Amanda Wintcher, PhD
Proofreading and Copy Editing

As Voltaire is rumoured to have said, "perfect is the enemy of good".

Writing can never truly be perfect but it does need to be good enough. What do I mean by good enough? The main purpose of academic writing is present research results and methods to others working in the same field. Writing that is "good enough" does this while also following the rules: using the right reference style for the citations and bibliography, writing formally but without too much jargon, and using the correct formatting. Many students and academic writers get caught up in worrying about making the details perfect, rather than focusing on their actual research.

Constructive criticism helps academic writers make their work "good enough", but many avoid getting feedback. Sometimes writers feel embarrassed about spelling and grammar mistakes, especially if English is not their first language. Often they do not have a colleague who is willing to look over their work.

As a friendly and experienced copy editor, my aim is to help ensure that your writing is "good enough". Not only do I check for spelling and grammar errors, but I also make comments and suggestions that can help you improve your document. While I cannot judge your scholarship or write papers for you, I can help make sure that your work is well-presented.

What I can help with:

  • Journal articles
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Presentation slides
  • Simplifying word processor paragraph styles
  • Checking for compliance with style guidelines
  • Formatting the tricky bits:
    table of contents, bibliography, captions, page numbers, etc.
  • LaTeX, BibTeX, and LyX
  • MS Word, Excel, and Power Point
  • Libre Office and Open Office
  • Creating complex tables in LaTeX
  • Creating a reference database (JabRef/BibTeX, Mendeley, Zotero)

About me:

I am originally from the USA but now live in the UK. I have higher degrees from institutions in both countries (MA in the USA, PhD in the UK) and so have inside knowledge of the academic environment in both places. In addition to writing my own MA and PhD theses I have presented several conference papers and been through the process of publishing journal articles, so I am very familiar with the expectations and requirements of this kind of writing.

My professional background is in archaeology and anthropology, although I have always enjoyed helping others develop their writing skills. Throughout my career I have helped classmates and colleagues with their written work, especially those who are not native English speakers. In developing my business I have continued to work primarily with post-graduate students and academics.

Please note that as I am based in the UK I use British spellings by default, but I will be happy to work in US English (or another accepted variation) on request.

Please make sure you have read my Plagiarism Policy before requesting my services.