Time to declutter

Academic editing

There are a number of high-volume academic-editing services out there that promise they can find an expert with precisely your subcategory of specialised knowledge to edit your academic text—as though they had another you waiting to get cracking.

‘Tis no such thing, of course—and it shouldn’t be, either.

The value of academic editing lies, not in being able to fact-check you, or to see whether you’ve checked all your sources thoroughly—a cloned you isn’t going to do any such thing anyway—but in offering suggestions to clarify your argument where that’s needed.

If you’re a non-native speaker, I’ll zap any non-native errors; if you’re a native speaker, I’ll root out any native errors.

The overall goal is the same: to allow you, and your readers, to focus on the meat and potatoes of your argument.

To see examples of my academic editing, visit the samples page.

Other editing

Serving as the editor of an annual report or the report of a major conference or other event can involve not only the editing of language for formal correctness and overall excellence, but a good deal of coordination, even just to gather the content.

And things are not likely to get any easier when it comes to shepherding the various contributions from first draft through formal and substantive validation to the final product. How many review rounds should there be? Who owns the review process? (It should be the editor.) If there are more than one editor, how is consistency to be ensured?

The more tightly the gathering, editing, review, and finalisation are planned and carried out, the more efficient the process will be, and the higher the quality of the final deliverables. Discipline and rigour will be needed in large doses all around, as will heaps of easygoing graciousness on the editor’s part. One of my bosses years ago used to say that the worst thing you can be as a language editor is right. The last thing you want to do is put contributos on the defensive as you are reviewing and finalising their texts.

So it can be that an editor needs to be both a persnickety gatekeeper and an affable team player, insisting on quality while helping keep up morale.

To see examples of my editing, please take a look at the samples page.

To see how I edit and for a few thoughts on what makes for good editing, check out my video on the home page.