This list is intended to help you clearly communicate your needs. You may request any combination of the following services. For all editing services, my goal is to respect your writing style and tone while also helping you be as clear and effective as possible in conveying your message. The most common requests are for an APA scan or a content read-through. Please review the services I offer. Please feel free to call me M-F during normal business hours with questions that are not answered below or on the FAQs page.


APA Scan

This scan uses the find function and a visual scan to ensure that format of lists, tables, and figures; use of numerals versus spelled-out numbers; citations; and references adhere to APA style. It does not include a read-through.

Content Read-through

This is a more thorough edit to catch typographical, grammatical, punctuation, logical sequencing, and spelling errors.
This type of review requires reading the document to correct grammar, spelling (for mistakes that elude the spellchecker function), logical sequencing, and organization (I will not, unless specifically requested, work extensively on organization issues). I also point out issues related to professional tone, as well as potential improvements in methodology, and missing information.


A consultation may simply entail briefly reviewing a document to give a critique and describe recurring errors. You could then correct these yourself or request further editing services. If you choose to correct them yourself, my Resources page offers do-it-yourself tips.

APA-only Edit

This review means ensuring that a document conforms to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition (APA). This entails using the find function and a visual scan to ensure correct and consistent format and punctuation. This type of review does not require the editor to read the document.

This type of review does not require that I read the document. The following list indicates specific editing tasks that I will perform if it appears to be needed. If there are any tasks on this list that you want me not to complete, please let me know in writing.

APA Format Editing Task List:

  • Make sure end-of-sentence spacing and punctuation is consistent
  • Format section headings
  • Edit Table of contents (page numbers are correct and leader tabs line up)
  • Make sure headings in the text match the table of contents
  • Make sure list format is correct and consistent throughout
  • Check adherence to APA guidelines for spelled numbers verses numerals
  • Make sure acronyms were introduced at first use
  • Format citations (& abc order for multiple author groups in one parenthetical set)
  • Make sure citations in the text match the references section
  • Make sure appendixes/appendices, tables, and figures are listed in proper order and referred to correctly in the text
  • Check all URLs in the text to make sure they are current and working
  • Electronic spell-check
  • Check page format for widows and orphans
  • Check ABC order and other ordering rules

Additional format tasks for dissertations:

Format page numbers to conform to dissertation support office requirements (i.e., page margins and preliminary pages)
APA references edit (differently-calculated average, as noted on the Estimates page)

Comprehensive Edit

A comprehensive edit combines the APA-only edit and content read-thru. If there are any tasks on these lists that you want me not to complete, please let me know in writing. This type of review requires the editor to read the document, which means it will take more time to complete than the less intensive editing services. You may also request a comprehensive edit only for specific chapter or sections.

“I am very pleased with your work on my dissertation, I feel like you definitely ‘got’ my vision, and made my work shine!”
— Emma Wood, PsyD

Rewriting for Clarity

Rewriting is usually undertaken as a result of a committee member or other reviewer’s request for greater clarity. This entails re-wording and re-structuring problematic sections so that the writer’s ideas are more effectively communicated. This type of review requires the editor to read the document, which means it will take more time to complete than the less intensive editing services.

A Note on Ethics

Although I can and often do go to great lengths to help my clients, I do so within the boundaries considered ethical by academicians. At times I (a) recommend sources and even help find sources, (b) re-write for clarity, (c) help create writing elements such as transitions and summaries, and (d) recommend possible methodology or procedural improvements. This is part of refining the students’ own ideas and working with the student to create a better document. Professors I have worked with accept my services as appropriate for their students. On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to write your paper for you, I do not offer that service.

I will cease working with a student if I clearly perceive that there has been intentional plagiarism or any form of deliberate use of others’ work with the intention to present it as one’s own work. Furthermore, when an educational institution’s guidelines prohibit certain types of editorial assistance, I will support a student in understanding how to improve the writing, but I will also expect students to adhere to the guidelines of their educational institution.


Reorganization is usually undertaken as a result of a committee member or other reviewer requesting that you work on readability, logical order (structural coherence), and flow. This entails tasks such as re-ordering paragraphs and creating transitions so that your ideas are more effectively communicated. This is a subjective process, so if extensive revisions are needed, I will ask for your input and approval periodically. This type of review requires the editor to read and understand the content of the document, which means it will take more time to complete than the less intensive editing services.

Advisor Requests

Assistance in meeting requests of your advisors or publication editors depends on the nature of these comments, which vary widely. In these cases, I recommend that you start with a prepayment of an amount you are comfortable with, after which I’ll go through and do as much as possible with time allotted, then I’ll be in a better position to understand your needs and may be able to give you an estimate on any remaining issues.

Condense to Article

If preparation for publication entails creating a condensed version of your dissertation with a size and content appropriate to submit to journals. I will recommend at least three journals that best match the topic of your work and that, in my opinion, offer the best chance of acceptance. I will provide the contact information and instructions on the submission process. This process should follow as soon as possible after completing your dissertation because later, as your references become outdated, a new literature review may need to be conducted.


Some students feel overwhelmed in meeting their research and writing requirements. Coaching is a way to support students in finding the resources they need to complete their dissertations in a timely manner. Coaching often entails a more sustained relationship that may include brainstorming together about possible topics, assistance in narrowing or expanding a topic, assistance in locating research materials and databases, discussions about appropriate research methods and designs, suggestions for gaining access to a population sample, and identification of funding sources.

Citation-to-Reference Matching Check

You may choose between two methods for the citation-to-reference matching check. For recent real-work averages on this task, see the Turnaround page.

A – The more thorough and time consuming check is a search for each set of parentheses, using the find function. Having the document in split view mode so that I can edit the references section at the same time, as I come to each citation, I mark the corresponding reference to indicate that it was found and ensure that author names and dates match.

B – Another type of check is to use the find function to search for each first author name found in the references section. It ensures that there is not a reference that has no matching citation. This has the advantage that it is less time-consuming, but still leaves the possibility that there may be a citation in the text that does not have a matching reference.

If you have been fairly thorough in this area, I recommend check B. If I begin the check B and see indications that there is substantial incongruity that would warrant a more thorough check, I will let you know. Still, you are likely the most informed of how accurate the citation-to-reference match is, based on how careful you have been in that area. Alternately, you may choose to do this task yourself. You might choose to forgo this editing task altogether if your school’s dissertation support office will do a thorough check. If you choose to forgo the check, be advised that the work you may need to do later to add missing citations or references may alter the final formatting slightly. If you need substantial work in this area and choose to do it yourself, you would do well to complete it before your school’s and your editor’s final format review.