Please note that while students may work with a typist/editor, the student must communicate directly with the Graduate School regarding their work. The Graduate School/the Formatting Advisor will not work with a typist/editor on a student's behalf.

Students may work with a typist or editor for help formatting a document in Microsoft Word or for line editing or transcription. However, using a typist or editor to create or author your work is strictly prohibited.

The Graduate School does not provide a list of typists and editors, but students may look to outside sources to independently hire one. Outside sources include Google, LinkedIn, Craigslist, personal referrals, etc. The Graduate School maintains this webpage to give guidance on vetting potential typists/editors.


  • Line Editing: Language usage, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, typos, etc. Does not include content revisions or formatting.
  • Formatting: Formatting an MS Word document to meet the Standard or Manuscript guidelines. Does not include line editing.
  • Transcribing: Transcription of digital recordings into written format.

It is up to the student to verify and confirm the fees, credentials and any other needed information before hiring a typist/editor.

Checklist — Important questions to ask when hiring a typist/editor:

  • Ask for their rate. (e.g. Is this per hour? Per page? A flat rate?)
  • Send them a draft of your document and ask for an estimate of their time.
  • Tell the typist/editor to ask for your permission before they work above the estimated time and ask why they need to go above the original estimate.
  • Ask about their availability, turn-around time, and if they can complete your document by the posted deadline.
  • Ask how many MSU Graduate School papers they have formatted and when they last formatted an ETD (if you require formatting help).
  • Ask about their editing experience (if you require line edits).
  • Be clear about what your needs are. (Do you need help with formatting in MS Word, or do you need line edits, or both?)

This checklist of questions is not exhaustive, but should give you some guidance in finding the right person for your needs and budget.