Editing Services

Polish your text so your meaning shines through.

Are you looking for a knowledgeable and experienced fresh eye for your non-fiction writing?

You’ve written it—that article, memoir, website text, term paper, monograph, letter to the editor, book chapter, brochure, blog, conference paper, application. Now, before you send it off into the world to do its work, you want to be sure that it is the best it can be. 

Whether your writing is personal, such as a memoir or blog, or written for an academic context, my editing can make your piece more effective. I have have many years of experience editing non-fiction, having edited, formatted, and/or proofread a wide variety of genres on topics from dairy farming to literary criticism and operative dentistry. As an editor, I strive to assist writers express their ideas in the most effective language to engage and communicate with their particular audience. If you seek a careful and thoughtful reader for your writing, you may appreciate my ability to attend to the piece as a whole as well as the smallest details of word choice or punctuation. I have helped personal and academic writers polish their writing and can work with any style required for your publication. In addition to providing the meticulous eye expected of any editor, I will honor your voice and be mindful of how your text represents you in the world. I offer the following services:

Developmental editing, for the early stages of your project when you are organizing your ideas or when a fresh eye on the structure of your argument may help.

Copyediting. You have written the piece and now seek a reader who will ensure your writing is clear, logical, and accessible and that your examples and quotations provide appropriate support, while your own reasoning and voice shine through it all. And, of course, there is finding typos, unintended ambiguity, and awkward sentence structure.

Formatting. Journals, universities, and other publishers typically have submissions guidelines that include formatting your text to their house style.

Proofreading galleys. Just before your piece gets published, you almost always have one last opportunity to ensure that all is the way you want it. This stage is not about tweaking your argument or syntax, but rather checking line breaks and extract typesetting, ensuring that no paragraph or bibliography entry has been left out, along with a host of other details. Proofreading galleys consists of comparing images of the page to be printed or displayed on-line to your final submission.

Editing for Business

Advertising and Outreach

As a business person, you know the importance of making a strong first impression, and it is often a website, sign, brochure, advertisement, or form that potential clients see first. You want to connect with potential clients as well as providing information about what your business does. Graphic design can do a lot, but your words matter. I can help you define and communicate your message while addressing your target audience effectively.

Client Relations and In-house Documents

Businesses use a wide variety of publications, such as procedure manuals and forms, to communicate with clients and staff accurately and clearly. Not only do these documents need to be created, they also need updating from time to time. I recently saw an invoice that had been modified to reflect the company’s new practice of receiving monthly payments via ACH. Unfortunately, the form still included a tear-off and instructions for mailing a check—very confusing to the client. Internal documents are also key to running a successful business. You and your staff want to understand company policies and processes—you all need to be on the same page.

Developmental editing. In the early stages of a project, I can help you organize what you want to say and how to say it. In addition to helping with websites and other outreach publications, I once worked with several clients who had been turned down for a prestigious designation in a national organization. These accomplished professionals were clearly eligible for this status, and with my help, modified their applications to better show their qualifications. In every case, their revised applications were accepted.

Copyediting. You have written the website text or other outreach piece and now seek someone to ensure your writing is clear, logical, and accessible to your audience, as well as free of unintended ambiguity, awkward sentence structure, and typos. Your outreach publications give potential clients more than a list of your products and services, they also provide clues to who you are as a business. Seemingly minor errors can have a profound impact on your reputation and credibility. I recently saw a website that had one word misspelled. Instead of “bear with me,” it said “bare with me.” The first is a common phrase that invites readers to keep reading, even if they might be skeptical. The second, however, could be understood as an invitation to get naked with the writer. Clearly, this is not what the writer intended! However, once such an image is evoked, it can remain like an echo in the reader’s mind. When you want a fresh eye to spot typos and inconsistencies, I can help.

International Writers

If you are a multilingual writer writing in English, my background in linguistics and language teaching make me particularly well-suited to help you master the conventions of writing in English. I have worked with hundreds of multilingual students, faculty, and business people with their writing projects.

Are you planning to teach or give a presentation? Do you feel that your accent gets in the way of communicating? I can work with you to improve your comprehensibility through identifying key differences between your native language and English, focusing your awareness and effort where they will make the most difference.

“I am delighted to give Sandra Beals a strong endorsement for her excellent work in facilitating the formatting, proof-reading, and selected editing for two of my books (Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory, Bloomsbury, 2019, and A Companion to the Global Renaissance: Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion, 1500–1700, Second edition, Wiley, 2021). Her help was invaluable in producing the final copy from the initial stages to double checking the manuscript as it passed through the copy-editing and page proofs to final production. Sandra is very diligent and careful in her work, and has an “eagle eye” for finding errors or inconsistencies. Sandra has demonstrated an extraordinary work ethic, displaying flexibility and commitment in rigorously keeping deadlines. She appreciated my scholarly reputation and made sure my work stood up to my high standards.”

Jyotsna Singh

Professor, Department of English, Michigan State University