Graduate Editing Service: What Does an Editor Do?

  • An editor’s job is to mark manuscripts in ways that assist the writer in improving the quality of writing in the document. The editor does this by pointing out and correcting errors, especially problems related to clarity, organization, and consistency. 

    When we receive your manuscript, we assume that content and ideas are well established. Editors do not edit for content. Instead, they correct or point errors involving clarity, organization, and consistency, as well as those involving transitions, grammar, and punctuation. 

    Editors try to correct or point out as many errors as they can, but they may need to pay greater attention to some issues than to others. Editors spend approximately an hour and a half on each chapter. Writers are advised to double check each chapter after receiving it from the editor. Writers who need additional help with their writing are encouraged to visit the Jones White Writing Center to meet with a graduate tutor.

    Editors will:

    1. Run the manuscript through iThenticate and recommend ways to address problems indicated in the iThenticate report.
    2. Use the Track Changes feature of MS Word to mark corrections in the manuscript.
    3. Edit for errors in grammar, clarity, organization, transitions, punctuation, and consistency. Editors usually mark an error the first few times it occurs and include a note about correcting any remaining occurrences.
    4. Mark formatting problems, following the author’s style guide (MLA, APA, or some other) and the IUP Thesis and Dissertation Manual.
    5. Correct stylistic errors in the in-text citations, following the author's style guide.

     Note: The Graduate Editing Service and the School of Graduate Studies and Research both edit theses and dissertations, but they are not the same. The Graduate Editing Service focuses on clarity, organization, grammar, and style, whereas the SGSR focuses on formatting, particularly the front matter and references. Both the GES and SGSR submit the manuscript to iThenticate. The GES will alert you to problems and suggest ways to address them before you submit the manuscript to the Graduate School. The consequences can be serious if you submit a manuscript to the SGSR that contains plagiarized text. Therefore, students should use the feedback from the GES, including the iThenticate report, to make all necessary corrections to their manuscripts before submitting them to the SGSR.

    Questions or concerns? We would like to hear from you! Contact us at or call 724-357-3029.

  • More Writing Help

    The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center provides tutoring services, workshops, and writing resources.