August 22 2015

Apostrophes strike again

by Barbie in Around Town, Punctuation

If you don’t follow us on social media, you missed this gem that we uncovered this week. Please don’t adorn your laundry room with this punctuation fail!

Want to see more everyday grammar fails? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

August 18 2015

Word tips: Text alignment

by Barbie in Microsoft Word

A client recently inquired about the best way to center text in Microsoft Word. While you can set text alignment by selecting Format > Paragraph > Alignment, you have an easier option as well. Simply highlight the text you want to center (or place your cursor over the text), and you’re one click away from centered text.


Click the image to enlarge it.

August 9 2015

Formatting heading levels in Word

by Barbie in Microsoft Word

Developing an automatic table of contents in Word can save you time inputting page number after page number every time you revise. Instead, with just a click, Word will auto-populate the table of contents based on heading levels you’ve established throughout the document.

Assigning heading levels also ensures that your document is consistently formatted according to your style guidelines. Again, with one click, you can set the formatting for every heading level, ensuring that bold, italics, and more are used properly.

A recent client did an excellent job of creating her automatic TOC, but she struggled to get paragraph-level headings — those headings that run in line with the text — to populate the TOC without adding the entire paragraph of text. Fortunately, there’s a simple workaround that blocks the body of the paragraph from populating the table of contents.

  1. Type the heading level on a separate line and format it using the heading style you’ve established.
  2. Turn on the formatting marks in Word by clicking the paragraph symbol on the top toolbar.
  3. Highlight the paragraph symbol that follows the heading level. While keeping it highlighted, open the Font dialog box from the Format drop-down menu (shortcut: type Ctrl-D).
  4. Check “Hidden” to hide the paragraph symbol, which will move the body of the paragraph up without interfering with the heading style.

Too confusing? We can help! A linked TOC is always included as a part of any edit — just ask!

August 1 2015

A booming July

by Barbie in Academia, Company News

July was one for the record books here at Carpenter Doc! We completed a whopping 54 editing projects this month alone, making July ’15 our busiest month in history. We helped dozens of new DNP student clients prepare manuscripts for submission to several journals, including the Journal of Transcultural Nursing, Journal of Christian Nursing, and many others. In between these manuscripts, we fit in several dissertation edits with students who are earning their doctorate this summer.

Our August calendar is nearly full. Since early 2015, our schedule has been filling up about 3-4 weeks in advance. So, if you’re preparing for a busy fall semester of writing, researching, revising, or defending, now is the time to schedule your project. We expect the second half of 2015 to be just as busy!

July 1 2015

Mid-year update

by Barbie in Academia, Company News

Hello, July! The first half of 2015 has been busy at Carpenter Doc! We’ve completed 105 editing projects so far, and our July schedule is nearly full — even before the month begins. We’ve worked with students from 15 schools in 2015. In June alone, we secured 13 new clients and completed 17 editing projects!

The second half of the year is shaping up to be just as busy. During the fall semester, our schedule fills up quickly, as many of our graduate student clients prepare for end-of-the-year dissertation defenses and commencements. If you’re graduating in 2015, now is the time to line up your editor. Many schools require that theses and dissertations go through a professional editor before final submission, and you don’t want to be scrambling at the last-minute to find someone to review your project.

We can put you on our schedule today, even if your editing project is a few months out!

June 22 2015

100 projects in 2015

by Barbie in Company News

Over the weekend, we wrapped up our 100th editing project of the year! Our 2015 pace is a full two months ahead of our project load for 2014 — we hit the century mark on August 20, 2014 and on June 20, 2015. We’re excited to see how business blossoms during the second half of the year.

We’re in the midst of a busy summer season! Since the spring semester ended in early May, we’ve completed nearly 30 editing projects and secured 10 new clients (…and counting!).

Thanks to our loyal client base for helping the business grow. Referrals are a big part of our business, thanks to you!

June 7 2015

Is the majority really a majority?

by Barbie in Academia, APA Style

Demographic data and research results are often presented in percentages. Fifty percent of the respondents were female, 19% had a bachelor’s degree, or 72% showed an improvement in their health after the clinical trial. 

Many writers vary how they present this data by introducing some subsets of the data as a majority. But, in some cases, defining the data as a majority simply isn’t accurate.

Merriam-Webster defines majority as:

a number that is greater than half of a total

So, if more than 50% of your data falls into this category, go ahead and use the term majority. But if the dataset falls under 50%, nix “majority” and simply present the data as the percentage.

June 4 2015

Book review

by Barbie in Academia

Did you catch our recent post about a great resource for graduate students?

Check out our review of Noelle Sterne’s forthcoming book, Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With Emotional, Personal, and Spirtual Struggles on the Rowman & Littlefield website! Click the Reviews tab to see it.

June 1 2015

June availability

by Barbie in Company News

Summer (or summer semester, at least…) is here! We are working through the summer along with our many clients!

Our schedule is currently full through Friday, June 5. We’ll be traveling from June 6-June 8, but we’ll be resuming work on Tuesday, June 9.

We have plenty of room in June and July for new projects, so don’t hesitate to send us your writing or editing project.

May 2 2015

Helpful guidance for dissertation writers

by Barbie in Academia

Writing your dissertation can be an overwhelming process, from selecting your committee members and drafting your proposal to defending your work and making final revisions. Investing years of your life into the dissertation-writing process — not to mention having your degree hanging in the balance — certainly creates significant stress.

While your school might have the resources in place to help you with your writing and research, where should you turn for additional support? How do you cope with the emotional, interpersonal, and even spiritual struggles that writing a dissertation may present?

In the forthcoming Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, September 2015), Noelle Sterne, Ph.D., tackles these often overlooked but vitally important struggles that doctoral candidates face. She taps into her wealth of experience in coaching graduate students and offers real-life examples that students can certainly relate to. From resetting your life and prioritizing your dissertation to preparing your loved ones for this challenging process, Sterne offers valuable advice far beyond what your committee members may offer.

Supplementing your dissertation-writing experience with this book, along with guidance from your committee and your editor, can help you stay focused and excel during this challenging process.