Copyediting

After you’ve received feedback on your draft and you’re confident that your manuscript is ready to submit, you’re ready for a copyedit. Copyediting involves the correction of grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and the application of a style guide, like AP or the Chicago Manual of Style (and/or your publisher’s style guide). With your content and argument established, we can clean up your manuscript so that your ideas shine!

Copyediting includes some or all of the following:

  • Fixing grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Improving the flow of sentences
  • Correcting punctuation
  • Correcting or formatting citations
  • Applying a style guide like the Chicago Manual or your publisher’s house style
  • Document formatting (at the section, chapter, and book levels)
  • Improving word choice
  • Ensuring consistency (at the word and manuscript level)
  • Eliminating repetition
  • Glaring issues with argumentation, content, or evidence (see developmental editing services for more help with this!)

Typical projects that need copyediting vary widely, from application essays to catalogue texts, course papers to dissertations, journal articles to full book manuscripts, and everything in between. These texts have already been copiously edited by the author and/or their trusted advisors and are ready for the final cleanup stage before submission or design.

Levels of Copyediting: There are three different levels of copyediting, and we will help you determine what level your manuscript needs when we see the manuscript. For reference, the more work the manuscript requires, the higher the level. 

  • Light: Correct grammar and punctuation, apply style guide to text and citations
  • Medium: Correct grammar and punctuation; improve word choice or voice; apply style guide to text and correct citations
  • Heavy: Correct language, grammar, and punctuation; reformat text; apply style guide to text; overhaul citations

Price: Copyediting rates range based on the difficulty of the text, type of manuscript, and turnaround time. Please refer to our pages for academics, authors, artists, and nonprofits for up-to-date pricing. If your text is less than 2,000 words, you can also purchase our short-form copyediting online.

Includes: Our professional services include one full editorial “pass” to the manuscript and one shorter second pass once the author has responded to queries (must be completed within one month of first pass). Any subsequent passes must be performed within a reasonable timeframe and will based on the editor’s availability. For graduate student edits, we offer only one editorial pass.

When? Right before you submit to the publisher, your committee, or for review. Basically any time you need clean copy.

How long does it take? A general rule of thumb is 25–35k words per week.

Need help with something else?

The Big Picture

Strengthen argument/thesis

Improve organization and structure

Suggest ways to expand or cut back evidence

Respond to or address peer-reviewer feedback

Tell a better "story" with your manuscript

Writing Style

Improve overall writing style and word choice

Improve sentence syntax

Address transitions between sentences and paragraphs

"Smooth" rough translations to English from another language

Dramatically cut word count

The Final Step

Double-check publisher proofs

Catch stray typos and incorrect punctuation

Address layout and typesetting issues like line and word breaks, widows and orphans

Illustration placement and caption consistency

Running header and chapter title consistency

Ready to take the next step?

Get a rate quote or speak to our chief editor by clicking below.

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