Six Easy Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing

Are you a student challenged with trying to improve your academic writing?

To some students, this information for improving your academic writing may seem obvious, but to others who are new to writing an academic paper, it might give you courage to keep going. Listed below are five easy ways to improve your academic writing.

improve academic writing by studying other papers

Read and study published academic papers of other students at your school.

But, make sure they cover similar categories and topics as the paper you plan to write. For example, if you’re focusing on a scientific or mathematical angle, then you wouldn’t want to spend time reading academic papers that focus on classic literature.

Steer clear of doing excessive research on the art of writing, in general.

The layout, structure, and content requirements are available from your professor, adviser, and are usually available online at the school’s website. Useless research time just drains your brain from what it needs to focus on so you can start writing.

  Create a timeline that is realistic.

Given that your reading requirements, class time, research, and outlining may sometimes incur a faster approaching deadline than originally intended, create a timeline for completing the tasks that require your attention. Don’t let the date slide into the next day or weekend. It will only make you feel more stressed, and it will definitely take a toll on your writing. Tackle the task and complete it on or before the date written on your timeline.

Learn the required parts of an academic paper.

Academic writing is a style of writing. Most likely, you will begin by creating an abstract, and you’ll finish the paper with a bibliography and footnotes. When writing an academic paper, you’re reinforcing the topic that you’re writing about by providing evidence and authority references rather than just voicing your unsubstantiated opinion about the subject.

Structure your academic writing.

You can easily structure your academic writing by creating a strong introduction. Then create one paragraph for each of your main topics as a beginning outline to flesh out later.

Just as a novel is structured with a beginning, a middle, and an end, an academic paper’s structure has formal style and formatting guidelines that are set by the school and the writing style format guide (APA, MLA, etc.). If writing an academic essay, provide a summary for each of the arguments that you have developed.

writing pencil for editing and academic writing

Get feedback from another professional and definitely hire an academic editor.

You need constructive criticism that will help improve the academic paper, not emotional sentiments about your writing.

That’s why you hire professional academic editors. They do this type of work every day, they’re honest, they’re impartial, and they want you to succeed.

One final thought before submitting your academic writing to your advisers or readers…

Even if you can’t find a respected professional to read your academic writing and offer feedback and suggestions, make sure you hire a professional academic editor. You’re the writer, not the editor. Don’t try to edit your own work. Universities and private schools pay as much attention to grammatical errors and spelling errors as they do with your well-researched academic topic. Get the grade you deserve and keep your integrity intact. Hire an academic writing editor.


10 Proofreading Rules to Apply to Your Academic Paper Before Hiring a Professional Editor

10 proofreading rules for academic writers


When you’ve finished writing that academic paper, regardless if it’s an essay, dissertation, abstract, or an article you’d like to publish in a journal, read through these 10 proofreading rules before submitting your work or sending it to a professional editor. Don’t rush the process. These 10 guidelines, when followed, could garner you high honors and financial rewards. Why? Because most students will skip this step.



Ten proofreading guidelines for every academic writer

Here are the ten proofreading rules to apply to your academic paper before hiring a professional academic editor.

1.  After the writing phase is complete, set the work aside for two days. Schedule sufficient time before your deadline date to allow for the two-day rest period before you look at your materials again. You will see more errors when you take two days’ off then you will if you try to proofread your work immediately after writing it.


2.  Simplicity sells more than complexity. Read through your document and look for wordy phrases, words that an eighth grader wouldn’t understand, and extra-long sentences. Revise your paper with an eye for turning long sentences and paragraphs into multiple sentences that are easier for the reader to understand.


3.  Format the text in your document before setting it aside. Make sure that you have followed and applied the requirements and guidelines necessary for submission or publication. When you correctly format your document, you will more easily see errors and typos with the text that were not visible previously. For example, the right-hand margins should not be justified, and the font sizes and types must be consistent throughout the paper.

4.  Ask a friend or fellow student to read the words in your document to you while you listen. This might sound strange, but when another person reads your typed words, it will be extremely easier for you to hear the errors. When you’re reading text in a digital document, you could pass over crucial words or awkward phrases that should be corrected.

5.  Read the text out loud to yourself and listen for consistency errors. If your paper is written in the third person, make sure every sentence is consistent with that rule. This implies that your writing style will appeal to the reader. However, if you change suddenly to first person, or use an omniscient voice, the inconsistencies should be immediately apparent, and then you can correct your original document. The reason this is important is because sometimes documents are not written in one sitting. You might have written the document over several weeks or months, and the pronoun and voice errors will not be as apparent until you follow this rule.

6.  Check your document’s grammar with a software program. Many word processing programs have a grammar checker already available, but if you have not set the program to check for grammatical errors, you could be robbing yourself of a higher grade or having your paper accepted. The purpose of a grammar checker is to catch as many simple errors as possible before you hire a professional editor or turn in your paper for submission.

7.  Double-check any design elements inside your document. It’s important that you pay attention to and correct any design elements before submitting your paper. For example, does your paper include tables, charts, images, or graphic design elements? If yes, then it’s important to check everything that is not text-based before handing off your document.

8.  Check your document for plagiarism. This might shock you, but sometimes when you’re writing a document, researching the facts, etc., you could inadvertently have illegally used a copyrighted sentence, paragraph, or phrases. How do you check your document for copyright issues? You can use free programs online, or for five cents a submission, you can check up to 2,000 words through Copyscape ( Sometimes authors forget about these issues, especially when using quotations, creating an index, or styling words on your title page. It’s not worth the risk to skip this step. Validate your document before submitting it.

9.  Target your document to the audience who will read your paper. By reading every word, sentence, and paragraph, you can make sure that if you’re writing to the wrong audience, you’ll be able to rewrite a phrase or two so that it appeals to them, not just to you.

10.  Revise, rewrite, and revisit the document one last time. After you have completed the previous nine proofreading rules, go through the list one more time to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. When you’re sure you’ve done your best, then hire an academic editor at WordsRU to go through your document. Also, ask for written feedback for any areas that you’re doubtful about, and want advice.

2015 Best Practices

In conclusion, when you complete these ten proofreading rules, you’re ready to submit your document to a professional academic proofreader for one final editing pass. Good luck!

Scene Transitions and Story Themes

Writing Fiction? What You Need To Know About Creating a Story Theme and Believable Scene Transitions

Scene Transitions and Story Themes

What do you think is the story theme for this picture?

It’s wonderful that you have these characters talking in your head about some problem that only you, the author, can provide solutions for, but before you get too far into the throes of writing that manuscript, have you determined the theme for your story?

What is a Story Theme and Why Is It Important?

If you’ve taken any writing courses, your instructor probably talked about the story problem. What’s the major problem in the story that your main character has to overcome before the book reaches its final conclusion? Sound familiar? Maybe not.

A story theme is not a story problem. Let me explain. A story theme is the purpose and message that you want your readers to understand. This is accomplished by the way you set up your plot and the types of characters you create to tell the story. As a writer, you might have started this novel’s writing journey by coming up with an idea, and the more you thought about that idea, you began to create the foundation for your story. Basically, a story’s theme is defined by what you show your reader as an observation or philosophy of the human condition. That is the story’s theme.

The Wizard of Oz and the Story Theme

Have you ever seen the movie, The Wizard of Oz, or read the book? It is driven by the story’s problem that the author presents as the theme. Dorothy’s problem is that she’s in the Land of Oz, and she wants to get home, but she doesn’t know what to do to get back home. After she begins her adventure and goes through lots of trials, what she learns about herself is that she really doesn’t want to run away from the home where she grew up with such a loving family. That’s when the story’s theme becomes apparent when she finally decides “There’s no place like home.”

What are Scene Transitions, and Why Must They Be Believable?

First, let’s define a scene transition. A scene transition takes the reader from a scene in one specific location and time into another scene, another location, and possibly a significant passage of time. Scene transitions also can and usually do involve emotional changes for the main character, the villain, or any supporting characters.

The best way to think about scene transitions is to link the old with the new. To help you understand this better, think about one of your favorite movies. If you can play it back in your mind, you will note when one scene ends and another one begins. For example, if a loud pounding noise of a wrecking ball in a building’s demolition transitions from that scene to the crashing of symbols in an orchestra’s soundtrack where the heroine is on stage, you have thus experienced a believable scene transition.

You can transition from one scene to another through sound, or through a segue of actions between or among various characters. You can easily conjure up hundreds of ways for smooth scene transitions. Achieving the world of believability for your reader demands that the scene transitions appear natural, sequential, emotional, and make the reader want to continue to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

As an Editor, these are the most typical errors I see when authors create scene transitions

The goal of every editing and proofreading company that provides services to writers is to help them along the journey of writing successful materials, and to save the writer from years of agonizing rejections. I’ll give you my secret sauce after presenting you with two examples: the good and the not-so-good scene transition.

Example of a not-so-good scene transition

Sarah sat on the top step of the stairway that led to her brownstone apartment in Manhattan. She was bent over, crying, as the torrential rain and wind blew her hair sideways.

“How could he do that to me?” she bemoaned and cried even louder.

Three weeks later, Sarah was serving donuts to a silver-haired woman who stared silently at the shimmering coffee in her beige mug cradled in her shaking hands.

STOP! Hopefully, even though you don’t know what this story is about, you should be able to quickly see that the transition between these two scenes was not only unnatural and not believable, but as a reader, it would make me wonder if pages of the manuscript had been tossed in the shredder. Why? The transition created confusion in my mind as to what was happening in the story. I truly wanted to know what happened to our girl who was crying. Would you agree?

An example of a sweet and lovely scene transition that is (in my opinion) totally believable

Miranda had created her online Etsy store, which advertised all her knitted fingerless gloves in the Seahawks colors. She was hopeful that with all the photos, descriptions, and pricing research she had done that a lot of people would buy her handmade gloves.

She truly wanted to buy her son a Christmas gift, and selling homemade items online was her only hope for generating an income after their home had burned to the ground last month. It took Miranda a long time to get to sleep that night, but she prayed for a miracle…not for herself, but for her son.

Miranda stirred nervously in bed as the sun beamed its rays onto her face in the early morning hours. Her first thought was to run to her laptop in the kitchen to see if she had sold at least one pair of her knitted gloves.

So? What do you think after reading both examples? Can you see the correct way to handle a scene transition?

My Secret Sauce for Creating Believable Scene Transitions

Here’s that secret sauce I promised to reveal earlier. The best way to wow your readers and create a bestselling novel is to play the scenes like a movie in your head. If that thought troubles you, then think of your fiction writing, scene-by-scene, as if you were watching a play, in real life, on stage.

If a specific number of characters were on stage for one scene, would the next scene still have several characters standing in the same place as when the previous scene ended? Of course, the answer is no. Most likely, the lights would be dimmed, the curtain would close, the sets would be changed, and new actors would be standing in place when the lights came back on and the curtain rose.

Do you see where these examples can be used in your fiction writing?

Leave me a comment below. I answer all questions. Thanks



Who Benefits from a Sample Edit Offered By An Editing Company?

First, let’s define the meaning of a sample edit. This phrase differs from company to company and individual to individual, and can run from 100 words up to and including 1,000 words.

Definition of a Sample Edit

A sample edit allows the writer or author to get a brief preview of what will appear in the final edited version of the document that the editor returns. Many companies require a specific and limited number of words or pages, which the author submits for a free editing session. Sometimes an editor has the option of choosing 500 words from anywhere in the manuscript, and that section is copied to a new document and then edited.

Sample edit documents are digital files that are exchanged between the individual and the company or editor. If using Microsoft Word’s Change Tracking feature, the author can see the edits and comments entered by the editor to get an idea of the amount of revisions that will be required before the final output has been completed.

Here’s an example of a partial sample edit

sample edit of mary had a little lamb with change tracking turned on

When a client disagrees with revisions in a sample edit

Many times when an author reviews the sample edit, she may decide that she doesn’t agree with the changes that the editor has made, and therefore, looks for another company or editor who will be more in line with her viewpoint. It is normal for the sample edit to be offered at no charge as a way of introducing an author to the editing and proofreading service. If the author likes what she sees, then she is more likely to submit payment and agree to the terms of the editing company.

Client advantages of a sample edit

Sometimes, however, when an editor edits a document, especially fiction or content for webpages, it might involve completely rewriting a paragraph or a number of sentences so the content conforms to industry standards. This can be a good thing for an author to get this advice and professional input without having to pay an increased fee.

However, it’s important for the client to understand that the editor is not making changes to the document in a personal manner but in a professional manner.  It’s been said that many authors become emotional when editors change their words or alter what’s been placed on the page. That’s where a sample edit benefits the author. It provides a detailed glimpse of the edits that will be made to the document before the author has to spend any money.

Editor advantages of a sample edit

For the editor, there’s no way of knowing if the potential client is sensitive to feedback of her writing. Naturally, if the editor doesn’t get the green light to proceed with the client’s editing job, the editor has no way of knowing what the client didn’t like that made her go elsewhere for editing services.

With most editing services, editors who perform sample edits of a document before being hired to edit the content, give 110% over and above what might be seen in an edited document. For example, when a separate document is created that explains to the author the strong points and weak points of the content, this is done with a compassionate heart to help the writer address any issues *before* submitting and paying for an entire edit of a manuscript or document.

It is unusual, but is permissible for one editor to perform the sample edit, and then be given the first option to edit the document when the client decides to proceed with the project. However, the opposite is also an advantage for that editor to refuse to accept the job from that client due to the amount of work that would be required to complete the project, or if the content is not in the editor’s wheelhouse as a favorite area of expertise.

Company advantages of a sample edit

To remain competitive, and to offer the most choices to new clients, the company benefits from offering a sample edit on a first job. It will cost the company a token amount to pay the editor for the sample edit, but in the grand scheme of things, it assures a potential new client that the company is trustworthy and can deliver on the promise of providing a professionally edited document.

Here are the three vantage points to a sample edit

I believe you’ll see that there are truly three vantage points to a sample edit:

1)  The author gets a preview (at no charge) of the editor’s style and comments.

2)  The editor gets a heads-up as to how much work and time will be required to bring the document up to a professional industry standard, and therefore he or she might create a separate document that details the editor’s findings.

3)  The company takes a chance by offering this service at no charge to potential clients in hopes that the editing will please the author enough to submit the job. However, the plus side to this arrangement is that it oftentimes eliminates those web visitors who are quick to demand a refund when not agreeing with an editor’s revisions, suggestions, and comments after the editing process has been completed.

 Not to be overlooked before the sample edit is completed

Ideally, all three areas of the editing process will flourish by going through the process of a sample edit. But, the most important aspect is to get the author’s comments or notes in advance of having the editor perform the sample edit. For an editor to perform a sample edit with no prior input or feedback from the author will sometimes put a generic spin on the output. By that, I mean that a level of editing will be performed, but because the editor has no guidelines for what the author is measuring the service on, only a basic edit is delivered.

Most editors have specialty areas where they excel, but they also have a list of topics or genres that they prefer not to edit. If a web visitor asks for a sample edit and does not provide any information, and the editor who receives the request for a sample edit chooses to refuse performing the sample edit after reviewing the document’s content, it just slows the process down. It also confuses the author by experiencing a slower turnaround time, and to say the least, it puts the responsibility back on the chief editor’s shoulders to find another editor who will agree to edit the document.

Sample Edit Process Summary

In conclusion, because a client cannot walk into a physical office, meet the staff and the editor, and discuss her project in person, she’s left to submitting her document online, not knowing who is on the other end of the transmission tunnel. So, yes, the client takes a risk when submitting her document, but she has the potential promise of finding an outstanding editor who will make her words shine and guarantee her a professional outcome and maybe even a better salary, a new job, a higher academic grade, or website content that attracts more visitors so the company receives more sales. Plus, she receives all this without paying for it.

What’s your opinion? Who benefits more from a sample edit?

  1. Client
  2. Editor
  3. Company

Submit your response by clicking the Comments link.

Candace, Contributing Editor

Planning Your Writing and Editing Projects for 2015

Before you can make plans for your editing projects in 2015, it’s important to quickly review what happened in your life in 2014. I know you might not want to review all these details now, but since history is known to repeat itself, if you have areas in your life that you want to change in 2015, it’s important to take a quick look back.

2014: A quick review of your writing and editing projects

By writing your answers to the following statements and questions, you will quickly get an idea of who you were in 2014 and what you might need to work on or erase from your 2015 agenda.

Name three of the biggest lessons you learned in 2014 after having your documents edited.




Name two writing accomplishments that you’re really proud of from the year 2014.



In the area of your personal life or your business life, name three tasks that were extremely easy for you to complete during 2014 that involved either the writing or edit process.





What three things or areas of your writing life were the most frustrating during 2014?





Thinking of all the writing activities you were involved in during 2014, name your top five revenue-producing areas that you’d like to stay involved with during 2015.







Thinking of the last question, which two activities do you NOT want to be involved with during 2015?




If you had to cut down on your writing or editing expenses for 2015, which 2014 expenses could you easily eliminate? (Personal or professional)



Taking Inventory of Where You Are Right Now

By looking at what you’re doing right now at the end of 2014, provide answers to the following questions.

During a normal twenty-four hour day, how much time do you spend on your writing and editing, and how much time do you spend doing other things?

(These things would include time driving for appointments, reading and answering email, cooking, cleaning, shopping, watching TV, texting, surfing, reading, or talking on the phone, etc. Briefly list all those things where you knowingly spend time.)


Jot down any activities that you could spend less time on or eliminate as you contemplate a more successful, fulfilling, and relaxing year in 2015.

2015 planning for writing and editing projects


Planning for 2015 – The Fun Part

Could you plan to spend less time on a few minor activities to allow room for a new business or hobby that will increase your income?


Name them.


Which five things would you like more of during 2015?







What is your word for 2015? Write it down in your calendar and make a note of all those times when you see that word (on a sign, in email, on a billboard, in a book, etc.).

(Think: prosperity, obedient, loving, kind, generous, and giving)




What are your income goals from your writing for 2015? Are they the same as 2014?


 Goal Planning

Do you need to make changes to your income goals to make prosperity more prominent in your life so you can share your profits and time with others?


Are goals important to you? Why or why not?


Are you planning to go on vacation in 2015? Create a milestone calendar and jot down possible dates.


On a 2015 calendar, get the important goals and target dates notated on your calendar. Then plan ahead. What steps will you take to meet your milestone for goal #1, goal #2, vacation days, etc.?


Summary for a Prosperous 2015

By making plans now, you’ll reap the rewards later. I’ve found that when I put something down in writing and then list events, tasks, and goals on my calendar, those items get done more often than if I just talked about what I wanted to do in the new year.

Feel free to list some of those things you’re planning on for 2015.

If you could say one thing to your editor, what would it be? Describe it in a sentence.


Candace, Contributing Editor


About Measuring Your Performance in 2015

measuring your performance in 2015

How will you measure your performance in 2015?

Typically, when people reflect on measuring their performance, they contemplate whether they will fail or succeed. The truth is that these ideas may be polar opposites. Provided you weren’t really trying to fail, there could be several measures you must make in an effort to achieve your ambitions.

Although we will help you think about tracking your progress, you first ought to make certain that measuring your performance is suitable for you. Tracking your progress is not meant for just anybody, and you need to think about that before preparing.

Since you recognize that you need to be in the appropriate mindset to measure your performance, we will analyze a handful of preliminary routines that a person measuring their performance will already be executing. Use that opportunity to absorb these routines into your decisions because that will make training to measure your performance easier.

Personal Assessment for Measuring Performance

The easiest method to make this assessment is to ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have a determined attitude?

Do I refuse to give up?

Do I want to produce better results than the last time?

Those questions need to be the kind of inquiries that anyone who wants to measure performance may want to answer yes to. By replying to these questions with ‘yes,’ it means you possess the personality type that should prosper in measuring your performance.

Measurement Guidelines

Here are some guidelines to help you begin:

 — Creating a plan

Creating a plan helps you measure your performance. Understandably, it could be hard to get in the routine of doing that. Begin by creating a plan each day, and it will soon become second nature when you measure your performance.

– Setting a date to start

Setting a date to start is so fundamental because without doing that, you will get scared. This will result in being incapable to measure your performance. There are a handful of traits that individuals ought to possess in an effort to track progress, and it’s important that you set a date to begin measuring your performance regularly.

– Beginning the first task

The biggest misstep that a person could make when trying to measure his or her performance is falling short on this imperative consideration. If you decide to not consciously practice beginning the first task, it will be tough. This is how dependent measuring your performance is on beginning the first task. If you are questioning how to begin the first task, then don’t stop reading, because we will explore that here!

Measuring your performance takes tons of energy spent over time. So you will see, the ideal way to get ready for measuring your performance is to grant yourself an appropriate amount of time for the training so you can flourish. Do that, and this goal becomes much easier.

Measuring Your Performance – A Look Back

Measuring your performance is a goal that many folks possess in life, because it’s the most difficult challenge that anyone might experience. And due to this, many individuals who decide to track their progress quit before they even begin.

Despite how far back you would bother to look, you should find that people who are measuring their performance possess one huge thing in common: they saw exactly what they were getting into. All of them appreciated exactly what would be involved, and they knew exactly what would be demanded of them to successfully accomplish their goals. When you recognize exactly what it takes to measure your performance, there is nothing to stop you!

Measuring your performance needs your mental strength just as much as it needs your physical strength. Apparently, measuring your performance is really physical, but by maintaining a stable mentality, you could prime yourself for success.

Measuring your performance is not just a fleeting diversion, or like fearing failure. To get ready, you have to get relentless, determined, and fearless. Then you need to be capable of having a plan in place that allows you to track your progress.

Maybe you’re wondering, “If I start this, could I refuse to give up?” You wouldn’t have gotten this far if you replied ‘no.’ The actual reality is a certain personality type wants to measure your performance, and a completely separate individual ultimately does it.

Looking Within Yourself for Answers

You asked those questions and looked within yourself to see whether or not you possess exactly what it takes to measure your performance. And you have made preparations to carry out your plan. A lot of individuals who fell short measuring their performance did so because they were not totally ready. By seeing whether or not you have what it takes to measure your performance ahead of time, you certainly have invested your best interests in the direction of moving more towards your goal.

You may have previously asked yourself, “Do I have a determined attitude?” Honestly, you have to ask that about yourself. Individuals who said no to that will remain unable to take any positive action steps to measuring their performance.

Bear in mind that beginning the first task is the number one technique to guarantee your victory. If you begin by feeling burned out, remember that by beginning the first task in your training, you will be capable of conquering this challenge. Let’s move on to priming your motivation for measuring your performance.

Measuring Your Performance in Everyday Life

Measuring your performance may not be something that you decide to do on a day-to-day basis. However, if you evaluate the effects of measuring your performance, you might choose to include it in your everyday life. The truth is that measuring your performance includes side effects that will benefit other aspects of your life.

To achieve your ambition, you will need to change how you think. Basically, there’s a definitive characteristic nature that folks who may measure their performance usually possess. Firstly, anyone who may measure their performance could be certainly relentless to let nothing get in the way of accomplishing a goal. This is an example of an attribute that will influence other areas in your life.

Any time you track your progress, you could be investing a lot of time. Basically, you are contending against yourself. The absolutely characteristic that is necessary to track your progress, furthermore, contributes to overall life. During the time you measure your performance, you actually depend on your body for strength. This is exactly what makes measuring your performance viable.

Measuring your performance provides various useful skills, before and when you achieve your goals. Ultimately, it takes a certain quality to realize the ultimate goal. It is beneficial to allow those benefits to alter your life all around.

Lifestyle Choices

If you think back to when we first began the progression of measuring your performance, you probably recall being asked the following questions:

Do I have a determined attitude?

Do I refuse to give up?

Do I want to produce better results than the last time?

These were questions that required attributes for determining if you were ready to measure your performance. These may be lifestyle choices. By replying to those questions, you confirmed your lifestyle.

Certainly, no one ever said that measuring your performance is simple, and definitely, no one ever will. Measuring your performance will grant you thousands of benefits and skills to utilize in life. Bear in mind, it will require some time to get there. This process can play an important role in your life by forcing you to possess these good attributes.

The most dedicated individuals should see their goals through. You might be one of those individuals. If you allow yourself to move forward regardless of your circumstances, you will find the determination and excitement to achieve your own personal success. You don’t need anyone else’s approval to begin. Just say yes and begin planning.

Do you have writing goals already in mind for 2015? What will you write, and how will you measure your performance? Let’s get started. Here’s a list of editors at WordsRU who are ready and waiting to edit your material. Will you write a book, an essay, a dissertation, an autobiography, content for a webpage? We’re here to help, AND we’ll give you a free quote before you have to decide. Click the link now, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Candace, Contributing Editor


Editing One Million Words – Tracking Your Milestones

Life events and accomplishments sometimes share the same playing field, especially when the person doing the task measures the results, like Michael did during his freelance editing career. You see, Michael offers his editing expertise to clients who hire him through WordsRU, a professional editing and proofreading services company. Possibly you’re thinking to yourself, “What’s so great about Michael working as an editor?” But the real question should be, “What was he measuring, and how does that relate to tracking milestones through life events and accomplishments?” Here’s his story.

editing two million words

Freelance Editor, Michael

When Michael became a freelance editor at WordsRU, he was given his first assignment. That editing gig paid him a specific amount of money, per word, based on the number of words in the document. He completed the editing job, sent the revised version to the client, and waited for the client’s response. After a few back-and-forth tweaks to the written document, the client signed off on the project, and approved of the final revised edit.

The client left a five-star review for Michael’s editing expertise. (Five stars is the highest rating any editor can receive from a client.) At the end of the month, Michael reviewed the tally of editing assignments that he had completed for clients, and he looked forward to receiving payment for his services.

The following month, Michael accepted more and more editing jobs, and that’s when he decided to begin tracking the number of words that he edited for every job. Returning to the prior month’s invoice, Michael recorded the number of clients he had completed editing work for, along with the initial word count for each job.

Tracking Number of Edited Words

Michael didn’t think much about how many words he had edited until quite a few months had passed. That’s when, out of curiosity, he noticed that a sub-total amounted to a little more than 300,000 words. Before the year had ended, Michael was amazed to see that he had edited more than one million words. Now, maybe to you, it makes no difference how many words one freelance editor edited and wordsmithed to please the company and his clients. But, when I heard this story, it reminded me of how everyone around the world tracks performance with numbers.

For example, you may have heard about FitBit, which has an app and several types of devices that lets you track how many steps you’ve walked within a twenty-four-hour period. It also measures your health and fitness numbers. Or, how about stats that are accrued for every sports figure around the world? Students in every type of school imaginable receive grades and points based on their performance.

The point is that we are about to step from one year of goals for 2014 into a new year of 2015 goals. Have you thought about something in your life that you could measure and keep track of that will amaze you at the end of next year? Maybe you’re not a “numbers” person, and you feel that keeping track of something is a waste of time. But, like Michael, who tracked the number of words he had edited, it gave him a feeling of accomplishment. He matters to the world, and so do you!

Tracking Your Milestones

If you’ve never tracked anything before, the task might sound daunting, and you might have no idea where to begin. If that’s you, then WordsRU has a gift they would like to give you, yes, at no charge. Just click this link: Tracking My Success to download a PDF file that you can save and print out. Just fill in the headings for what you would like to track. Keep the document handy and record your stats. Before you know it, you will be amazed at how well you’ve become at tracking your milestones.

Sharing Your Results

If you’d like to share your personal results with us, or tell us what area of your life you’re planning to track, just leave us a comment below. Oh, and if you’d like to acknowledge Michael for his celebration of editing one million words, you can say hello to him in the comments field below, too.

Until next time, I’m wishing you success with tracking your milestones.

Candace, Contributing Editor


When to query

Are you wondering whether or not you should send out query letters in December? After all, if this is a busy holiday time for the average person, it is just as busy for agents. This means that they are feeling as stressed, frazzled, and exhausted as the rest of us–and that may not be the best frame of mind for a potential agent who is deciding your future. Then again, maybe your would-be agent is not feeling harried at all because the agency is closed for the holidays. What does this mean for you and your manuscript?


Does the holiday spirit extend to writers and agents?

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Healthy tips for computer users

What seems like a lifetime ago, after I finished writing my first novel, I drove to a neighboring city to buy a manuscript box, fussed with the papers, folders, and labels, then took my precious package to the post office, where I was provided with a dilapidated old box that looked like it had been hauled out of a dumpster.

Believe me when I say that I am so grateful for the advances in technology! Gone are the days of callused fingers, ink smears, and snail mail. However, we now have a new litany of concerns and precautions. Whether you are writing a dissertation, a novel, a science article, or a college essay, you’re likely spending a lot of time at the computer. If you are a willing slave to technology, as I am, take some simple steps to ensure that you receive all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks.

Even the most comfortable positions can do more harm than good.

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Tips to improve young children’s stories: The sound

I warned you in my last post, didn’t I? Writing a young children’s story can be more difficult than writing a story for an older audience. The previous post focused on the basics of young children’s story writing. This post concentrates on the musical quality, that is, the sound of the story. Certain literary devices, such as rhyme, alliteration, and rhythm, can make a solid story truly delightful to read aloud.


The magic of a young children’s story is often found in its sound.

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