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Cheryl O'Shea

Hamilton, ON
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I specialize in editing the scholarly work of university faculty and students. I also work with fiction writers. My skills are primarily in stylistic and copy editing, indexing and proofreading. I have recently been hired as the English Copy Editor for the Canadian Journal of Music Therapy, and I continue to work with academics as they prepare their writing for publication.

I love language - its forms and its possibilities - and I am fascinated by what it can help us to communicate if used expressively and correctly.  My experience in a university setting as well as my own personal studies have shown me that language precision and cultural understanding are equally important in our interactions with others. I have a special interest in helping people communicate their ideas and knowledge in the best possible way.  

My Background 

I worked for 22 years in university administration, where I edited many types of publications including academic manuscripts, articles, theses, course materials, calendar entries, newsletters, website content, marketing copy and student records.  I have particular expertise and knowledge in the fields of Religious Studies, Classics, Cultural Studies, Ethics, Film Studies, and History.  

I have a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Dalhousie University.  I am fluent in English, French and Spanish.  I have lived all over Canada and have travelled broadly, mostly in the U.S. but also in Europe and the Caribbean.  For many years, I have tutored non-English speakers learning English or studying for ESL tests.

I volunteer with Editors Canada, currently leading the Website Content Project as well as being a member of the New Members Committee.  I also volunteer at the Royal Botanical Gardens, assisting at their special events, working in the gardens and monitoring trails, and I work with the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) Program at the Hamilton Public Library.


"Cheryl is an amazing editor! As a result of her careful eye I can be confident that I am submitting clear and clean manuscripts to publishers, and have even received comments back in that regard. She is also fantastic at indexing – so careful and thorough. I heartily recommend Cheryl if you need any editing work done!"
Richard Ascough, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen's University

“Cheryl O’Shea’s professionalism and expertise saved me days of formatting work, and allowed me to send a very clean manuscript to my publisher. I highly recommend her services to fellow academics.”
Rachel Haliburton, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Sudbury

"I have become much more prolific since Cheryl started editing my work. In fact, two pieces she recently edited for me got plenty of acclamation. What I find most helpful are her suggestions on restructuring sentences that always make the flow of the piece more fluid. I write regularly for two very well-known Indian newspapers. The subjects I write about are niche, and her fresh perspective has helped greatly to make them more comprehensive. Previously, my work lacked clarity. Cheryl truly helped fix that and this, in turn, has made me much more productive." 
Aditi Sen, Adjunct Professor of South Asian Studies, Department of History/School of Religion, Queen's University

"I was struggling with an article. I knew that something was missing but I could not see the forest for the trees. Cheryl reviewed my draft and asked me some pointed questions that helped me to clarify my objectives. The incisive comments and organizational suggestions in her manuscript evaluatiuon were what I needed to effectively communicate my thoughts and complete my article, which was then accepted for publication."
Tracy Trothen, Professor, School of Religion/School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen's University

Editorial Skills

  • Copy editing
  • Indexing
  • Proofreading
  • Structural and substantive editing
  • Stylistic editing


  • Abstracts
  • Academic books and monographs
  • Academic materials, general
  • Academic papers and essays
  • Advertising and marketing materials
  • Books, general
  • Brochures
  • Curriculum guidelines
  • Fiction
  • Grant applications and fundraising
  • Newsletters
  • Periodicals, general
  • Style guides
  • Textbooks, college and university
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Websites


  • Archaeology and ancient history
  • Arts
  • Canada
  • Central and South America
  • Cinema
  • Culture
  • Developing countries
  • Gender studies
  • Health
  • Health and medicine, general
  • Health care
  • History
  • History, Canadian
  • Humanities, general
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology and mental health
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Social sciences