Five Tips for Choosing a Dissertation Topic

So Many Choices, So Little Time

Choosing a dissertation topic is not just about expanding on an idea or area of your expertise that expresses your passion. Your goal is to graduate with a PhD or doctoral degree. To do that, the Dissertation Board must accept your dissertation, which means this process begins when you choose a worthy topic.

Outlined below are five tips to help you choose a dissertation topic that is original, scalable, and solvable.

Tip #1. Consider Choosing a Controversial and Trending Topic

Regardless of the year you’re living in when you begin researching a topic for your dissertation, you can always find hundreds of ideas by just reading the latest headlines locally, nationally, or internationally. Then drill down within those topics for concerns and controversies that stir up people’s emotions. Ask yourself if you can stay the course to research, document, and provide solvable solutions that can sustain your momentum until you turn in your dissertation. Remember, if you choose a boring topic, you just might get too bored with the research and procrastinate fulfilling the last requirement before getting your degree. Get inspired.

5 tips to choosing a dissertation topic

Curious as a cat about which dissertation topic to choose?

Tip #2. Choose a Topic that is Scalable and Does Not Have a Predictable Solution

Research is that word that either excites or scares students into oblivion. If it excites you, then you could easily spend five or more years researching your topic. If it scares you, you might have selected a topic that was too broad to drill down to the challenging moment of a conclusion.

Choose a scalable topic that requires enough investigation that will allow you to demonstrate various procedures that others might not research as possible conclusions to your arguments. Can the problem you’re presenting be solved? Is the outcome predictable, or can you position it in such a way that the solution remains hidden until you reveal it? Make sure you can solve the problem you’re presenting.

Tip #3. Behind Every Great Dissertation Is a Writer Who Is Organized

Maybe you’re exceptional at creating organizational systems and cataloging your research results, but then maybe this isn’t your strongest asset. Regardless of your background and your personal tendencies to taking snippets of information and assembling them into an easy-to-manage retrieval system, start now by creating a methodology that you’ll follow. By assembling your data into manageable folders, files, or categories, your dissertation will almost write itself when your research phase is complete.

Tip #4. Use Your Own Master’s Thesis as the Groundwork or Foundation for Your Dissertation Topic

If you choose not to invent an entirely new topic to argue and solve in your dissertation, you might want to consider using your master’s thesis as a starting point. This guarantees that you already know your topic well, and the amount of time you’ve previously invested will save you time while writing your dissertation. Just remember that you might need to restructure and expand on your content, but that is not an impossible task considering the alternative choice of starting a new topic from scratch.

Tip #5. Create an Original Spin to Someone Else’s Dissertation

By choosing a topic that’s already been published by another student or another university, you can provide a new perspective, argument, and solution that is totally opposite or contrary to the original. I would recommend getting your committee to agree to the topic first before you put any additional time into the concept. It’s always preferable to get approval first, and then begin the research than writing the dissertation and getting disappointed when the board rejects it.

In conclusion…

Start by considering your options, your organizational strategies, and the length of time you want to invest before choosing a dissertation topic that your committee will approve. When in doubt, ask for approval. It’s the committee’s responsibility to respond to your inquiries. Better now than later.

Still confused? Get a developmental review by a proven academic editor at WordsRU.


Editing That Gets Your Work Accepted By The Dissertation Board

dissertationediting-graduationEditing Guarantees a Big Advantage to Dissertation Writers

One of the biggest advantages you can benefit from is to have a professional editor go through your dissertation before you submit it to the board. Every writer, when reviewing his or her own words on the page, will not see obvious errors since the topic has become so familiar.

Professional academic and dissertation editors are experts at improving the words, formatting, structure, and flow in a dissertation. It doesn’t matter if you’re submitting a rough draft or the finished product to a dissertation editor. What’s important is that your work has been reviewed and edited by an industry professional. Friends, family, and helpful-meaning volunteers will not do your dissertation justice when it comes to executing professional editing and proofreading services.

When you choose a professional academic editor to examine your work, that person can provide written feedback so your writing is concise, clear, well-organized, and well-documented. In addition to the content, these are the foundational elements that when executed properly, get your dissertation accepted by the board.

The Essential Component Of A PhD Or Doctoral Study Degree

As a student who is ready to submit a dissertation for a PhD or doctoral degree, one of the most important academic tasks is hiring an editor or editing service. In addition to fulfilling all the requirements for your university, you cannot graduate without a finalized and well-defended dissertation that has been accepted by your review board. Why would you want to drag out the process any longer by submitting a document that’s several hundred pages long and involves months or years of research without having passed the document through an editing process? Don’t make the mistake of trying to cut corners. It is worth your time, effort, and financial investment to guarantee your dissertation’s acceptance.

Can You Name the Components of Editing?

Here’s a brief list of editing components that will enhance your dissertation.

  1. Your dissertation must contain strict organization and structure. An accomplished dissertation editor can provide written feedback, if necessary.
  2. When you write a dissertation, everything from the introduction to the conclusion must adhere to and comply with the university’s style guide and requirements. Failure to include this component may demand a further round of revisions from your readers and the board.
  3. Flawless editing, grammar, and spelling checks are performed during an academic editing pass to ensure the document is error-free and enhances the student’s chances of submitting a professional document worthy of the university’s requirements.


The Importance Of Accurate Citations That Do Not Contain Plagiarism

For some students, it is tempting to cut corners and borrow words, paragraphs, and sometimes even pages of content that another writer has created to support a dissertation’s argument. However, that act is known as plagiarism, and if you yield to that temptation, your dissertation will certainly be rejected. One way to avoid this awful predicament is to hire a dissertation editing service and request that they check your paper for proper citations and page numbers, no plagiarism, and that all of your quotes and paraphrases are accurately presented with author names and page numbers.

The Final Dissertation Read-Through

It doesn’t matter how many times a dissertation writer reads through the words on the printed page. Errors will always exist, and an editor can provide a critical checkpoint to correct for language errors, citations, formatting, incorrect grammar, and spelling errors. To get your dissertation accepted by the board, it’s important that you hire a dissertation editing service with proven academic editors. Don’t skimp on this last step. Hiring an accomplished academic editor will let you rest easier knowing that your dissertation has received a final read-through before presenting it to the board.


Is Your Dissertation Great or Lousy? Cheat Sheet for Top Five Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve done the research for your dissertation. Now what?

After you’ve completed all your research, it’s time to sit down and write your dissertation. As daunting of a task as that may feel to you at the moment, you’ll benefit from learning how to avoid the five most common mistakes writers make when writing a dissertation. After reading and editing hundreds of dissertations, I’ve created a short cheat sheet that lists the top five mistakes to avoid when writing your dissertation.

  1. Writing freeform without a defined structure
  2. Not asking for help and input from others before submitting your work
  3. Choosing topics that don’t offer a challenge
  4. Creating a bibliography of sources that only defend your topic
  5. Writing vague and non-focused content without strong arguments

The following content further details my opinion of the five common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Writing free form without a defined structure

Writing a great dissertation is all about providing depth and details about your topic. To do that, you’ll succeed by creating an outline before writing one word of your dissertation. It’s easy to ignore obvious rules that you have been taught throughout all your years of schooling. Obviously, when you create and write to an outline, you won’t get lost or get off track in the challenging aspects of writing. Creating a dissertation is not like writing a work of fiction and letting the characters decide how to ‘up the ante’ and how the story will end. Dissertations require a focused plan, which means that your paper should be clearly argued and well structured. Details within that outline may change as your research becomes more defined, however, not writing to the structure of an outline can result in a low-regarded dissertation.

  1. Not asking for help and input from others before submitting your work

Sometimes when writing a dissertation, you can become so focused on the goal of completing your work that you fail to challenge yourself by asking for help. The best dissertations were written by writers who invited professionals to view and provide feedback on specific portions of their topic. Likewise, hiring an editor with the goal of not only correcting grammar and spelling errors, but providing you with written feedback about the style guide formatting puts your work into the top 10 percent. Academic integrity is enhanced when you seek the advice from a topic expert to add more credibility to your dissertation. Failing to reach out and ask for help and input is a definite mistake.

  1. Choosing topics that don’t offer a challenge

Sometimes we need to get out of our own way when choosing a dissertation topic that gives us the warm and fuzzies but doesn’t offer a challenge to the reader. While it’s true when writing nonfiction to write about what you know, that is not the goal when writing a dissertation. Ask yourself what the real concerns are in the field at the present time. Don’t be afraid to consult current periodicals and recently published dissertations that pose challenging questions, theories, and research that you can add to your outline. In fact, you don’t have to spend weeks researching this. By just scanning the titles, you’ll benefit from knowing what other scholars have presented, thereby allowing you to add more depth to your dissertation’s challenging arguments. Don’t make the mistake of writing a soft dissertation. Create a paper that’s controversial and challenging.

  1. Creating a bibliography of sources that only defend your topic

One of the biggest mistakes I see are dissertations that list pages of bibliographic resources that support the writer’s topic and predetermined answers to questions. If you create a dissertation that can disprove an initial hypothesis, then you’ve added credibility to the academic community by not proving that your approach and viewpoint is the only right choice. Through your research you can show various arguments, points of view, and evidence that someone would not ordinarily think would support your topic. By including sources that challenge your topic, you will be creating a dissertation with more credibility in greater depth.

  1. Writing vague and non-focused content without strong arguments

When you’re creating challenging questions for a doctoral-level reader, your research depends on focused examination of the topic you’re presenting. When papers are written in a vague and unfocused manner, the reader becomes easily bored and will ask you to provide more depth, rather than breadth. It is extremely easy to get off course when you’re doing your research, because your creative mind keeps interrupting the technical side of your work with ideas that are not pertinent to your paper. You don’t want to leave your reader asking the question: “What’s the point?” Your goal is to provide a strong argument with challenging questions that don’t take the reader into a predictable outcome in the observations and summary.

 Are you ready to write a great dissertation?

When you’re ready for an expert editor to take a look at what you’ve written, choose someone with proven academic editing experience.

Facebook Marketing Strategies for Your Home Business

Do you write your own content for your home business website?

Are you prepared to do better than your competition by advertising your business website? Are they marketing on Facebook, and you would like to do that too? Would you like a better campaign than your competitors? It will take some learning and determination, but you can gain the education from the article below.Passion for Facebook Marketing Strategies for home business

Use all of the options available to you on Facebook when using it to market your business. There are so many different ways that you can customize your page and getting a professional to edit your writing. The key is knowing exactly what those options are. If you need help there are many websites, including Facebook, that can give you some insight.

Having a discount or a freebie on your Facebook page is a great way to increase followers. People love freebies. Offering a freebie or other discount will encourage your followers to share the offer. When people share your offer, you are exposing your business to additional customers that may not have heard of you. For example, at WordsRU, we offer a free sample edit. Have you tried it? It’s our way of assuring you that we value our clients.

By using the Power Editor, you can get your marketing post into a mobile user’s newsfeed, the best way to reach those who aren’t using a traditional computer to access Facebook. In fact, there are also “Desktop News Feeds” which go to those on computers as well, so you can target both.

If you have a follower complaining on your Facebook page, try your best to resolve the issue publicly. This will let others know that you are a reputable business and will handle all of your obligations. If you cannot resolve a dispute with a customer publicly, try handling it in private.

Make regular posts on your Facebook page. Setting up a page, putting in multiple posts on the first day, and then ignoring the page for the next several months will do nothing to improve your business. Set up a schedule for posting that meets your business’s purpose for the Facebook page, and stick to it. If you need help writing your Facebook posts, hire an outsourcer to write and edit for you.

Consider investing in Facebook Ads. You can pay a fee to have a certain number of targeted Facebook users see your ad. This is an excellent way to get more subscribers for your page. You will get better results if you offer a discount to the new subscribers or organize a giveaway.

When you get advice about “the best” of something, such as the best type of post, or the best type of content, or the best time to post, it will already no longer be the best. Why? Because your competition has read that post too and will be following it. Research your target audience and figure out your own personal “bests.”

Put together a Facebook contest. People love fun things like contests and quizzes on Facebook. It’s one of the things that makes the social media site so very special. It’s not that hard for your company or brand to put together a contest, and it can really open up the engagement level of your community.

Talk density helps you figure out how many people are mentioning you or your products on the social media platform. You want your talk density to be around 15 percent or more, as that would mean that you are getting plenty of attention. If it is lower than that, consider changing things up or adjusting your marketing strategy.

Post about your milestones on Facebook. You could for instance let your subscribers know about your sales volume, the launching of new products or the anniversary of your most popular products. This is a good way to draw attention to certain products while creating a positive image for your brand.

Only post professional-looking photos on your wall. They will really help raise the perception of your company. When using personal photography, use a high-quality camera and only post shots which won’t offend anyone.

Use contests to build interest. For instance, you could have users posts videos of themselves using one of your products. Then, at the end of your contest, pick a winner.

Learn all you can about how Facebook functions. The more you know about how it works, the better of a chance you will have at making it work for your business. Go to the help page on Facebook; you can find some extra tips there. You will enjoy the outcome.

The competition should now be quaking in their boots. Now you’ll be the master of success. Consider the tips presented here, and take this opportunity to reach out and create your base of customers. For copywriting, SEO, or editing services, we can help.

Five Tips On Editing A Children’s Book

Have you written a children’s bookediting a children's book?

Writing a children’s book is probably one of the most fun and exciting things that you can do as a writer. You get to create a book that will help to mold a child’s thoughts, which is definitely a huge deal when our children are our future. However, as exciting as that may be, it is a job that requires a lot of forethought to ensure that the story is well suited to the impressionable minds of children. In this blog post, we will give a few tips on editing a children’s book so that your book will be a great success.

Editing a Children’s Book

Below are five tips to help you while editing a children’s book, or when you’re selecting a children’s book editor.

Tip #1

The first thing you need to do when editing a book meant for children is to remember the audience. Children should only read age appropriate materials and as such, it is important that you carefully examine the actual story for elements that may seem inappropriate or too adult-like in nature. If there is any adult content, it can easily be cut down or removed without much loss to the actual storyline.

Tip #2

Another tip that you should remember when editing is to make sure that every word that is written should contribute to the plot or character development. This means that if there is any frilly writing that is unnecessary, it should be cut out. This only hampers the story and you have to remember that children get distracted easily. So, make sure that your writing is to the point and moves easily from one scene to the other.

Tip #3

Next, you should make sure that each of the characters in the book have their own distinctive voice. This is a typical problem that most novelists go through, and it is essential that it is quickly identified and fixed. That last thing you want is to have two or more characters who sound like the same person as this makes the story quite boring and unbelievable. Every person is an individual and in order to keep your reader’s interest, it is important that each character is interesting in their own individual way. This also helps the reader to become more engaged and attached to the different characters in your story which separates an okay book from a great book.

Tip #4

Most writers love the written word and generally love describing things. This is essential in order for the reader to create a picture in their minds while reading, however, too much of a good thing is bad! When there are overly long paragraphs describing a scene, it can quickly become tedious to read. Therefore as an editor, it will be your job to identify and cut down on any verbose descriptions that bore the reader or are simply unnecessary.

Tip #5

Lastly, make sure to pay attention to the tense being used throughout the story and be sure to keep it consistent. You definitely don’t want to be switching tenses from one paragraph to the next so be sure to keep your tenses consistent.

In conclusion

So, there you have it, five tips on editing a children’s book that will help make your book the best version of itself and a huge success. If you decide to publish your children’s book as a print book on Amazon, using the CreateSpace platform, or if you go the ebook route with the Amazon Kindle KDP program, your readers will love your book more when you take the time to have it edited professionally.

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 than 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