Academic documents generally require three types of editing: formatting, copyediting and proofreading.
Formatting involves making sure that the thesis/proposal/report/article is properly structured and has all the required material presented in the correct order with appropriate section and page breaks, a suitable hierarchy of headings, well-presented tables and figures, appropriate spacing between elements, and proper pagination. If you want me to format your document, I will define paragraphs, headings, sub-headings, captions and long quotations as Word styles – this ensures consistency and ease of modification. It also allows for the automatic generation of a table of contents and lists of figures and tables.
Copyediting focuses on correct expression and adherence to style rules. Using Track Changes in Word, I will fix errors in grammar, sentence structure, spelling, word usage, punctuation, capitalisation, numerals, abbreviations and hyphenation. My reference texts include the current online edition of the Macquarie Dictionary, the AGPS Style Manual (6th edn) and the APA Publication Manual (6th edn), as well as any other style guidelines that you may stipulate. As part of copyediting, I will also make suggestions, using Word’s comment feature, where I feel rewriting may be required. I will highlight wordiness or repetition and suggest ways to enhance clarity of expression and the clear flow of ideas.
Proofreading is a final check that a formatted and edited document is complete and correct – ideally, 100 per cent free of typos, misspellings, punctuation errors, missed words and inconsistencies, but realistically, as free as my best endeavours can achieve.
For answers to common queries, such as ‘How much does it cost to edit a PhD thesis?’ and ‘What subjects can you edit?’ please see my thesis editing FAQs
For an interesting discussion about the value of an academic editor, check out ‘Should I get an editor for my thesis?’ on the Thesis Whisperer website. You might also enjoy my article – ‘What font should I choose for my thesis?’ – it was the most popular post on the Thesis Whisperer’s website in 2016.