This service is best suited to authors who are satisfied that their work is well written but who require a final, thorough and objective check or correction of their work. Text will be checked for spelling and punctuation errors; correct capitalisation and grammar; consistency of language, punctuation and heading style; correct numbering of tables and figures; factual accuracy (within reason); and clarity.
I can proofread on screen using Word tools, on PDF (usually for publishers), with PowerPoint and on hard copy using BSI mark-up symbols (again, usually for publishers).
Clients whose work is to be submitted for academic assessment may be asked to prove that they are working within the rules of their educational institution.
Editing comes before proofreading and is suitable for writing that needs to be developed, structured or restructured, or needs to meet the style requirements of a publisher. This service is useful to authors who recognise that they have brought their work as far as they can for now, and need the support of an editor to bring it to the standard they require, especially if they need to follow a particular style guide. Accuracy, clarity and consistency are essential in editing.
Editing is also part of the publication process, where an editor is usually involved in several stages, including working with authors, copy-editing, checking proofreader mark-up and signing off.
This may involve using styles and tags/codes on screen, providing both copyediting and developmental editing service and working to the brief of publishers preparing academic, educational or general interest works, including textbooks and journal articles.
Sometimes the only thing holding a writer back from communicating excellent ideas is language. Editing texts written by those for whom English is a second (or third or fourth!) language includes the usual tasks of editing. However, here I pay significant attention to nuances of language that may be missed by those who are not native speakers of English.
This is often about finding the ‘right’ way to say something in English, which may need more than a dictionary or online translation service. It also involves identifying and communicating the intended meaning of the writer when language makes that difficult.
This usually involves transcription of audio recordings (e.g. presentations and interviews), including focus group and one-to-one interviews.
This service includes writing on general topics, education and religion. I have recently been commissioned to write several pieces for Sunday Plus and Advent Extra (Redemptorist Publications).
I am happy to offer services that do not fall neatly into the categories listed here, tailoring them to suit the needs of the client.
With my background in teaching and further studies in ethics, I am happy to take on work in any related fields. I have edited on topics including teaching and learning; nurse education; maths education in primary school; the role of the guidance counsellor in secondary schools; autism and the school; literacy matters; the family role in education; restorative practices in education and other community settings; mental health services for teenagers; theology and immigration; scripture and spirituality; and religion and ethics. I have also edited biographical material and material for continuing professional development of business professionals. I have a broad general knowledge and am interested in many subjects. While I do not proofread or copyedit material that requires graduate-level/specialist STEM or financial knowledge, I have worked on texts in these areas that do not require advanced subject knowledge, including some in the area of nurse education, health policy and health behaviours.
One of my favourite work areas is editing for writers for whom English is not a first language. I enjoy the challenge of deciphering intended meaning and shaping great ideas that can be hidden behind language difficulties. I studied Irish, German and French at school and find they have helped in surprising ways while editing, not least in working out language nuances that are lost in translation.