Wordsmith Academic

Wordsmith Editing Services offers specialist editing for all types of academic output: theses and dissertations, presentations and reports, essays, research papers, proposals, journal submissions and so on.

The acceptable standard for language in print is far higher than for speech, and having your work professionally edited will give it the best possible chance of being assessed on its merits and accepted for print.

Theses, dissertations and submissions to academic journals have to conform to additional criteria.

Presentation guidelines

Presentation guidelines specify things like the layout of the title sheet, line spacing, and the length of any abstract and so on.

Citation guides

The academic body considering your paper will also have a preferred way of formatting reference citations (books and articles quoted). ‘Chicago’ and ‘Turabian’ are the most widely known. Wordsmith Editing Services has a comprehensive database of such conventions.

Style guides

Style guides ensure consistency both within and between documents by laying down rules for things like text capitalisation, the rules for writing numerals, which dictionary to prefer for spelling and so on.

You will be able to obtain these guidelines from your academic publications department, the department overseeing your research, or the journal you are submitting your paper to. (These guidelines may also be referred to as ‘Author guidelines’ or ‘Notes to Contributors’, etc.) The earlier in the writing process these conventions are implemented, the better.

Less formal work such as essays and term papers may not require such detailed treatment, but will still benefit greatly from a professional edit.

How much time?

You should allow plenty of time for your paper to be edited. The time required depends on the length of the document and the depth of editing required, so I must see the project before committing myself. An estimate of the time necessary will accompany your cost quote.

Please also note that Wordsmith Editing Services must have the guides mentioned above in its possession before estimating how much time will be needed

If you are unable to source firm guidelines for style and citations, Wordsmith Editing Services will format according to best practice and the most commonly accepted criteria. Accepting the quote implies that you accept these conditions.

Quotations and payments

Getting a quote

You can generate a rough quote for yourself on the basis of R250.00/US$21.00 per 1,000 words, but this is not definitive – longer, well-written documents may attract a lower rate. To get a quote, you must send the whole work, and preferably also the style and citation guides mentioned above, so that I can see how much work needs to be done.

I will then email a cost quote for your consideration.

Payment terms

If you accept the quote:

  • For shorter papers (quotes below R1,000) — the whole fee must be paid in advance;
  • For longer papers (quotes above R1,000) — half the fee must be paid in advance, and half before the release of the final section of the edited manuscript. (You will be assured of the quality of the edit before paying the final portion.)

Fees can be paid electronically directly into the Wordsmith (South African) bank or PayPal accounts.

How it works

  • You e-mail your Microsoft Word document to me at editor@thewordsmith.co.za along with style guides (pdf or URL). Please note that Wordsmith Editing Services only accepts manuscripts as Microsoft Word documents, not pdf files. Large documents can be delivered via MailBigFile, Dropbox or similar.
  • ¨If you have paid the full amount in advance, your edited document will be returned to you with revisions shown in Track Changes (see below). If not, there will be a two-stage process. Full edits will not be released until full payment has been received.
  • ¨Wordsmith recommends the use of Microsoft Word’s ‘Track Changes’ tool so that you can see what has been edited and how. This allows you to accept or reject revisions and also allows the editor to insert ‘Comments’ asking questions or making suggestions. This process requires you to be in reliable and regular e-mail contact.
  • Note that this editing service checks references for formatting only, not for accuracy.

Please feel free to contact me to clarify any of the above, or if you have any further questions.

I look forward to receiving your enquiry or document for quotation.