Our Customer Stories


“I have worked with Heather for more than 11 years. She is the best academic editor I have ever had. Her editing substantially improves the clarity, flow, and readability of papers. Moreover, she has a deep understanding of research herself. Her critical comments enhance the logic and coherence of papers and make the papers more publishable.”

- Haizhen Mou

Faculty, Public Policy and Economics

“I cannot say enough good things about Heather. Not only did she make my writing better; she also made me a better writer. Heather was the editor for my dissertation. We would have conversations so she could gain an understanding of what I was attempting to communicate, as she was careful to not change my intent. Through these conversations, trust developed. After the project was complete, I missed her as my colleague/coach. As someone working to decolonize space, I trusted Heather with understanding my words. She was so patient and accommodating. The quality of Heather’s work is top shelf, adding grace to places that were lacking and pointing out better ways of communicating. I recommend Heather to anyone looking for amazing and professional editing work.”
- Rebecca Major

Faculty, Political Science

“Heather has been my writing coach and editor for almost two years, guiding me through my master’s proposal and thesis in engineering and hydrology. She is a terrific technical editor, but she doesn’t just change my words and sentences. She explains the problem, so I don’t make the same mistake again.”
- Salma Hobbi

Master’s Student, Engineering and Hydrology

“Heather has been instrumental in my success as an immigrant student in Canada. She has helped me by perfecting my CV, cover letters, and job applications. With her guidance, I polished my dental school applications and gained acceptance to my dream dental school. She is devoted to her job and goes the extra mile to understand the shortcoming of her students. She teaches you how to overcome this shortcoming and succeed on your own. Lastly, Heather is kind, compassionate, and an amazing human being. I am proud and fortunate that I was able to seek help from Heather. I recommend her for her skills in the English language.”
- Sameer Bajaj

Graduate Student, Dentistry

“Heather is a brilliant and reliable editor, coach, and teacher. Since I started working with Heather, I have learned many different ways to express complex ideas. My writing for my Ph.D. thesis has improved enormously. I highly recommend Heather’s services.”
- Tata Loma

PhD Student, Architecture

“Heather’s expertise helps me ensure that my writing is professional, accessible, and concise. Her input on scholarship applications, where every word counts, is invaluable.”
- Michaela Sidloski

PhD Student, Environmental Science

“I started my PhD in 2016 and was advised to do a refresher training in writing skills with Heather. I was thankful that I attended her workshops. Our one-on-one coaching sessions helped me throughout my Ph.D. program. I successfully completed my comprehensive exam using her notes and tips, which I continue to use for all my papers. Heather is patient, understanding, and was able to point out errors in my writing and ways to improve my writing skills. I would recommend her to students and professionals who need help improving their writing,. Thank you, Heather!”
- Michelle Wauchope-Thompson

PhD student, Environmental Science

“Heather has extensive English editorial expertise and a long history of coaching Ph.D. students on publishing high-quality research work in peer-reviewed journals. She has also taught scientific writing, so she knows the weakest part of international students’ writing. Heather has helped my graduate students by editing our journal articles and PhD theses. She ensures that our manuscripts clearly communicate our findings. Heather’s extensive training in language editing and years of experience will help you meet your exacting requirements.”
- Yanping Li

Faculty, Hydrology

“Heather is a great reviewer and editor. Thanks to her knowledge and insightful comments, I redesigned my research proposal and won three Canadian graduate scholarships!”

- Oxana Pimenova

PhD student, Public Policy

“Heather’s clear, constructive, and compassionate writing support has been key to student success in our graduate programs.”
- Maureen Read

Faculty, Environmental Science

“I am an international student, moving from engineering to science. Without experience, I struggle to write in English. I am very grateful to Heather, as my writing has improved to a standard academic level since she has been my writing coach. I also get help from Heather writing my thesis. Her vast knowledge, passion, and unlimited love toward helping students are evident and very effective for me in the writing process.”
- Azza Mohammadiazar

Master’s Student, Environmental Science

“Heather has been my writing coach and editor since 2017. She coached me through the final stages of my PhD and now edits my academic papers. I’ve benefited enormously from Heather’s knowledge. She is a superb editor.”
- Joseph Asomah

Faculty, Sociology

“Heather recently helped me to write engaging teaching and research statements, which helped me secure a faculty position.”
- Ornwipa Thamsuwan

Faculty, Ergonomic Engineering

“Heather’s technical skills combined with her carefulness, creativity and gentle guidance make her an outstanding editor.”

- Carin Holroyd

Faculty, Political Science

“I was at a standstill with my thesis. Heather helped me to get going again. I can’t thank her enough for her help and guidance.”
- Giustino Garcea

PhD Student, Public Policy

“In the 10 coaching sessions, Heather and I had my writing improved more than I was expecting.”
- Yujie Pei

Master’s Student, Environmental Science

“I highly recommend Heather McWhinney as an editor and writer. I contracted Heather to edit my PhD dissertation. I would describe her approach to her work as vocational in nature. She engages with the mind of the author to establish clarity around the intended meaning of the writing. I was amazed by her skills and ability to go beyond editing for content and grammar by suggesting new wording for meaning. I was simply humbled by her care and attention. There is simply no other person I would recommend.”
- Vince Bruni-Bossio

Faculty, Business

“Heather is outstanding! Her patience, attention to detail, and insightful feedback on my writing was the best I have ever received. Her approach as a writing coach accelerated my skills to the next level—and helped me pass my Ph.D. defense without revisions. I would encourage anyone, from struggling to even skilled writers, to use Heather.”
- Martin Boucher

Faculty, Public Policy

“Heather enabled me to stay in my master’s program. I earned 73% on my first paper and needed to maintain a 75% average. After working with Heather, I earned a 91% in my first class. I worked with Heather throughout my degree and cannot speak enough on how exceptional her editing skills are. She would even reference back to previous articles I wrote and helped to clarify my research. Heather can bring your research skills and writing to their full potential and consistently has your best interests at heart. Two years later, I am now earning my second master’s degree and independently achieving a 90% average. Heather’s advice helped me become the successful academic I am today. “
- Curtis Chester

Master’s Student, Education

“Heather is very professional in her approach to guiding her students and treats people with courtesy and respect. Her suggestions are always helpful, and they help me learn more about writing. I enjoy working with Heather. She truly provides a safe space for my writing. When I submit my work, I know that my writing will never be judged. Because Heather is open to new ideas, I know that I am free to express my thoughts and ideas with Heather. I feel comfortable interacting with Heather because she makes me feel that all questions are valid. Heather always responded to me in a timely manner. If she was unable to respond right away, she would always email me quick note to let me know that she had received my correspondence.”
- Kelly-Jo Aldworth

Master’s Student, Public Policy

“I used to be wordy and make too many errors. With Heather’s help, I’ve become a much more confident writer. She is a terrific editor and writing coach. It is my pleasure to recommend her for quality editing and writing help.”
- Petergaye Gilliard

Master’s Student, Environmental Science

“Heather provided my students with timely, expert guidance with a personal touch. I would highly recommend her!”
- Toddi Steelman

Faculty, Environmental Science and Policy

“The writing guidance provided by Heather was extremely helpful in restructuring my master’s thesis”
- Ashley Shaw

Master’s Student, Environmental Science

“I greatly appreciated all the tips Heather provided in the comments, I learned a lot from them for my future work.”
- Alida Salman

Master’s Student, Public Administration


Latest News & Resources

Writing a Winning Scholarship Application

The fall term has barely started, and already graduate students are writing to me for advice on how to craft their scholarship applications. This blog provides some advice on how to prepare a successful application.

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“This” what? Pairing “This” with a Noun

Have you ever read a sentence starting with “this” that perplexes you because you don’t know what “this” refers to? Sentences starting with “this” often confuse readers. The ambiguity occurs when the reader can’t identify the noun “this” replaces. I call “this” with no clear antecedent noun an orphaned “this.” Technically it’s known as a dangling demonstrative pronoun.

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Decluttering Your Writing

Do you want to express hard ideas in crisp, powerful sentence? Even better, do you want to engage your readers? In this blog, I want to show you how to “declutter” your sentences, ejecting excess words and stripping the writing of unnecessary complexity. There once was a time when convoluted sentences and long words were the hallmark of academic sophistication. No longer. Writing plainly is the new requirement.

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Heather Jane McWhinney

Portrait of Heather McWhinney

For my entire career, I’ve been immersed in academic writing and editing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and a Master of Arts in Library Science, I worked in academic publishing, where I was Acquisitions Editor and later Publisher and Editorial Director for a large textbook publisher in Toronto. In 1999, I established my own business as a project manager and editor of nursing textbooks. In 2012, I completed my credentials for teaching English as a Second Language and then began teaching academic and scientific writing to graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. Later, I became the university’s Graduate Writing Specialist. In this role, I coached individual students and gave numerous workshops across campus on how to craft theses and dissertations, journal papers, grant and scholarship applications, and statements.

I currently work part time at the University of Saskatchewan as Student Writing Advisor for the School of Environment and Sustainability. I am also Student Writing Advisor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, where I teach academic and professional writing courses.