If you want to make sure your written communications are clear, consistent and effective, University Communications can help. Our writing and editing services are free to the UC Merced campus community.
Beginning Your Project
To start a writing or editing project with University Communications, please begin with the online Print Project Initiation Form.
Fill it out as completely as you can and submit it online. Your project will be assigned to the appropriate staff member, or you will be referred to an approved vendor for writing and editing services if University Communications is unable to help.
Submitting Text to University Communications
When you provide a document for us to edit, send it as a Microsoft Word document with as little formatting as possible. Spell check and proofread on your own to allow us to focus on the areas where we can help the most.
We will track changes in Word so you can see what we have done. We can proofread other document formats, too, but the process is less smooth.
Also, if you plan to submit your copy for professional graphic design services, you must keep your formatting to a minimum.
Remember that if your project needs to be approved by people other than University Communications, you need to build in time for their review and shepherd the project through that process.
At the most basic level, we can copy edit your document for grammar, punctuation, style consistency and flow. We can also check your facts, phone numbers and links. When you are scheduling a project, plan at least a few days for us to copy edit a few pages of text so that we can fit it in with our other commitments.
We can also perform a substantive edit, which will include making sure your copy is well organized and targeted to the audience for whom you are writing. At the same time, we will perform a copy edit and fact check. For this type of editing, you will need to allow significantly more time — at least a week for a document of a few pages. Allow more time for longer documents, more complicated projects or particularly busy times of the year like the month or so before Commencement or other big campus events.
When you need assistance writing an article, a speech or even text for your brochure or website, University Communications may be able to help you depending on our workload. Plan to meet with us and provide any background material you can before we start the process. Give us at least a week to produce a document of a few pages. Allow more time if you are providing less background or if the subject is particularly sensitive or complex.
Freelance Writing and Editing — Approved Vendors
When University Communications is unable to help with your writing and editing needs, we will gladly refer you to an approved vendor who will make sure you wind up with excellent written communication for your intended audience.
These vendors usually charge an hourly rate for their services between $35 and $65. Some vendors may be willing to negotiate per-project rates. You will be responsible for any charges incurred when you use vendors.
For more information on writing and editing vendors, or if you are a vendor who would like to be added to our list, please contact James Leonard. To start a writing or editing project with University Communications, please begin with the Print Project Initiation Form.