Contrary to popular belief, academic editing is not simply a matter of mechanically sifting through documents removing spelling mistakes and typographical errors. Rather, it covers everything from meticulous proofreading and citation formatting to substantial rewriting and restructuring. It may even include supplementary research and fact checking.
But academic editing can achieve much more than making sure your writing conforms to the highest standards of English usage and professional presentation. At its best, academic editing can greatly enhance the clarity, consistency and coherence of your work. Just as precision cutting and polishing can transform a roughly hewn stone into a coruscating gemstone, so can precision editing and revising transform a run-of-the-mill essay into a first-class paper. While each of a hundred small editorial alterations might seem trivial or pedantic on their own, taken together they can lift your essay to a whole new level.
Removing Linguistic Clutter
Many students think that what matters is what you write, not how you write it. There is some truth to this. After all, a truism remains a truism no matter how felicitously it may be expressed, and no amount of linguistic dressing will transform it into a penetrating insight. But if style is no substitute for substance, substance itself has little value when it’s buried beneath clutter. And the truth is that most student essays are replete with linguistic clutter: flabby sentences, redundant prepositions, dangling modifiers, ambiguous pronouns, confusing shifts of tense, and unbalanced constructions. Given the importance of ensuring that your arguments are readily understandable to your examiner, it is essential and he or she is not distracted by such clutter, and it is here that academic editing can make a huge difference to your final grade.
The Importance of Clarity
A common failing of many students is that their intimate familiarity with their own writing blinds them to its flaws. When you’re concentrating on content, it’s inevitable that linguistic errors will creep into your text. Due to your immersion in the writing process it’s likely that such errors will be invisible to you, but it would be a mistake to think they don’t matter. Not only will they distract your examiner’s attention from the substantive content of your writing, but they could also render the meaning of your claims and arguments opaque, even unintelligible.
If you really want to give yourself the best chance of getting your desired grade we therefore recommend that, before submitting your writing assignments, you send them to us to receive the professional treatment of our dedicated academic editors. Since any claims or arguments that cannot be readily understood will cost you valuable marks, it’s vital that you have your essays professionally edited prior to submission. This is the case not only for the arts and humanities, where the quality of writing contributes significantly to the final grade, but for any course module in which written work makes up a sizeable component.