Frequently Asked Questions

 Have you edited a paper in my field? Do you have any expertise in my area?

In working as a professional editor, I have encountered writing from as many disciplines as there are departments at any given institution of higher education. Through the sheer volume of the countless doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, journal articles, and book manuscripts I helped to edit and/or compose/rewrite, I developed the skills and facility to quickly enter into the writer’s mind and follow the argument s/he is trying to make so that I can help to say it better.

Should I schedule an appointment on an hourly basis for us to edit my writing together?

If you would rather be present while I edit your writing so that you can give your feedback and input on the spot, I would recommend setting up an appointment so we can rework your writing together. That way, you will be closely involved in the revision and clean-up of your final work. Or if you need help thinking through what you are trying to say, we can set up an appointment to brainstorm and hammer out your ideas together. I recommend this especially for writing a personal statement or a job- or grad school application.

If we were to set up an appointment to work on an hourly basis, how many pages can you edit in one hour?

I work fast and efficiently; but how much we get done still depends on what shape your writing is in, and how much work it requires. We can work together for an hour to see how many pages we get done, and then estimate how many hours total your whole paper would require to complete.

How much in advance should I contact you to set up an appointment?

Anytime is fine. I will do my best to accommodate your needs. Sometimes people who schedule a week or two in advance sometimes are not quite ready when the time comes, so it’s best to contact me when you are done writing and are really ready for editing.

Should I submit my writing so you can edit it by yourself? Will you know what I am talking about?

I usually catch on to a new subject pretty quickly. And if not, it usually means there is something that needs to be fixed so that others can follow what you are saying. I can mark up a hard copy you submit so that you will see the changes I am suggesting; or I can work on an electronic copy and “track changes” so that you can see what has been changed and learn from it. This also gives you the option to reject or accept my suggestions.

If I give you my writing to edit by yourself, what is it you fix?

For the basic rate, I proofread to make the English flow smoothly. Some people’s writing requires more than simple proofreading, such as “rewrite/revise or adjust content/argument and suggest changes.” For these, there are additional charges per page to compensate for the extra time that would require. I use a contract on which I ask you to indicate to me whether you would like for me to do deeper editing. If your professor, advisor, or a previous editor has remarked on your writing, I ask that you tell me what it is s/he recommended that you work on to improve your writing.

I live overseas. Can you still help me, and how can I pay you?

Sure. As with everyone else, I ask that you fill out the contract on which you indicate what you would like for me to work on, calculate the cost per double-spaced page, and submit your payment along with the form and the work to be edited. You may use any number of online services to send your payment — Chase QuickPay, Pop Money, PayPal, etc. — from anywhere around the world to my email address.

If I give my chapter or paper to you to edit on your own, how soon can you get it done?

I have set up different rates by the double-spaced page for different turnaround times, anywhere from overnight service to one or two weeks. I can promise to return the edited work to you within any turnaround time you choose to pay for.

How many pages can you promise to return to me at a time?

I request that you submit a maximum of 30 double-spaced pages at a time. I can commit to editing and returning 30 pages within any turnaround time that you select (anywhere from a few hours to two weeks).

I am an international student. Will you be sensitive to my particular writing needs?

I work with many international students, so I have become accustomed to addressing the special problems that often come up in their writing. For example, many nonnative writers of English do not have the articles “the,” “a,” and “an” in their native language, and they don’t know when to use an article and when to leave it out. However overall, I find that people who are good writers in their own language become good writers in a second language, as well.

Do you just fix my mistakes? Can you also teach me what I am doing wrong?

Having taught writing at the college level for many years, I cannot resist but teach in addition to correcting your mistakes, especially when we work on your writing together. However if we don’t meet to edit together, I will give feedback in the margins as needed, in addition to making corrections. Also, after  working with me, people catch on to the adjustments that I make, and why I made them. This leads them to stop making a particular mistake; and over time, their writing tends to change for the better.

I am not an organized thinker. Can you help me think more clearly?

My goal is to help you become a reader-friendly writer. I find that 95% of the writers who come to me have something they want to communicate, but don’t know where to begin. It’s a pleasure for me to “interview” them, so to speak, to figure out what they are trying to express and discover what they are overlooking because they are too close to the material. Once we identify their thesis/argument or the point they want to make, we work on the “presentation” of the material – what to say first, what to say next, and how to provide evidence for their argument . It is much like serving various courses of a good meal – in the right order, and each at just the right time.