Writing Consultation & Editing Services
- Craft an argument that does justice to your research.
- Transform your dissertation into a monograph or series of articles.
- Turn your revise-and-resubmit into a publication on your CV.
- Organize your jumbled thoughts into a compelling story.
Please note: Services are only provided on manuscripts being prepared for submission to academic journals and university presses. I do not provide support for graduate student theses and dissertations.
Substantive / Developmental Editing Services
My most popular service, substantive / developmental editing involves customized assistance with clarifying and (re)structuring your argument for maximum persuasiveness. May entail revision suggestions at the macro, meso, or micro levels, as well as support with managing the writing process and understanding academic genres. I can also assist in reverse-outlining, synthesizing multiple drafts, integrating external criteria (i.e., peer reviewers' comments), and other developmental tasks. [Request a Quote]
MANUSCRIPT DEVELOPMENT. Assistance in planning, developing, and revising your dissertation, book proposal, or monograph. May involve global manuscript critique (suggestions for how to focus, organize, and condense or expand your draft) as well as detailed suggestions at the level of individual sentences and paragraphs.
ARTICLE REVISION SUPPORT. Assistance in processing and implementing feedback from journal editors and reviewers. Clients generally receive a heavily annotated draft, proposed revised outline, and recommendations for how to prioritize and sequence remaining revisions.
The Two-hour Work Session
Assistance with strategizing your project, mapping out the story you want to tell with your research, and/or determining the structure and framing of your argument. Meet via phone/Skype. [Book here.]
The Retainer Option. $90/hour when purchasing 20+ hours. Usually books 6-10 weeks in advance.
Services by the Hour. $100/hour when purchasing 1 to 19 hours. Usually books 3-6 weeks in advance.
Rush Services. $125/hour when booking on short notice. Limited availability1-3 weeks in advance.
Please note: To secure your place on the calendar, services are paid in full. The preferred payment method is the ScholarShape payment page, although check, money order, and bank transfer are also accepted. When you make payment, you will be asked to accept the Terms of Service, which delineates your and my rights and responsibilities with respect to one another. For large projects, please plan 6-12 weeks ahead for the best chance of securing your preferred dates on the calendar. Smaller blocks of time can often be scheduled on shorter notice. For projects of any size that are scheduled on short notice, rush rates may apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you define "consultation"?
To "consult" is to engage in rigorous, collaborative conversations about a writer's practices in general or about a specific writing project with the goal of strategizing, improving habits, or expediting the creation of a strong(er) draft. In the words of renowned scientific writing consultant George Gopen, a consultant can help writers "transform their understanding and their control of the English language--quickly and permanently."
How do you define "editing"?
To "edit" is to provide written feedback on a manuscript that is in any stage of development, whether the draft is rough, partial, nearly complete, or fairly polished. In the words of John Trimble, author of Writing with Style, "Even editors need an editor."
Who hires you?
I've worked with faculty, postdocs, and graduate students across the disciplines at dozens of universities, including Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Harvard, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, London School of Economics, the University of Pennsylvania, and many other universities from Sydney to Singapore, and from London to Los Angeles. Of the hundreds of clients I've assisted over the years, each one has taught me something--that's the best part of my job!
What's your background?
My Ph.D. (Baylor, 2012) is in English Language and Literature, and I wrote my dissertation on Herman Melville's use of genre. My dissertation topic explains both (a) my obsessive interest in how academic writing is constrained and generated by genre, and (b) the sperm whale tattoo on my left inner bicep. While at Baylor, I taught academic writing and research for four years, and then served as the university's first Graduate Writing Consultant. Among other honors, I was a Presidential Doctoral Scholar, was named one of Baylor's 2011 Outstanding Professors of the Year, and published peer-reviewed articles on American literature. Since founding ScholarShape in early 2013, I've worked with hundreds of scholars around the world. As of 2014, I have been NC State Graduate School's Dissertation Institute Writing Consultant. If you're curious about how and why I created ScholarShape, you'll find my soft spot for entrepreneurialism on display in my blog posts for The Professor Is In, where I offer tips and strategies for academics who want to create their own jobs. I invest in my local community of women-identified entrepreneurs by serving on the Leadership Board of WE (Women Entrepreneurs) Collective in Durham, North Carolina.
Where do you get your ideas about academic writing?
Everything I've ever read and done in my life shapes my ideas about academic writing. But, here in no particular order are some of the more pertinent books and blogs on the subject.
- Stylish Academic Writing (Helen Sword)
- The Professor Is In (book) and Blog (Karen Kelsky)
- Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write (Helen Sword)
- The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy (Berg and Seeber)
- Becoming an Academic Writer (Patricia Goodson)
- Disciplinary Discourses (Ken Hyland)
- Academic Writing for Graduate Students (John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak)
- The Craft of Research (Booth, Colomb, and Williams)
- Writing With Power (Peter Elbow)
- The Sense of Structure: Writing from a Reader's Perspective (George Gopen)
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.
- Research Design (John W. Creswell)
- Explorations of Style (Blog by Rachael Cayley)
- Tricks of the Trade: How to Think About Your Research While You're Doing It (Becker)
- Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing (Boice)
- Columns and blog posts by Theresa MacPhail, Joli Jensen, and Raul Pacheco-Vega, among others
What's the first step to working with you?
If you think ScholarShape services could be a good fit for you, just fill out this inquiry form, and you'll hear back from me soon!