For Students

Proofreading for Students, Bachelors, Masters and PhD, based on ethical guidelines recommended by CIEP.

Are you studying?

Are you submitting essays, theses, or dissertations?

Do you want your writing to be the best it can be?

A student library

English grammar can be very confusing, making writing difficult, particularly if English is not your native language.

And it’s not only your subject knowledge or research being judged—your grammar, syntax and punctuation are also considered. This means your written work could easily lose marks without you understanding why.

Good use of grammar, punctuation, and syntax are essential to outline your ideas and make your arguments in the clearest possible terms.


If you’re unsure of any aspect of written English, the easiest and quickest solution is to get your work reviewed by a professional.


For scholarly works and when proofreading for students, there are ethical considerations – you must submit your own work for marking, which limits the adjustments an editor can make.

Proofreading for students usually involves a mix of proofreading and copy editing; which we call proof-editing.


What I look at

I will fix any typos, spelling, punctuation or grammar problems, as well as any syntax or language issues. Any ambiguities, repetitions or questions on the structure will be marked for you to consider and adjust accordingly.

You have full control over all changes: all proof-editing is done using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes function, so you can accept or reject changes as you choose. All fixes and adjustments will be tracked for your approval.


What I do not touch

To be able to affirm that the work is your own, I will not look at or edit the following in any way:

  • Fact-checking – Your work is yours and yours alone. I cannot check any of your statements for correctness.
  • References – these are yours. For your proof-editor to review your references constitutes fact-checking, which I cannot do. It is your responsibility to ensure your references and citations are complete and formatted correctly for submission.
  • Formatting – I can check that you’ve not skipped a number, or that all your headings are the same size/style – but it’s up to you to create any numbering systems or headings. It’s also up to you to be sure you adhere to the submission guidelines of your school. (*see the bottom of the page for an example)
  • Rewriting – I cannot rewrite sentences or paragraphs unless I recommend a heavy edit. This will only be done in conjunction with, and with permission from, your supervisor.


A lecture

Photo by Ulrigh Wechselberger on Pixabay

You should remember that proofing takes time, and you should factor this into your submission schedule.

There’s no point sending me your work two days before it’s due; the cost will be much higher, and you won’t have time to make any of the recommended changes.

If you are wanting a professional review, you should factor at least three weeks before submitting.


Proof-editing is charged by the hour at a rate you can afford, and a 50% deposit is required before proofing gets underway.

I’ll provide a one-page (max 500 word) sample edit to you, so you can see just how effective a proof-edit can be. This also gives me a chance to see a representative sample of your work, so I can evaluate how long it will take me to complete, how much the whole document will cost, and how much time you should leave for a final review.

Everyone writes differently, so every project will have a slightly different price.


What I will need

There are a some things I will need from you before I start working on your report:

  1. Your supervisor’s contact details – so we can be in contact if I discover any major issues with your document, and they can ask me any queries.
  2. Confirmation of your school’s policy on hiring proofreaders – I don’t want to risk your grade in any way, so prove to me your school will let me review your work.
  3. You’ll need to sign a Code of Practice document, which affirms what I will and will not touch, what you will check and correct yourself.
  4. I’ll need to know the length of your text, with and without references/footnotes
  5. Your submission deadline, and how much time you’ve left yourself to do any final adjustments
  6. You need to contact me and get a sample edit done, so I can evaluate how long proofing will take



Submit work that proves your knowledge of your subject, and be sure your writing won’t detract from your argument.


* Example of submission guidelines from the University of Cambridge. These guidelines show how your work should be formatted, page size, page spacing, length/word count and include details of any covering letters your examiners will require. If you don’t have a copy of the submission guidelines from your school, contact your supervisor.