Proofreading and Editing Services
“I thank you so much and appreciate beyond words. I really appreciate the help I got from you.”
Barbara, PhD student, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
I provide proofreading and language editing for:
Non-native English speakers
Proofreading and language editing for ESL authors
Authors and students
Proofreading and language editing academic articles, book chapters, dissertations, theses and essays
Businesses and publishers
Professional proofreading for publishers and businesses (using BSI markup if required)
I can carry out proofreading and language editing on paper or on-screen, blind or against copy. I work on a number of formats to suit you, and am proficient in the use of the BSI marks for copy preparation and proof correction.
I will use the BSI proofreading symbols to markup your work or will annotate the text with changes and notes, if preferable.
In Microsoft Word
I will use the Track Changes function to markup and comment on your text. Once I have completed the work, I will send you a fully marked-up version of the document with all my comments and changes visible. It will then be up to you to accept or reject each change as you see fit. I will also supply you with a ‘clean’ copy where all of my changes have been incorporated into the document but the comments boxes are still visible so that you can attend to any queries.
I can either use the annotating tools (e.g. sticky notes) to comment on your text or stamps of the BSI proofreading symbols, if you prefer.
Information I need from you
When you submit your initial enquiry to me, I ask that you provide the following:
- a description of the work to be undertaken (including the subject matter)
- the format on which you would like me to work (Word, PDF or on paper)
- the word count of the document
- the date when your document(s) will be available for me to start working on
- your preferred time frame for completion
- a representative sample of your work.*
*Before I can provide a quotation for the work, I ask that you send me a sample (approximately 10% of the total word count, preferably from the middle of the document) so that I can get a feel for how much intervention is required and therefore how long it will take me to complete.
Please also note that for student work which is to be submitted for assessment, I will require confirmation that the use of editorial assistance is permitted by your university.
When proofreading your document I will:
- check and amend the spelling and grammar
- ensure consistency throughout the document (e.g. -ise/-ize spellings)
- make sure that all captions, diagrams and illustrations are correctly labelled
- check that the table of contents correctly corresponds to titles and page numbers throughout the document
- check for general sense and readability
- provide comments using the appropriate tools if I think the writing is unclear.*
* This will allow you to revisit sections and make changes as necessary, but please note that such amendments fall outside the remit of proofreading.
In traditional publishing, proofreading is the last stage in the whole publication process and so it is important that you are aware of exactly what proofreading entails, and what it does not. The SfEP provides clear guidance on this which can be found here.
This is another reason why it is important for you to send me a representative sample of your text before we agree to work together. If your work needs a greater level of intervention than proofreading allows and you require something more along the lines of what is termed as ‘proof-editing’ (a hybrid of proofreading and copy-editing), then this will become clear to me when I see a sample of the document and will be factored into the price quoted.
In all cases, if, upon receipt of the document or at an early stage of the project, it becomes apparent that the sample previously received was not representative of the whole document and that a significant amount of extra work is required, I will draw your attention to this and may need to renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline.
If English is not your native language, it can be really difficult to get your intended meaning across and this can put you at an unfair disadvantage when compared to other writers. For example, many worthy articles are rejected from academic journals purely due to the quality of the writing – not the quality of the content. The language editing I provide aims to put you on a level playing field with other authors and ensure that your content is the focus.
It includes all of the checks listed under ‘Proofreading’ as well as changing words and amending sentence structure as necessary to ensure that the work flows as though written by a native English speaker. It does not include changing the content of the work substantially or second-guessing what the intended meaning may be, if it is not currently clear. In such instances, I will add a comment to draw your attention to the matter so as to avoid unintentionally altering the meaning.
This involves correcting spelling errors in your references list and/or bibliography, and ensuring that you have presented the references as required. (You will need to provide me with a copy of the reference guide that you need to comply with.)
As well as checking the presentation of your references I can also check through the document to ensure that all of the works cited in the text are included in the references list (or bibliography as required) and vice versa. If there are any omissions, I will highlight these so that you can ensure you include the relevant information.
Please note that if you are a student submitting work to be assessed, the assistance I can provide regarding references will be limited to correcting spelling errors and highlighting inconsistencies in presentation. Please see my FAQs for more information on this.