margy thomas phd scholarshape editing writing consultation scholar support services

Developmental Editing Services

For any knowledge-builder, engaging outside perspectives is critical to developing a knowledge product that will be useful and compelling to its target audience. Whether the knowledge you’re creating will be communicated in a book, article, or some other form, the feedback you receive throughout the construction process becomes valuable data that informs how you shape your material. Knowledge products are built through prototyping and iteration.

When you get one-on-one manuscript development support from me, Margy Thomas, Ph.D., you are inviting in a test user who has spent the past decade studying how effective scholarly communication works. I will analyze your work-in-progress and give you specific, tailored suggestions on how to structure, engineer, and compose your text so that it simultaneously advances a persuasive argument and tells a compelling story about what your research means. I call this form of research communication a Story-Argument.

Story-Argument (noun): a knowledge product that reveals one main point about its subject, supports that point with evidence and reasoning arranged in sequence, and references a larger theme beyond the subject.

A Story-Argument is an intricately engineered sequence of claims and evidence that carries the reader forward, whether across 30 pages or 300, with a sense of urgency, suspense, and unfurling illumination, culminating in a sense of resolution as well as raising of new and better questions that invite readers into meaning-making of their own.

I can meet you in the middle of your knowledge-building process and help you find your Story-Argument. My services are confidential and customized. Project types include

  • Academic articles (new and revise-&-resubmit)

  • Book proposals and chapters

  • Presentations and conference papers

  • Grant proposals, policy papers, and white papers

The goal of my services is not only to assist with your current project but also to provide broader insight on how to craft your research into Story-Arguments within specific genres.

For new clients, availability begins in September/October 2019. You can send me an inquiry for more information about services and scheduling. Retainers start at $3,600 for 40 hours.

—Margy Thomas, Ph.D.


“When I first hired Margy, I had a book contract but no clear idea of the book’s unifying theme. After her first review of the manuscript, Margy had proposed two central concepts and reverse-outlined the entire structure of each chapter. Her feedback led me to more holistically conceive of the manuscript, which motivated me to reframe the chapters and even modify the title of the book. As a developmental editor, a task not for the faint of heart, Margy’s skills are unparalleled. But what I most appreciated about my work with Margy is that she converted the solitary act of writing into a collaborative process. With my manuscript in her capable hands, I felt less alone.”

—Rachel Hynson, Ph.D., author of Laboring for the State (Cambridge UP, 2019)

”Margy is a masterful story shaper, has a sharp editing eye, and is adept at moving back and forth between the big picture of the book and the smaller details in each chapter, page, and paragraph. I highly highly recommend working with her no matter the stage of your project!”

—Katie Gaddini, Ph.D., University of Cambridge & the University of Johannesburg