Academic Editing

I have twenty years of experience helping graduate students and academic professionals express their ideas clearly and cogently. Whether it’s offering a line edit, revising for stylistic consistency, or delving into issues of statistical analysis, argument or organization, I offer useful revisions and feedback that improve the clarity and cohesiveness of your writing. And regardless of where you are in the process or the deadline you’re up against, I can help you put the pieces in place to produce a final product you’ll be proud to put your name on.

 
 
 

dissertation sample Before Editing

… Involvement has been defined as the investment of “physical and psychological energy” (p. 518) and can range from planning an event on campus to studying for a midterm exam.  Astin also observed that involvement varies with different experiences and at different times. I n my research study, I incorporated Astin’s five components of student involvement theory, using them to organize my field notes, follow-up interviews, and discussions on key themes that emerged from the initial interviews. Astin’s Student Involvement Theory posits that quantitative and qualitative components of involvement can be reflected through test scores, hours studying, and number of involvement activities, as well as the value of friendships, group interactions, and relationships with faculty members.  According to Astin, a student’s level of involvement reflects student development outcomes:

Students’ level of involvement determines the outcome. For example, students who overextend themselves in involvement activities might experience a negative outcome.  They may ignore academic work or other priorities as a result of focusing too much on those involvement activities. In addition, institutional commitment to increasing student involvement must be evident (pp. 521).

What is more, a higher quality and quantity of student commitment leads to compounding social and academic benefits:

As students spend more time within the university community, they have greater opportunities to interact with faculty, join student groups, become involved in government, or join a sorority or fraternity—all of which contribute greatly to the likelihood of students returning another year and developing on a personal level (pp. 558).

Astin argues that levels of student involvement directly impact motivation to remain in school, apply for graduate or professional schools, and excel academically (Astin, 1984).

dissertation sample After Editing

… Astin (1984) has a broad conception of student involvement. He notes the differences using quantitative and qualitative measures, pointing to test scores, hours studying, and number of involvement activities, as well as friendships, group interactions, and relationships with faculty members. A student’s level of involvement leads to different developmental outcomes, with higher levels of student commitment leading to compounding social and academic benefits:

As students spend more time within the university community, they have greater opportunities to interact with faculty, join student groups, become involved in government, or join a sorority or fraternity—all of which contribute greatly to the likelihood of students returning another year and developing on a personal level. (Astin, 1984, p. 558)

Astin argues that the degree of student involvement directly impacts their motivation to remain in school, apply for graduate or professional schools, and excel academically (Astin, 1984). Yet he acknowledges that involvement is not an unalloyed good:

… students who overextend themselves in involvement activities might experience a negative outcome.  They may ignore academic work or other priorities as a result of focusing too much on those involvement activities. (p. 521)

His theory offers a useful framework for analyzing and interpreting the data gathered from student interviews. In my research study, I employed Astin’s student involvement theory to organize my field notes, structure follow-up interviews, and offer a framework for identifying key themes that emerged.

You saved the day—not only did you provide top-notch edits that wowed my committee, but you bailed me out at the last minute. I can’t thank you enough!
— Victor K.

article sample BEFORE EDITING

A great deal of the research on first generation college students centers at the undergraduate level, and while strides have been made over the past ten years to increase support of this population, much work is left to be done, particularly as first generation students’ progress in their higher education pursuits. The U.S. Census Bureau (2013) reported doctoral and professional degree earners are among a select group in the United States with barely 3.2% of the country holding this distinction; however, little research – and even less programmatic support – exists for first generation doctoral students, who make up 30% (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2015; 2017) of this distinguished group. As we look to the literature, there is a gap in capturing the lived experiences of FG doctoral students (Adams, 2011; Gardner & Holley, 2011), perhaps assuming and/or implying that critical elements of need end after receiving their bachelor degree, which couldn’t be farther from the truth as FG doctoral students continue to face challenges similar and other exemplified to those experienced during their time as undergraduates along with new challenges in light of their educational pursuits (Cunningham & Brown, 2014; Gardner, 2013).

article sample AFTER EDITING

Reviewing the research on retention with regard to first generation college students reveals that the vast majority of it centers on the undergraduate experience. While strides have been made over the past ten years to increase support for this population, there’s still much work left to be done—particularly as first-generation students continue their education by pursuing graduate degrees. While the U.S. Census Bureau (2013) reported doctoral and professional degree earners are among a select group in the United States (with barely 3.2% of the country holding this distinction), it might be surprising to learn that 30% of all doctoral students are first generation (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2015; 2017).

As we look more closely at the literature about this population, we can see that there is a gap in capturing the lived experiences of FG doctoral students (Adams, 2011; Gardner & Holley, 2011). This omission is concerning, perhaps driven by the (erroneous) assumption that after receiving their bachelor degree the need for support ends. In fact FG doctoral students continue to face similar trials to those experienced during their time as undergraduates—along with new challenges in light of their pursuit of an advanced degree (Cunningham & Brown, 2014; Gardner, 2013).

Your comments were spot on and anticipated those of my advisor, and your edits helping me transition between topics was exactly what he was looking for.
— Katherine K.

White Paper sample Before editing

The promise of the research practices discussed above has begun to be realized in six high schools in the northeastern region of the United States that now claim higher-than-average EL high school graduation and postsecondary entry rates (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017). While the six vary in terms of the size of their EL populations, all are small schools with high percentages of their students (80 to 100 percent) qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch a commonly used metric of school socioeconomic status. Students in all six schools (five from New York and one from Massachusetts) had to pass a demanding set of tests to graduate from high school. A 2015 study found while the schools didn’t have a common curriculum, they did share several emphases (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017)…

white paper sample After editing

The promise of best practices for EL instruction reviewed above is not just theoretical.  Six high schools in the northeast United States have implemented the “language as action” approach to EL instruction with promising results (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017). While the six schools (five from New York and one from Massachusetts) vary in terms of the size of their EL populations, all have over 80 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch (a commonly used metric of socioeconomic status). To graduate, each school requires students (including ELs) to pass a demanding set of tests, yet these schools have higher-than-average EL high school graduation and post-secondary entry rates.

What was their secret? While the schools did not have a common curriculum, they did share several emphases that reflect both the policies and instructional methodologies advocated above for EL instruction (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017):

Every time he offers a comment or makes an observation, Pook takes you to a new domain of analysis.
— Svetlana N.