Batman Is a PhD

Prospective clients sometimes ask me why they should have their book editing, thesis editing, dissertation editing, academic editing, or other copyediting done by a PhD. They wonder why someone with a B.A. or M.A. degree can’t copy edit their work just as well. Well, those are good questions and I’ll be happy to explain why every copyeditor on my Staff is a PhD.

Before I make the case for PhDs, allow me to readily acknowledge that many excellent editors all over the world are not PhDs. I certainly would never disparage anyone without a PhD or mean to suggest that one cannot be a professional editor without a doctorate degree. That claim would be ridiculous and insulting. Likewise, I have personally interviewed, tested, and declined to hire hundreds of PhDs who are not good editors at all! In fact, even worse, I have had to fire approximately 70 PhDs over the years whose work was clearly not up to our corporation’s exceedingly high standards. Good editors are hard to find, PhD or not.

That said, there are four main reasons why Edit911’s Staff of PhDs are excellent dissertation editors, thesis editors, book editors, and copyeditors in general.

  • A PhD has undergone an intensive and rigorous training as a thinker, scholar, reader and writer. In every one of 10-15 doctoral courses, the student—who already possesses an M.A. degree—must write several fully researched and documented academic papers, from 10-20 pages apiece. Then, the PhD candidate must take nine or more hours of comprehensive written essay exams that are graded on the quality of their composition and writing, as well as their content. Finally, the candidate must write a dissertation, which is a fully researched and documented book-length study. Throughout the process, the candidate’s writing is scrutinized by a committee of PhDs, who demand excellence before awarding the coveted doctorate degree.
  • Our PhDs have taken and passed with a 100% score a very tricky and demanding little test. Fully 75% or more of our applicants fail the test because we demand a score of 100%.
  • Our PhDs are all published scholars and/or authors of books.
  • The editing our PhDs perform must include both grammar, formatting, and content. For example, when editing a doctoral dissertation, the PhD must attend to a) standard English issues; b) style guide formatting (APA, CMS, MLA, etc.); and c) content evaluation, feedback, and guidance. They are assigned their dissertation editing jobs based on matching their doctorate discipline with that of the client’s. Thus, the client is receiving not just good editing and proofreading; the client is receiving doctoral advice from an expert in his or her field.  To take another example, 17 PhDs on our Staff have published novels or non-fiction books. They are also matched closely with the genre of book they must edit. Again, they edit not just for grammar and the like; they also give valuable advice about the genre’s conventions and requirements. Their content, structural, and developmental editing is informed by their own experience as writers who have successfully become published.

As Batman said to his would-be imitators when one asked him the difference between him and them: “I’m not wearing hockey pants.”