Lydia Wanstall

Copy-editing and Proofreading

 
 
 

Academic writing

Academic texts are frequently subjected to an intense level of scrutiny: essays, dissertations and theses will usually have some proportion of their final marks allocated according to the way the subject is communicated; and other academic articles, papers, reviews and similar will often be pored over, reviewed themselves, and used to provide quotations for future texts. In the expectation of this high level of analysis – greater than in almost any other area of literary endeavour – academic writers need to be entirely confident in the accuracy and intelligibility of the documents they produce.

Style and language

Most educational establishments and publishers of academic articles and books will have specific style guides that must be adhered to, which will inform the content, structure, reference style and overall format of the document, and these can vary widely from institution to institution. In addition, while English-language universities and many academic publications require texts to be presented in English, many students and acknowledged experts in all academic fields are non-native English speakers, and may therefore require additional editorial assistance with the preparation of their written work.

Editing requirements

An editor of academic texts will:

  • eliminate errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • check that the language used is appropriate for the intended readership
  • remove repetition and unnecessary wordiness
  • eliminate ambiguity and imprecision
  • ensure adherence to the house style
  • check reference completeness and adherence to the publication’s or institution’s requirements
  • check all cross-references and notes
  • ensure that headings, subheadings and numbered series are suitable, complete and consistent
  • check that the progression of ideas is logical and the argument coherent
  • ensure that the 5 Cs are adhered to – that the text is clear, correct, concise, comprehensible and consistent.

Testimonials

Many thanks for all your help Lydia – just to say how impressed we have been with all your work as well as how quickly and thoroughly you have turned things round.

Dr Jo Nurse
WHO Regional Office for Europe

We have been working with Lydia for a year now and she has edited long and complex as well as short texts on environmental health topics for us. We have always been very happy with her timely and high-quality work. For us as non-native speakers, we need an editor in whom we can have a lot of confidence and Lydia is always willing to provide substantial advice on how to best use the English language.

Consultant
Water and Sanitation at European Centre for Environment and Health, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Prompt, efficient, reliable and great at drawing out the essence of my thinking, by simple communication and clear direction, Lydia provides a great value editorial service.

Rachael Lear
Managing Director at Coalescing