FAQ about proofreading

What is the difference between editing and proofreading?

In the publishing industry there is a clear difference between the work of a copy-editor and a proofreader. They work at different stages in the production of a publication, usually a book, where the work will be checked and revised several times before finally going to print. In other fields, such as business and academia, the terms are often confused and the differences are less clear-cut. Many people outside the publishing industry request a proofreading service, when in fact they actually need editing. In simple terms, a proofreader will just check for mistakes in spelling, punctuation and layout, whereas editing is more intensive and can involve deleting or re-wording parts of the text to ‘improve’ it. Generally, when working with students, researchers and academics in the field of academic proofreading I prefer to use the term proofreading, as this is most commonly understood by my ESL clients.

How quickly will you return my work?

This will depend on my current schedule and commitments. Subject to workload, I will try to return a document of less than 2000 words within 24 hours. There are certain times of the year that are very busy and, regrettably, sometimes I am simply unable to fit in any more assignments. So, the safest way to ensure that your work will be checked and ready for submission is to make contact early and book your proofreading several weeks or months in advance.

Can you write my essay?

All academic writing must be your own work. However, many universities allow non-native speakers to have their essays and dissertations checked by an English speaker to eliminate errors in spelling, grammar and syntax. Whilst I can offer suggestions for re-wording passages that do not make sense, or alternative words to suit a formal, academic context, I cannot write your essay or paraphrase large sections that have been copied from textbooks and articles. It is also your responsibility to ensure that there is no plagiarism in your writing. You may have access to an online plagiarism checker via your university or college.

Will you check the references?

If you tell me the referencing style that you have used in your work I will check that the layout is correct. For example, ensuring that the full stops and commas are in place. I have knowledge of most popular referencing styles including APA and Harvard. If you are submitting your writing to a journal with a particular referencing style I can check compliance if you provide a copy of the journal style sheet.

Without prior agreement, I will not check the content of references on the Internet as this requires considerable extra time. I specialise in the OSCOLA style of citations for law. On request, I can check both footnotes, bibliography and the text to ensure that the writing is OSCOLA compliant.

How much will it cost?

Check out the pricing details here. However, please note that every piece of writing is different. Contact me for a quotation. I will need to know the subject matter, title, word count and your deadline. If possible, a 500 word sample taken from the text will help me gauge the extent of work required. If my schedule allows, I will return this as a sample edit so that you can see the service you will receive.

How can I pay?

I will send an invoice on completion of your editing, payable within seven days. For large documents (20,000 words+ ) and new clients I may request a 30% deposit. Invoices can be paid in £ sterling to a UK bank or in € euro to a French bank. Alternatively, you can pay in any currency or by credit card using PayPal.

Ready to book your next proofreading assignment? Please contact me