respect the translator’s decisions and focus on readability, accuracy, and flow in English. As with copyediting and line editing, I will return your Word document with edits in track changes and queries in the comment boxes.
I have a draft of a project, but it’s not really coming together conceptually. I’m not sure what my argument is—though I have lots of ideas and I think the research is good! My manuscript might be too long or not appropriate for the venue where I want to publish it. Can editing help me with this?

Yes! You are likely in need of developmental editing. While authors often imagine editors as polishing a finished product, developmental editing comes in at an earlier stage—that may be when you’re first drafting a project, when you’ve received reader reports or other critiques of your work, or when you’re reworking a paper for a different format or venue (building a conference paper into an article or reworking an article into a book chapter).
The first step in developmental editing will be a free initial meeting where we discuss what your goals are to determine if I can help you. Once you’ve sent me your text, I will send you a written report detailing concrete steps for you to take in revising the manuscript so that it serves your purposes. This includes identifying the text’s strengths, proposing organizational changes (including ways to cut length or places to add content), and pointing out areas where the argumentation needs further development. Once you’ve gotten a chance to read my report, we’ll have a follow-up meeting where I can answer any questions and help you come up with a plan for next steps.
Developmental editing does not include correcting the language or format of the text. I will not be returning your text with edits in track changes. In some cases, I may make marginal comments in the manuscript in addition to the written report. Once we’ve established a plan for your project, I may be able to make some of the big-picture changes to the document, moving material or marking potential cuts. If I have expertise in your field, I may be able to suggest further reading or address content-based concerns. However, I am principally reading your work not as an area expert—that’s you!—but as an expert reader attuned to argumentation, structure, and theorization.
What if I have something in mind that doesn’t fit into these categories? Can I contact you?

Yes! Head to my contact page, and let’s discuss your project.

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