What Should I Look for in a Dissertation Editor?

Written by on July 18, 2012 in Academic Publishing - Leave a Comment

Your capstone project is a crucial piece of your academic career, and a dissertation editor can be the person who helps you craft a good paper into a great one. But the wrong editor is worse than no editor at all! Finding the right person for the job might seem challenging, but the process comes down to a few simple, key steps.

First, make sure you’re working with someone you can trust. Your dissertation editor should have stellar reviews from other clients—and those reviews should be easy to find. Don’t be fooled by a snazzy website or a slick talker—do your homework! Ask for references, and follow up.

Second,  make sure your dissertation editor is an expert. Your editor doesn’t necessarily need a background in your academic field, but he should have an in-depth knowledge of academic style guides and academic conventions. Ask to see samples of her work, and review it with a sharp eye for style and flow. Would you be pleased if that was your dissertation? If the answer is no, look elsewhere.

Third, your dissertation editor should work like you work. Do you communicate via email? So should she. Phone works better? He should be happy to take your calls. Communication errors can waste your time and money. Make sure you have a good rapport with your editor before you get started, and that she has great communication skills in the medium that works best for you.

Finally, your schedules should be as synced as your communication styles. A big part of this piece is up to you; it’s important that you understand your own ability to meet deadlines and turn work around. You might work best with lots of time to mull things over, or you might do your finest work pulling an all-nighter the day before your project is due! Either way, have a conversation with your editor about your style and whether his  schedule will mesh with yours.

The right dissertation editor can be an invaluable asset. A little legwork on your part will go a long way toward building a successful partnership. You put countless hours into your dissertation, and you want the best person for the job. The right match can make a critical difference in your dissertation—and your future.

Photo credit: gudmd.haralds

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