How we proofread

What can you expect from our editing (proofreading) service?

Briefly, we read through your document carefully and check the English. We correct any mistakes in spelling, grammar and syntax. In addition, we check the contextual style of the document to make sure it is appropriate to the subject, and we also check and adjust the general English style so that the finished version reads fluently and naturally.

We use a five-step editing process

  1. Scanning stage – The editor scans the document (reads it through quickly) to get a feel for the tone and style and to assess the general English level.
  2. Main editing stage – The document is thoroughly and carefully edited to bring the English to a clear and readable level.
  3. Consistency check – Is it ‘on-line’ or ‘online’? Sometimes more than one correct version is possible. We check for consistency of spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation, punctuation, abbreviation use…and more.
  4. Review stage – The proofreader reviews the document in its finished form. This provides an opportunity to catch any mistakes missed the first time and to generally brush up and improve the document.
  5. Spell check stage – Finally, we run a computer spell check of the document as a final safeguard against errors. 

Then the document is returned to the client. But that’s not the end of our work. After checking the work and making new changes in response to our suggestions, the client can send the document back for us to check the changes—all at no extra charge!

Samples of corrected documents

When we edit a document we show you exactly what we have done by highlighting all our changes in a different colour. We then send you back TWO documents:

  • ‘Suggested’ document – This clearly shows all the changes we have made to the original document.

  • ‘Changed’ document – This is the final document with all the editing changes implemented. This is ready for use, provided all the questions raised in the comments (see below) have been answered.

Here are some examples of these documents:


This is the original document as received from the customer. It contains a number of errors that we need to correct. 


This document shows clearly in red all the editing changes that we have made. Additions are underlined and deletions are crossed through.


This is the final document. All the editing changes have been accepted.


In addition to the editing changes shown in the ‘suggested’ document we sometimes add ‘comments’. These are small text boxes which appear when you hover your mouse over certain marked areas. We use comments to add or request further information, or to indicate areas where the meaning is unclear. You can then read these comments, give your explanation, and return the document to us for further review at no extra cost.
Comments can easily be removed. Just right-click and select ‘delete comment’ .

Other editing matters

To keep our costs competitive, we focus on language correction rather than editing to specific formats or styles, which would be more expensive and time-consuming. We are very thorough but keep editing to a minimum, and try to preserve the original text as far as possible, provided it is in good English.

Don’t forget you can return the document to us after you have made any changes in response to our first edit, and we will check your changes for free. It is important to address all issues before submitting your document.