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

Thanks very much for your work. Your copy-edit was really good, both in improving readability and in pointing out/questioning issues with content.

Kate Taylor
Assistant Editor at Cambridge Publishing Management Ltd

Thank you very much for all your editing and advice. I can never fully express my gratitude for the smart changes you made to my documents and to my own skill itself!

PhD student, Japan

I asked Lydia to copy-edit various publicity and strategy documents before publication. She delivered to a tight deadline and I found her approach efficient and flexible. Her work was thorough and accurate and included suggestions that added polish and elegance to the final text. I look forward to working with her again.

Richard Morton
VP Subsurface at Panoro Energy ASA