How the process works

I’m an experienced proofreader and editor, and I work with students of all levels as well as academics and academic publishers. When you email me we can discuss your specific requirements. The following is a general outline of what the process of proofreading or copy-editing involves.

Booking | Rate and time frame | Practical | Payment | Examination rules disclaimer


First of all, please remember to book me in advance. The more warning you can give me, the better. I appreciate that it is not always possible to provide an exact time frame in advance. I can get very busy, however, therefore the longer the notice period and the more exact you can be with when you will send me your work (and your required deadline), the more efficient I can be. Remember to leave time to check over my changes.

Make sure you choose the correct service: proofreading is only for minor, unintentional errors, not for consistent issues with language. For the latter, copy-editing is required. Proofreading is carried out on a final version of your text, while copy-editing is a more fundamental edit that can also be carried out on a less polished draft.

Rate and time frame

My rate for copy-editing and proofreading (see Services) is an hourly rate, based on number of words. My quoted working rate can vary, though usually not by much. The length of time I require can be both longer and shorter than my estimate, depending on the amount of editing your work requires. If not much is required, you will save money!

I will always try to complete your project in the fewest number of hours, but I never sacrifice quality for speed. I am happy to agree on an upper price limit to make sure that the project stays within your budget. My estimated rate has proved pretty accurate over the years, so don’t worry about it deviating too much.

Note that the total amount of hours estimated for a project is not completed consecutively. I have to take regular breaks in order to maintain my concentration, so that I can work to the highest standard; you are only charged for the time I actually spend working. What this means in practice is that an eight-hour estimate will actually take more than one day to be completed.

For proofreading or copy-editing a standard-length doctoral thesis (c.80,000 words), I will need at least seven working days.


I work from Word documents (.doc, .docx or .rtf, though .odt is OK too), and use Track Changes to record all the changes I make. This allows you to see everything that I have done, and to accept or reject my changes as you wish. When copy-editing I will also make comments and suggestions on style and broader issues. If you are not familiar with Word’s Track Changes feature, Office support pages provide a helpful guide.

Please notify me as to whether you require your document to be in UK or US spelling.

I follow Oxford style guidelines, unless you request otherwise. (This does not affect referencing style: in regards to referencing I will correct to the format that you have chosen.)

I only edit where absolutely necessary, and I make sure that I retain your voice and personal style. All my changes will be appropriate to the style of the document in question.

As both an experienced academic editor and a former academic myself, I’m capable of following and critiquing complex arguments and theories. See my About me page for more on my history, and my Testimonials page for some examples of work I have done and comments from previous clients.


Once the work is finished, I will send it back to you along with a final invoice. Payment is via bank transfer (preferred) or Paypal (add 4.5% for Paypal payments from a non-UK bank account). Full details are supplied on the invoice.

Institutional payments from universities located in the US are required in advance. This is an unfortunate result of the arcane and often extremely lengthy processes via which freelancers are paid by US institutions. The process should be initiated as soon as possible, to avoid any unnecessary delays.


Send me an email if you wish to discuss things further. I very much hope we can work together!

Disclaimer for students

Please note that it is your responsibility to determine whether employing the services of a proofreader or editor is permitted under the examination rules of your institution.