August 22 2016

4 writing tips for Fall 2016

by Barbie in Academia, Writing

back to school 16

If you’re not back on campus, you will be soon! Colleges and universities here in Kentucky are kicking off the fall semester this week. As you collect your syllabi and prepare for a busy semester ahead, follow these tips when writing those academic papers.

1. Don’t procrastinate.

Effective academic writing requires outlining, drafting, and revising. If you wait until the last minute to write that paper, you simply won’t have time for these key steps. Start your paper at least a week before the deadline, which will give you time to adequately research the topic. Then, you will be able to step away from the paper and return to it with a fresh mind, which will improve the revision process.

2. Know your style.

Professors have different requirements for the style and format of the paper. Read the requirements closely to ensure that you are following the appropriate style guide, whether it be APA, MLA, or Chicago. Look for any tweaks to the style — for example, APA prefers abstracts of 150 – 250 words, but some schools permit their students to write abstracts up to 350 words.

3. Cite carefully.

Unintentional plagiarism can have serious consequences. Always cite any content that is not your own, whether it is a direct quote or a paraphrase. Use both in-text citations and a detailed bibliography. Many professors use plagiarism checkers when grading your paper, so proper citations can be the difference between passing and failing.

4. Build in proofreading time.

Hastily writing a paper the night before it is due will likely result in plenty of typos or poorly phrased sentences. Set aside a few hours before your deadline to proofread the paper, focusing on the concision of your sentences, the overall flow of your paper, and adherence to proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If that task sounds too overwhelming, we’re here to help!

Here’s to a successful fall semester!

August 5 2016

An APA refresher for the fall semester

by Barbie in Academia

back to school 16Welcome to the first post in our August back-to-school series. Today, we’re taking a look at APA Style basics. Whether you’re an MLA loyalist who is now using APA or you simply need a reminder of those APA rules, this post is for you. When you sit down to write your first paper of the semester, use this post as your APA guide.


Double space your title page, which should include your title (written in title case), name, and school.


Academic manuscripts include an abstract of about 250 words.


Standard APA papers include 1-inch margins and a running head. On the title page, include Running head: TITLE OF PAPER. On subsequent pages, only include TITLE OF PAPER. The header should also include a right-justified page number.


APA includes five levels of headings, which are key in improving the flow of your paper, guiding the reader from section to section with ease.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations should include the author and year in parentheses. Add the page number (formatted as p. #) for any direct quotations.


Alphabetize your references list. Use a hanging indent for each source, which you can format in Microsoft Word using the Paragraph > Tabs dialog box. List up to seven authors for each source. If there are more than seven authors, list the first six authors, an ellipsis (…), and then the last listed author.

August 3 2016

Back-to-School tips

by Barbie in Academia

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Shifting from a summer mindset back into school mode can be challenging for students of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re kicking off your higher education journey as an undergrad, starting a master’s program, or continuing your doctoral studies, you might need a boost to shift back into academic mode.

This month, we’ll be sharing a series of blog posts that will help to get you back into the school mindset. These posts, from a quick APA refresher to an explanation of why you should use an editor this academic year, will serve as helpful resources as fall semester kicks off.

So, check back this month for back-to-school tips from Carpenter Doc!

August 1 2016

Already August!

by Barbie in Company News

Summer is winding down, but our schedule certainly isn’t! In July alone, we completed 35 editing projects with students from 9 schools from across the country. We landed 22 new clients, many of whom are just starting their doctoral programs, which means we will be working with them for the next several years.

We’re open to August projects and ready to edit your academic manuscript, capstone project, or dissertation!

June 1 2016

Summer update

by Barbie in Company News

Happy June! We aren’t sure where spring semester went, but we know it kept us busy. We’ve edited about 90 projects so far in 2016 — and that’s not including the tens of thousands of product descriptions that we’ve composed for some well-known retailers!

When Carpenter Doc first launched, the summer was a slower period, with many of our clients taking the semester off. Now 7+ years later, we gain plenty of new clients in the summers, typically students who are just beginning their PhD and DNP journeys. We’re working all summer long and ready to take on your project, whether you’re a previous client or a new one.

Here’s to a productive summer of writing and editing!

April 1 2016

Happy April!

by Barbie in Company News

We’re in the midst of another busy semester and quickly approaching our 60th editing project of 2016! April is one of our busiest months as students prepare for thesis/dissertation defense and commencement, which means our schedule fills quickly.

Currently, we are scheduling projects after April 20th. If you’re graduating this semester, get on our schedule before it’s too late!

February 17 2016

The value of an editor

by Barbie in Editing

Some writers and students might scoff at hiring an editor, thinking that the process is a waste of time or money. However, editors play a vital role in the writing process, and even the best writers should rely on editors.

Nothing illustrates the value of an editor more than seeing the results. This image indicates the insertions, deletions, formatting fixes, and comments made in a well-written 200-page dissertation by one of our doctoral clients. Yes, that’s more than 5,000 changes, 200+ formatting fixes, and 150 comments.

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A seasoned professional editor catches errors that others will overlook. Is spacing consistent between sentences? Are headings formatted per your style guide? Is concise and clear terminology used throughout? We check for these issues and many more in every document we edit. Let us help you today!

February 2 2016

AMA vs. APA: The Basics

by Barbie in AMA Style, APA Style

Many of our health sciences graduate students need to be well versed in both APA and AMA (American Medical Association) Style. While most academic departments require APA for academic papers, including theses, capstone projects, and dissertations, many journals in the health field rely on AMA Style. Thus, graduate students may have to shift between these style guides, which have some distinct differences.

Here are a few of the most notable differences between APA and AMA Style.


Citations and References

  • APA: Parenthetical citations correspond to an alphabetical references list.
  • AMA: Numbered citations correspond to a numerical references list.

Journal Titles

  • APA: Journal titles in citations are italiczed and spelled out.
  • AMA: Journal titles in citations use NLM abbreviations.


  • APA: Numbers one through nine are usually spelled out (with some exceptions). Numbers 10 and higher use numerals.
  • AMA: Numerals are used in most cases.

Authors’ Names

  • APA: Add a period and a space between authors’ initials (Carpenter, B. B.).
  • AMA: Omit commas and spaces between initials (Carpenter BB).

If you’re an APA loyalist, switching to AMA might be tough. We can format any document from APA to AMA or AMA to APA. Contact Barbie today!

January 30 2016

Recent travel writing

by Barbie in Web Writing, Writing

In 2015, we established ongoing writing relationships with several new clients, including ZOZI. Many of these projects will continue in 2016, and we’re looking forward to helping retailers and small and large businesses alike develop effective content for their websites. Here are a few of our ZOZI articles, with more to come!

Southern California Adventures Up and Down the OC 

Go Wild: 10 Ways to Get Unanchored in Anchorage

Successful Surfing Starts Here: The Best Spots for Newbie Riders

January 10 2016

New year, new projects

by Barbie in Editing

Happy New Year! Perhaps you’ve never worked with an editor before, but you plan on using our services in 2016 for the first time. Here are three things to remember when working with an editor.

1. It’s collaborative.

You’re the subject matter expert, so we defer to you when it comes to your content. Your edited project will be returned with many comments and suggestions, and we need your input to polish your prose and prep your paper for publication. Please be ready to revise, and remember to incorporate revision time into your schedule.

2. It’s straightforward.

Electronic editing is a simple process. Thanks to e-mail, reviewing tools in Word, and sharable files over the cloud, we can share documents and interact to ensure your document is ready for submission. Virtual collaboration maximizes efficiency on both ends, so embrace it!

3. It’s beneficial.

Everyone needs an editor—even the best writers rely on editors. We comb through every sentence of your document to ensure your phrasing is clear, concise, and effective. When you see our edits, you can identify clear strategies to improve your writing. Plus, we’ll offer tips on best usage, proper style, and much more! We’re confident that your editing experience can help improve your writing.

Make 2016 the year you improve your writing. We’re here to help!