When you choose to have a FULL ACADEMIC EDIT of your dissertation, thesis, or academic paper or book, your edit will typically proceed in five phases, each requiring a separate pass through the entire manuscript. If you choose a proofread, copyedit, or developmental edit instead, the phases relevant to that level of editing will be carried out.
1. Bibliography/Reference List
Most full academic edits begin at the end of your work: with the bibliography or reference list. Your editor will work through this part of the manuscript, with painstaking attention to every comma, period, parenthesis, dash, italicization, capitalization, and space, ensuring that everything is formatted according to your chosen style sheet. If any of the required bibliographical elements are missing for particular entries, these will be noted in the margin of your document and in the separate Editor's Report that you will receive at the end of the project, so that your submission copy is properly formatted and absolutely complete.
The edited bibliography/reference list will serve as the basis for editing all of the reference citations in the main body of your manuscript: footnotes, endnotes, and/or in-text parenthetical citations. Each of these references will be checked for proper formatting according to your chosen style sheet, and then each of them will be cross-checked against your bibliography/reference list. Your editor will keep a running list of which sources have been cited, so that conventions for second and subsequent citations of sources may be properly observed. If there are unresolvable discrepancies between the bibliography/reference list and the in-text citations, these will be noted in the margin of your text as well as in the Editor's Report. In addition, your Editor's Report will list every instance in which an entry in the bibliography/reference list is missing from your in-text citations as well as every instance in which your in-text citations are missing from your bibliography/reference list. Without a doubt, this aspect of the edit is the most tedious—and the most valuable. Our clients frequently remark that the edit would be well worth the price even if we stopped here! But we don't.
At this point, your editor reads through your entire manuscript for the sake of structure and content. If there are problems with focus, if informal fallacies of logic have crept in, if the the discussion doesn't flow effectively, or if any of your arguments just don't work, these problems will be noted in the margins of the text and in the Editor's Report. Standards of academic integrity do not permit our editors to re-write the content of projects that are being submitted for a grade; however, with the proper comments and insights, your editor can guide you toward making those changes in structure and content yourself.
Your editor will re-read your entire manuscript, this time focusing on the details of language: grammar, punctuation, syntax, word choice, word order, concision, and fluidity. He or she will make proofreading- and copyedit-level changes to ensure that the language is error free and flows as smoothly and effectively as possible. At this level of work, your editor will make changes directly to the text.
Once issues of referencing, content, structure, and language have been addressed, all that remains is the format. With careful attention to minute detail, your academic editor will bring your manuscript into full compliance with your chosen style sheet, as well as with the requirements of your university, department, director, agent, or publisher. When all other elements of formatting are in shape, your editor will check your headings and subheads to ensure they are all at the proper levels; s/he will comb through the manuscript to ensure there are no widows or orphans; and s/he will check your table of contents to verify that pagination is correct.
PLEASE NOTE: Because a full academic edit requires several passes through the entire manuscript, along with cross-checking between sections, it is usually not possible to return chapters of your project piecemeal. However, with EME's unique project tracking system, you will be able to login and check on our progress 24/7; we encourage you also to feel free to e-mail or call us to ask about our progress and to inquire into our findings while the edit is in underway. All of our academic editors have written and defended successful dissertations of their own, so they know how nerve-racking it can be to have to wait and wonder. They will be more than happy to take some stress off of you by exchanging some e-mails or phone calls.