Developmental Editor, Copyeditor
Karin Graham is a trained editor and versatile writer who is able to produce excellent work in areas as divergent as law, anthropology, blogging, and fiction. She has a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from the University of Virginia, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley Extension. She has published a dozen academic/technical articles, herself. Furthermore, she has over fifteen years of experience as a trial lawyer, both in criminal law and in child welfare. She has tried fifty jury trials, hundreds of bench trials, suppression motions, and pretrial and posttrial motions. She has taught search and seizure law to investigators and lectured about the insanity defense to college students. She has lectured to attorneys about the topic of the CSI effect on jury verdicts.
She has twenty years of experience with complex legal writing for courts, involving thorough research and accurate writing about medical, scientific, and behavioral health evidence. Karin has published in law, psychobiology, psychological anthropology, and literature. Karin honed her skills in turning facts and events into a coherent story in the crucible of the courtroom and her years as an attorney made her utterly attuned to the way that just the right (or wrong) word can change everything.
Karin has accompanied police on search warrants, observed autopsies, and been to countless crime scenes. She has training in arson prosecution and investigations and has given lectures to investigators on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense.
Karin knows the difference between terms of art and jargon, and understands that too much jargon can put off even subject-matter experts. She has a laser eye for detail and a professional and scholarly background spanning fields as diverse as psychology, literature, and law. Her work ethic is second to none.
Criminal law, search and seizure, child welfare, contracts, torts, choice of law, first amendment, legal ethics, attorney–client privilege, defamation, family law, personal injury, wrongful death, psychology, psychiatry, psychobiology, anthropology, folkloristics, law, forensic science, patient education, forensic pathology, special education, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder.
This work is at the manuscript level. It involves editing a document, book, scientific paper, or dissertation for structure, organization, and planning. Sometimes there is a lot of good writing but it makes the main ideas harder to identify. Sometimes the pacing needs to be changed. Or a major character or critical ideas surface too late in the manuscript. The developmental editor makes suggestions to the author about how to improve the work.
This involves inspecting a document for grammar, usage, and mechanics. Other things I check for include the following: Is the document written formally in parts and more colloquially in other parts? Do the footnotes or endnotes numbers appear in the right place in the right order in the right sequence? Are the illustrations labelled properly? Do you spell a word one way in portions of the manuscript and a different way in others? Is your bibliography complete? Is the document clearly worded? This is not an exhaustive list; but it is safe to say that a copy edit will enhance the clarity, effectiveness, accuracy, and readability of your document.
How realistic is that fight scene? Can you get DNA off of the piece of evidence your main character finds? You've written your story, but you need a skilled, professional researcher to help with your facts.
Qualifications and training:
- Editing certificate from the University of California Berkeley Extension.
- B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Virginia.
- J.D. degree from William and Mary Law School.
- First academic publication in 1988 (the first of twelve such publications).
- Almost twenty years of complex legal writing for courts, involving thorough research and accurate writing about medical, scientific, or behavioral health evidence.
- Past subjects edited: fiction, nanotechnology, epidemiology, social sciences, bioengineering, self-help, memoirs, and international law.
"Karin never wastes words. Her writing is professional, approachable, and engaging. She is able to distill any concept into plain language that is a joy to read. I trust Karin immensely as a copywriter and editor. Everyone could do with a dose of her red pen magic." – Sea Chapman, writer and editor
"I was referred to Karin when seeking an editor for my master's thesis. She was able to meet and exceed all of my expectations. She was able to work within my budget and time-frame. Karin also provided me with feedback on my writing, references for her recommendations, and was open to questions throughout the process. Karin was professional and responded promptly to all of my questions. She was also understanding and open to incorporating the feedback from my supervisor and the requirements for my thesis. She is very personable, adaptive, and encouraging. I am very grateful for her services." – Syler Hayes, B.Sc. (Hons), Master of Arts Student, Counselling Psychology, Adler University
"As an author, you rely on your editor to identify the issues that you're too close to see--which goes far beyond the basics of grammar and spelling. That's exactly what Karin brings to the table. Sure, she has an eye for detail to fix the typos and errors, but it was her professionalism, reliability, and honest feedback about my manuscript that I appreciated the most." – Jake Poinier Writer, editor, author, and publisher - Dr. Freelance