Do you need a skilled, experienced editor to help you publish your work in higher education?

Judith E. Miller, PhD

What is Developmental Editing?

Developmental editing addresses issues of logic, flow, organization, and clarity, first at the level of the work as a whole, then section by section, and then at the level of the paragraph and the individual sentence. Our goal is to produce a piece of written work that communicates your good ideas as powerfully as possible, in a format that is acceptable to a publisher, journal editor, or funding agency.

Developmental editing is not copy editing. Developmental editing works with the “big picture” of the written work, whereas copy editing addresses issues of writing mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure) and publication-specific style and format (for example, standard abbreviations and numbering conventions). As we work with your manuscript to the point of telling your story clearly, concisely, and powerfully, we will address writing mechanics and style as well – but if all you want is copy editing, I’m not the right person for the job.

“I needed an editor to help with substantive feedback and clarity of expression in my second book. Judy has delivered superlatively in both those areas. Her feedback helped me see a problem with the final chapter that helped me produce a much improved new version. We became friendly instantly and the relationship has been thoroughly enjoyable. Highest recommendation!”
Stephen C. Ehrmann, Author, Pursuing Quality, Access, and Affordability: A Field Guide to Improving Higher Education (Stylus, 2021)

How does the process work?

My special skill and enjoyment lies in working with an author to develop a rough manuscript into a polished piece of writing that fits the format, length, audience, content, and style requirements of the publisher, journal, or funding agency.

Developmental editing is a holistic, iterative, and collaborative process. We will start by talking about your work and the requirements of where you want to submit it, and I will read what you have written, whether it be an outline or a full first draft. Depending on how far along you are and what kind of help you feel you need, we could address the overall structure and flow of the work, what content to include or exclude, the structure and flow of chapters, sections, and individual paragraphs and sentences, and reducing word count for a given length requirement. Always, the process is consultative and collaborative: you give me drafts, I make suggestions for rewriting, but the final decisions are always yours. If we are stuck on a section, I might do a suggested rewrite using your words and ideas, and you are then free to adopt, adapt, or reject it as you wish.

“As I began to meet deadlines, Judy offered intelligent and insightful response that generated even more work energy and inspiration.”

Sheila Siragusa, Faculty Author