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Developmental text work

Developmental text work

Developmental edits to a recent project

I spend an average of 38 hours per project, revise a text over five rounds at different times of day on different days, on paper and on screen. I comment extensively, posing questions to authors, pointing out weaknesses, and suggesting ways to strengthen their argument. The process is intense - both for me and for authors who have to work through my proposed revisions. Every project is different, but the editing process is the same. The text sent back is a substantially improved version of the one that came in - ready to get you published or funded.

Step-by-step: From submission to return

Step 1: Reading to understand

Editing step 1

As soon as I get an editing project, I read it through carefully several times to understand the topic, identify the research motivation, understand the argument, learn what the researchers did, and look for the significance and contribution. In this step, I take detailed notes to guide my subsequent edits.

Project notes

Step 2: Digging into the text

In this much-more intense round, I spend a full day or two going paragraph-by-paragraph and section-by-section, heavily rewriting and writing comments to authors along the way as needed. I then go through in one more round of medium-to-heavy editing in this second step.

Photo: Joanna Pianka

Project notes

Comments to authors

Comments to authors

Step 3: Final read-throughs

In the final rounds, after a break from the intense round of editing in step two, I read through my own edits and comments, proofreading for small mistakes and corrections and clarifying my comments to make sure they are clear and understandable. I also compare my edited version to the original to ensure that I have captured the author's intended meaning.

Developmental editing project

Before-and-after samples

It's difficult to describe what a developmental edit will look like for your text, because every project is different and needs unique changes to bring out the best in the writing, but below are some before-and-after samples. The "before" version is the text that the client sent me and the "after" version is the text I sent back. I hope these samples give you a flavor of the type of editing I do. To get a better assessment of what I think your text needs, along with a quote, simply sign up for a 45-minute get-to-know-each-other consultation and we can talk through it.



"...Since the environment is constantly nudging the decision-making process, even without any intervention from a choice architect, it is important to analyze the current make-up of the choice architecture in grocery stores irrespective of any intentional influence, which would identify its influence on customer decision-making..."

"...Analyzing the current make-up of the choice architecture in grocery stores is therefore an important first step to [pinpointing/discovering] [?] whether this architecture influences customer decision making - intentionally or not - and to identifying whether grocery stores take advantage of their influence..."



"To appreciate the intimate connection of words and emotions, and their implications on organizational behavior dynamics, our study employs a discursive lens to demonstrate how strategy work is fundamentally a process of crafted and emerging drama involving emotions, instead of a rational, and structured undertaking it is traditionally portrayed."

Rather than the rational and structured undertaking that it is commonly understood to be, strategy work is a process of crafted and emerging drama [driven/fueled] [?] by emotions. Intimately connected to these emotions are the words used to transmit them, which have implications for organizational behavior dynamics.

What my clients have to say

They can say it better than I can

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Editing Client

University of Antwerp

"Hi Marc, I wanted to thank you for you edits and your comments/ made me very aware of how unclear it was before. I have even changed some of the structure of my paper thanks to some insights I received from your comments on clarity. You have been able to structure my thoughts for me. So, thank you."
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Editing Client

Witten/Herdecke University

"Dear Marc,
I just submitted the OrgSci [paper] and wanted to send a short 'thank you' for your excellent editing, and your high level of flexibility in handling late-night and weekend follow-up questions. I deeply appreciate your work. Thank you!"
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Editing Client

Uni Graz

"Dear Marc,
I’ve finally had the chance to go through your edits. First of all, thank you very much for your brilliant work! I’m convinced that your edits have improved the paper considerably! It is true that your suggestions are substantial, though, in almost every case, definitely justified and very helpful."

Helping researchers in more ways than one

Every day I work with motivated and enthusiastic researchers to get their work published and funded. Learn more about how I can help you.


Writing journal articles can be an isolated and frustrating experience. Without outside perspective, it can be tough to get past the blank-page syndrome. In just one hour, you can come much closer to finishing your next journal article or funding application. You'll come away with concrete advice, fresh inspiration, and a clear plan for finishing and submitting your article or application.

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My workshops are built on my 14 years of doing the developmental editing that it takes to get papers from draft to publication and applications from aspirational to funded. I've trained hundreds of professors, postdocs, and PhD students in the mechanics and structure of journal articles and proposals, and given them the tools they need to get published & funded.

A little more about me

I've helped hundreds of researchers just like you

Read more about my experience and the work I do to help researchers publish and secure funding.

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