Lydia WanstallCopy-editing and Proofreading
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 non-native English speakers, and may therefore require additional editorial assistance with the preparation of their written work.
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.