November 10 2016

Wrapping up Fall 2016

by Barbie in Academia, Editing, Grad School

We’re nearly halfway through November, and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. Once you return to campus after the holiday break, you’ll be in the midst of final exams, dissertation and thesis revisions, and, in some cases, graduation. Before you walk across that stage and earn your degree, there’s work to do, and we’re here to help.

We have several projects lined up for our clients who are graduating this semester. We’re helping them polish their dissertation proposals before their defense and editing the final draft of their capstone projects. Others are writing manuscripts to submit to peer-reviewed journals. We have some availability for the remainder of 2016, so now is the time to get on our schedule.

Email today. Happy writing!

October 9 2016

Perfect your PowerPoint presentation

by Barbie in Academia, Design

One of the final steps of the capstone project or dissertation process is the defense, the point at which you present your study to your committee, field their questions, and share the contribution that your study adds to the larger body of research. Most students rely on a PowerPoint presentation to share their findings, and we edit many of those presentations for our clients.

Follow these tips to create an effective and convincing PowerPoint presentation.

Minimize Text

Your presentation should outline the topics you will discuss without reiterating everything you plan to say. Use each slide to provide an overview of the topic, and use the notes section to remind yourself of all the information you want to mention during your defense. Simply put, the less text, the better.

Use a Cohesive Design

PowerPoint offers many design options, but don’t get too excited and add too many elements to each slide. Instead, stick to a cohesive design from slide to slide. Use the same background color or pattern on each slide. Establish heading levels, and stick to the same font throughout. Implement these design features from your first slide to your last, and you’ll ensure that your design won’t distract your audience.

Add Visual Interest

Graphics engage your audience more than text, so use those well-designed figures and tables from your manuscript in your presentation as well. Choose those design elements that effectively convey your findings, and your findings will be more impactful during your presentation.

Look at your PowerPoint as a supplement to your presentation. Remember, your knowledge of the subject surpasses anything that your PowerPoint can convey.

September 12 2016

Currently accepting fall projects!

by Barbie in Academia, Company News

Now that you’re back in the routine of the fall semester, review your syllabi and decide which papers require an edit. Whether you’re writing a short manuscript or composing your thesis, dissertation, or capstone project, we’re here to help! Once late September hits, our schedule for the remainder of the year fills quickly, so now is the perfect time to get your project in for a quick edit. Or, if you know when you’ll be submitting a paper this semester, it’s never too early to get on our schedule.

Simply contact for all of your editing needs this semester. Happy writing!

August 28 2016

3 benefits of working with an editor this semester

by Barbie in Academia

back to school 16

Why do you need an academic editor? Is it worth the investment? How will you benefit from the writer-editor relationship?

If you’re considering working with an academic editor for the first time this semester, you’re not alone. Each semester, we work with more than 50 students at universities across the country, helping to edit everything from 5-page manuscripts to 250-page dissertations — and everything in between.

Here’s why our clients always keep coming back.

1. Writing improvement

Working with a comprehensive (or developmental) editor is more than just having someone check your spelling and punctuation. This intensive editing process identifies consistent flaws in your writing, allowing you to improve them. For example, perhaps you often forget to add transitions to your paper to improve the flow of the manuscript. We’ll identify those problems and work with you to build stronger transitions and, as a result, a more readable piece.

2. Grammar brush-up

If you’re matriculating through higher education, chances are that your last grammar class was in high school … or even earlier. Everyone can use a brush-up on grammar. Our edit includes a complete grammar check, and we will point out any consistent problems, complete with an explanation of the grammar rule, so that you can apply this rule next time you write.

3. Open communication

When you use our services, you can contact Barbie via email at any time for quick questions about your project. Wondering the best way to cite a new source? Want her to review a new sentence you added to your introduction? Need help formatting the table of contents? Barbie is always on call to answer your questions, and minor revisions and formatting fixes are available at no additional charge with every edit.

Working with an editor is a smart investment that can improve not only your grade but also your writing.


August 22 2016

4 writing tips for Fall 2016

by Barbie in Academia, Writing

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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!

December 15 2015

Congratulations, grads!

by Barbie in Academia

We worked with dozens of graduate students this semester, helping them write, revise, and defend their theses, dissertations, and capstone projects on their way to a Master’s degree, PhD, or DNP.

Congratulations to our many clients who completed their academic journey this month!


September 5 2015

September scheduling

by Barbie in Academia, Company News

Our September calendar is filling quickly! We’re working on two capstone projects and a dissertation between now and September 20. We’re currently scheduling for the second half of September and beyond! If you’re writing this month, now is the time to get on our schedule.

August 31 2015

Summer wrap-up

by Barbie in Academia, Company News

It’s the last day of August, which is a sign that summer is quickly coming to a close. Students are back on campus on universities across the country, but if our summer workload is any indication, plenty of doctoral students were working this summer!

We completed a whopping 91 editing projects in June, July, and August! The third quarter of 2015 has been our most prolific summer yet. We started new relationships with DNP students just beginning the journey toward the degree, and we helped several long-term clients prepare for and successfully defend their dissertations and capstone projects.

We’re currently booking projects for the fall semester. During this summer, our schedule was consistently full 2 to 3 weeks out, so you don’t want to wait until the last minute to get a project in. The earlier you get on our schedule, the more quickly we can turn your project around when you submit it. Let’s get started!