Students who contract with an editor or typist must provide that person with the Format Guide for the Applied Dissertation. Editors and typists must communicate with the student, not with university personnel. The university does not assume responsibility for a student's contractual agreement with an editor or typist or for the quality of the editor's or typist's work.
The Fischler College cannot recommend a freelance editor, nor does it employ editors. If you require professional editing, speak first with your dissertation committee chair; ask if he or she is able to put you in touch with a former student who had success with an editor. Contact within your network of Fischler College doctoral students may also yield specific recommendations.
Dissertation editors and typists may be found through a variety of other sources, including the Internet, phone directories, and college and university bulletin boards. Please be aware, however, that the skill levels of editors vary widely. If you do find it necessary to hire a nonreferred editor, ask beforehand if he or she has successfully worked on a Fischler College doctoral dissertation. If the answer is "yes," request at least one reference so you can verify the editor’s qualifications with the Fischler College graduate; if the answer is "no," it would be advisable to continue your search.
Once a decision is made, be sure that all aspects of the contractual agreement are clearly spelled out. For example, your edited manuscript may require substantial content changes during the final-review process. In such a case, your manuscript will need to be re-edited. Establish an understanding with your editor in regard to a procedure—and payment, if necessary—for additional work that may be required after the initial editing.
Editors and typists must not make changes that affect the content of your dissertation. You are responsible for ensuring that the applied dissertation is correct prior to its submission to the dissertation committee. Therefore, the manuscript should be edited before the committee recommends it for final approval.
Hiring an editor to prepare your manuscript does not preclude the usefulness of learning as much as possible about APA style and College of Education format requirements. Having a familiarity with style and format guidelines will help you to determine early in the process whether your editor is fulfilling his or her contractual obligations.
A professionally edited dissertation gives you an opportunity to learn proper style by comparing—line by line—your final manuscript to your pre-edited manuscript. The knowledge that you gain from this exercise will be a benefit to you throughout your professional career.