By Beverly Makhani, Undergraduate Education

PULLMAN, Wash. – Whether you’re a doctoral student working on your dissertation or a faculty member preparing an article for publication, the new Professional Editing Service Center is staffed and ready to assist you.

“Every writer has unique goals and needs, so we have created a central source for editing,” said Lisa Johnson-Shull, associate director of the nationally ranked Writing Program at Washington State University. The center will connect clients from all disciplines with editors who will help with at least three types of service: proofreading, copy-editing and structural editing.

Filling a need for editing

Johnson-Shull has been on staff at the Writing Program for more than two decades and helped its Writing Center cultivate peer counselors to instruct student writers. The center was not intended to provide editing services – something Johnson-Shull calls “a whole different world” – yet the need clearly existed.

“Over the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time volunteering to connect all kinds of people with freelance editors,” Johnson-Shull said. “The idea of creating a brokering service to help graduate students and faculty in a more formal and official way was always in the back of my mind.

“This year, with the support of my Writing Program colleagues, I took on the challenge,” she said. “There was a lot to think through, organize and plan. Thanks to the help of many people and offices at WSU, the center is open for business.”

Easy to connect writers and editors

Writers considering the help of an editor may begin by visiting the center’s website at where services and fees are detailed. Writers also may send Johnson-Shull an email at

“My role is to be a sort of broker,” she said. “Clients will submit their document and timeline. I will consider the best editor for their project and connect the editor with the client so they can talk over the job and agree on cost estimates and timelines. Once the client signs the contract, the editing will begin.”

Graduate student clients are asked to submit verification from their major advisors that seeking outside editing help is acceptable.

“There’s a certain ethos to formally contracting with WSU for professional editing services rather than posting the need on an online job board,” said Johnson-Shull. “There are real commitments between the client, the editor and the editing center, and I think everyone will benefit from that.”

For more information on the Writing Program, visit