Copy Editing

Do You Need a Copy Editor?

A copy editor helps you to ensure that there are no obvious errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar in your written documents, as these could detract from the intended message. They can also help you to improve the readability of your text. For instance, they can assess whether your style of writing is appropriate for the intended readership, and they can offer suggestions on how to improve it. They can also advise you on the structure of your sentences and paragraphs, by considering whether your argument flows naturally from one paragraph to the next, and whether it is easy to follow and understand. A good copy editor can become a trusted second pair of eyes, especially if they grow familiar with your style of writing.

So:

  • Are you a postgraduate student looking for someone to help you with your Master’s or Doctoral dissertation?
  • Do you need someone to check your documents for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes that you may have missed?
  • Have you written an article and want a copy editor to look at it before you submit it for publication?

Send an email to reggiesblogs @ gmail.com (remove the spaces on either side of the @ sign).

 

Qualifications & experience

I have been offering an editing and proofreading service since the early 1990s.

I have a B.A. (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the University of Cape Town. I also worked as a tutor and a research assistant in the English Department at UCT.

Over the last 25 years, I have assisted many postgraduate students and lecturers. I have worked on dissertations (PhD, Master’s, Honours level) across many faculties and departments at UCT and at other tertiary education institutions, both local and overseas. I have also copy edited journal articles, conference papers, books, and both formal and informal writings.

In 2018, I completed an online copy editing course with Getsmarter, in association with UCT. Our head tutor was Lesley Hay-Whitton. I attended the course to formalise my qualifications in copy editing, in order to improve the service I can offer to my clients. I enjoyed the interactions with the tutor and my classmates, and have learned much through the online discussions.

 

My approach

I like to use a mentoring approach when working with my clients. By reading successive drafts of documents, I guide my clients towards greater clarity in expression and better ways of structuring and presenting their arguments.

I am experienced and reliable, and offer a very comprehensive service, which includes:

  • Correcting typographical, spelling and punctuation mistakes
  • Improving grammar and syntax
  • Advising on structure of paragraphs and flow of argument
  • Checking consistency of formatting (styles of headings and text)
  • Checking layout (page size, margins, numbering)
  • Ensuring consistency of references in the text and in footnotes
  • Proofreading the bibliography and cross-referring to main text
  • Suggesting improvements of style and expression where necessary.

I work in MS Word, using Track Changes to correct errors, ask questions and suggest improvements.

Many students wait until the last minute before approaching a copy editor. They thus do not leave themselves (or the copy editor) enough time to work through the document properly. Editing and proofreading take time and focused attention to detail. Moreover, the student will need time to work through all the changes, questions and suggestions made. So – do not wait until the last minute!

 

Contact me for a trial edit

If you would like me to do a trial edit, please send an email to: reggiesblogs @ gmail.com. Remember to remove the spaces on either side of the @ sign.

From your side, the trial edit allows you to see how I work and whether it meets your needs. From my side, it allows me to assess your style of writing and whether I am the right person to assist you. It also helps me to calculate a fair rate, based on the complexity, formatting and layout of the document and the urgency of the deadline.

I look forward to hearing from you.