Frequently Asked Questions
A comprehensive collection of responses to common client queries.
A comprehensive collection of responses to common client queries.
We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, every day of the year. You can submit a document for editing on our website at any time.
All our editors are highly qualified and experienced professional academic editors, capable of working across various fields, not only within their own area of academic expertise. However, we always endeavour to match clients’ documents with the most suitable editor—one with experience in the same general field. For example, if a client submits a PhD in International Law for editing, we may match the document to an editor with a PhD in Environmental Law and experience editing in all areas of law, including international law.
This policy is particularly valuable for longer, complex documents written by academics and postgraduates. A deep knowledge of the field enables the editor to develop a sophisticated understanding of the material, ensuring that they do not unintentionally alter the author’s voice or meaning, or overlook errors that might not be apparent to someone from outside the field.
We do not offer any discounts for our services, but we do have a Referral Program.
By pricing our service correctly, we ensure that our clients receive excellent value for money while our highly qualified and experienced academic editors are paid fairly for their specialist services.
This policy is important for maintaining the standards and integrity of the copyediting industry in Australia. Price undercutting through discounting is not a practice encouraged by industry associations, as this drives down editors’ wages and conditions and, ultimately, the quality of their work. Through fair and firm pricing, we can deliver an exemplary service consistently, now and into the future.
No, we do not provide free sample editing. However, if you would like to try our service before submitting your full document for editing, you are welcome to pay to have a short sample edited. When you submit the full document, we can then subtract the amount paid for the sample.
The reason that we do not provide free sample editing is twofold. First, as professional academic copyeditors, we are committed to upholding and protecting the standards of the industry. Industry associations discourage professional editors from performing any work free of charge.
Second, the exceptional standard of our work is a reflection of the qualifications and experience of our editors and of our overarching focus on quality. Our detailed editing examples demonstrate what you can expect from your editor and are a reliable alternative to free sample editing. You may also like to read more about the qualifications and experience of our talented team of specialist academic editors.
Our service may appear more expensive; however, choosing the highest-quality and most professional service available ensures that you get the job done right the first time, saving you time and money in the long run. Choosing Capstone Editing ensures that your final document will be as polished and sophisticated as possible, giving you the best chance of publication or thesis acceptance.
We are confident that our service is exceptional value for money. Further, by paying our editors at a higher rate, we are able to attract and retain the most qualified and experienced academic editors in the business, guaranteeing that our clients receive high-quality work.
Please take a look at testimonials from some of our past clients.
We accept payments by credit card, PayPal, direct deposit and international bank transfer. In the case of bank transfers, we require proof of payment (e.g. a receipt) before editing can begin.
We do require payment in full before work can start on your document. It is not possible to pay either during or after we have completed our work. This is simply because we need to be able to guarantee our highly qualified academic editors that they will be paid for their time.
This does not apply when a university is making payment. In this case, we provide an invoice that can be paid in 30 days. Universities will often make payment for editing services for their academics and postgraduate students.
In addition to the services listed on our website, we offer a faster Last Minute Service. This service needs to be negotiated beforehand, to allow us to confirm that we have a suitable editor available and that we can meet your desired deadline. If you would like to use our Last Minute Service, please contact us.
No, the quality will definitely not be affected by choosing a faster service. The same amount of time and effort will be spent on your document. The higher price of our faster services is a reflection of the intensity of the work required in order to complete your document in the number of days available. For example, your editor may need to work very long hours or overnight, and reschedule other work, in order to meet your urgent deadline.
Please contact us immediately and let us know when you would like your document returned by so we can check the availability of your editor to complete your document in the shorter timeframe. Once we have confirmed that your editor can complete the edit in time, you can pay the difference in price and we will update your deadline.
We guarantee that we will not miss your deadline. However, in the extremely unlikely event that we do, due to an unexpected event outside our control, we will refund you in full and also complete the edit as soon as possible. This means you would still receive your fully edited document, free of charge, if we missed your deadline. We offer this guarantee because, as experienced academics ourselves, we understand that our clients are working to tight deadlines and that a refund alone will not adequately compensate for a missed deadline.
We guarantee the quality of our work. This means that, in the extremely rare instance that a client finds fault with our work, we will take immediate action to fix the problem. In the unlikely event that you find errors in our work, please contact us and we will correct them for you immediately and free of charge.
If you make any changes or additions to your edited document and would like us to edit those changes and additions, we need to charge for that new work. We calculate the cost of this new work in one of two ways: either as a percentage of the full rate (if the new work is scattered throughout your document, requiring your editor to re-edit the full document), or by total number of new words (if the work is mostly blocks of new text, requiring your editor to edit only that text). To receive a quotation for a second round of editing, please email us with your document and any instructions.
If you only want some clarification about our edits, of if you have found some errors in our work that require revision, we can do this free of charge, provided this is within the scope of the original job. This work is covered under our Quality Guarantee.
If you think that your document contains a high number of errors, you may benefit from using our Heavy Editing service. This service includes all the aspects of our Premium Copyediting service, as well as significant sentence rewording to improve the expression, clarity, tone and formality of your work. We will also provide detailed advice on how you could improve the organisation and structure of your document and the support of your statements in cases in which the correction cannot be made for you (following the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’ when applicable). This service has been specially designed for our non-native English clients, who might need extra attention and support to ensure their document reaches the required standards of their university. If you would like to use our Heavy Editing service, please contact us for a quotation.
We do provide proofreading on request for suitable documents. However, it is important to understand that we follow the definitions of proofreading given by the central authorities for professional editors in Australia (the Snooks and Co. Style Manual and the Institute of Professional Editors). In accordance with these definitions, we define proofreading as the final checking of a document that has already been carefully edited, to ensure that it is ready for submission or publication. If your document has previously had the benefit of professional copyediting, or has been carefully copyedited multiple times by your supervisor, you may be able to request our Proofreading service. If you think this service sounds right for you, please contact us for a quotation.
Copyediting involves the close review of a document, paying attention to issues of grammar, the correct use of verb tenses, word choice and syntax, and logic and clarity. In addition, general comments are made on organisation, structure and the support of statements, and errors and inconsistencies in content are queried if necessary. Copyediting also includes all aspects of proofreading, such as addressing matters of consistency in spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation, numbers, dates, percentages, symbols and equations; correcting and ensuring consistency in formatting, headings and the use of shortened forms; and editing to make all referencing complete, correct and consistent (including by rigorously crosschecking in-text citations against the reference list). Copyediting is thus a comprehensive service that meets the needs of clients who want their documents closely checked and improved in all respects, according to the Australian Standards for Editing Practice.
By contrast, proofreading is only suitable for documents that have already had the benefit of a close review for errors in grammar and expression. Proofreading does not include language editing for grammar, and should not be considered a substitute for copyediting. However, if your document does only require a final check for matters of consistency, formatting, headings and shortened forms, please contact us for a quotation.
Copyediting is the comprehensive review of the language, organisation and presentation of a document. Issues of grammar, the correct use of verb tenses, word choice and syntax, and logic and clarity are all addressed by copyediting. In addition, the editor makes general comments on structure, organisation and the support of statements, and queries any errors or inconsistencies in content if necessary. All aspects covered by proofreading are included as part of copyediting, such as addressing consistency in spelling, capitalisation, hyphenation, dates, percentages, numbers, equations and symbols; ensuring referencing is correct, complete and consistent; and correcting and ensuring consistency in headings, the use of shortened forms and formatting. Copyediting is suited to clients whose documents require a close and comprehensive review according to the Australian Standards for Editing Practice.
Substantive editing includes all aspects of copyediting, but goes further to assess and develop the document with a focus on improving its content, organisation, clarity of expression and flow, as necessary for its purpose and intended audience. This service is not available for students, but is available for all other client types. Clients requiring substantive structural editing of their text to convert it from one format to another (e.g. from a conference paper into a journal article), or who feel they may benefit from developmental editing (e.g. at an early stage of manuscript preparation), should enquire about our substantive editing service.
You are welcome to provide specific instructions about the style guide and dictionary you would like us to follow when you submit your document to us for editing. Unless we are given specific instructions, when editing to conform to British/Australian English, we follow the Snooks & Co. Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (which is the style guide adopted by the Australian government) and the Macquarie Dictionary. When editing to conform to American English, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (as recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style).
We are without question the most experienced postgraduate thesis editing service in Australia. Our editors have edited thousands of PhD and Master’s theses across a diverse range of fields from every university in Australia and many overseas. Whatever your area of study, we have an academic editor with relevant editing expertise.
Certainly. If you are eligible for funding from your university to contribute to the cost of having your thesis edited, we can provide you with a formal quotation or tax invoice to submit to your university as part of your funding application. If your funding does not cover the full cost of the editing (you should not assume it will), we can arrange for you to pay the difference.
As the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’ state: ‘A student should not assume that this grant is intended to cover the full cost of editing. The cost of editing academic work will depend on a range of factors including the quality of the material submitted for editing, the level of referencing included and the experience of the editor’.
Absolutely. We will ensure your thesis contains all the necessary sections, in the correct order, and create all required preliminary pages, including the Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures and List of Abbreviations. Your edited thesis will be in submission-ready format.
Universities require that postgraduate theses meet international publication standards and this can only be achieved through professional editing, regardless of the quality of your writing. Clients who are exceptional academic writers are often surprised at just how much their thesis is improved by our Premium Copyediting service.
After researching and writing such a long document over many years, you can easily become blind to errors, inconsistencies and areas of potential improvement in your own work. A new set of eyes, especially those of a highly experienced professional, can catch all these issues for you. With the help of Capstone Editing, you can be 100% confident that your thesis will be polished and well presented.
Absolutely. It is a common misconception that editing is not encouraged by universities. Universities do prefer theses to have the benefit of copyediting, as evidenced by the collaboration of the Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) with the forerunner of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), the Council of Australian Societies of Editors, to create the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’ in 2001. The Guidelines were revised and updated by IPEd and the Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc. (ACGR) in 2010.
All our editors adhere strictly to these Guidelines when editing theses. You can thus be certain that we are editing in a professional and ethical manner.
Universities also often provide funding to their higher research students specifically for academic copyediting, and many supervisors require that PhD and Master’s candidates whose first language is not English have their thesis copyedited before submission. After all, it is in the universities’ best interests that the work of their students be presented in the best possible light.
Absolutely. Our editors are academics themselves, most with strong publication records. We know exactly what you need and expect of an academic editor for your journal article. We simply need to know your target journal and we will ensure that your article complies with all the relevant guidelines for structure, organisation, word length, language, style, formatting and referencing.
Certainly. Please email us with your journal article and the name of your target journal. We will provide you with a quotation based on the time needed to convert the formatting and referencing styles.
We can provide proofreading on request for suitable documents. We follow the definitions of proofreading given by the central authorities for professional editors in Australia (the Snooks and Co. Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers and the Institute of Professional Editors). Proofreading should be considered the final checking of a document that has already been carefully edited to ensure that it is ready for submission or publication. If your document has previously had the benefit of professional copyediting, or you are confident that it is already exceptionally well written and just needs a final review from a highly skilled expert, please contact us for a quotation.
If you would like your references edited and your referencing crosschecked to ensure your in-text citations or footnotes/endnotes and reference list or bibliography are complete and consistent, you need to include them in your word count for editing.
You do not need to include your footnotes, endnotes, reference list or bibliography in the word count if you do not want them edited. (It is not possible to exclude in-text citations from the word count.)
Yes. If you have included your references in the word count, we will crosscheck your reference list or bibliography with your in-text citations, footnotes or endnotes to ensure that each citation corresponds to a referenced source, and vice versa. We will edit your references to ensure that they are correct, consistent and complete, including locating and including missing source information where possible.
Yes, definitely. We can follow any guidelines or style guide that you require. All our editors have a thorough knowledge of different referencing styles, enabling them to follow any required style accurately.
Yes. Our editors are experts at referencing and can identify the patterns in any style you may have adopted, allowing for the application of that style consistently throughout your document. We are also happy to recommend the referencing style that we think would be most appropriate for your document.
Yes. We provide publication-ready formatting free of charge on all documents. Our exceptional attention to detail in editing also applies to the appearance of your document, which ensures that your research is presented in the best possible light, follows all required formatting guidelines and is ready for submission or publication. Capstone Editing provides the highest-quality formatting service available.
We also offer flexible formatting options, as follows:
No. We provide formatting free of charge. We already only charge for the editing of the document itself based on its word count and the turnaround time you select. Therefore, we cannot provide a discount regardless of whether formatting is required.
If you are happy with the style you have used, we can check it for consistency throughout your document. Or, if you have no preferred formatting style, we can apply our house style, which has been specially designed for academic documents.
Capstone Editing’s house style has been developed to conform to the formatting guidelines most commonly accepted by Australian and New Zealand universities, in particular for theses, for which there are a large number of conventions and standards that must be followed. The body of the document uses Times New Roman font, size 12, with 1.5 line spacing and justified text. If you would like to see an example document showing you exactly what our house style looks like, please contact us.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is a guide for the presentation of published journal articles; consequently, any extension of its use for student papers or theses must involve some adaptation and flexibility. The manual is also a guide for pre-publication (i.e. a ‘copy’ manuscript), so many of its guidelines do not make sense for a ‘final’ manuscript such as a thesis.
Combined, our editors have edited and formatted more theses than any other group of editors in Australasia. Based on this experience, we have developed our own modification of the APA style that is perfectly suited to theses being submitted to universities in Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to see an example document showing you exactly what our APA style for theses looks like, please contact us.
Yes. Our editors are experts at formatting and can identify the patterns in any style you may have adopted, allowing for the application of that style consistently throughout your document. We are also happy to recommend the formatting style that we think would be most appropriate for your document.
Yes, definitely. We can follow any guidelines or style guide that you require. All our editors have a thorough knowledge of different formatting styles, enabling them to follow any required style accurately.
Are part-time students eligible?
Unfortunately, according to university scholarship guidelines, most part-time students are not eligible for scholarships. You are only eligible to apply if you are able to demonstrate carer commitments or a medical condition that prohibit you from studying full time. Please note that the need to work full time is not accepted by universities as a prohibiting factor. If you would like more information about this requirement or are unsure if you meet the requirement, please contact your university directly. Capstone Editing must follow all university scholarship guidelines.
Are overseas students eligible?
The Capstone Editing Scholarship and Grant Program is only available to students studying at Australian or New Zealand universities who reside in either Australia or New Zealand. (You can be an international or overseas student studying on campus in Australia or New Zealand.)
Am I eligible to apply if I am finishing my studies shortly, or am about to submit my thesis?
Please check the date that the grant will be awarded. You must still be studying when the grant is awarded, as it is assumed you will be using the grant money to cover future costs, rather than to reimburse you for money already paid.
Can I supply a downloaded record of my grades, rather than an official transcript?
Yes, that is fine at the application stage. However, should you be shortlisted, you may be asked to provide an official transcript. Not providing an official transcript will not stop you being shortlisted.
Do I need a minimum GPA to apply for this grant?
No, we do not have a minimum GPA requirement. We understand that there is more to consider than just your GPA, so we will be accessing your application based on the bigger picture of your financial and academic situation.
Will my application be kept confidential?
Yes. Please read our confidentiality policy, which also applies to the Capstone Editing Scholarship and Grant Program.
Will I have any obligations towards Capstone Editing if I am awarded a scholarship or grant?
In order to promote our scholarships and grants to other students and academics, and to highlight the important research being undertaken by the successful applicants, we will publish information about each year’s recipients on our website, blog and social media channels. This will include the recipient’s name, photograph, department and university, and for postgraduate research students, their supervisors’ names, thesis title and thesis abstract. The recipients of some scholarships or grants are also asked to write a short report demonstrating how the funding assisted their research, and this will also be published on our website and social media channels. This information is all detailed in the terms and conditions for each scholarship or grant.
When do I need to use the funds by?
All funds must be used within 12 months of award of the grant or scholarship.
How do you determine financial need?
Since we cannot require any confidential information such as bank statements or Centrelink statements, we simply trust the information provided to us by applicants; although, you are free to provide these documents to demonstrate your financial need if you wish to. We ask that you explain your situation as part of your application. Information you might like to include is if you are working and how much you earn, if you receive any Centrelink benefits, and if you have any financial obligations other than your living and study expenses (e.g. having a family to support). Applicants must disclose if they hold another scholarship or grant. The successful applicant will be chosen at the sole discretion of Capstone Editing, based on our assessment of the financial need of applicants. Our decision is final.
How do you determine academic merit?
We assess your grades through the academic transcripts you provide us. For Honours and Postgraduate Research students, we also assess academic merit based on the letter from your supervisor and our determination of the quality of your research topic and the work you have completed thus far. Capstone Editing will choose the successful applicant at our sole discretion, based on our own assessment of the academic merit of applications, and our decision is final.
Are there any word limits for the sections of the application form?
No, there are no word limits. You are welcome to provide as much or as little information as you like.
Do I have to purchase only required textbooks with the gift voucher?
No. The recipient will be free to purchase any books they feel will be helpful for their studies.
Can I use the scholarship for anything?
As part of your application, you will need to provide an outline of how the funds would be used. Your supervisor will also need to provide a letter confirming their support for the funds to be used in the proposed way, should you be awarded the scholarship.
You can propose to use the scholarship for anything that is related to your research as an Honours student, such as attending a conference, conducting a research field trip, or the purchase of a computer or specific equipment needed for your research. If you are unsure if we would consider an expense related to your research, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will you know what I have used the scholarship for?
We will either pay for the research expense on your behalf by making direct payment (i.e. approved expenses will be paid by Capstone Editing directly to the provider) or we will reimburse you for expenses incurred once you provide proof that payment has been made.
What is a postgraduate coursework degree?
A Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master’s by Coursework (not research). If you are not sure if your degree qualifies as a degree by coursework, please email email@example.com.
Do I have to use the gift voucher to purchase a computer or laptop?
Yes. The purpose of the grant is to assist students who do not own a suitable computer or laptop to purchase one.
How will you know what I have purchased with the gift voucher?
The recipient of the grant will be required to send us a copy of the invoice (receipt) as proof that they have purchased a computer or laptop with the gift voucher.
What is a postgraduate research degree?
A Master’s or PhD by Research (not coursework).
Academic transcripts are not provided for PhD studies. What transcripts should I include in my application?
We only need the transcripts from your previous degree/s and proof of enrolment in your current PhD.
Do I need to supply confirmation of my acceptance to attend or present at a conference?
It is not a requirement of the grant that you are presenting at the conference, although it is preferred. If you have put in an application to present but do not yet have confirmation, you can always submit your grant application first and then email us your acceptance letter when you receive it.
Can I use the grant money to reimburse myself for a conference I have already attended?
No. Our grants cannot be used retrospectively. This means that you cannot use the grant money to attend a conference before the grant is awarded. The grant is awarded on 31 August every year, so the conference for which you are using the money should be after 31 August in that year.
I was awarded my PhD more than six years ago; however, it is less than six years if you deduct maternity and carer leave. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you are definitely eligible to apply. We do not count career disruption due to maternity leave or carer commitments towards the six years.
I am a PhD student. Am I considered an early career academic for the purposes of this grant?
For the purposes of our grants, we define an academic as someone who has already been awarded their PhD and is currently working full-time as an academic (a lecturer or researcher). We provide a different grant especially for PhD students: https://www.capstoneediting.com.au/conference-grant.
Can you pay the funds to my university cost centre?
Yes, we can pay the funds directly to a university cost centre or into a research account if this is the preferred method of payment of the grant recipient and her university.
As professional editors, we strictly adhere to all relevant guidelines, including the Australian Standards for Editing Practice and the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’. Where a client has been asked to follow any university-, journal- or publisher-specific guidelines, we will closely read and follow those as well. In short, we follow the set Australian guidelines for ethical editing practice, as well as any others you may require.
We will not edit work that we have found to be or strongly suspect to be plagiarised. If any sections in a document are determined to have been plagiarised, those sections will not be edited. These sections may comprise a small part of the document or even the entire document. No refund will be given for any sections not edited due to plagiarism. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure the originality of all material submitted to Capstone Editing. Capstone Editing strictly upholds the academic integrity and plagiarism policies of universities in all instances.
No, absolutely not. University academic integrity and plagiarism policies strictly prohibit students from having anyone else perform their work for them. This is both plagiarism and cheating. Universities are excellent at detecting plagiarism and do so through a number of methods. If you are caught, the likely consequence will be failure of your course and possible expulsion from the university.
You need to write your own work yourself, but you can do so with the support of a tutor or university support staff (such as from your university’s learning and teaching unit). We can certainly help you by editing your work and providing specific feedback to you on how you can further improve your academic writing skills.