Inside the editor’s brain…

I thought it might be interesting – or useful – to dig down a bit more into how I approach an editing task. There are variations, to be sure, but the basics go like this:

A. I receive the paper to be edited in a Word document. I immediately save it as sent to me so that I have the original to refer to if needed.

B. I save the document with a different name so that I know it’s my working document. This is the one I’ll use and the one that I’ll return to you.

C. I check through to make sure there’s nothing I need to change before I start with track changes – those would be items that are obviously needing to be changed. Perhaps we’ve talked about it. For example, I received a document with 10 point font. The author assured me she wanted it in 12 point font (which is the standard), so I made that change right away.

D. With track changes enabled, I start reading through your document. On my first read, I make the obvious changes I see, try to respond to any comments or particular questions you have, etc. Depending on your document, I may read it and edit it two or three more times before I’m ready for the next step.

E. Once I feel like I’ve made all the changes needed, I make sure the document is saved, then I accept all the changes, and delete all the comments, so that I see a “clean copy” of the paper. I save that under a different name, and do a final read-through of that copy. Using track changes again, I make any needed changes that remain. Believe me, there are always things that remain! I then compare that copy to the other edited copy and add in the changes there. That will give you one copy of your paper, with all the changes tracked, that I return to you.

Additional details:
* I will (if applicable) do a check on your references to make sure that what you have referred to in text appears in the reference list and vice versa. I will note in text the references that are not in the list, and note in the list the references that don’t appear in text. If this is a long list, I might prepare a different document with that information for you.
* I will follow the APA Style Manual, but if your paper needs to follow particular formatting for your situation – such as for a thesis or dissertation – if you send me those guidelines (or a link to them) I will make sure those are followed. For example, you might need different (or no) headers, different page numbers/placement, different spacing for quotes or references, etc.
* When you receive the edited paper back from me, I recommend that you check every change I made before simply accepting all. I do not intend to change the meaning of what you have written or take away your “voice” – remember this is your paper! I am also likely not an expert in your field, so please know that I can’t make or suggest those types of edits.
* One thing I can’t help with is how the final copy will look. You will need to check for (and adjust for) widow/orphan issues, as well as placements of tables and figures that you may have inserted in the text.

So that’s it! Believe it or not, I really enjoy this kind of work – and I learn a lot about a variety of topics from reading your work. I have been in your shoes – whatever stage of your career you are in – so I can appreciate that you are writing for different purposes, and for different audiences. I will do my best to assist you, so that you can get your hard work out into the wider world!

Published by apadrnancy

APA editing services for dissertations and other academic papers

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