Editing of Research Reports

Editorial Style

Each scientific or technical field endorses a particular set of formatting and writing rules, referred to collectively as a style. This style is in place to assure clarity, uniformity, and credibility across writers and publishers. Writers and editors at Cichy Learning are experts in the use of the APA style used in the social sciences. The APA style is published by the American Psychological Association and is currently in its 6th edition.

Types of Editing

The Northwest Independent Editors Guild says that there are four different types of editing. Each type requires different skills and has different goals.

Developmental Editing

  • Developmental editing is similar to the type of care and attention an author would receive from a professor or advisor. An author and editor might meet to discuss topics, make plans for research, explore alternate viewpoints of the topic, or work on the development of an outline. This is a very collaborative process for which an editor would charge an hourly rate.

Substantive Editing

  • Substantive editing occurs once a completed document is delivered to an editor who will then help get the document into its final form prior to publication. Some parts may be rewritten, with an author’s permission, or reordered to support the document’s thesis and/or an author’s message. If a document that is presented to Cichy Learning is not ready for this level of editing, a developmental editing consultation can be arranged to make sure that the author has an opportunity to fill in weak areas or bolster an argument with additional research.


  • Copyediting begins when your work is almost in its published form. Editors make sure that the text meets the requirements of the writing style and that all sentences are written correctly without typographical errors. Some sentences may be rewritten for clarity or word choice.


  • Proofreading is the final stage in the editorial process. Proofreaders usually see a research report after design is complete and after any visual elements have been added. They correct errors overlooked during copyediting or introduced during the design process, and they can check design elements such as heading and typeface styles, page numbers, and the like. Cross-checking text and confirming sources slows down the editing process, but could be beneficial if an author didn’t follow a strict process of documenting sources during the writing process.


Developmental Editing — $100 per hour
Substantive Editing — $60* per hour, 1 to 3 pages per hour
Copyediting — $60* per hour, 4 to 6 pages per hour
Proofreading — $60* per hour, 3 to 5 pages per hour

*St. Cloud State University students receive a special rate of $50 per hour


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Please contact Dr. Cichy at bryan.cichy@cichylearning.com or 612.385.9217 for more information.