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Freelance Copy Editing

Freelance Copy Editing

Do you want to do freelance copy editing for money? Or do you want to access freelance copy editing professionals? In fact, if you are a student struggling to fund your college education and would like to do some freelance copy editing work for money, there are plenty of options available on the internet.

If you want to brush up on your copy editing skills, then this article is just right for you. It gives you some useful tips on how to copy edit an academic paper. Here are some essential copyediting tips that can transform your average grade paper into an A+ paper. I have divided this article into the following three sections:

  • What to do before you start the editing process?

  • What are the main points to check for during the editing process?

  • Proofreading

What to do before you start the editing process?

The writing and editing processes are very disparate and it is essential to undo the writing aspect from your heart and mind before you sit down to edit your academic paper. Here are some tips to follow:

Give a sufficiently long break between the writing and editing process – Unless your academic paper is due in the next half an hour, give a minimum of one hour break between the writing and the editing processes. This distance is essential to find innovative ways of rewriting your paper during the editing process.

Release the attachment you felt for the content while you were writing – Editing is a highly objective task and it is essential for you to step out of the writer's ego space and move into the objectivity of an editor's space. Remove all kinds of attachment towards your writing.

Give in to the indulgence of skimming over the paper once – It is a bad habit to skim over the paper during the editing process. But, do not hesitate to indulge in this bad habit for the first reading. Subsequently, every reading should be under the microscope.

Evaluate your writing as you skim over – Without changing anything on the actual paper, make notes in a separate of any new or left out ideas you want to add during the actual editing process.

What are the main points to check for during the editing process?

Now, move to the structure of the paper. Look at the introduction. Does it start with an element of surprise or a witty anecdote or a unique quote? Does it grab your attention? Else, edit it to your satisfaction. Next, check the thesis statement. Is it specific, clear, and unique? Else edit it.

Then, check the main body paragraphs. Does each paragraph discuss only one central theme? If no, edit to make sure each paragraph discusses only one theme which is the topic sentence of the concerned paragraph. Then, check if the order of the paragraphs is logical and flowing into the next thing without appearing disjointed. Otherwise use the cut/paste option and rearrange the paragraphs of the main body to have a good and balanced structure. Check the conclusion to see if you have addressed the thesis statement correctly.

While editing, check that your choice of words, phrases, and formation of sentences are simple and straightforward without overwhelming the reader. Incorporate the points that you missed out and made a note of during the pre-editing stage. Make sure your ideas, words, and phrases are not annoyingly repetitive. Use your thesaurus to find replaceable synonyms of oft-repeated words.

Tighten your sentences and paragraph through economization of words and phrases. Prune long complex sentences into two or more. Ensure there is absolutely no ambiguity in the meanings and connotations of your content. If your reader has to pause to ask a question like, "Is the author saying…?" then you need to revise your sentence. There should, ideally, be no questions asked by your reader regarding the meaning of what you are trying to say.


Firstly, avoid rushing through the proofreading stage. Proofreading is best done using a hard copy of the paper and a red pen. As you read every word, point your pen at the word. This will help in overcoming the urge to skim through the proofreading process.

Another way to ensure perfection in proofreading is to cover the rest of the content except the one sentence you are looking at. This will improve your ability to focus and reduce the urge to move ahead as, by now, you might know the entire paper by heart owing to innumerable readings. Deliberate over each sentence checking for spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors and correcting them.

  • Ensure consistency in the following elements of your paper:

  • Formatting/referencing style

  • Spelling variations

  • Margins, headings, and subheadings

  • Page numbering

Final Notes

While writing, ideas keep coming to mind and you mechanically jot down everything you think of. While writing, the perfect word to describe an event or person or anything else will evade you. While writing, you get carried away with your whirling thoughts and ideas. In such a highly emotionally charged situation, it is impossible to be anything but subjective about your paper.

When you take that long break between the writing and the editing processes, you create a distance between your work and yourself. It is like you are editing someone else's work. Only when you achieve this state of objectivity, can you do a great editing job to ensure your academic paper moves from an average level to an outstanding level.

If you are looking to do freelance copy editing work for us at Prescott Papers, write in to us at support@prescottpapers.com along with as many samples as you have. We will get back to you.

Our teams of writers and editors, at Prescott Papers, are highly skilled, trained, and qualified to write and edit a variety of academic papers including custom essays, writing assignments, assessments, dissertations, research papers, and more. Do not hesitate to contact us for all your academic writing needs.

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