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, I prefer the term proof-editing for ESL clients as this is a more accurate description of the work involved, but I tend not to worry too much about a strict demarcation between copy-editing and proofreading. You can check what’s covered in my standard proofreading and copy-editing service here.

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 during the normal working week. There are certain times of the year that are very busy and, regrettably, sometimes I am simply unable to fit in any more editing assignments. 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 most 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.

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. Without prior agreement, I will not check the content of references on the Internet as this requires considerable extra time. I specialise in proofreading academic legal writing, in particular using the OSCOLA citation style including checking OSCOLA footnotes at £10 per 1000 words.

How much will it cost?

I aim to provide a quality service at an affordable fixed price based on the word count of your document. The standard proofreading and copy-editing service covers all the usual checks for errors and consistency at a cost of £8 per 1000 words. You can easily estimate the cost of your proofreading by checking the word count of a Word document in the bottom left-hand corner and multiplying this by 0.008p. For more information, see the pricing page.

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 in accordance with French law. 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.