Proofreading & Copy-Editing

How the proofreading service works for students

As a student, you may feel that, whilst you are highly competent in your subject, your writing ability does not always allow you to fully communicate your knowledge. This may be because English is not your first language or because you find it easier to research your topic than to write about it. Whatever the reason, once you have written your assignment, dissertation or thesis  – abiding by the rules and regulations set down by your place of study, and utilising all the support and information available from your tutor – you can send it to me for proofreading.

I will read your work to check spelling, grammar and sentence structure, and to ensure that style and presentation are consistent. This is achieved using Microsoft Word’s ‘Track Changes’ feature, so that you can view and ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ the amendments to your work. In addition to this, I use the ‘Comments’ boxes to identify unclear areas of text and provide suggestions to improve it, where possible. This helps to improve the style of the work and ensure that it is of a suitably academic quality. In some instances, where it is especially difficult to unravel the meaning of a sentence or paragraph, the section may need to be re-checked after it has been amended.  I am happy to do this, in order to make sure that the suggested amendments have been understood and that any ‘problem’ areas have been resolved.

Please note that, due to the increasing amount of work I am receiving that needs more than straightforward proofreading, I may advise you that your work needs to be re-read, after the initial proofreading process has been completed and you have made the suggested amendments and addressed any unclear areas. This is because, where a piece of work requires a great deal of correction, it is difficult to ‘stand back’ and gain an overview of the text and its meaning. The second reading, of a ‘cleaner’ and clearer draft, enables me to obtain a better understanding of the ‘flow’ of the work and make further corrections as necessary. As I will be re-reading the whole work, or substantial parts of this, an additional charge will be incurred – which will be discussed with you at the time, but which will usually be lower than the original per 1,000 word rate (depending on factors such as the amount of difference and the length of time that has elapsed since the work was originally proofread).

CV writing and updating is also part of the service I offer – please contact me for more information.

Why should students choose Words and Deeds?

Not only do I have a great deal of proofreading experience working with both native and non-native English speakers, I also have a background of over 12 years’ employment in higher and further education, which gives me a good insight into how educational institutions operate. Therefore, I am familiar with academia, including university regulations and what constitutes plagiarism. I will use this knowledge when proofreading your work.

Don’t just take my word for it, though:

General guide to proofreading rates and turnaround times*

100,000-70,000 = £7 per 1,000 words – 7-10 working days
70,000-40,000 = £8 per 1,000 words – 5-7 working days
40,000-10,000 = £9 per 1,000 words – 3-5 working days
10,000-1,000 = £10 per 1,000 words – 1-2 working days (with a £20 minimum charge)
Under 1,000 words = £20 flat charge – 1 working day

*All turnaround times are subject to my availability and workload at the time the work is received; a higher rate may be quoted if the work requires more than proofreading.

Please note as well that payment is required in full before the proofreading is commenced.

Information regarding the rates and turnaround times

The specific rate will be discussed after I have seen and assessed a sample of the work to be proofread. If more intensive input is required (i.e., not proofreading), then either the per 1,000 word rate will be increased or an hourly rate will be applied. However, it is important to note that students’ academic work should not be edited, as this is unethical – your essay, dissertation, thesis or journal paper must be your own work, not a collaboration with an editor or proofreader.

The difference between proofreading and editing can be explained as follows:

Proofreading: checks grammar, punctuation, spelling and overall layout. Small amendments to sentence structure are also part of this process.
Editing: more substantial input to improve clarity and consistency. This can include re-writing/re-structuring whole paragraphs.

Sometimes, students’ work can fall between the two, and I will always do what I can to help – within the boundaries mentioned above.

File type

Work should be emailed to me as a Microsoft Word doc. or docx. file. Depending on my availability, work can usually be returned as per the turnaround times given above; however, timescales will be agreed when the request for proofreading is received.

To discuss your requirements, email me: or telephone/text me: 07783 997129.

How the proofreading and copy-editing service works for authors, charities, social enterprises, SMEs, start-ups and others

The boundary between proofreading and editing is not fixed: often the former becomes the latter in a search for meaning that starts with simply trying to unravel a sentence’s construction and ends with re-writing a whole paragraph to clarify its meaning. This is partly because it can be difficult for someone heavily involved with their topic/area of expertise to explain it – perhaps by having to translate complex subject matter into simple, user-friendly language.

Drawing on years of experience in education, industry, and the charitable sector, I offer a service to enable the client to ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’ – which is what good copy entails.

This service includes addressing the following:
* How suitable/attractive is the document for the intended audience? (Will it ‘grab’ this audience’s attention?)
* Will the reader understand the terms used? (Is it too jargon-laden?)
* Is the structure too complicated? (Could it be better organised?)
* Is it consistent? (Are headings and spellings the same throughout?)

As a small business owner, I understand the attraction of paying for work only as and when it is required; and, as a freelancer, I am able to offer my services for either one-off projects or for a set number of hours a week/month, enhancing a client’s existing skill-base without becoming a ‘permanent feature’, and enabling me to provide support for multiple small clients at once. 

To discuss how I can provide you with a professional writing service, email: or telephone: 07783 997129.