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  • Writer's pictureAmanda George

What is academic proof-editing?



Ever wondered what academic copy-editing and proofreading (proof-editing) involve? Here are some recent tweaks that I made to some academic papers.


I've broken them down into types of edit:

ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ = correcting a literal error (arguably an essential change)

ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ (ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ Qᴜᴇʀʏ) = where I've changed it but flagged it up throughout and queried it in case I have misunderstood the concept

ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ/ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ = where the line between a literal error and a style choice is thin

ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ = more of a style choice

ꜱɴɪᴘ = removing fluff (wordiness)

ᴇɴʜᴀɴᴄᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ = non-essential, could argue against it, but nonetheless an enhancement


Ready?


🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓉𝓊𝒷𝑒 ➡ YouTube

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ theses margins ➡ these margins (AI couldn't see this one because it doesn't grasp context 😂)

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ ; ➡ : (to introduce a list)

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ Checked that serial commas were consistently present (it's a US English paper)

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ Flagged up some rogue source cues¹ for conversion to author-date references

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ inexistent ➡ non-existent

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ Created spacing consistency in formulas, for example p < 0.05 throughout (not a mixture of p < 0.05 and p<0.05)

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ exeption ➡ exception

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ (ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ Qᴜᴇʀʏ) system knowledge ➡ systems knowledge

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ/ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Chi-Squared test ➡ chi-squared or chi-square test

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ/ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Standardized Root Mean Square Residual ➡ standardized root mean square residual

🎯 ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟ/ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Changed single to double quote marks (rather than a mixture)

🎯 ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Changed spaced en dashes to non-spaced em dashes (for US English)

🎯 ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Changed non-spaced hyphens to non-spaced en dashes in date ranges, for example 2009–2014 (not 2009-2024)

🎯 ꜱᴛʏʟᴇ Standardised table and figure headings and sub-headings

🎯 ꜱɴɪᴘ "However, on the one hand, knowledge predicted...; and, on the other hand, the effect was mediated..." ➡ "However, while knowledge predicted..., the effect was mediated...".

🎯 ꜱɴɪᴘ"In addition, they also..." ➡ "They also..."

🎯 ᴇɴʜᴀɴᴄᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ high school students ➡ high-school students (to remove any doubts about the school students being high on an illegal substance 🤣)


¹ Instead of using notes, sources are cited directly in the text.


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