Lydia Wanstall

Copy-editing and Proofreading

 
 
 

Academic/research literature

Academic texts are frequently subjected to an intense level of scrutiny: academic books, reports, articles, papers, reviews and similar will often be pored over, reviewed themselves and used to provide quotations for future texts. Essays, dissertations and theses will usually have some proportion of their final marks allocated according to the way the subject is communicated. 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 have specific style guides that must be adhered to, which inform the content, structure, reference style and overall format of the document, and these can vary widely from institution to institution. In addition, while many academic publications and English-language universities require texts to be presented in English, many acknowledged experts and students in all academic fields are multilingual 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

Lydia worked with the Observatory and OECD on a high-volume, multi-country project, copy-editing 29 Country Health Profiles, each with several sections and dozens of graphs. She delivered to an unfailingly excellent standard – not only in terms of improving the texts but also in ensuring eagle-eyed consistency across them.

Anna Maresso / Guillaume Dedet
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies / Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Thank you very much for your time and helpful advice on the edit. You helped me a great deal, and thanks to you, I could submit my paper before the deadline.

Research fellow, Japan

It’s a real pleasure to work with Lydia. She copy-edited a lengthy and complex publication in line with the UNICEF style guide and did so with great flexibility, good humour and perfect compliance with tight deadlines. Her services are highly recommended.

Marie Wernham
Consultant at CREATE and author of UNICEF Child Rights Education Toolkit