If you’re starting a business that uses academic writing or editing, such as text book publishing, translation services and any other line of services related to the use of English as the second language, you may already have an experience or two about choosing the right services to partner with. One of the challenges in doing so is choices.
Indeed, plenty of choices means that you have to be careful in choosing the one that works. There are so many academic editing services popping up on the internet these days, and it can be difficult to tell the good from the bad.
Here are a few quick tips to help you identify the best for your needs as an ESL author or service provider:
1. Don’t choose the cheapest
There are a huge number of academic editing services available on the internet, and many promote themselves on the basis of being very low-cost or very fast. Often, however, low-cost prices mean an inferior product with very cheap rates.
Academic editing requires skill, knowledge, time and expertise and all these cost money. As with so many things, academic editing is an area where paying a little more usually means a significant increase in quality. Don’t choose an academic editing service based purely on their prices, but on whether they offer the best product for you.
2. Check samples of their work
The best way to see whether an academic editing company offers high quality work is to look at a sample provided by them.
The best academic editing services will have plenty of samples of what they do freely available and will be proud to show off their skills. Always ask for them if they are available, and check them thoroughly to make sure that their work is meticulous, focused and expert.
For ESL authors, you should make sure that the work the service does is focused on correcting language and grammar errors as well as engaging with your content so you know your final document will be submission-ready.
3. Make sure they have experience of working with ESL writers and service providers
There are a lot of academic editing services, but not all of them have experience working with the unique needs that ESL authors and business service providers have.
There are academic editing services that focus exclusively on working with ESL authors become experts in their anxieties and requirements. Search out these editing services so that you can feel secure in their ability to check and correct your language errors.
4. Make sure they have the right background
Academic writing is different from most other types of writing. It is usually dense and contains lots of complex information written for expert audiences. So, as well as expertise in language, the best academic editing services will also employ editors who are experts in academic fields too. This will mean your academic writing can be edited by someone who has experience and knowledge in your field.
This extra expertise will enable a good academic editor to identify not just your language errors, but also your misused technical terms and badly structured methods that a non-expert might miss.
5. Make sure you know what you want
All ESL authors and service providers want the same final product from an academic editing service: a publication quality document. However, every academic has different and unique needs and worries about their writing.
If you are worried about the structure or argument of your manuscript, then it is important to find an academic editing service that offers substantive editing and will be able to work on structural changes. Hiring a mere proofreader will not meet your requirements. On the other hand, if you just want a language check, then you don’t need to pay for a full structural edit.
The best academic editing companies offer a wide range of services, and post-edit support to make sure that your manuscript is error-free and submission-ready.