Whether you’re a college student or a researcher, finding someone you trust to give you excellent feedback is tough—particularly when you’re dealing with a lot of academic jargon.
That’s why it’s important to use academic proofreaders to help you bring out the best version of your research paper while keeping the work true to its original form.
Sure, there are hundreds of academic proofreading services available online, and they can help improve your research. But choosing the right proofreader can be a daunting task, which is why sometimes researchers opt to proofread themselves.
Of course, doing it yourself is a lot of work and it’s easy to make mistakes.
To help you find the right proofreader for your academic research, we will discuss what you can expect from a proofreader, the difference between proofreading and copyediting, and how to find one you can rely on.
What does an academic proofreader do?
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and is different from content editing as it doesn’t go as in-depth. An academic proofreader finds and corrects all surface-level writing errors in your paper. This can include all kinds of errors like:
- Grammatical errors
- Spelling mistakes
- Wrong punctuation
- Misuse of homophones
- Stylistic inconsistencies
- Formatting issues
Proofreading services require advanced expertise and extensive knowledge of the English language for the reader to actually detect these mistakes. Essentially, their task is to make sure that your research is free of any obvious spelling and grammatical errors.
One thing to remember, though, is that a proofreader will only check for errors within the text once you’re done writing it and not work with you to write your research. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll need an academic editor instead.
Why do you need an academic proofreader?
You need a proofreader because proofreading is your last chance to fix errors before submitting your research paper. They help you to polish your paper and add that final gloss. Academic proofreading also helps you improve your overall research and allows you to communicate your message clearly and effectively to the readers.
Here are 3 reasons why you need an academic proofreader:
1. Boost Your Authority and Reputation
Proofreading enhances your authority and protects your reputation as a researcher or author. Having a document filled with errors means you don’t value your research enough to polish the details. As a result, it’ll be harder to boost your authority and reputation as someone knowledgeable about the subject matter.
2. Ensure Clarity
Proofreading ensures that you’re able to relay what you mean. As a researcher, it’s important that you’re not being misunderstood with your claims and statements, so it’s vital that you are using all punctuation correctly. After all, punctuation has the power to change the meaning of a sentence. For example, look at these two versions of the same sentence:
- I like cooking, my family, and my pets.
- I like cooking my family and my pets.
The two sentences talk about different things, even though they’re written with the same words in the same order. The first sentence shows a list of what the author likes. The second one, without the commas, means that the author enjoys cooking her family and pets.
You don’t want to commit the same morbid mistake just because you missed a comma.
3. Increase Your Chances of Getting Published
Elsevier, an academic publishing company, rejects up to 50% of articles submitted to their journals before it even reaches the peer review stage. One of the main reasons for rejection? The paper is incomprehensible and riddled with errors.
And since many journals are international, the language for submission of a manuscript needs to be in correct English. That’s why it helps to have a fluent English speaker do English proofreading before submitting it to publishing companies.
Where can you find an academic proofreader?
Now you know the purpose of proofreading and its importance in enhancing your entire research. But where can you find a meticulous academic proofreader to ensure that they’re doing exactly what you expect them to do?
Here are 3 ways to find a qualified person to do English proofreading:
#1 – Word of Mouth/Referrals
Ask within your circle of authors, whether in person or virtually, for a recommendation of a proofreader they trust. After all, there’s no better confidence vote than from someone who’s already worked with a proofreader and can vouch for their skills.
If the person you are recommended is too busy, don’t hesitate to ask for an alternative you can contact instead. They’re likely to know someone else and can provide you with a referral.
#2 – Use Online Tools
If cold emailing or reaching out to proofreaders doesn’t work for you, online tools are a great alternative. There are tons of online tools readily available that we recommend you try. Some of these include:
- Flowcite Proofreading Services– You’ll have access to professional proofreading and editing services from native English speakers who are experts on various subject matters to optimise your paper.
- Find A Proofreader– Connect with a wide range of freelance proofreaders from all over the world with just a quick search in this tool.
- Hemingway App– The tool highlights complex sentences and errors and gives suggestions to make your writing clearer and more readable.
#3 – Online Directories
There are also plenty of national directories you can browse through to find the right proofreader for your research. You can either look into national or local directories. Some directories you can look into are the following:
- Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading– A directory of proofreaders who are well-versed in various subject matters
- Editors’ and Proofreaders’ Alliance of Northern Ireland– Use this directory if you’re looking for proofreaders with high professional standards situated in Northern Ireland
- ESL Web Directory– An online directory of freelancers for English proofreading
Proofreading with Flowcite
Proofreading allows you to communicate your research clearly and correctly and ensure that it is free from errors. Unfortunately, finding the right proofreader for your research can be time-consuming and costly.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to connect with proofreaders, you can always use reliable tools like Flowcite.
At Flowcite, we offer a premium proofreading service that guarantees an error-free research paper that’s ready for submission. More than that, you’ll also have access to an all-in-one solution for academic research, writing, editing, publishing, and referencing.
Some of its essential features include:
- Grammar & Style Checker: Take advantage of our AI-driven assistant integrated into our editors and plugins to reach proficiency in writing.
- Plagiarism Service: To maintain your academic integrity, use our similarity checker powered by Unicheck and iThenticate (a Turnitin company) to avoid unintentional plagiarism with your paper.
- Integrated Summary Generator using Scholarcy: Reduce time spent identifying which relevant articles to include in your research paper.
- Grant Writing Service: Take the pressure off your shoulder in securing funding for research grants, especially if you’re inexperienced.
Flowcite enables you to simplify the research process from writing to publishing. By using the many features we offer, you’ll have more time to focus on improving your overall research and less time on time-consuming tasks like trying to find a proofreader.
Increase your chances of getting published with an error-free manuscript.
Content Marketing Strategist
Brittany is a Content Marketing Strategist at Flowcite, and an outstanding academic writing expert. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford and has been certified in Digital Marketing Analytics by the MIT Sloan School of Management.