English can be a difficult language for native speakers; it can be totally befuddling for non-native speakers. This can make writing academic papers that read logically and use the correct words nigh-impossible…but there IS help for this dilemma: professional academic editing services such as those offered by FirstEditing (firstediting).

Benefits of Professional Academic Editing

Why use a professional academic editor?  Well, for starters, she/he will more than likely be a native English speaker and thus be able to help correct mistakes caused by writing in a second language, so that your paper reads more smoothly. This doesn’t necessarily entail rewriting complete sentences, although that is certainly one level of service offered.

No, an academic editor will help by replacing words that don’t quite fit where an ESL (English as a second language) writer might place them. For example, “much” and “many” are easily confused: The research shows much examples of this occurrence. A professional editor will read this sentence and edit it thusly: The research shows many examples of this occurrence.

How about misplaced modifiers?  In many other languages, modifying words and/or phrases are placed in sentences in what translates to a very awkward wording in English:  Throw over the fence the cow some hay. Huh? A professional editor will provide this smoother and more logical sentence: Throw some hay over the fence to the cow.

What if the ESL writer has a pretty good grasp of English and makes very few obvious mistakes? One major mistake even excellent ESL writers tend to make in English is omitting articles such as “the” and “an.” This is a gaffe that can be easily overlooked, but a professional editor can catch these omissions and correct them: Analysts watched stock index closely becomes Analysts watched the stock index closely—not a huge issue, perhaps, unless you’re the prof reading and grading the paper; then these little things can be the difference between letter grades!

Understand, the goal of a professional editor is not to change your writing “voice” but to help make that voice more comprehensible and attractive to the reader, much like a voice coach works with an untrained vocalist to improve his/her singing ability. Whether English is your native language or a second language, professional editors such as those at FirstEditing (firstediting) can help improve your writing.

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