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

I first hired Lydia as a proofreader for a large multi-country market research programme in January 2011. I have been very impressed with Lydia's work - her excellent grasp of the English language, her eye for detail, her confidence in presenting queries and she is also very conscientious and easy to work with. I have hired Lydia again as she is an asset to the project team.

Alpa Virdi
Owner/Director at Spotlight Market Research & Editing

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

Lydia always asks me lots of questions to ensure that my argument comes across clearly – it makes me study extra hard – and then she makes my writing wonderful in her most suitable and beautiful English.

Maria Keiko Yasuoka
Postdoctoral researcher at Hokkaido University, Japan