For several years now I have edited and proofed Master’s theses and Ph.D. proposals and dissertations for students at Pt. Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Recently, I’ve extended my services to students at Capella University, an online university. I edited a proposal for one student, who then recommended me to three others, one of whom so far has recommended me to another.
I find that I thoroughly enjoy editing and copyediting these research papers, both because I am skilled in editing (expert in APA style and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)) and also because of the variety of topics I encounter. One paper might concern African-American women and how long-standing experience with oppression has impacted their lives, leading to substance abuse. Another paper might concern the support and healing of couples who have suffered neonatal loss, with their child dying before birth or immediately after. A third might concern Hispanic men and the societal and cultural factors that lead to alcohol abuse. I learn a great deal while working on these papers, especially if I read some of the quoted sources to get a better understanding of what the students are trying to accomplish in their studies.
Meanwhile, editing in both APA and CMOS has become second-nature to me. I’m a natural editor. I think it’s genetic. I instinctively see and know what is correct or incorrect. It’s an odd gift, but it’s mine.