Students’ proofreading checklist

dissertations | theses | essays | assignments | personal statements & other documents

Please also see the main page Proofreading for students for an outline of my services and details of my discounted rate for students.

Set out below is a student’s proofreading checklist detailing what is (green) and what is not (red) usually included in the proofread according to the proofreading guidance or rules of many universities. Another example is given below from Glasgow University:

a male student using a computer
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

What is usually included (green listed)

Normally, according to university proofreading regulations, I am allowed to carry out the following checks and corrections:

  • checking for correct and consistent spelling; UK and US English handled
  • checking punctuation, grammar, and consistency of capitalization
  • correcting or highlighting incorrect word usage, such as “their” for “there”
  • raising queries or making suggestions on sentences that do not make sense, for instance if they cannot be eliminated by minor changes to punctuation or wording by me
  • checking text references to citations in the references or bibliography sections and their formatting but not their accuracy or validity
  • highlighting repetition, inconsistencies, and over-long sentences or paragraphs. I can suggest solutions where possible
  • undertaking basic formatting such as deleting double spaces between words or sentences or correcting inconsistent use of single and double quotation marks.

I will mark all corrections and queries using the Track changes tool in MS Word and you will be able to accept or reject each one individually, so retaining full control.

What is NOT usually included (red listed)

I will often not be permitted to carry out major formatting to improve visual appearance or hierarchy of headings, nor writing or rewriting. Based on the usual stipulations in university guidelines, I cannot usually be involved in the following:

x checking equations or calculations, or figures in tables or diagrams
x checking for factual errors
x rewriting to improve style or to reduce the word count
x creating a table of contents or reference list
x checking for plagiarism as it is your legal responsibility to avoid using someone else’s writing and passing it off as your own
x checking that the content of your document meets your educational institution’s guidelines, including word count.


Please allow plenty of time when sending documents for proofreading. A thorough, high-quality job requires sufficient time. For instance, 80,000 words cannot be properly proofread in a couple of days.

Payment by students

A non-refundable booking fee / deposit of 50% of the estimated total proofreading fee will be paid to me using my PayPal account (you do NOT need your own account) to reserve the time in my schedule. The balance to be advised needs to be settled before the completed work is released. See the Terms and Conditions page for details. For methods of payment see Payment page.

Remember I offer a discount of 25% to students, which will automatically have been deducted from estimates and quotes!

crop woman taking notes in calendar
Plan your proofreading timetable (Photo by Anete Lusina on

Students’ summary checklist for booking proofreading with me to make your life easier

  1. Contact me by email at to provide:
  • the title and type of document, e.g. dissertation, thesis, essay, etc.
  • the word count, including captions for any figures, tables, references, and other such features
  • the date it will be available for proofreading and the date you need it back by.

2. If proofreading terms are agreed, you should pay me as follows:

  • theses and dissertations: make payment of booking fee / deposit (non-refundable) as soon as possible by PayPal (you do NOT need your own account) to reserve my time. I can email you a payment request link if you do not have an account
  • essays and other short documents: the full sum will be paid by you by PayPal before I start work.

3. Submit the completed document to me in Microsoft Word format by email on the agreed date, or earlier if you are able to. I will not start work until I have the completed document and have received the deposit. Please do not forget to ensure:

  • figure and table captions have been added
  • references are complete
  • your writing does not closely resemble someone else’s published work – perhaps using an online plagiarism checker, such as Turnitin or Duplichecker
  • you have not exceeded the word count limit set by your university.

4. When advised, make payment of final balance and receive proofread document back.

5. Check and approve my changes and queries to your document using Track Changes.

6. Recheck the word count of your document to ensure it falls within the required limit and edit accordingly.

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