Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

All you need to know about Text Minding

Entrusting a virtual stranger with the task of improving your writing can be a daunting experience. Who are these people, anyway? And what does the Text Minding process involve? Listed below is a range of common questions we get asked at the start of many grant editing or other text minding jobs. We think these are fabulous questions, and getting them out of the way early is vital to ensuring our collaboration with you is built on clear and productive expectations. If your questions are not captured and you want to find out more, please get in touch, and we will be delighted to talk through any queries you may have.

Q1: Are Mind Your Way’s editors experts in my field?

While we all have academic backgrounds, it is unlikely that we will come directly from your field. In fact, looking at our editors’ disciplinary backgrounds will give you only a limited understanding of both their skills and of the principles from which we operate. Our strengths lie in helping you align your text with universal principles of human communication which, when followed, will help you more deeply engage and persuade your audience – just what you want for a grant panel, for example.

How else is it possible that our philosopher team members can help engineers craft a winning proposal, and our historians can come to the aid of medical researchers, without much disciplinary knowledge? There is that saying that the best tennis coach doesn’t know how to play tennis – what makes them such a good coach is knowledge about other vital factors that impact the game of tennis! We encourage you to relax into the process by seeing us as academically informed outsiders, whose fresh take on your text helps you say what you mean more clearly and compellingly to diverse audiences, including those all-important grant selection panels.

Read more about our team here.

Q2: Have you guys done grant editing before?

Yes! Grant editing and consulting is routine business for Mind Your Way; we’ve been doing it since 2012, and demand has doubled every year. Working with 10 major universities nationally (and growing), last summer saw us edit and consult on over 90 ARC and NHMRC grants and fellowships, and we are bracing for twice this number over the 2016 to 2017 season. Our success rate speaks for itself: approximately 30% of the grants we have edited and consulted on were funded over the last few years – that’s more than double the national average success rate for various funding schemes.

To read more about our ARC and NHMRC grant editing services, please click here.

Q3: What can Mind Your Way bring to my text?

Rigour, beauty, and persuasion. We do not merely copy-edit. Our expertise lies in crafting an effective and engaging story structure for your grant. You are the expert in your field – the creator, the innovator – with an important idea you wish to share (and persuade others to support). Our goal is to collaborate closely with you, using evidence-based storytelling techniques to engage your audience and ensure your ideas make a lasting impression.

Why do we care so much about how you tell your story? Find out here.

Q4: Will you introduce scientific or technical inaccuracies into my text?

Possibly! But please don’t throw in the towel if we do. It is inevitable that in editing we sometimes change the intended meaning. Far from being a problem, this brings an opportunity: it is likely in such a case that the original was not perfectly expressed, and you now have the chance to clarify an important technical point.

Q5: But the editor’s misunderstanding is pervasive; must I now laboriously fix it throughout the text?

Certainly not; that’s our job! As mentioned above, we view the editing as a collaborative process. All we need from you is a brief email or phone call clarifying the technical meaning, and we’ll take the time to carefully amend any misunderstandings or inaccuracies throughout.

Q6: How does the process work in practice? Do I hand my draft to you, and then wait for the edited version to arrive? Or will I be involved along the way?

We will discuss your preferences during the Welcome Interview, a phone call designed to clarify needs and expectations, settle on a timeline, and ensure all logistics are clear before the editing begins. Once you send us your draft for our input, we’ll take you through some or all of the following steps (depending on your needs, budget, and time constraints): First, the Story Coaching interview – a call with your Glamour Editor, who will explore your text’s selling points, elicit ideas and arguments that are not yet on the page, and clarify content where needed. Next, the Glamour Edit – an immersive period where your Glamour Editor rewrites aspects of your application to create a more engaging and compelling story. This includes a review of structure, pitch, flow of argument, reasoning, and expression. Comments are provided in the margins, and suggested changes are made using Word’s Track Changes function. Last, the Grammar Edit – the polishing stage, where your Grammar Editor thoroughly copy-edits the text to ensure consistency and accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style. Again, suggested changes are made using Word’s Track Changes function. So when can you review our edits? There are two possible feedback windows: after the Glamour Edit or after the Grammar Edit (or both). We will decide on the right process with you during the initial Welcome Interview.

Want to know more about our three-stage Text Minding process? You can do so here.

Q7: How long will the whole process take?

This question is a bit like asking: “How long is a piece of string?” So our answer includes some questions for you (which we can discuss during the Welcome Interview). How long would you ideally like it to take? And how much would you like to get out of it? As mentioned above, the core value we bring to your grant is improving its story structure – a process that requires thinking and collaboration time. Best outcomes arise from some collaborative back-and-forth: after a phone chat, we immerse ourselves in your text and then send you our edits; you review our work and provide feedback; we make further changes based on your comments, and so on.

As a rule of thumb, three to four weeks of processing time is ideal, and two weeks is the minimum if you want to benefit from our full strategic editing cycle without cutting any corners. Of course, we can cut corners if needed: we have been known to turn a grant around within two to three days (although a surcharge applies to last-minute service inquiries); under these conditions, we can usually only offer copy-editing.

Q8: I’m still developing my proposal, and it’ll be a while before I have a full draft ready for editing. How early can Mind Your Way assist me?

If your budget allows, we can come in early to coach and consult you during the draft development stage. This would be additional to any later editing on the finished draft, and can certainly add significant value to your submission’s conceptual design, while you are still exploring how best to pitch your ideas. Here, we typically focus on identifying gaps in logic or reasoning, and bringing the core selling points to the fore – in your thinking, and on the page. This “coaching plus editing” approach recognises the value of holistic grant consulting from the ground up, and can save you precious time later on, when submission deadlines loom large.

Do you still have questions?

Contact us today, and help us make this list more comprehensive.