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Editing and Proofreading
What this handout is about.
This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!
Is editing the same thing as proofreading?
Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading
- Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
- Decide which medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
- Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
- Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
- If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
- If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.
Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:
Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument .)
Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions , conclusions , thesis statements , and transitions .)
Structure within paragraphs
Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development .)
Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.
Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” that contain “man,” and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language .)
Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information.)
As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.
Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?
Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.
Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.
Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.
Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.
The proofreading process
You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.
- Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
- Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
- Read slow, and read every word. Try reading out loud , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
- Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
- Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
- Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
- Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.
- Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t make you a better proofreader. You’ll often find things that don’t seem quite right to you, but you may not be quite sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it might be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t catch it. You think you need a comma between two words, but you’re not sure why. Should you use “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not sure about something, look it up.
- The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.
Think you’ve got it?
Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then check a version of this page with the errors marked in red to see if you’re a proofreading star.
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Especially for non-native speakers of English:
Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing , 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.
Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications , 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Revising Prose , 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman.
Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.
You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Proofreading is the act of reviewing, identifying, and correcting errors in your research paper before it is handed in to be graded by your professor. Common errors found within the text of a paper can be both typographical [i.e., an error in typing] and grammatical [i.e., faulty, unconventional use of language]. However, the act of proofreading can also include identifying and correcting problems with the narrative flow of your paper [i.e., the logical sequence of thoughts and ideas], problems with concise writing [i.e., wordiness and imprecise vocabulary], and problems created by word processing software applications [e.g., unintentional font types, indented paragraphs, line spacing, uneven margins, or orphan headings, sentences, or words].
Editing and Proofreading Strategies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Proofreading. The Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Proofreading is often the final act before handing in your paper. It is important because most professors grade papers not only on the quality of how you addressed the research problem and the overall organization of the study, but also on the quality of the grammar, punctuation, formatting, and narrative flow of your paper. The assigning of research papers is not just an exercise in developing good research and critical thinking skills, but it is also intended to help you become a better writer. Below are step-by-step strategies you can follow.
Before You Proofread
- Revise the larger aspects of the text . Don't proofread for the purpose of making corrections at the sentence and word level [the act of editing] if you still need to work on the overall focus, development, and organization of the paper or you need to re-arrange or change specific sections [the act of revising].
- Set your paper aside between writing and proofreading . Give yourself a day or so between the writing of your paper and proofreading it. This will help you identify mistakes more easily. This is also a reason why you shouldn't wait until the last minute to draft your paper because it won't provide the time needed to step away before proofreading.
- Eliminate unnecessary words before looking for mistakes . Throughout your paper, you should try to avoid using inflated diction if a more concise phrase works equally well. Simple, precise language is easier to proofread than overly complex sentence constructions and vocabulary. At the same time, also identify and change empty or repetitive phrases.
- Know what to look for . Make a mental note of the mistakes you need to watch for based on comments from your professor on previous drafts of the paper or that you have received about papers written in other classes. This will help you to identify repeated patterns of mistakes more readily.
- Review your list of references . Review the sources mentioned in your paper and make sure you have properly cited them in your bibliography. Also make sure that the titles cited in your bibliography are mentioned in the text. Any omissions should be resolved before you begin proofreading your paper.
NOTE: Do not confuse the act of revising your paper with the act of editing it. Editing is intended to tighten up language so that your paper is easier to read and understand. This should be the focus when you proofread. If your professor asks you to revise your paper, review the text above concerning ways to improve the overall quality of your paper. The act of revision implies that there is something within the paper that needs to be changed, improved, or re-organized in some significant way. If the reason for a revision is not specified, always ask for clarification.
Individualize the Act of Proofreading
Individualizing your proofreading process to match weaknesses in your writing will help you correct errors more efficiently and effectively . For example, I still tend to make subject-verb agreement errors. Accept the fact that you likely won't be able to check for everything, so be introspective about what your typical problem areas are and look for each type of error individually. Here's how:
- Think about what errors you typically make . Review instructors' comments about your writing and/or set up an appointment to review your paper with a staff member in the Writing Center .
- Learn how to fix those errors . Talk with your professor about helping you understand why you make the errors you do so that you can learn how to avoid them while writing.
- Use specific strategies . Develop strategies you are most comfortable with to find and correct your particular errors in usage, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.
- Where you proofread is important! Effective and efficient proofreading requires extended focus and concentration. If you are easily distracted by external activity or noise, proofread in a quiet corner of the library rather than at a table in Starbucks.
- Proofread in several short blocks of time . Avoid trying to proofread your entire paper all at once, otherwise, it will be difficult to maintain your concentration. A good strategy is to start your proofreading each time at the beginning of your paper. It will take longer to make corrections, but you may be surprised how many mistakes you find in text that you have already reviewed.
In general, verb tense should be in the following format, although variations can occur within the text of each section depending on the narrative style of your paper. Note that references to prior research mentioned anywhere in your paper should always be stated in the past tense.
- Abstract--past tense [summary description of what I did]
- Introduction--present tense [I am describing the study to you now]
- Literature Review--past tense [the studies I reviewed have already been published]
- Methodology--past tense [the way I gathered and synthesized data has already happened]
- Results--past tense [the findings of my study have already been discovered]
- Discussion--present tense [I am talking to you now about how I interpreted the findings]
- Conclusion--present tense [I am summarizing the study for you now]
General Strategies for Strengthening Your Paper
As noted above, proofreading involves a detailed examination of your paper to ensure there are no content errors. However, proofreading is also an opportunity to strengthen the overall quality of your paper beyond correcting specific grammar, diction, or formatting mistakes. Before you begin reviewing your paper line-by-line, step back and reflect on what you have written; consider if there are ways to improve each section of the paper by taking into consideration the following “big picture” elements of good writing.
Introduction . Look for any language that reflects broad generalizations, indeterminate phrasing, or text that does not directly inform the reader about the research and its significance. This can include unnecessary qualifiers or text, such as, "This study includes a significant review of the literature [what constitutes "significant"?], "There are a number of findings that are important [just state the number of findings; leave it to the discussion to argue the context of their importance], and, for example, "This research reminds me of...." [why does the research study relate to remembering something; is this first person perspective essential to introducing the research problem].
Research Topic . Make sure the topic does not come across as ambiguous, simplistic, overly broad, or ill-defined. A strong research problem and the associated research questions establish a set of assumptions that should be nuanced, yet challenges the reader to think. Review the Choosing a Research Problem page in this guide. Place yourself in the position of a reader totally unfamiliar with the topic, then, critically evaluate the research problem, any associated research questions you are trying to address, and the theoretical framework. Ask yourself if there is anything that may not make sense or requires further explanation or refinement. The rest of the paper will build on these elements, but the introduction of these foundational aspects of your paper should be clearly and concisely stated.
Paragraph Transitions . Review the overall paper to make sure the narrative flow is coherent throughout and that there are smooth transitions between paragraphs. Ensure that major transitions in text have a heading or sub-heading [if needed] and that the paragraph prior to the transition let's the reader know that you are about to shift to a new idea. Also, look for text that is overly long or that contains too much description and too little analysis and interpretation. Sometimes you need a long paragraph to describe a complex idea, event, or issue, but review them to make sure they can't be broken apart into shorter, more readable paragraphs.
Discussion of Results . Read over your discussion of the research findings and make sure you have not treated any of the evidence as unproblematic or uncomplicated. Make sure you have discussed the results through a critical lens of analysis that takes into account alternative interpretations or possible counter-arguments. In most cases, your discussion section should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the study's findings and their implications, both positive, supportive findings and negative, unanticipated findings.
Conclusion . Make sure you have done more than simply re-state the research problem and what you did. Provide the reader with a sense of closure by ensuring that the conclusion has highlighted all the main points of the paper and tells the reader why the study was important, what the paper's broader significance and implications might be, and, if applicable, what areas of the study require further research. Also note that the conclusion is usually no more than two or three paragraphs. If your conclusion is longer, look for ways to condense the text and be alert to information that is superfluous or should be integrated into other parts of your paper [e.g., new information].
Specific Strategies to Help Identify Errors
Once you have made any necessary revisions to your paper and looked for ways to strengthen its overall quality, focus on identifying and correcting specific errors within the text.
- Work from a printout, not a computer screen . Besides sparing your eyes from the strain of glaring at a computer screen, proofreading from a printout allows you to easily skip around to where errors might have been repeated throughout the paper [e.g., misspelling the name of a person].
- Read out loud . This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences and missing words, but you'll also hear other problems that you may not have identified while reading the text out loud. This will also help you adopt the role of the reader, thereby helping you to understand the paper as your audience might.
- Use a ruler or blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you're reading . This technique keeps you from skipping over possible mistakes and allows you to deliberately pace yourself as you read through your paper.
- Circle or highlight every punctuation mark in your paper . This forces you to pay attention to each mark you used and to confirm its purpose in each sentence or paragraph. This is a particularly helpful strategy if you tend to misuse or overuse a punctuation mark, such as a comma or semi-colon.
- Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes . Using the Ctrl F search [find] feature can help identify repeated errors faster. For example, if you overuse a phrase or repeatedly rely on the same qualifier [e.g., "important"], you can do a search for those words or phrases and in each instance make a decision about whether to remove it, rewrite the sentence, or use a synonym.
- If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error , moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake. For instance, read through once [backwards, sentence by sentence] to check for fragments; read through again [forward] to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again [perhaps using a computer search for "this," "it," and "they"] to trace pronouns to antecedents.
- End with using a computer spell checker or reading backwards word by word . Remember that a spell checker won't catch mistakes with homonyms [e.g., "they're," "their," "there"] or certain word-to-word typos [like typing "he" when you meant to write "the"]. The spell-checker function can catch some errors quickly, but it is not a substitute for carefully reviewing the text. This also applies to the grammar check function as well.
- Leave yourself enough time . Since many errors are made and overlooked by speeding through writing and proofreading, setting aside the time to carefully review your writing will help you identify errors you might otherwise miss. Always read through your writing slowly. If you read through the paper at a normal speed, you won't give your eyes sufficient time to spot errors.
- Ask a friend to read your paper . Offer to proofread a friend's paper if they will review yours. Having another set of eyes look over your writing will often spot errors that you would have otherwise missed.
NOTE: Pay particular attention to the spelling of proper nouns [an individual person, place, or organization]. Make sure the name is carefully capitalized and spelled correctly, and that this spelling has been used consistently throughout the text of your paper. This is especially true for proper nouns transliterated into English or that have been spelled differently over time. In this case, choose the spelling most consistently used by researchers in the literature you have cited so, if asked, you can explain the logic of your choice.
Carduner, Jessie. "Teaching Proofreading Skills as a Means of Reducing Composition Errors." Language Learning Journal 35 (2007): 283-295; Gaste, Barbara. “Editing and Proofreading Your Own Work.” American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Journal 30 (2015): 147-151; Editing and Proofreading. Writing Center, University of North Carolina; Proofreading. Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Proofreading. Writing Center, University of Maryland; Harris, Jeanette. "Proofreading: A Reading/Writing Skill." College Composition and Communication 38 (1987): 464-466; Editing and Proofreading. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Mintz, Steve. “Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Students’ Writing.” Higher Ed Gamma (Opinion). Inside Higher Ed , August 17, 2022; Revising vs. Proofreading, Kathleen Jones Wright Writing Center, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Editing and Proofreading Strategies. Student Writing Support, University of Minnesota; Saleh, Naveed. The Writer's Guide to Self-Editing: Essential Tips for Online and Print Publication . Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2019; Writing a Paper. Walden Writing Center, Walden University; The Writing Process: Proofreading. The Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University.
USC Writing Center
S hould you need help proofreading your paper, take advantage of the assistance offered by consultants at the USC Writing Center located on the second floor of Taper Hall, room 216. Consultations are free and they can help you with any aspect of the writing process. Walk-in help is provided when consultants are available, but you should schedule an appointment online because the Center gets very busy as the semester progresses. If you meet with a consultant be sure to bring a copy of your writing assignment, any relevant handouts or texts, and any outlines or drafts you've written. Also, the Center conducts helpful, fifty minute small-group writing skills workshops for students that cover a wide range of topics. These workshops provide an opportunity for you to improve your skills related to an aspect of writing that you may be struggling with, particularly if English is not your native language.
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The Scribbr editing service
This is how we improve your document.
Standard Proofreading & Editing is perfect if you’re confident about your writing but need a second pair of eyes to catch:
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Inconsistencies in dialect
- Overuse of passive voice
- Subjective or inflated language
For a more comprehensive edit, you can add one or multiple add-on editing services that fit your needs.
Customize your editing package to get the help you need, structure check, clarity check, paper formatting, citation editing.
Ensures sections and chapters are structured and focused and your writing is free of redundancies.
- Through in-text feedback, your editor will help:
- Organize and focus individual chapters and sections
- Eliminate repetitive and redundant information
- Perfect transitions between sentences and paragraphs
- Align titles and headings with the section’s content
You’ll also receive a personalized Structure Check Report meant to help you identify missing elements in each chapter or section and prioritize improvements.
Ensures ideas are presented clearly, your arguments are consistent, and your audience can follow along.
Through in-text comments and checklists, your editor will:
- Make sure your text tells a clear and logical story
- Check that you’ve clearly presented concepts, ideas, and key terms
- Make sure your key takeaways and conclusions are front and center
- Highlight contradictions within the text
- Ensure you’re keeping your audience’s needs in mind
Ensures a professional look and feel of your document that meets your formatting requirements.
Your formatting expert will apply the 7th edition APA Style guidelines to all elements in your paper, including:
- Margins, spacing, and indentation
- Body text and headings
- Page numbers
- Abstract and keywords
- Explanatory footnotes
Ensures your citations and references are consistent and meet your style guide’s requirements.
Your citation expert will:
- Format your reference page (margins, indents, spacing)
- Edit citations and references to your style guide’s requirements
- Provide feedback on incomplete citations and references
- Cross-check citations with references for inconsistencies
We’re familiar with all common citation styles, including APA, MLA, Harvard, Vancouver, and Chicago.
Native academic editors
You'll only get matched with best editors.
At Scribbr, you can rest assured that only the best editors will work on your paper.
All our 800+ editors have passed the challenging Scribbr Academy, which has a passing rate of only 2%. To put that in perspective, Harvard has an acceptance rate of 3%.
We handpick your editor on several criteria, including field of study and document type. And we’ll even expand your team with citation and formatting experts if needed.
I have a doctorate in biology and studied a range of life science subjects. I specialize in editing academic texts.
I researched at Harvard, taught English with a Fulbright in Peru, and earned a master's from Johns Hopkins.
I am an academic editor and book reviewer. I am familiar with many style guides and have edited over 6 million words.
I have a bachelor's in electrical engineering and a master's in psychology and am pursuing a PhD in neuroscience.
I am an ESL teacher and academic editor with a research background in the humanities, arts, and culture.
Improve your writing with professional proofreading and editing services
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“Always feel empowered after the proofreading”
This is my third time using Scribbr. I find the proofreading and comments very helpful and caring. I always feel empowered after the corrections.
How it works
This is what you can expect from our proofreading service, upload any time.
Upload your document and easily select the pages that need editing. Next, choose your turnaround time and services, and explain your situation and needs to the editor.
Stay in the loop
After placing your order you can keep track of our progress. From finding your perfect editor to potential hand-overs to formatting or citation experts.
Revise and submit
You’ll receive your document back with tracked changes and feedback, as well as a personal letter from your editor. The last step is submitting your work with confidence!
Scribbr & academic integrity
Scribbr is committed to protecting academic integrity. Our proofreading service, our AI writing tools ( plagiarism checker , paraphrasing tool , grammar checker , summarizer, Citation Generator ) as well as our free Knowledge Base content are designed to help students produce quality academic papers.
We make every effort to prevent our software from being used for fraudulent or manipulative purposes.
Your questions, answered.
Scribbr specializes in editing study-related documents . We proofread:
- Research proposals
- Personal statements
- Admission essays
- Motivation letters
- Reflection papers
- Journal articles
The fastest turnaround time is 12 hours.
You can upload your document at any time and choose between three deadlines:
At Scribbr, we promise to make every customer 100% happy with the service we offer. Our philosophy: Your complaint is always justified – no denial, no doubts.
Our customer support team is here to find the solution that helps you the most, whether that’s a free new edit or a refund for the service.
Yes, if your document is longer than 20,000 words, you will get a sample of approximately 2,000 words. This sample edit gives you a first impression of the editor’s editing style and a chance to ask questions and give feedback.
How does the sample edit work?
You will receive the sample edit within 12 hours after placing your order. You then have 24 hours to let us know if you’re happy with the sample or if there’s something you would like the editor to do differently.
Read more about how the sample edit works
Yes, in the order process you can indicate your preference for American, British, or Australian English .
If you don’t choose one, your editor will follow the style of English you currently use. If your editor has any questions about this, we will contact you.
Yes, regardless of the deadline you choose, our editors can proofread your document during weekends and holidays.
Example: If you select the 12-hour service on Saturday, you will receive your edited document back within 12 hours on Sunday.
Our APA experts default to APA 7 for editing and formatting. For the Citation Editing Service you are able to choose between APA 6 and 7.
Every Scribbr order comes with our award-winning Proofreading & Editing service , which combines two important stages of the revision process.
For a more comprehensive edit, you can add a Structure Check or Clarity Check to your order. With these building blocks, you can customize the kind of feedback you receive.
You might be familiar with a different set of editing terms. To help you understand what you can expect at Scribbr, we created this table:
View an example
Your editor is on stand-by and ready to start editing your document.
Get in touch, with real people.
We answer your questions quickly and personally from 9:00 to 23:00 CET
- Start live chat
- Email [email protected]
- Call +1 (510) 822-8066
- WhatsApp +31 20 261 6040
Level up your writing with scribbr’s top-rated guides.
Language Rules to Improve Your Academic Writing
The dos and don’ts for academic writing, english mistakes commonly made, common word choice confusions in academic writing, ask our team.
Want to contact us directly? No problem. We are always here for you.
Frequently asked questions
Academic Editing and Proofreading Services
I need to have my journal article, dissertation, or term paper edited and proofread, or I need help with things like admissions essays and proposals.
Try before you buy.
All services are available 24/7.
Polishing your document for publication
How we can help.
1. We make sure your paper is judged on merit and not rejected because of spelling and grammar errors.
2. Scribendi has been helping academics and researchers get published in journals of all sizes and disciplines for more than 20 years. See below.
3. Many of our editors are published academics themselves, and they specialize in many different topics—from art to zoology.
Ready to make Scribendi work for you?
Below is just a sample of academic journals in which scribendi's clients have been published..
- British Medical Journal
- British Journal of Ophthalmology
- British Journal of Sports Medicine
- Dental Materials
- Forest Policy and Economics
- Information and Management
- Journal of Marine Systems
- Journal of Operations Management
- Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics
- Advances in Regenerative Biology
- Annals of Human Biology
- Journal of Aesthetics & Culture
- Early Child Development and Care
- Emerging Health Threats Journal
- Ethics & Global Politics
- European Journal of Sport Science
- Food & Nutrition Research
- Inter-Asia Cultural Studies
- Research in Learning Technology
- Medical Education Online
- British Educational Research Journal
- Contemporary Accounting Research
- Decision Sciences
- Information Systems Journal
- Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
- Journal of Zoology
- Production and Operations Management
- R&D Management
- AIMS Agriculture and Food
- AIMS Allergy and Immunology
- AIMS Bioengineering
- AIMS Cell and Tissue Engineering
- AIMS Electronics and Electrical Engineering
- AIMS Energy
- AIMS Environmental Science
- AIMS Materials Science
- AIMS Mathematics
- AIMS Neuroscience
- AIMS Public Health
- Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine
- Journal of Business Ethics
Our professional editors helped clients get published in the following fields.
Physics & Astronomy
Select a service to get an instant quote.
A thorough edit for consistency of voice, tone, and organizational structure, as well as a first revision for language errors. Great for multi-author works and early drafts.
A proofreading service for final drafts of journal articles, reports, letters, posters, conferences, papers, research, and more. We will review your work for spelling, grammar, or typographical errors and check your references and citations against a style guide.
Get dissertation editing services from an academic editor with years of experience editing dissertations, theses, and academic papers. Our dedicated Dissertation Editing service ensures top-notch editing, style refinement, and adherence to guidelines, enhancing the professionalism of your academic writing. With a focus on swift turnaround times, meet your trusted partner for the best dissertation editing services.
Your supervisor has finally given the green light, and now it's time for the ultimate stage of refinement: dissertation proofreading and formatting, all in accordance with your institution's exact requirements. This critical step in the process ensures that your academic masterpiece, whether it's a thesis or dissertation, reaches its pinnacle of perfection.
Structural editing paves the way for better reader engagement and a smoother publishing process by ensuring that your manuscript's content is clearly organized and perfectly paced. This specialized Structural Editing service is ideal for early drafts, as your editor will combine a comprehensive structural edit with professional proofreading to remove language errors.