I specialize in editing academic work in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. (In the case of language editing—which is less intensive than developmental or line editing—I also edit in the quantitative social sciences, natural sciences, and physical sciences.)

As an editor, I offer the perspective of an attentive outside reader. Even if you work in the disciplines in which I was trained—literary studies or Japan studies—I almost certainly won’t be an expert in your particular research topic. My generalist perspective helps me edit on behalf of readers who aren’t immersed in your research. As Mary Laur at the University of Chicago Press explains, editors must be “sufficiently removed from [the work] to judge whether academic authors are communicating their ideas clearly to other interested but not fully knowledgeable readers.”

Ability to Help Japan Scholars

All of that said, even a broad understanding of Japan and the field of Japan studies is uncommon among freelance editors working with English-language scholarship. My training as a Japan scholar helps me edit perceptively for clients in Japan studies.

Ellen’s expertise in Japanese studies as well as copyediting opened up a new possibility of interacting with my own work.
— Copyediting client at the University of Virginia
Ellen’s combined skills as an incredibly sensitive reader and literary critic made her the perfect editor for my book manuscript on Japanese literature. I needed someone to help streamline prose, but to also suss out any potential gaps in argument. Deeply knowledgeable about Japanese literature, and attuned to style, Ellen helped retain my voice while consistently improving the text’s tightness and clarity. Her professionalism, prompt and substantive communication, and probing questions about any unclear sections were all welcome—and better than most academic journal reviewers and editors I’ve encountered. The book is unequivocally better as a direct result of her thoughtful suggestions for revision and her precise proofreader’s eye. Based on the superb work she did for the first project, I immediately sought her services for my next book and would happily keep her on retainer if I could! Given the remarkably positive experience I had working with her, I have recommended Ellen’s services to other colleagues in the U.S. and Japan, with no reservations whatsoever. Simply put, Ellen has become my go-to editor for all serious academic publishing projects moving forward. I’m grateful for all her conscientious efforts and feel lucky to have the benefit of her editorial expertise.
— Line editing client at the University of Michigan