Editor Referral
Editing Guidelines

Editor Referral


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Editor Referral Program

The Center for Theological Writing (CTW) provides editorial referrals for all levels of academic and theological writing. Our recommended editors possess professional copy editing or proofreading experience and a Westminster education or the equivalent. Many have experience teaching nonnative English speakers and editing their writing. As recommended editors, all follow certain general guidelines set by the Center for Theological Writing, including the most recent WTS Format Guidelines.

Obtaining an Editor

If you are interested in hiring an editor, contact the Center for Theological Writing at ctw@wts.edu. Once you have provided preliminary information on your writing project, the CTW will put you in touch with the right editor for you.

Once contacted by a student, an editor will prepare an initial estimate for a student before a job is accepted. The estimate should be based on an actual sample from the paper to be edited, and priced so that the student pays the equivalent of $18 – $20 per hour for the work. Arrangements are made directly between the editor and the student.

Students are encouraged to provide the CTW with feedback on an individual editor’s work. Likewise, it is the student’s responsibility to report any problems that may arise in the editing process to the CTW. This accountability allows the CTW to continue to offer consistenly high quality editing services.

For more information, please see our detailed Copy Editing Parameters.

Recommended Editors

To obtain contact information for a recommended editor, please email David Cheng at ctw@wts.edu.

Parameters of Copy Editing

 Item The copy editor does...  The copy editor does not... 
 Grammar   
 Errors

The copy editor should correct errors in grammar and usage. The student’s content and style should be preserved.

Typical errors by Native English speakers: subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, fragments, modification, shift, slang, and informal word choice.

Typical errors by Nonnative English speakers:
sentence structure, pronouns, prepositions, articles, verb tense, word order, modification, agreement, word choice.

The copy editor should not correct every instance of repeated error.

Instead, he should mark some examples and then direct the student to correct similar instances in the rest of the document (see # 5 under guidelines).

 

 Style

The copy editor may suggest reordering words or phrases or adding transitions to increase coherence between sentences.

The copy editor may suggest substituting words that belong to an academic register for words that belong in conversation, for example, suggest substituting “he understands” for “he gets it.”

The copy editor should avoid changes in grammar or word choice for stylistic reasons only.

The copy editor should preserve the writer’s style.

The copy editor should avoid altering the author’s choice of generic “he” or “he or she.” 1

 Logic  

The copy editor should avoid commenting on or correcting problems with the order of ideas, logical relations between paragraphs, leaps in logic, or other logical fallacies.

If these problems interfere with the editor’s work, he should notify the CTW director.

 Content   The copy editor should not comment on content.
 Citation, 
 Mechanics,
 Punctuation
The copy editor should correct random errors and a representative number of repeated errors, drawing the students’ attention to the pattern. If it is evident that the student has not consulted the formatting guidelines or required style manuals, the copy editor should notify the CTW director.


[1] Westminster has no official policy on the use of gender neutral language, and students are encouraged to make their own choice in the matter. The Westminster Theological Journal guidelines are informative here: “The problem of ‘gender-specific language’ is considered a stylistic question that authors must resolve on their own. Contributors are encouraged, however, to avoid offending the sensibilities of readers whenever possible. Thoughtless repetition of ‘man’ in its generic sense, for example, is not advisable, but neither is the excessive use of the contrived ‘he or she’ or the use of generic ‘she.’” The current document, for example, uses generic ‘he’ with no offence or exclusion intended for its female readers.