How do I know your services are confidential?
I’m still establishing my professional editing business under the name Feminist Editor. The last thing I want to do is ruin my credibility when I’m just starting out with a freelance editing career. Even more, I would encourage you to check out the Editors Canada agreement template for editing services. I use a similar contract for every statement of purpose/statement of intent review that I do. Notably, my contract states that I cannot share your work with others. Finally, I would encourage you to avoid or be wary of posting your SOP online or giving it to strangers for free critiques through online forums; you don’t want your SOP stolen or floating around cyberspace for all to read!
I don’t agree with feminism. Why should I use your SOP review services?
I will not force feminism on you. Feminism is my personal philosophy, and it sometimes guides my editorial decisions with regard to your statement of purpose, where appropriate. For instance, if you’ve written something that sounds or is discriminatory, I’ll point that out. I want to ensure that your readers feels like their experiences matter and that you do not lose your chance at higher education because you unknowingly used an outdated word or phrase.
I am happy to work with anyone that does not identify as feminist.
Are there limitations to your SOP critique service?
In line with Editors Canada’s guidelines on working with students, I don’t offer copy edits…say more.
Editors Canada’s guideline on editing student texts
- Pointing out mechanical errors, like comma splices, subject-verb agreement, etc., but not fixing them
- Asking the writer to clarify things rather than asking does x = y?
- Or, if rewriting a sentence, using the writer’s words as much as possible
- Don’t argue against conclusions drawn
- Similar to undergraduate texts, the focus here is more on stylistic edits where the editor uses the author’s own words to reorganize sentences for better flow.
- The editor may also query the student on what changes could be made for better flow instead
- My interpretation
- Most SOPs are the same: a story or a strong opening, talking about your past research, work experience, the avenues you hope to mine in grad school, the career(s) you wish to pursue, the reasons you’re applying to a particular program, and the ability to write convincingly about your skills and value, with detail, precision, and flow. I don’t think it would be inappropriate to ask clients to provide more detail, or to speak more compellingly about these topics, as they are a given in the writing instructions anyway?
Who might this service benefit?
- People who don’t have a close relationship with the professors they’ve asked to write their letters of recommendation
- People who don’t have friends who will offer honest, critical feedback or encouragement
- People who started writing their SOP last minute and need a quick response
- Anyone looking to get helpful feedback on their work
- Anyone who’s applied to grad school before and didn’t get in
What are your areas of specialty?
- Statements of purpose
- Graduate studies, especially master’s programs
- Social sciences
What if I am unhappy with the feedback you’ve given me. Can I get a refund?
I’m sorry to hear that! However, as is stated in the editing contract, any work that I’ve done for you still requires payment. I can’t give you a refund. That being said, if you have any questions or concerns throughout the editing process, or when you’re reviewing my feedback, please let me know! I would be happy to explain anything I’ve noted in your SOP.
I am applying to an undergraduate program. Can you help me with my written statement too?
Sure! I am happy to adjust the way I review your writing so that it better fits what is expected of prospective undergraduate students experiences and writing levels. That being said, the cost won’t change.
Can you help me meet my word count? I have too little/too many words.
Yes! I am skilled in both substantive and stylistic editing. That is, I know how to help you add more details to a shorter piece, and I also know how to cut down your words or sentences without losing any meaning.