Regardless of how good a writer you are, when we write our own content we often see what we expect to be on the page, as opposed to actually what’s there – which means we often miss small mistakes! These mistakes can make us seem sloppy or unprofessional, as though we haven’t taken the time to make the writing accurate. That’s why it’s so important to get a second set of eyes.
Spelling errors can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. One of the trickier bits of modern technology is our occasionally misplaced trust in spell checkers. It’s very easy to type a word that’s technically not spelled incorrectly – it’s just not the word you mean to use at all. For example: ‘Fire wardens must wear their florescent vest.’ No squiggly lines – but it’s a lot more likely that fire wardens would wear fluorescent vests than ones covered in flowers!
Proofreading can come in at the end of any draft, although the more complete the project is, the better results you will get. If you give me an incomplete draft and keep working on it while I’m proofing it, it means I may have to make further changes and therefore charge extra. The quote I provide is based on a complete draft, which I will return to you expertly proofread.
Proofreading involves checking a document’s grammar and punctuation. I ensure that there is consistency throughout word usage and formatting, and I’ll adjust paragraph structure where appropriate (e.g. splitting up long paragraphs and combining ones that are too short). I don’t make judgements about the calibre of the work, and accordingly I do not adjust ‘bad’ (only incorrect) usage. For more in-depth analysis and changes, you’ll need to enlist the help of an editor.
Before I can provide a quote, I need to know the length of the content and to see a sample – just so I can accurately let you know whether the document needs proofreading or editing. My estimates are based on 250 words per page; if there’s anything particular that you are looking for, do let me know. The more information you give me, the more accurate the quote can be!
It depends on the project – I generally average around 24–36 pages a day (based on 250 words on a page), but I also proofread everything at least twice to ensure absolute accuracy. It will normally take me about three weeks for a 200-page book. Because I am regularly working on projects, I won’t necessarily be able to start on your project immediately but will always give you an estimated timeframe. If you have a date that you need it by, let me know and I’ll do my best to accommodate you.
That’s absolutely fine, I just need to know about it in advance! I am very used to checking content written in both UK English and US English, so as long as I know which it’s supposed to be in, I’ll make sure your writing is accurate.
Absolutely – although you can expect that your grammar, spelling and punctuation will be accurate once I’ve proofread it, it’s important that you still read it again before submitting it – whether to a printer, publisher or university. You may have written something a certain way for a reason that you haven’t told me about, and so it’s important to check that the text is still the way you’d like it.
Of course! I can edit essays, dissertations, theses or projects in any area of study – I have a background in medical and legal libraries in particular, but I’m more than happy to deal with others.
Please send through your university’s guidelines so that I can be sure that I’m working within the bounds of what is allowed. Generally speaking, universities will only permit a pure proofread (fixing the spelling and grammar without any rewording) but it’s best for me to know exactly what the parameters are.
You certainly can – I’m most familiar with APA, but if you’ve used another style, it’s highly likely that I can check that too. Just make sure you mention it when you’re making an
enquiry, and I can let you know whether or not it’s a system I’m familiar with.