Faces From The Neighborhood

Get Your Words Right with Kellye McBride Editing

April 26, 2017 | People in the Neighborhood
Kellye McBride Academic Editing Services

Have you ever wondered how all those science and well-researched articles we see on-line look so nice and read so well? Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it until I met Kellye McBride, who provides academic editing services. I guess I had just assumed all those academics knew how to write on their own, or that the publishers edited the work themselves. It turns out I was wrong. Many academic writers need someone like Kellye to help them.

Editing services for everyone

Kellye McBride Editing helps all kinds of writers and academics edit their printed papers, theses, books and e-books. She even helps with copy editing for websites and landing pages. You see, getting the words right is hard work. Editing requires skills and yes talent that is different than knowing how to test a chemical or analyzing social behavior. According to Kellye, editing is its own art form. The editor not only needs the technical knowledge of English, but also must adapt to different writing styles and purposes.

For example, a graduate student working on her dissertation might be an expert in fish. She has worked hard to develop her unique thesis, and now would like to publish a book. However, her fish expertise did not teach her how to format her words or even keep the same tone in her writing. Likewise, the student might habitually use jargon that her readers would not understand.  As a result, her book might be difficult to read. Many of us have the same problem when we write.

Getting the words right

Kellye McBride can help us get the words right. Kellye will comb through our draft and correct many of its problems. First, she will identify all the typographical errors. I know I could use help with this problem! Kellye confirms that most of us don’t see our own typos. We simply see what we think we have written. But Kellye’s fresh eyes can spot and fix our typos for us.

Second, Kellye will make sure we aren’t switching our styles and tone too much in our writing. As we start writing, we may use formal language. But without realizing it, half-way through the project, we are using conversational tone and idioms. Again, I think this change is hard to notice on our own. Our words reflect how we think. But, our readers are not in our heads, and the switch in style can turn them off or confuse them.

I know I have this problem all the time. If I put Kellye to work on editing this blog, I’m sure she’d find countless mistakes all over the place. That is the value Kellye brings to any project. She can look at your writing and make it better. The easier your project is to read, the more likely your audience will keep reading. And who doesn’t want that?

The path to academic editing services

I asked Kellye how she decided to provide academic editing services. Kellye is somewhat of an academic herself. In fact, I’m a bit jealous of her education. Kellye received her Bachelor Degree at University of Oregon, but she didn’t stop there. She earned her Master Degree in Philosophy from Kingston University in London. But, she also studied part of the time in France. Kellye says she’s also thinking about a PhD. Apparently, Kellye understands and likes academia.

After she graduated, Kellye was looking for work. A friend of hers connected Kellye with an opportunity to edit for a publishing company. Kellye explains that in college she learned how to write research papers. But, she needed to learn a new style of writing. And she just kept learning, until she had mastered a variety of styles. Kellye says she’s learned academic writing styles and copy writing. She even writes fiction.

Now, Kellye is a freelance editor. She focuses on academic editing services partly because she sees a lot of need for it. I wasn’t aware that a lot of foreign students are trying hard to get their work published in English journals. However, for many of them, English is a second language. Kellye is adept at taking their text and making it shine, helping them reach their publication goals. I think this is really an art. I can’t even imagine being able to edit someone else’s work to this degree while also mimicking the author’s tone and voice.

The process of art

After hearing about this work, my interest was piqued. So, I asked Kellye how she works. Usually, she receives a draft or at least text from her clients. Then, she starts working her magic. Kellye says that although she loves the work, it is difficult. The work is not her own. She needs to keep the author happy because it is their piece. In the end, the author has final word on what revisions she makes.

Kellye also does her own writing and enjoys writing fiction. Here, her process is a little different. Kellye starts thinking on paper, letting the words flow easily. At this stage, she’s not worried about form, grammar or even spelling. She is just trying to get her ideas down. She does not want to get trapped by forms or outlines, but wants her creativity to have freedom. This idea struck me hard. I like to outline, and I love to edit while writing. In fact, I’m editing as I write this blog. Maybe I could learn a few things from Kellye.

Creativity at work

I asked Kellye how she merged editing with her love for creative writing. She smiled. Kelley replied that editing is actually very creative work. She explained that working within the boundaries of editing requires a lot of creativity. After thinking about this for a moment, I started to understand. I see the challenge of taking someone else’s writing and making it work, while also sounding like the author. No one should be able to recognize that someone helped.

Once I realized that, I also understood why I never really thought about editing services before. If Kellye has done her job, the reader won’t even think about the editing or who wrote what. The reader will just read the work. If, however, the author neglected to get help, the reader just stops reading and moves on to something else. Kellye is truly providing value with her academic editing services and copy writing.

I am truly grateful I met Kellye McBride. Not only did I get to know a really cool person, I also developed a greater appreciation for editing in general. It is an art to do it well. It is important work for any of us who use words in our business or professional life. If you’d like to learn more about Kellye, you can visit her website kellyemcbrideediting.com. You can also follow her on Facebook.

Featured image taken by Katherine McBride

Lisa Ratzlaff

Lisa Ratzlaff is a web designer who loves telling the amazing stories of interesting people and businesses in Portland, Oregon. Her web design business is Share Your Story Media, where she builds powerful websites for small service-based businesses that help them succeed online.

Lisa Ratzlaff