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Intro to Form and Style Review: Tips on Hiring an Outside Editor


Although many students have had excellent relationships with independently hired editors, Walden University does not guarantee the quality or availability of editors for hire.

To learn more about an editor’s services, consider contacting that person via phone or e-mail.

You might introduce yourself as a Walden University student, mention that you are interested in hiring an editor to edit your dissertation, and request information on that person’s experience in editing dissertations, particularly for Walden students (e.g., how many Walden students has this person worked with and for how many years; what is this person's experience with APA, etc.).

Some editors might respond with questions for you (e.g., how long is your dissertation/doctoral study manuscript? Has your committee seen it/commented on it/approved it? When do you want it completed?). After you learn a little from each editor and after they learn a little about your project, then the negotiations could begin.

More Tips on Working With an Outside Editor

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Some editors know APA; some do not. Be sure to ask.
  • Some freelance editors offer a sliding scale, depending on the needs of writers.
  • Some can help you clarify your ideas, though none will replace the content expertise of your faculty committee.
  • In deciding whether to hire an editor, explain your needs; negotiate an approach (e.g., how often will you communicate? How long will the project last?); and ask for references and an estimate of the cost (editors usually charge an hourly rather than per page rate).

Search Tips for Finding an Outside Editor

  • Call a local college English Department or check the bulletin boards at a local university, if one is located in your area.
  • Search the Professional Editors Network or the Editorial Freelancers Association. These sites include links to cost estimates and editors with various specialties. Students in life sciences programs may wish to visit the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences website, where they can find certified editors in the life sciences.
  • Check out estimates of editorial rates (i.e., costs) in the chart on the Editorial Freelancers Association website.
  • Search the web for "dissertation editing services." You will likely find links to many editors and editing companies. Some provide details about cost and the type of work they do.
  • Ask other Walden students or faculty for recommendations.
  • Be sure to review the information in the Student Handbook on the use of external consultants, including editors, for capstone projects.

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