I have 22 years of editing diverse documents — dissertations, essays, letters, memoirs, novels, etc. — and edit all equally well with my eagle-eye for grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, structure, and respect for the author's style.
I fix your words to make your points so that your printed copy, web content, speech text or PowerPoint presentation is presented with power to clearly convey your content to your target audience. I can help you with the following and more:
* Use of cliches
* Stylistic wordiness
* Sentence structure
* Awkward phrasing
* Imprecise word choice
* Paragraph construction and transitions
Here are the editorial guidelines that I follow:
* APA Style
* MLA Style
* Turabian Style
* Chicago Manual of Style
* Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
* AP (Associated Press) Stylebook and Libel Manual
* "Polishing Your Prose" by Steven M. Cahn and Victor L. Cahn
Here are the English instructors to whom I am indebted for showing me how:
"Cut, cut, cut. Cut words, cut phrases, cut letters."
— Victor L. Cahn, Professor of English Emeritus, Skidmore College
"A clear, short argument is always best. Your argument would have been stronger in two pages, because you would have cut some irrelevancies."
— Barbara J. Kaster, Harrison King McCann Professor of Communication Emerita, Bowdoin College
"This sentence needs to be broken down, simplified, and clarified."
— William D. Geoghegan, Professor of Religion Emeritus, Bowdoin College
"This clause says nothing extra, and can therefore be omitted."
— Denis J. Corish, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Bowdoin College
"Not clear; confused or impossible to follow."
— Edward Pols, William R. Kenan Professor of the Humanities Emeritus, Bowdoin College
"Be sure your papers are short, precise, and to the point."
— Willard F. Enteman, President Emeritus, Bowdoin College
"Try to improve your style of writing and to be more critical in your choice of words."
— Vlada Petric, Founding Curator, Harvard Film Archive, Harvard University
"Get to the point more quickly... Put the deeper sections first... Don't cheapen with quotation marks... Your transitions seemed abrupt... If you committed any sin, it was overwriting."
— Abigail Erdmann, Brookline High School
"Watch consistency... Be terse and precise about what exactly your examples are proving... Inaccuracies and imprecise diction [word choice] obscure your points."
— Beth Thompson, Brookline High School
"You sometimes overreach for effect, but you understand the drama of the word."
— James Dudley, Brookline High School
"Try to be simple and straightforward... Try to vary the lengths of your sentences more... Don't use so many semicolons. Use periods."
— Ellen Goff, The Park School
"Pull your short, fragmented paragraphs together into more unified ones."
— John Spicer, The Park School
"Try during your revision to keep as many of the author's own words and sentences as possible."
— Jonathan Shaw, The Park School
"Somebody said that words are like inflated money. The more you use, the less each one is worth. Go through your entire letter as many times as it takes. Annihilate all unnecessary words, sentences and even paragraphs."
— Malcolm Forbes, "How to Write a Business Letter or Make a Speech"
"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter; it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."
— Mark Twain, Letter to George Bainton, October 15, 1888
— Henry David Thoreau, "Walden"
"Brevity is the soul of wit."
— William Shakespeare, "Hamlet"
In addition, I am proficient in Quark XPress; Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator; and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all on a Macintosh platform. I am also an expert Internet researcher, and have edited many Wikipedia entries.
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Kwame Dawes is an award winning editor and writer with over fifty books to his credit and years of experience as a literary editor.
I have edited over 80 titles in crime, noir and literary fiction, from poetry to short story and novels. I am also a published poet myself.