Academic editing involves editing documents for submission to colleges, schools, or universities, or as part of training or employment with an educational institution. These documents may be essays, dissertations, theses, papers, journal articles, books, and so on. The first step in academic editing is the same as for general editing, that is, ensuring the language is correct in terms of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Institutions, journals, and publishers often require a specific layout, so be sure you know the format and guidelines you are to follow in your academic document.
Many institutions want their students to follow a particular style. Examples of this include Harvard, MLA, APA, Chicago, AMA, and Oxford. Lists of all such guides can be found online, and it is important that these guidelines are followed as closely as possible.
Academic documents generally include references and a bibliography. Previous works must be correctly cited and you need to follow the appropriate style in your document. An example of a reference in APA style is given below:
Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 7-10.
All style guides have different rules on where the date should be, whether the author’s initials go before or after the surname, whether or not ampersands should be used, and so on. Therefore, it is imperative that checks are made on the style guide and the document itself. In academic writing, the language should be precise, formal, follow a logical structure, and be supported by evidence. Academic editing services help writers to ensure the language used meets these criteria.
Most institutions, and style guides, will have an order that a dissertation, journal article, or other manuscript needs to follow. For a dissertation, there will be specifications for what needs to go on the title page, which can then be followed by a copyright page, acknowledgements, preface, abstract, table of contents with page numbers, list of tables, list of figures, list of illustrations, and so on. This content will be followed by individual chapters, with an introduction and main body. Lastly, appendices (if applicable), endnotes (if applicable), and finally the references will be presented.
As the specifications will vary for each academic document, it is important that your document is looked at closely. Let your editor know what the specifications are when you submit the document so that he or she understands your individual editing needs.
Academic editing ensures that your academic document follows the appropriate style, format, and presentation. The language used should be formal, follow a logical structure, and be informative. Academic editing is often more structured than regular editing because it involves following many guidelines and rules. It is important to choose your editor carefully, ensuring that the editor has relevant experience and a great track record.