So, you’re done. You’ve finished your work. It’s perfect. Ready to print / submit / bind.
Are you sure? You’re absolutely certain you’ve employed the correct ‘their’ or ‘there’? There’s no stray commas or misguided semicolons? Ok, off you go then.
If you’re not absolutely sure, you should have your work proofread or copy edited. What’s the difference? Not a lot – the terms are often used interchangeably. A copy editor or proofreader will check your document for style, grammar, typos and consistency. It should be the last step you undertake before finalising a document.
Please get in touch via the Contacts page for a chat, quote or enquiry.
Q. How do you check the document?
A. You’ll need to send a Word document so that I can use Track Changes to offer suggestions, changes, corrections and comments. It’s then your responsibility to either accept or reject those changes and produce a clean document. It’s a good idea for a copy editor to check the document twice – once to copy edit, and then again to check all changes. But in real life, people don’t often have the time or resources to run this second check. Therefore, please ensure you put plenty of time aside to go through all changes.
Q. What sort of things do you check?
A. Unless you specify otherwise, I use the Macquarie Dictionary and the AGPS Style Guide to make all decisions – that means, for example, whether to spell out numbers from one to ten, or whether you opt for single or double quotation marks. Obviously, if you’re submitting to a journal, I would copy edit your work along the journal’s style guide. Apart from obvious grammatical or typing errors, I’m also checking for style consistency (for example, using the word ‘per cent’ or the symbol ‘%’ consistently throughout the document).
Q. How long does it take?
A. Every text is different and everyone’s writing ability is different, therefore I can give you a broad guestimate, but I’ll be able to give you a better idea once I’ve seen a sample of your work. As a very rough guide, an 8 000 word journal article might take 2 to 3 hours, and a 60 000 word thesis might take around 10 to 14 hours.
Q. Will you check referencing?
A. Immaculate referencing in academic papers is critical. I can check that your in-text citations match your reference list and vice versa, and I can also format your list to a particular style (for example Harvard or APA). This task is quite a fiddly and time consuming one though, so allow yourself time and resources. Or find a really good friend to help you out for the cost of a coffee!
Q. How much notice do you need?
A. The longer the lead time the better, but I can work with short and urgent deadlines.
Q. What sort of documents can you check?
A. The short answer is any sort of document at all. I’ve copy edited book chapters, books, peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, conference proceedings, technical reports, honours and PhD theses, short stories, newspaper articles and everything in between. If it’s in print (and in English!) I can check it.
Q. What are your fees?
A. I think it’s fair to only bill you for the time it takes to complete your work, so I charge an hourly rate ($60 per hour) instead of a per document or per word rate. When you’re completely happy with your document, I send you an invoice for that amount (with a 14 day term) which you can pay via Pay Pal or Electronic Funds Transfer. Unfortunately I cannot accept cheques and do not have credit card facilities.