Ethics of Editing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2004
Ethics of Editing?
1
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 9:32pm

Dear Everyone,

Can I ask for your input on an issue that's bugging me?

I'm a freelance editor. I do most of my work via the internet. In the past I've had a few clients who were university students looking for proofreading help on a dissertation or thesis--basically an edit for punctuation, spelling, and to make sure their formatting conformed to whichever style their department required.

Well, in the past 2 weeks I've been contacted by 3 students wanting to hire me to work on their MA theses. They want the proofreading, but they're also asking for "substantive" editing--that is, significant restructuring/rewriting to make their prose smooother, more precise, and more persuasive.

I'm wondering if it's ethical for me to take this kind of job. After all, producing one's own thesis/dissertation is one of the requirements for an advanced degree. When I was a grad student it never would have occurred to me to ask for outside help. If I take on these clients, am I helping them to cheat?

Sorry this is so long. I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

peace,
Elizabeth
________
Elizabeth Shipley Editing Services
www.elizabethshipley.com

anonymous
anonymous
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-13-2010 - 2:04pm

Welcome to The Writing Life, Elizabeth!


The title of your post grabbed me. As an on-and-off proofreader and copyeditor, I had to know your ethics question. You have the same reservations I would have in the same situation which is why I have avoided that situation (and limited my editing income severely in the process).


You offer to work with your academic clients on your website. You don't offer to do the

JudyB