Meet our editors and proofreaders: Sarah

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Sarah

dr Sarah

Sarah, PhD in history University of St Andrews

As a part of “Meet our editors and proofreaders” series, we interview some of the native speakers who edit and proofread your texts. Today we publish an interview with Sarah, PhD in History, from the University of St Andrews. She discusses her work and provides helpful advice about how to improve your academic writing.

Research interests

eCORRECTOR: What are you researching?
Sarah: I’m researching medieval English law. My main focus is on how cases were argued in court and how legal experts gained their knowledge.

eCORRECTOR: What inspires you about research?
Sarah: I really enjoy getting to read through manuscripts from 800 years ago to try to find out what people were thinking! It makes the Middle Ages seem so much more real.

eCORRECTOR: What is the major scientific challenge, in your field, for this decade?
Sarah: The major challenge to medieval legal history today is that we need to reassess the sources. Most of our scholarship is based on work done in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which focused on institutionalised law and neglected large bodies of local, customary law.

eCORRECTOR: Have you read a breakthrough paper recently?
Sarah: I recently discovered that people in the twelfth century sometimes tried to use their last wills to distribute land (which you can’t legally do in the Middle Ages). This shows that people were willing to experiment with the laws that were available to see what they could get away with.

Golden tips about writing papers

eCORRECTOR: What is your golden piece of advice when writing a paper?
Sarah: Write an outline before your start ? the more detailed, the better! Then you can just fill in the blanks with your research.

eCORRECTOR: What is the most common mistake you notice when you edit/proof papers?
Sarah: Grammatically, the construction “allows to” appears very frequently. In English grammar, words like ?allow? and ?let? have to have a direct object before the infinitive, such as ?this case allows me to examine?? as opposed to ?this case allows to examine??. You can also get around this by saying, ?this case allows for the examination of??, which is just a slightly different construction that lets you avoid the first person. Ridiculous, I know! 

eCORRECTOR: Do you have a presentation/stylistic tip?
Sarah: Use the same font throughout the entire paper, 12 point for the main text and 10 point for the footnotes. It seems like a small thing, but it makes a very big difference to how professional your paper looks.

eCORRECTOR: What example phrase should you use when writing a paper?
Sarah: I’m quite fond of the phrase “X is crucial for our understanding of Y because…” . It makes the point very strongly!

About tools and motivation

eCORRECTOR: How do you get motivated to start writing a paper?
Sarah: I start by organising all my evidence. Once I’ve done that, I can see what kind of an outline I need to write and might even have half of the paper written already!
When I’m having a hard time getting started, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Then, I write as much as I can in that time (even if it’s nonsense) and see what I have. The time limit makes me feel like I am writing for a deadline and doesn’t let me procrastinate.

eCORRECTOR: Can you recommend any app/tool for improving scientific writing?
Sarah: I highly recommend using Zotero or another citation software (Endnote, Mendeley) to do your references. This will ensure that you use the same format throughout and takes care of all the repeat references by automatically using “ibid.” and short-form citations.
Grammarly is also helpful, but the professional version can do more harm than good for non-English speakers, as it does not always understand what you are trying to say and will suggest things that are incorrect.

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Anthony

dr Anthony

Anthony, PhD in Urban Studies,
The University of Sheffield

Meet our editors and proofreaders: Anthony

As a part of “Meet our editors and proofreaders” series, we interview some of the native speakers who edit and proofread your texts. We started with Anthony, PhD in Urban Studies, from the University of Sheffield. He discusses his work and provides helpful advice about how to improve your academic writing.

Research interests

What are you researching?
My research has focused on the politics and management of urban infrastructures ? how cities manage their energy and water networks, how their telecommunications infrastructures are managed, and how transport operates. In an age of tight public finances, ageing infrastructures, growing climate concerns and debates over privatisation and nationalisation, how these infrastructures are managed is a vital public concern.

What inspires you about research?
The ability to learn something new and ?create? knowledge. Many academics have the stereotype of wanting to change the world (and that was what also inspired me to get into research), but the ability to delve deep into a subject and to fully understand the mechanics at work in a particular area is truly inspirational.

What is the major scientific challenge, in your field, for this decade?
Giving cities (and nations) the ability to fund and operate their existing infrastructures in a climate-friendly and cost-effective way in an age of dwindling natural resources and tight finances, while being able to provide fair and equitable access to all members of society.

Have you read a breakthrough paper recently?
Not really a recent paper (as it was published in 2001) but ?Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition? was a book I?d recommend to anyone involved in infrastructure research.

What made it great?
Occasionally you find a book or a paper that manages to tackle all the complexities and interactions that are already swirling around in your mind, and simplify them to such an extent that you can just sit there and think, ?of course, that?s exactly what happens?.

Golden tips about writing papers

How do you get motivated to start writing a paper?
I always find it easier to start writing a new piece of work than to finish an existing piece. New papers are exciting and fun, and you have a world of possibilities as to where your argument will take you. The problem for me is how to get over the boredom and annoyance that follows that initial excitement, when writing begins to feel more like actual work. My advice is to just keep writing. It doesn?t matter what, just keep at it. Put the words on the page as you think of them and just see what comes out. Stephen King famously writes around 2,000 words every single day ? some are good, some are not so good. But keep practicing!

What is your golden piece of advice when writing a paper?
Signpost your argument. I can?t overstate how important this is for the reader. ?In this paper I will? I start by examining? before moving onto? This will allow?? A reader is unlikely to read your paper more than once (and even if someone does download your paper, it is likely they will skim through to the most important parts ? academics are busy people!). Being able to see where your argument is going and being able to pre-empt what comes next gives the reader some impetus to keep reading.

What is the most common mistake you notice when you edit/proof papers?
Ignoring the question ?so what?? Why should I read your paper? What is the end goal? You might have invented the most efficient solar panel that has ever existed, but if you do not explicitly state this in the introduction and conclusion, then I will be reading nothing more than equations and difficult technical language that I may not understand, and your paper will be lost amongst the hundreds of thousands of other papers that are published each year.

Do you have a presentation/stylistic tip?
Try not to write overly long sentences. If you cannot avoid this, then sprinkle a few very short sentences into the text. Like this. A reader needs to able to ?breathe? when they are reading your paper, even if it is only in their heads. With sentences that get far too long and far too convoluted and fail to include any forms of punctuation that can help to break up the text to give the reader time to pause they can forget the point you are trying to make before they even get to the end of the sentence. So, break it up. Regularly.

Can you recommend any app/tool for improving scientific writing?
Referencing software (EndNote, Mendeley) can be useful to help reduce the annoyances that come from fixing your references, but bear in mind they are not always accurate.

Proofreading, editing and formatting at eCORRECTOR

Proofreading, editing and formatting at eCORRECTOR

When it comes to language services, proofreading, editing and formatting are very often confused. Our practice shows that the borders between them frequently blurred, so we would like to clear up what is meant by each one.

Formatting

This is probably the easiest to describe. If you ask for formatting, it means that you want us to improve the presentation of your text. It can involve unifying fronts, sizes, subtitles and titles, adjusting the manner of quoting and entering footnotes, making graphs more readable. Formatting is supposed to make your text visually attractive and compliant with editor?s requirements, without changing the content of the document.

Formatting can also involve formatting manuscripts for submission to specific journal. This frequently involves standardising the manuscript according to the journal instructions normally citations and arranging the bibliography.

Proofreading

This is a service that is designed to improve the language of your text and eliminate errors such as typos, commas, etc. It also ensures that terminology and style is consistent throughout the document. It is assumed that a text that is already good needs proofreading to become great and publication-ready.

Editing

It has a greater impact on the text that proofreading. It requires a more proactive approach on the part of the native speaker as the end result is to be sharp, consistent and clear. Restructuring sentences, or even entire paragraphs, is allowed here.

At eCORRECTOR, we often combine all three services in order to provide the best quality of your document. It does not matter whether it is an article, a book or a product description, our native speakers will make sure it is flawless.

Editing a manuscript so that the main text keeps to the word limit of the target journal would fall into this category.

If you have any questions about our services or are not sure which one is the best for you, do not hesitate to contact us via the expert chat or on info@ecorrector.com

About eCORRECTOR:

Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well.

Verification and proofreading service at eCORRECTOR

Verification and proofreading service at eCORRECTOR

Writing is a creative process that may lead to great literature or breakthrough academic papers. Irrespective of the area, authors are rarely able to critically evaluate their texts and spot all the main errors. Here?s where proofreaders enter the scene. How to choose the best service for your needs?

eCORRECTOR offers three types of proofreading services ? verification, standard proofreading and specialist proofreading. The main difference between verification and any proofreading is the fact that it includes a comparison of the translation with the source text.

Verification

At eCORRECTOR, verification tasks are assigned to a person fluent in both languages who compares the two texts sentence by sentence, checks for possible mistranslations and smoothens the target text. Verification may not be performed by a native speaker of the target text in a case where the combination involves a rare target language.

Standard Proofreading

When it comes to proofreading of any type, it does not have to include verification due to a simple reason ? the proofreader, although a native speaker of the target language, may not know the source language. The premise is to correct any language mistakes, cultural mishaps and stylistic issues in the target text, without an explicit need to consult with the original. Standard proofreading is carried out by a native speaker who holds an advanced command of their mother tongue confirmed by education and/or membership of associations such as SfEP. This service is recommended for commercial and business texts, literature, reports, etc.

Specialist Proofreading

Specialist proofreading is carried out by a linguistically skilled native speaker, but the proofreader also holds a PhD (or equivalent such as MBBS) in a relevant area and in most cases a record of their own journal publications. This service is recommended for scientific publications (papers, chapters, books, journals, etc.) as it provides an insight of another scientist, well-versed in the specificity of the field. We also attach a Certificate of Proofreading after completion of proofreading for each full text.

If you have any questions about the details of our services or are not sure which service is the best for you, do not hesitate to contact us via the expert chat or email (info@ecorrector.com).

About eCORRECTOR:

Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

eCORRECTOR proofreading for Human Movement!

eCORRECTOR proofreading for Human Movement!

eCORRECTOR proofreading for Human Movement!

eCORRECTOR are a proofreading and translation company that proofread for a variety of other journals, as well as Human Movement. Since March this year, eCORRECTOR have been proofreading for the scientific journal Human Movement. The journal is published by the Academy of Physical Education in Wrocław. This journal deals with issues related to the physical development and related scientific research.

The proofreaders of eCORRECTOR are native speakers of English, usually holding a PhD in an area closely aligned with the content of the text, for example PhD in Sports Science or Physical Therapy or Doctor’s of Medicine.

Human Movement is a quarterly journal published by University School of Physical Education in Wrocław. Human Movement aims to promote research in sport sciences. The journal publishes research papers in physical activity, fitness and health, applied sport sciences, biomechanics and motor control, as well as physiological aspects and diagnostics of sport and exercise.

Human Movement is an online published journal that publishes written in English original papers, review papers, empirical research, book reviews, letters to the Editor, communications about forthcoming meetings and congresses and reports from scientific meetings

To find out more about the journal, we suggest you visit its website: https://www.termedia.pl/Journal/Human_Movement-129

Why is physical development important?

Most people are so absorbed in everyday life, responsibilities and work that there is no place in their lives for exercise, sport or anything else that would stimulate them physically. And yet everyone knows perfectly well that unused muscles weaken. Our body is a wonderful mechanism that allows us a lot. If we do not take care of it properly, systematically train and strengthen it, then over time, like any mechanism, it will fail. As you know – a healthy body is a healthy spirit! Many theories have been supported by the thesis that a person who regularly trains has a much higher intellectual ability than people who do not practice any sport. It is worth investing some time and determination not only to shape your figure, but also to have the strength for mental effort – something more than sudoku before sleeping 🙂

Language barrier should not stop your academic career

Language barrier should not stop your academic career

Some say that science is the universal language of the world. While it holds true for calculations, formulas and equations, other areas need natural languages. It is true that English has become the lingua franca of the scientific community. The expansion is so great that we sometimes forget that famous scientists were not actually native speakers of English. Quite a lot of people can quote Albert Einstein?s words and probably everyone can recognise him in pictures ? but who can remember he was actually German-born?

A vast majority of publications is written in this language for a simple reason ? academic usually hold at least a communicative command of English. It makes it possible for them to exchange ideas, learn about new discoveries and work in international research teams. Therefore, publishing papers in English seems like a natural choice. Problems arise when the article is to be reviewed by a native speaker of English with a degree in a related field. This person will not only point out language mishaps but also bumps in the flow of the paper. What is the solution? Services of another native speaker of English with at least a Ph.D. in a related field.

eCORRECTOR is able to help you in this area. We work with native speakers of various target languages who are experiences academics themselves. They know the struggle you?re facing while preparing a manuscript. It is our pleasure to help you break the limits of languages and contribute to the global pool of academic knowledge.

About eCORRECTOR:

Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

Translation and Proofreading of Grant Applications

Translation and Proofreading of Grant Applications

Research, especially in rapidly growing areas like biomedical science and engineering, requires substantial funding. Scientists have access to a number of grants that may help them finance their academic plans, e.g. the Visegrad fund, EU funds, ERC grant, NCN grants.

It is normal in the career of a scientist for grant applications to be rejected, indeed quite often the rejection rate exceeds those grants accepted. This is the case for those at the start of their career all the way through to highly experienced scientists.

Writing a grant can be considered in much the same way as writing a paper, indeed the structure of many grants are often in the style of an academic paper, requiring introductions, methods, with the results being anticipated rather than obtained  (although it is often advisable to include preliminary data).

Increasingly, grants need to be prepared in English. One reason for this is so that they may be evaluated by non-Polish speaking scientists. As with academic papers, the quality of the written text can have an important influence on how the reviewer perceives the quality of the science. Clarify of language can be one of the decisive factors determining the outcome of a grant application. For example, if methodologies, expected outcome, etc are unclear or confusing it is highly likely a reviewer will not recommend the application for funding. To address this issue (and the increasing demands that parts or all of the application be submitted in English) a growing number of universities and institutes have established international offices dedicated to the preparation of grant proposals.

At eCORRECTOR we work closely with research scientists, many of who have received funding from US, UK, or Polish-based funding bodies. This expertise enable us to provide highly specialised editing of grant applications which is likely to enhance the content of the application as well as its overall professional presentation. We also offer a translation service for academics who either do not have the time to write the application or are not used to preparing applications in English. In additional to providing language support for grant applications, eCORRECTOR has a strong track record of helping academics prepare manuscripts for international peer-reviewed journals and habilitation theses.

About eCORRECTOR: Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

Our Head of Scientific Proofreading, dr hab. Mark J Hunt, received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK and has published over 20 academic papers and regularly serves as a reviewer for international journals.

We are very proud of the academic excellence of proofreaders. Here are some of the universities where our proofreaders received their PhD?s (or MBBS): University of Cambridge, University College London, King?s College London, Queen Mary University of London, University of Massachusetts, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, University of Edinburgh, University of Newcastle, Durham University, University of Arizona, University of Minnesota, University of Colorado, University of Connecticut, Ohio State University.

MS Word ? an accessible tool for translation and proofreading

MS Word ? an accessible tool for translation and proofreading

One of the most popular software used when preparing documents, mainly text, is MS Word. This program provides a wide array of tools and options that help its users in the process of creating linguistically correct and visually attractive content. Word is also a great tool for translation and proofreading, and is regularly used by our translators and proofreaders.

Translation by a native speaker in Word-like software

The majority of professional translators use CAT tools to work on their assignments (which does not mean they machine translate!). CAT tools divide the text into segments and allows a translator to work one sentence at a time in a bilingual table. MS Word can change the text into a table and create a user-friendly working environment. Our translators can also simply insert the translation beneath the original ? paragraph after paragraph ? or, most often, simply replace the source text with its foreign language version. At eCORRECTOR, almost all our translations are carried out by translators who are native speakers of the target language. We also use specialist native speaker translators for texts that require in-depth knowledge of the subject, such as advanced scientific and engineering texts.

Proofreading by a native speaker in Word-like software

At eCORRECTOR we provide two types of service. Standard proofreading which is carried highly qualified and experienced linguists who are native speakers of the target language. We also provide specialist proofreading which is aimed at authors of academic and scientific texts. This type of specialist proofreading is carried out by native speakers who hold PhD?s or are qualified doctors of medicine/physiotherapy etc.  The track-changes mode, provided by Word, is very useful here ? the programme shows each change made by the proofreader, from substantial edits to the smallest change. Comments can also be inserted where sentences may be unclear or additional input from the author is recommended. It is possible to save the file like that or accept the changes to get a clean file.

If you have any questions concerning our translation and proofreading services in various formats (like PDF, InCopy, LaTex, PowerPoint, Excel and many other), do not hesitate to contact us via the expert chat or our email box info@ecorrector.com

About eCORRECTOR: Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

Proofreading and translating in Excel

Proofreading and translating in Excel

Excel (and similar) software is usually associated with calculations, balance sheets, financial reports; however, our native speakers can also use it for translation and proofreading! Although such software is often not very word-friendly, it offers some tools that may actually assist your business in creating quality foreign language content.

Programmes like Excel are made of rows and columns with many individual cells. This type of layout is useful when you have to create e.g. a brochure in several languages. You can have each sentence of your source language in a different cell in the first column. Then, you just add the translations in adjacent columns ? e.g. English in column 2, German in column 3, Spanish in column 4, etc. Using this approach you know exactly where a given phrase in the foreign language should go!

Although spell-check is an in-built option in Excel, this programme may also be used for further proofreading. Our native speakers can improve your Excel document in three ways. One is about creating a separate row for cells that are edited. The second requires marking the modified cells with colour. Excel software also enables track changes, but it is not as visible as in DOC/DOCX files ? the programme marks the cell and displays a drop-down menu with the inserted change. Using cell-based programme is not recommended for texts in one language only (it is less convenient in such cases); if you have the same content in several language versions, it may prove more convenient for you.

It is also possible to leave comments where the content is not clear for the native speaker. It proves useful when you have manuals or lists of ingredients ? everything has to be transparent there.

Let us know what other formats would you like us to handle. Do not hesitate to contact us about your Excel projects or any other documents that would benefit from the attention of our native speakers. We are available on the expert chat and at info@ecorrector.com.

 

About eCORRECTOR: Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

Another visual project completed by eCORRECTOR

Another visual project completed by eCORRECTOR

We have already assisted some of our customers in proofreading albums and similar publications. One of the more unique ones regarded the cooperation with Instytut Łukasiewicza, where we helped to create a Polish-English album within the project What was the Truth? Nazi German Camps. Polish Heroes. Our native speakers were recently engaged in the project related to proofreading an album about John Paul II and his visits in the convent of the Ursuline sisters in Jaszczurówka. The publication was co-financed by Zakopane City Council.

Herb_Gmina_Miasto_Zakopane

Co-financed by Zakopane City Council

This famous historical figure was well-known for his love of the mountains. There are many records of him skiing or just walking up a hill. Due to its location, the convent in Jaszczurówka was one of the places he visited frequently to enjoy this pastime.

The album sketches the history of the place and mentions other persons that are somehow tied to this place.

The By Mouse company from Zakopane, Poland, has been our customer for quite some time and we have completed several projects together. The subject matter and project specificity is different each time, stimulating our team of native speakers to expand their interests and skills.

We sincerely hope that we will be able to assist them further on. If you have any other visual projects you would like our help in, do not hesitate to contact us.

It is a great honour to present the visualisations regarding the album. You can take a look at them below – hope they will enourage you to take a look at the entire publication.

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About eCORRECTOR: Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

 eCORRECTOR has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.