Editorial services

Editorial services, including proofreading, paraphrasing, and rewriting, from Stephen York

What editorial services are provided?

Editorial services from Stephen York Editorial comprise

  • simple proofreading (basic, checking spelling, punctuation and grammar only) or enhanced proof reading (looking at layout and style consistency also)
  • proof-editing (a hybrid of proofreading and light editing)
  • light editing (not a full copyedit, but improving flow and readability)
  • paraphrasing (keeping your ideas but changing the way they are expressed)
  • text condensing (reducing the word count, perhaps by cutting out he waffle or padding and keeping it lean in sticking with the main ideas)
  • rewriting (to give your text clarity and sharpness).

Proofreading: What is proofreading?

  • Proofreading is the close and detailed checking of a document or publication in order to rectify incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and consistency errors, as already covered on the benefits of proofreading page.
  • As a proofreader I can also alert you to the use of clichéd and stale writing and inconsistencies of language, layout, formatting, and presentation of facts and data.
  • I can also test the hyperlinks in your document to ensure they are functioning.
  • I will also comment on awkward and ambiguous wording, and offer solutions where possible, but not to the extent of full copyediting.

If you are unsure of the difference between proofreading and copyediting, see the page Proofreader or copyeditor on this site. I do not handle copyediting. (Please note that I only handle proofreading or other editorial services on screen, not on paper. This is more environmentally friendly.)

For further information on proofreading and copyediting, visit the site 



Sometimes your budget or schedule will not allow you to have a document both copyedited and proofread. I can offer a hybrid solution where I can carry out a light edit while I am proofreading – improving readability, clarity, and flow. This will cost a little more and take longer, but it may be the way for you. This service is more suited to documents rather than longer books, especially those that are fiction or academic. It is not a substitute for full copyediting.

Proofreading services to help you beat those deadlines

Proofreading services to help you beat those deadlines

What can you expect from proofreading and other editorial services?

Not perfection, but as close as is humanly possible perhaps.

Please note that proof correction does not include:

  • copyediting (please see the page proofreading vs copyediting for the distinction between them)
  • copyright permissions
  • indexing
  • literary appraisal or criticism
  • page design and layout
  • rewriting and development editing.


Other editorial services

These services will be charged at higher rates than simple proofreading as extensive writing skills will be called upon. As with proofreading the changes will be tracked in a Word document for your consideration. The final decision to accept or reject them is yours.


You may be concerned that what you have written is too close in wording to original sources, so to avoid accusations of plagiarism, however unintended, sentences can be rewritten or paraphrased. Or some material you have written may need to be rephrased so as to avoid repetition or staleness. In both cases the original meaning or arguments will be retained but the wording will be changed so that they are expressed differently.

Rewriting and condensing

You may want to condense your document to reduce the word count to:

  • change the tone (for instance from active to passive voice for a journal article submission)
  • reduce rambling sentence lengths to make them sharper
  • harmonize and consolidate your document as it may have been compiled over a period of time by different contributors with different writing and editorial styles

“I’ve engaged Stephen as a proofreader on a multitude of projects over the years. He has worked on higher education and further education textbooks as well as online resources for me, and has always delivered on time to a very high standard. …”

(Testimonial from educational publishing client)

All editorial services carried out will be subject to my Terms and Conditions of Business.

How is the proofreading or rewriting carried out?

Proofreading is carried out against edited copy or blind / cold on screen. Proofreading of paper / hard copy is no longer accepted. Light editing, rewriting, condensing , and paraphrasing will also be marked up using the following methods.

Marking up the editorial corrections

  • On screen for Microsoft Word documents using the ‘Track Changes’ tool under the Review tab that allows additions, deletions, corrections, and queries (comments) to be recorded. You will be able to see every amendment I have made and accept or reject it individually.
  • On screen for PDFs using the ‘editing’ tools of Insert, Delete, and Comment, or sometimes a combination of these Adobe Acrobat tools together with a few BSI symbols from BS5216C:2005 that are added as stamps, if preferred.

Using Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Acrobat DC the following file formats can be handled:

  • Microsoft Word files
  • PowerPoints
  • PDFs.

As well as my digital mark-up of the proofs in the formats mentioned above, I usually compile a proofreading report detailing the standard and requested additional checks carried out. I will also comment on the main style issues and changes made, and list editorial and author queries requiring further attention.

Paper proofs are no longer accepted but see exception under Proofreading for publishers page.