Writing an academic text, be it a research paper, a thesis, or an article, is a highly elaborate process.
Not only do you need to create credible and logical arguments supported by evidence and research, but your writing skills should also meet the standards of the academic journal you’re sending your work to.
And let’s just admit it – you only have one pair of eyes, which means that you might accidentally miss some grammatical errors or typos during the editing process, decreasing the quality of your paper.
Fortunately, that’s where the certificate of editing comes in!
What Is a Certificate of Editing in Academic Writing?
A certificate of editing is a document that’s sometimes required as part of a submission to an academic journal.
This document essentially states that your paper has been edited and proofread by professionals, which makes the vetting process faster and more effective for the journal editors.
A typical certificate of editing includes:
- The title of your paper
- Your full name
- Information about the editing service
- A declaration that the text is 100% error-free
- QR code or unique number that can be used to verify the validity of the certificate
There are many editing services that offer a certificate of editing at no cost. FirstEditing, for example, includes it as part of their delivery alongside the edited manuscript. Tell them the name of the journal you’re submitting your text to, and they’ll check the necessary requirements.
Why Is a Certificate of Editing Important?
You might think that the requirement to have your manuscript edited by a professional service is a bit too much – after all, shouldn’t your skills be enough?
Well, the truth is that even the greatest of minds make mistakes.
As a published author, I know the struggle all too well. Even though you’ve gone over your manuscript ten times, the typos and mistakes your editor highlights leave you completely flabbergasted because you can’t for the life of you figure out how you could have missed such obvious errors.
Therefore, a certificate of editing doesn’t only serve to increase the credibility of your paper – the editing process itself helps you become a more observant writer.
Your paper will be of a high linguistic quality. Excellent academic English is what gives journals credibility, so it makes perfect sense that they’re only looking for papers that fit in with their high-quality writing style.
Plus, details matter. Something as small as a punctuation error can throw the reader off, making them lose track of your arguments. It also worsens the overall impression of your text, which might give rise to apprehension and criticism from the readers’ side.
Your paper will contain the right terminology. In academia, language doesn’t just facilitate discussions – it’s also a whole world in and of itself.
Different fields of expertise require different terminology and lingo, not to mention different styles of writing. Since editing services like FirstEditing offer feedback from subject field experts and Ph.D. editors, you can get the advice you need to ensure your paper linguistically fits in with the rest of the research conducted in your field.
Your paper will comply with a specific style guide. While you’re probably familiar with style guides, from APA to MLA and Chicago, I know from personal experience how easy it is to get things mixed up and make very tiny mistakes that negatively reflect on your text.
However, this is where professional academic editors thrive, so you don’t need to worry about these technical errors because your certificate of editing will serve as proof that your paper is, indeed, correct on a technical level.
Your opportunities for publication will increase. Since many academic journals require a certificate of editing to make things a little bit easier for the journal editors (who then have more time to focus on the content), obtaining this document will increase your chances of getting published.
If you’re not sure whether the journal you’d like to submit to wants you to get a certificate of editing, go over their requirements.
Your own editing skills might improve. When you’re working on a large project, such as a thesis or a dissertation, it’s very easy to overlook a few mistakes or inconsistencies. You’re already so busy drawing parallels, connecting links, and breaking large narratives down into smaller chapters that the subject-verb agreement isn’t exactly high on your priority list. And that’s completely understandable.
It’s also why letting professional editors do their job can be incredibly beneficial – not only will you be able to give more time and energy to the content of your paper, but seeing high-quality editing work in practice might help you get more familiar with the process and become a more efficient editor yourself.
FirstEditing is a professional editing service that’s been working with fiction, non-fiction, and academic writers ever since 1994.
They offer multiple different editing packages, ranging from Academic English Editing (recommended for ESL speakers) to Substantive Content Editing (in-depth feedback from a subject matter expert) and Technical Copy Editing (the final round of edits).
What’s more, you can get a free editing sample before you decide to get the full service.
Again, note that FirstEditing can send you a certificate of editing at no cost. It comes as part of the package so that you can fully focus on the content and quality of your paper rather than admin tasks.
To summarize, a certificate of editing is important for multiple reasons:
- Many journals might require it as part of the submission process
- It increases the credibility and quality of your paper
- It verifies that your paper contains the right terminology, complies with the correct style guide, and is free of errors
- The editing process itself may help you become a better writer and editor
- You’ll have more time to focus on the content while also incorporating a professional editor’s feedback
The novelist Zadie Smith once said, “The secret to editing your work is simple: you need to become its reader instead of its writer.”
However, if you’ve spent so long working on a specific project – especially if it’s quite a large undertaking, such as a thesis or a dissertation – putting on the reader’s glasses might be quite difficult. And that’s exactly why letting an editor take over could help you view the text from a fresh perspective.
If you’d like to get a free editing sample or discuss your project with a member of the FirstEditing team, don’t hesitate to reach out.