More Than Just an Editor

 
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I’m an editor. Officially, my job is to fine-tune other people’s writing.

But in reality what I do is help smart, creative minds find the clearest way to express the complexity of what they’re thinking.

I have twenty years of experience editing dissertations, revising non-fiction books and writing everything from business copy to curriculum materials. As a result individuals and organizations turn to me for assistance in streamlining their sentences and organizing their ideas to produce engaging and flawless prose.

No matter what kind of project you are embarked on, I can help you reach your audience and produce a product you’ll recognize as your best thinking artfully articulated. Look below for examples and links illustrating how I’ve helped others achieve their writing goals.

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He brought a special mix of expertise and common sense, confidence and calm, warmth and wisdom, understanding and good humor to a charged and complex task.
— Susan P.

Work With Individuals

 
 

I’ve assisted numerous academics and writers of all stripes edit and revise everything from dissertations and non-fiction manuscripts to journal articles and book proposals. Whether you need developmental edits to clarify your organization and thinking, copy edits to clean up your prose, or line editing to spruce up your sentences, I can help you sharpen your writing so that you deliver a polished final product you’ll be proud to put your name on.

 
 
 

Academic Editing: Manuscripts, Dissertations, and Articles

 

I’ve edited and revised every imaginable kind of academic writing, from book-length monographs in the humanities to statistical analyses in the social sciences. I’ve helped countless scholars and graduate students reach their writing goals by offering writing assistance in articulating their ideas and creating a tightly argued analysis.

 

Journal Article BEFORE EDITING

Transaction volume and value are both crucial to firms in many industries. In human capital-intensive industries, such as professional services, providers face important challenges. Consumers ultimately desire to transact with trustworthy and high-ability providers. However, expertise differentials between consumers and providers and difficulties monitoring and evaluating performance create heightened potential for agency problems. These information asymmetries may remain unresolved even ex post (Darby and Karmi, 1973; Dulleck and Kerschbamer, 2006; Dulleck, Kerschbamer, and Sutter, 2011), making evaluation of trustworthiness and ability difficult. Reputation is the common way for providers to overcome these challenges, but reputation usually requires several transactions to establish, and the aforementioned ex post information asymmetries make signals from reputation or other available proxies noisy. In such cases, scholars have found that consumers increasingly turn to social capital to choose transacting partners (Greif, 1993; DiMaggio and Louch, 1998; Elfenbein and Zenger, 2013; Hoetker, 2005; Yenkey, 2018; Gubler, 2019), as it reduces concerns from agency problems (Adler and Kwon, 2002; Coleman 1990; Portes, 1998). While strategic theory thus shows that social capital influences the selection process in favor of socially-connected partners (i.e. increases volume), it remains unclear how it affects the types of transactions providers engage in (value), how reputation is created thereby, and how this phenomenon influences provider career paths.

Journal Article AFTER EDITING

Transaction volume and value are both crucial to performance in many industries. In human capital-intensive fields such as professional services, providers face challenges increasing transaction volume and value. Consumers ultimately desire to engage with trustworthy and high-ability providers, yet differentials in expertise between consumers and providers as well as difficulties monitoring and evaluating provider performance create the potential for agency problems. These information asymmetries may even persist after the fact, making evaluation of these factors difficult (Darby and Karmi, 1973; Dulleck and Kerschbamer, 2006; Dulleck, Kerschbamer, and Sutter, 2011). Reputation is the most common way for providers to overcome these challenges, but usually requires several transactions to establish, while the information asymmetries make signals from reputation (or other available proxies) noisy. In such cases, scholars have found that consumers increasingly rely on social capital to choose transacting partners (DiMaggio and Louch, 1998; Elfenbein and Zenger, 2013; Greif, 1993; Gubler, 2019; Hoetker, 2005; Yenkey, 2018), as it reduces concerns about agency (Adler and Kwon, 2002; Coleman 1990; Portes, 1998). While strategic theory shows that social capital influences the selection process in favor of socially-connected partners (i.e. increases volume), it remains unclear how it affects valueA closer investigation of the types of transactions providers engage in—and how reputation is thereby created and influences provider career paths—is called for.

Dr. Pook helped me see my own thinking more clearly and gave me just the right amount of encouragement behind his helpful edits and practical advice. I don’t think I would have completed my dissertation in half the time it took without his expertise and experience..
— Tina C.

Non-Fiction: Self-Help, Memoir, How-To

 

I’ve helped authors craft their thoughts on every imaginable topic, from self-help books on personal relationships and how-to guides for teaching students with special needs to memoirs about chronic fatigue syndrome—even sermons aimed at millennials for Easter Sunday. If you need someone to assist in writing a book proposal, help with organizing your narrative, or just need a second set of eyes on your paragraphs and sentences, you’ve come to the right place.

 

Non-Fiction Sample before revisions

How did I get here? Over twenty years ago, after 26 years of formal education, I realized that I had never been taught about money. I knew history, science, math and how to fix a knee, but nobody had ever taught me how to become wealthy, so I looked elsewhere. I began educating myself outside the realm of medicine and learned about passive income, or what is one of my favorite terms, “mailbox money.” I went to seminars, read hundreds of books and found great people who acted as mentors. But most importantly, I acted! I didn’t wait until I had all the answers.  I dove into the game as soon as I saw an opening. I knew that simply trading my time for money would not take me to where I wanted to go. If I did that, I would just be a “poor doctor” with money. I wanted to be a rich doctor and have choices.

That should make me special, right? Hardly. If I was special, I would have been vastly more successful, and would have found my freedom much earlier. I was plagued by ego and some of the same fears many of you might be experiencing. Luckily, the financial education I received gave me the tools to fight those fears and keep moving forward. All I did was follow some simple steps and I never quit.  I made boatloads of mistakes, but slowly the victories outweighed the mistakes and I started winning the game.

Non-Fiction sample after revisions

How did I get here?  Two decades ago it dawned on me that despite 26 years of formal education I had never been taught about money. I had studied history, could add and subtract large sums, and had learned all there was to know about how to rebuild a knee, but nobody had ever taught me how to become wealthy. So I began the arduous process of educating myself.  There were false starts, dead ends, and some truly reckless ideas. I ran across (but thankfully was never tempted by) plenty of get rich quick schemes and encountered some sage advice for preserving your wealth—if you were already a millionaire!

But through the haze of competing and even conflicting financial plans I began to see a path forward towards the life I envisioned. I knew that simply trading my time for money would not take me to where I wanted to go. If I did that, I would just be a “poor doctor” with money; I wanted to be a “rich doctor” who had choices.

And that’s when I fixed my sights on what’s known as passive income (or what I like to call “mailbox money”).  I went to seminars, read literally hundreds of books, and found great people who were willing to serve as mentors. But the most important action I took was... to act! I didn’t wait until I had all the answers.  I dove into the game as soon as I saw an opening.

Does that make me special? Hardly. If I was truly special, I would have been vastly more successful because I would have found my freedom much earlier. Early in my career I was plagued by ego and associated working hard with being successful. It took a while to learn to value my time, and even longer to overcome some of the same fears many of you might be experiencing. Luckily, the financial education I received gave me the tools to fight those fears and keep moving forward towards the life I wanted. All I did was follow some simple steps and never quit. Rest assured I made my fair share of mistakes, but slowly the victories began to accumulate, and I started winning the game.

You didn’t just catch my typos and grammatical errors—you showed me how I could better organize my paragraphs and streamline my sentences, and in the process of editing my book taught me how to be a better writer.
— Cathy R.

Work With Organizations

 
 

Over the past twenty years I’ve worked with a number of organizations helping them edit materials for a broad array of audiences. From drafting marketing materials and ghostwriting blogs to designing textbooks and crafting standards, I’ve had a hand in a wide range of projects helping craft substantive content while making organizations shine on the page.

 
 
 

Business Copy: Marketing Material, External Communications, and Manuals

Marketing Sample before Editing

Here, we introduce a new flexible wood surface. What we come up with are scientifically tested, flexible wooden surfaces, capable of being used for high-quality acoustics. As acoustic materials, they are easily balanced for a wide range of frequencies subverting acoustic specialists. It is nothing like you've experienced on acoustic treatment before:

High-quality acoustics. Scientifically tested. Space-saving design.

Wooden surfaces, NRC rating of 0.80

Balancing frequencies. Reduce flutter echo.

Flexible acoustic panels. The basic elements of this material is that it is acoustically resonant composite paneling with hard reflecting plywood surface. It is a laminated sandwich of plywood and acoustic foam, machine-slit alternately in plan and section. Each incision not only transforms the stiff panel into a flexible one, but it also create opening for sound to traveling through and interact with the acoustic foam. It thus becomes flexible wood and acoustic panel at same time.

Hybrid acoustic panels. The sandwich panel resonates at two frequencies: it creates a sound absorbing effect when there is an interaction between sound traveling through the openings of plywood and acoustic foam. On the other hand, when the incoming sound reflect the curved, harder plywood surface, it creates sound diffusion effects. This allows a single flexible panel to go someway towards creating an appropriate balance of sound absorption and sound diffusion at the same time.

marketing Sample after editing

Creating the auditory sensation of a place like Carnegie Hall in your home was once considered impossible, but with advances in technology and design it’s now within reach. The key innovation is the creation of an entirely new flexible wood. Scientifically designed and tested for high-quality acoustics, these flexible wood panels are nevertheless easily balanced for a wide range of frequencies without requiring the input of a sonic engineer. With a NRC rating of 0.80, their space-saving design reduces flutter echo to almost nothing. Simply put, they are acoustic materials like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

The design breakthrough was achieved by marrying acoustically resonant composite paneling to a hard reflecting plywood surface. This laminated sandwich of wood and foam is then machine-slit alternately in plan and section. Each incision not only transforms the stiff panel into a flexible surface, but also creates openings for sound to travel through and interact with the acoustically enhancing interior. The result is a perfectly balanced acoustic panel that incorporates all the aesthetic properties of dynamically flexible wood.

The science behind the acoustics is equally ingenious. The panel is designed to resonate at two frequencies while returning sound to the listener that is both rich and pure. This effect is achieved by the acoustic foam absorbing sound as it penetrates through the openings while the hard curves of the outer surface reflect sound into the listening space. Each flexible panel is manufactured to generate just the right balance of sound absorption and sound diffusion, creating a harmonious and visually arresting material.

Pook is the consummate professional, always willing to go the extra mile. His writing is crisp, clean, and most of all reader-friendly.
— Joanna J.

Educational Projects: Standards, Curriculum, Textbooks & Assessment

ELL materials Sample

With the advent of the Common Core State Standards, the challenges English Learners (ELs) face in school have intensified. These standards demand that all students possess an ever-increasing command of the English language in order to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills called for by the standards. To meet those demands and be college and career ready by no later than the end of high school, all students—ELs included—must combine the development of content knowledge with the acquisition of language and literacy skills in order to perform a range of skills: access complex texts through close reading, construct effective explanations and arguments to support their conclusions, identify key points made by speakers, elaborate on ideas generated from peer discussions, construct and test a range of hypotheses, and strategically choose and efficiently implement procedures to solve problems (to name just a few requirements).  In short, the need to provide ELs language instruction and disciplinary knowledge has never been greater.

Yet it is no exaggeration to say that teachers and schools have undercut their best intentions by embracing an approach towards English learner instruction that undermines the twin goals of learning English and college and career readiness.  In the view of eminent EL expert Lily Wong Fillmore, traditional English learner instruction is characterized by “a lot of attention and energy focused on turning ELs into English speakers, and not nearly enough on educating them…”  The attention put on creating students who are fluent speakers of English neglects the deeper need for ELs to understand what they are reading. 

Textbook Sample Writing

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Pook is that rarest of specimens: a creative independent thinker who channels his best efforts into being a collaborative problem solver.
— April W.

Contact Information

If you’re looking for a nimble and intuitive editor who meets deadlines and exceeds expectations, contact me either by filling out the form or emailing me at dolsonpook@gmail.com.

Pricing and Rates

I don’t believe giving writers “estimates” and think when hiring an editor you should be able to look before you leap. If you send me a sample of your text I’ll return an edit to let you judge whether I can help and let you know as well the final project price. Most importantly, I don’t stop working till you say we’re done—additional rounds of edits are free.

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