Academic Copy Editing


Each writer has unique editing needs, from light to substantive interventions. I will discuss your goals and timeline with you in a free consultation meeting (20 minutes), and from there we will come up with a plan to successfully complete your project/defend your dissertation/publish your article.

If you are not at the point that you can provide a complete draft of your chapter or article, then see my section on coaching and we can get you there.

Light Copy Editing:*

-       Correct all indisputable errors in grammar, syntax, and usage.

-       Point out or revise any infelicities.

-       Point out paragraphs that seem egregiously wordy or awkward, but do not revise.

-       Ignore minor patches of wordiness, imprecise wording, and jargon.

-       Ask for or supply clarification of terms likely to be new to readers.


Heavy/Substantive Copy Editing:

-       Correct all errors and infelicities in grammar, syntax, and usage.

-       Rewrite any wordy or convoluted patch (unless utterly unclear to your dear editor).

-       Ask for or supply definitions of terms likely to be new to readers.

Specifically, substantive copy editing can include:

-       improving logic

-       addressing problems of structure and organization

-       replacing passive voice with active voice where necessary

-       varying repeated words

-       pointing out tautologies

-       smoothing out awkward sentences

-       defining special terms

-       creating transitions between disparate paragraphs

-       deleting irrelevant material

-       reorganizing paragraphs

-       suggesting areas for additional citation or research (in many cases suggesting specific works or authors)

-       noting how the argument can be made stronger

-       noting any inconsistencies in what you say you will do in your writing and what you actually do



Sliding Scale: My rates are competitive, and I'm willing to work with you and your budget. For new clients of larger projects, I can offer a free three-page sample edit.

For more info on hiring a copy editor, please see Wendy Belcher’s page here.

Email me at with any questions.


* From Amy Einsohn's The Copyeditor’s Handbook