Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Hilligoss


The editor's role in publication processes has been frequently theorized, but theory about the relationship between the editor and the author with whom he/ she works is lacking. This study examined a previously unexamined, but essential portion of the academic editing process focusing on the encounter and relational dynamic between graduate studentscholars and manuscript format editors as a form of scholarly negotiation and social construction of knowledge.

The study was delimited by focusing on the graduate thesis/ dissertation review process at Clemson University, which will be switching from manual to electronic submission in August of 2006. In this study, a discourse/text analysis of 50 manuscripts and a survey of actively enrolled graduate students were used to establish the knowledge and attitudes of students as true stakeholders in the actual review process. In addition, two interviews were used to examine the attitudes of format editors towards the current process and the future switch to an electronic editing and submission process.

Examining through the three methods the communication outreaches made by both sets of stakeholders in the manuscript review process-student-scholars and format editorsled to the creation of a rough conceptual model of the review process. Most interestingly, the results showed that the majority of what format editors look for in a manuscript deals exclusively with visual language. In addition, the results demonstrated that although both sets of stakeholders desire an efficient and effective review process and are willing to work for such a process, there is a communication breakdown between the stakeholders preventing them from reaching those goals and establishing mutual. Both student-scholars and format editors make assumptions about the other that are never settled because such assumptions are rarely communicated. Other results and conclusions are presented in chapters three and four.

The study resulted in practical applications for the Graduate School as it switches to an electronic process, as well as theoretical implications and suggestions for further research in professional communication.

MRCForms.pdf (32142 kB)
MRC Forms

Surveys.pdf (37998 kB)