Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between editing and proofreading? Which do I need?
This is a tricky question, as these terms mean different things to different people. It is perhaps best to think of what I can do for specific client groups, and what I cannot do. If you are a researcher with an article for publication, I am happy to suggest modifications to the structure of your paper. I might, for example, suggest moving a paragraph, removing repetition or adding more detail to a section; see Level 2 here.
If you are a student, it would not be ethical for me to give this level of input. With your paper, I will focus on language (grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, etc.). I will not comment on the content of your paper, and I will not change the organization of your ideas. Your work will remain your own but with errors corrected; see Level 1 here.
How long will it take to edit/proofread my paper?
It depends on the length of the paper and the amount of work needed, but generally, a paper of 5,000 words or fewer will be returned to you within two or three days. A paper of 10,000 words will usually be returned within a week. For longer papers, dissertations and theses, I will give you a time estimate when I see how much work is required.
In the case of long manuscripts, such as PhD theses or book-length texts, I am happy to work chapter by chapter. I can accommodate your own writing schedule.
How much will it cost to have my article/dissertation/ebook edited or proofread?
This is often one of the first questions that clients ask, and understandably so. You want value for money!
I am not the cheapest editor, and I am not the most expensive. While my rates vary depending on how much work your paper needs, I stay within the guidelines recommended by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
The final figure depends on several things:
What level of editing/proofreading do you require (Level 1 or Level 2)?
What currency are you paying in (British pounds, Canadian dollars, US dollars or Australian dollars)?
Do you require a faster-than-normal turnaround?
Normally I charge by the word, not by the hour. I find this is easier for both of us, and you will know from the outset what the final invoice will be. There are no surprises. I reserve the right to add 25% for rush jobs. (I define a rush job as one that requires me to work over the weekend, so it is in your best interests to not send me a document on Friday afternoon and expect it back on Monday morning!)
If your project is large and will require several drafts, I am happy to give you a rate for the entire project; this rate will cover various sets of revisions. This is often preferable for a long-term project such as a book or doctoral thesis. These rates are negotiated individually and depend on the size of the project and the amount of work required.
Payment is by bank transfer or PayPal, usually in stages unless the paper is short.
What are Track Changes?
I edit on screen, using Microsoft Word Track Changes. You will be able to see the changes I make, and you will be able to decide which to accept and which to reject. I will send you two versions of your final paper, one with markings and one 'clean' copy.
If working with Track Changes is new to you, I will help you. You might also find this YouTube video helpful to get started.
I'm a student. Is academic editing/proofreading ethical?
If you are a student, it is important that you check with your professor or supervisor to make sure it is acceptable to work with an editor. In most cases it is, but you do need to check. I work within the guidelines established by international editors' associations for the ethical editing of theses and dissertations for students, and there are some things that I will not do:
I will not comment on the content of your paper.
I will not take material that you have copied from a source and paraphrase it into different language.
I will not check that the information in your references is correct.
I will not check your work for plagiarism (and I will not be responsible for instances of plagiarism).
I will never edit work that is written specifically for an ESL course (where your grade is determined by your use of language).