Desert Sun Editing

Welcome to Desert Sun Editing

Specializing in Academic Papers

Proofreading, Coaching, & Editing Services

I specialize in APA format. Familiar with other formats.

  • Grammar
  • Organization and Development
  • Word choice
  • Sentence structure
  • Style
  • Consistency

Learners should offer their manuals and templates.

Our Process & Guarantee

Every Project is different.  Every University is different.  Every Publisher is different.  I prefer to work as a team with the writer and those involved in the writing process if that is possible.  My costs include minor changes until the project is approved.

Who We Are

Dr. Norma has been in adult education for over 30 years, both in the classroom and online, and served as a chair and a committee member for many students for almost 20 years. She knows the need of doctoral learners for someone to help them with their proposals and dissertations. Personable and capable of drawing on a broad background experientially and academically, Norma can serve as an editor, guide, and collaborator. All documents go through Norma before being returned to their owners. Norma is a member of the American Academy of Religion and a strong supporter of the World Association of Academic Doctors, associated with the Association of the Nigerian Women Academic Doctors. She is a member of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


Writing a dissertation is a complex process. The doctoral student is completing a series of courses on the content area or discipline while determining the dissertation subject and approach. Once the courses are completed, the true work begins with the development of the proposal (Ch. 1, 2, and 3) and the preparation of the IRB application. 

With the approval of the proposal and the preparation of the IRB application, the data collection begins followed by the data analysis. The student generally is left to pursue this phase of the dissertation process without much assistance from the dissertation committee, depending upon school policy. Then the student writes the results (Ch. 4) and the conclusions (Ch. 5) to package into a dissertation for final submission. 

While some academics say the dissertation can be accomplished in six months to a year, the reality is that the dissertation process often takes much longer because with every stage in the process, the chair and committee members must approve the document before it can be submitted. Reviews by the chair and the reviews by the committee members can take weeks. The approvals by the graduate school staff can also take weeks. Reviews also come back with comments and suggestions requiring revisions . . . and the process continues with more reviews. 

When you hire me to edit or format your document, I will edit your document usually before review by the dissertation committee and then again after the revisions and before submission to the graduate school. The fees will cover all my work until that specific document is approved—unless you make major changes to the document such as a change in topic or methodology.

The Dissertation Process

A. Students Begin Taking Doctoral Classes in the Selected Program 

B. Possible Residencies (meetings of students and faculty to discuss dissertations) 

C. Continue taking content courses until all are completed. Different universities do different things. 

   Part 1— Concept Paper or Precis 

   Part 2-- Chapters 1, 2, 3 = Proposal 

                  Approval by Graduate School (the Academic Review) 

   Part 3— Institutional Review Board—the Legal Review (IRB)

                 Complete IRB Application following approval of Proposal 

   Part 4-- Data Gathering/Writing of Chapters 4 and 5 

   Part 5-- Packaging of Dissertation (Ch. 1-5). Submission to Graduate School 

At some point, an oral defense will be required. Some schools require the students to defend before or after the submission of the proposal. Other schools require the oral defense before or after the submission of the Dissertation. Some schools require the school defend the document orally twice. 

All schools have some form of template for students to follow when writing their dissertations as well as directions with regard to the format. At every stage, the document is reviewed by the dissertation chair and the dissertation committee members until everyone says the document is ready for submission. Every review requires time to complete. Plan wisely. Just remember that time is money—and tuition is expensive. 

Note that every school is different in its structure, but almost all schools will follow this pattern in some manner. Do not rely on someone else to make your decisions. Know your program, know who is who in your graduate school, and make a timeline that is reasonable for you.

Reference Material

This book is different from other books on writing dissertations. The Dissertation Process that Works: A Doctoral Guide to Success is not a recipe book for writing that long document called a dissertation. Instead, when Scott approached me about writing this book, we decided to write this for the doctoral student, for the individual struggling to deal with all the issues that can arise, especially for the adult learner in a distance program. We decided that I would write from the perspective of the dissertation chair while he would write from the perspective of the dissertation learner.  Anyone with intelligence, perseverance, a sense of logic, and good writing skills can earn a degree.  To do so with a sense of wholeness, sound development, supported by friends and family, and with your integrity intact requires additional attention to growth and maturity.  A doctorate does not refer to only the epitome of learning but also the apex of academic development as a scholar. The academic doctor has worked to develop his or her intellectual strengths as well as the skills involved in pursuing the highest of academic degrees. This book includes the insights needed to understand how one might best survive all the difficulties one encounters while pursuing that degree.

A proud U.S. Marine, Dr. Scott Glenn is a diverse individual with a well-rounded background that includes teaching and administration in both the public and private school sector in secondary and postsecondary academia, coaching, a sound career in the military, and profound involvement in sport. Dr. Glenn is becoming known as a pragmatic philosopher who explores, dissects, and reviews such aspects as religion, governmental facets, and educational issues. 

Along with this book, Dr. Glenn has also completed a dissertation titled, A Qualitative Ethnographic Study of African American Leadership in Higher Education Administration. He also published a book entitled The Triangle Plan: A Guide to a Successful Life Derived from Personal Experience (2011), and American Christianity: Truth or Tradition? A Personal Perspective (2012). All these books can be purchased through Barnes & Noble and as well as other book sellers. 

Along with his induction into the WVU Tech Hall of Fame in 2009, Glenn was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame on October 17, 2009, and was a recipient of WVU Tech's Alumni of the year in 2012. Glenn truly and faithfully believes that Love, Discipline, and Motivation are the keys to life! He stresses that comprehending the three types of love Philia (Brotherly), Eros (Sensual), and Agape (Unconditional Love of God) is imperative. 

Dr. Norma J. Turner has been involved in adult education for over 30 years, all of them with the University of Phoenix both in the classroom and online. She has also worked with other universities and colleges and currently works for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. She has worked in various administrative positions with non-profit agencies in the Phoenix area. Wherever she has worked, Dr. Turner has believed that experience needed to be supported by education. She received a BA in Classical Languages (Latin and Greek) from Mundelein College, now a part of Loyola University in Chicago. She then received an M.A. in Humanities (Religious Studies and Philosophy) from Arizona State University followed by an M.A. in Management (Human Resources and Organizational Behavior) from the University of Phoenix. Always interested in the human person, she completed a three-year program in Gestalt therapy at the Southwestern Gestalt Training Center in Phoenix. Dr. Turner earned her Ph.D. in Human Science--an interdisciplinary degree in humanities, social science, and psychology-- from Saybrook University in San Francisco, California. She is also a Spiritualist minister with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches.

Other Types of Documents

My experience in writing makes me a good source of help to writers who are writing books, pamphlets, or any other textual materials. I have proofed manuscripts and helped writers with their writing styles to make their material more readable. 

Other services may include re-paraphrasing material to ensure it is free from plagiarism. This is a labor-intensive process, so the fee depends upon the content and level of need. 

I enjoy assisting students with understanding and developing assignments—some adults find that the longer they have been out of school, the more difficult it is to understand academic expectations when they return to the classroom. 

Busy executives and administrators in various fields need assistance with proofing, reviewing, and/or editing letters, summaries, and reports. I can help.

Processes and Fees

How do I begin?

Every document is different. For that reason, a contract is not written until we have a chance to review the document and hear your expectations. You send me the document and let me know what you want me to do. I will call you and we will decide on what the document needs and an estimate of the fee.

Examples of Levels of Services Follow:

A. Formatting (not touching the text): ensuring compliance with the required format style for page layout, citations, and references. (We do not crosscheck citations with references. That would be an additional charge.) 

B. Editing the text you have written as it is presented to us, attending to grammar and academic writing style, but leaving the paragraphs and chapters intact as you have prepared them only changing the text to ensure clarity. 

C. Editing and revising the content of the material includes paragraph by paragraph review for style compliance, use of acronyms and usage, review and critique of content, consistent use of terms, consistency of quantities, clarity of expression, and logical thought. When working with text, I try to retain the voice of the student. 

D. Writing—this service is not available for students.

Doctoral Students

With doctoral students, I work best when I can function as a dissertation coach, helping you move through the dissertation process with greater ease and assurance until your proposal is approved, the IRB application is approved, and the dissertation is finally approved for publication. But you tell me what you want me to do for you. 

The fee you pay covers the first complete edit, and a final touch up prior to submission. If you make substantial changes or add more material, additional fees apply. 

$8 - 20 per page (depending upon your work request and assessment of your document) 

$150 - 200 for a final check before a resubmission of a proposal or dissertation if I have already edited the document, but committee members have requested substantial changes. 

$125 per change matrix page to complete a change matrix or provide rationale for changes made in response to reviewers’ comments. This includes making the changes in the document. 

$250 to package the dissertation for final submission. (This fee includes tense changes in Ch. 1-3 and consistency check among all five chapters.) 

$150-$300 for an IRB application to include reviewing, editing, and revising, depending upon need. 

You may divide up your editing needs according to chapter, proposal, IRB application, Chapters 4 and 5, or the entire dissertation. You decide.

Even though Dr. Norma personally works on all documents before they are returned to the client, our goal is to maintain a two-week turn-around time. Just a note—there are always delays—so plan accordingly. 

Work on the document begins upon payment of at least half of the fees. The document is returned upon full payment of the fees.





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Desert Sun Editing

Phoenix Az.

(623) 980-6262