Some editors are better than others.
Deciding which editing company to use for your academic and professional documents is difficult. The only sure way to discover the quality of any service is to send your document and your money and then wait anxiously to see what the editors will do to your precious work. But the revised work you receive from the editor does not usually include much in the way of an explanation for why these changes were made or the thought process behind the edits. This can understandably cause some confusion about which editing company to trust.
Editing is an essential part of the writing process—and ANYONE can edit, in theory. But the skills that make a great editor are similar to those that make a great writer: a whole lot experience reading, writing, analyzing, and comparing hundreds or thousands of similar documents to get a sense of how a particular work (admission essay, dissertation, thesis, research paper, resume, etc.) should read and what it should include.
What does it take to be a great editor?
As there are dozens of kinds of writing, and twice as many ways to make writing mistakes, the editing process is a kind of complex juggling act—the editor proofreads for any objective errors in grammar/mechanics and vagueness in meaning, while at the same time using experience to interpret what the author means to convey, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. This takes years of experience to master.
All competent editors must be able to do:
- Thoroughly understand grammar and mechanics rules
- Proofread carefully (i.e., paying close attention to the details of the writing)
- Be aware of and apply proper style formatting guidelines (APA, AMA, Chicago, MLA, etc.)
- Adhere to the original/intended meaning of the author and revising accordingly
A superior editor will also:
- Give instructive comments to help authors understand their mistakes and improve their writing
- Explain important revisions so that the author understands the editor’s decisions
- Edit to create appropriate style and tone, as well as to ensure correct grammar and mechanics
- Provide constructive feedback about larger issues like organization, content, and logical consistency
- Understand the goals of the author and ensure that their document achieves these objectives
Fortunately, a couple of editing companies out there do strive for superior results for their clients and therefore hire only the most competent editors. Wordvice is one such company, handling all manner of documents, from academic and research papers, to admissions essays, to business letters and resumes, and everything in between.
How Our Editing Process Works
When our editors receive your sent document, they are provided with a work order. This includes information such as document type, word count, formatting and language guidelines, and anything the client would like the editor to focus on. Below is a sample of a work order service detail:
Editing with Track Changes
Like many professional editing companies, Wordvice uses MS Word’s “Track Changes,” a tool that allows clients to view and accept (or reject) any changes that the editor has made to their document. This includes additions and deletions, formatting changes, and marginal comments.
Take a look at the “Original” and “Edited” versions of the document below to get an idea of what our editors do to improve your writing. This sample edit is an abstract and part of the introduction for a research paper. (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE.)
As you can see, the edited version of the paper indicates in color (in this case light blue) those words and elements that have either been deleted out or have been added by the editor. These are the Track Changes showing you exactly what the editor focused on and revised in your paper.
(And in case you are wondering how Track Changes work, this should help)
In addition to the revised text itself, you will notice that there are a number of comments that have been left in the right-hand margins of the paper. The top comment is what we refer to as an “overall comment.” It gives the author a summary of what kinds of changes were applied to their document, as well as some of the overall objectives the editor pursued for this document (for instance, “to enhance clarity and flow of ideas in your SOP” or “to apply APA formatting and meet the word limit of 700 words per your instructions”).
Constructive Comments to Supplement Revisions
The additional comments contain all manner of feedback intended to help the author understand the editor’s revisions and to help strengthen their writing in future documents. This “feedback” feature distinguishes Wordvice from other editing companies, whose standard editing services do not include constructive or explanatory comments.
Here are some examples of the phrases you are likely to see in the marginal comments, followed by the issues they attempt to clarify:
- “Added a preposition to make this phrase sound more natural.” (clarity and flow)
- “Please note that the present verb tense should typically be used when referring to the contents of a paper/work.” (grammar—verb tense)
- “Changed to a semicolon. Use a semicolon to separate two sentences that are closely related; it is a bit more subtle than using a period.” (grammar—effective use of punctuation)
- “As there seem to be two unrelated ideas discussed here, I recommend adding a new paragraph here.” (organization/content)
- “I suggest using the term ‘imbibe’ here instead—I believe this is the term that captures your intended meaning. Please check” (logical flow/objective of work)
- “Citation revised per AMA guidelines.” (style/formatting guidelines)
Premium Admissions Essay Service
In addition to our standard editing services, Wordvice offers a new service specifically for clients who are writing essays for college and university admissions. This includes the Common Application Essay, the Coalition Essay, the Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Letter of Recommendation, among other important admissions documents. This premium service includes extensive feedback comments and a review letter that gives clients an in-depth understanding of what changes were made to their document and why. This service is highly recommended to anyone seeking to get the most from the editing process.
“Because I care about quality and want to improve my writing…”
So now you have a bit of an inside view into how a professional editing service approaches a document (in this case, a research paper). However, this is just the beginning. Our services include many different areas in which our editors have expertise. We even tailor our assigned edits to those editors who are most qualified to work on specific kinds of documents or areas of research, so you can be confident about getting the most effective and efficient editing possible for your money.
Wordvice is considered a premier editing firm for a number of reasons:
- High quality revisions and feedback
- Qualified and specialized editors
- 100% accuracy in grammar and mechanics edits guaranteed
- Speedy turnaround time
- Competitive pricing
- Client interaction and follow-up with editors
- Administrative assistance available 24/7
For a comprehensive list of our services and pricing, please visit our website.
And for further tips and information on writing, visit our Resources page, where you will find dozens of articles, videos, and e-books that will answer any questions you may have about admissions essays and academic writing.