Academic Proofreading for Students – The Demands of Academic Writing
Why do we need Academic Proofreading?
For most students the essays they submit during their time at university will be the most important pieces of writing they ever compose. Unfortunately, too many students fail to realise that the standards of writing required for such assignments are far more demanding than anything they will be familiar with from school or college. Labouring under the illusion that what counts is what they write rather than how they write it, many students fail to achieve the grades they aspire to simply because their level of academic English is not up to scratch.
Today’s Students and ‘Internetese’
Young people today write more than any generation before them, and one might suppose this can only be a good thing. The trouble is that most of what they write — in the form of text messages, emails, and comments on social media and networking sites — is informal, hurriedly composed, and pays little heed to the rules of correct English spelling, grammar and punctuation. Consequently, by the time they get to university, most students are in the habit of writing in a style that falls a long way short of the exacting standards required for formal academic papers.
Although students are aware that different standards are required for texting or emailing, on the one hand, and academic writing on the other, research shows a growing tendency for the bad habits of the former to creep into the latter. Teachers, lecturers and examiners report that for many students the line between formal and informal writing has become blurred, meaning that the truncated and conversational forms of expression characteristic of text messaging and ‘internetese’ are increasingly showing up in their academic papers. Needless to say, when this happens at university level, examiners are very far from impressed, and students risk not only losing valuable marks but even failing their written assignments.
Why Hard Work and Intelligence is Not Enough
While there has always been a need for proofreaders to check, correct and refine people’s writing, the foregoing suggests that this need is now greater than ever — especially for students. No matter how hard you may have worked or how intelligent you may be, if your level of academic English is below par, your grades will suffer as a result. The essays you submit must compete for your examiner’s attention alongside dozens of others, so if you are aiming for those higher marks, your work needs to stand out from the crowd in terms of clarity and readability. If you write badly, with poor spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence construction, your examiner will form an unfavourable impression of your academic merit that will be reflected in your final marks. It might well be the reason why those upper-second or first-class grades keep eluding you.
“No matter how impressive your ideas are, or how pretty your essay looks when it arrives in the print tray, bad grammar and poor spelling will instantly prejudice your tutor against you – and with good reason. The days of splurging your ideas out onto the page and letting the reader work out what you mean, are over.” (Richard Turley, Writing Essays)
The Importance of Professional Proofreading
Over the years students have been slow to take advantage of professional proofreading services. While experienced academics, professional journalists and world renowned authors have always had their work checked, corrected and perfected by professional proofreaders and copy-editors, students have been content to rely upon their computer spell-checkers for their editing needs.
To find out why you can’t simply rely on your computer’s automatic spell-checker click here.
Thankfully things are beginning to change and an increasing number of students are waking up to the fact that — if they are to stay ahead of the competition and attain the highest grades — they need to make use of the services of professional proofreaders and academic editors. This is why the smarter students are sending their work to us. They may not tell you they’re doing it, but we can assure you they are. So instead of asking yourself whether you can afford it, a better question might be: “Can I afford not to?”
Investing in Your Future
Is it worth the risk of submitting your essays or dissertation without having a professional proofreader check, correct, refine and polish it? We advise you not to leave anything to chance. It could well make the difference between a 2.2 and a 2.1, or a 2.1 and a 1st. In turn, what class of degree you come away with will affect your employment opportunities for the rest of your life. By sending your work to us, then, you are not only making sure you do justice to your hard work by having it presented in clear and flawless academic English, but also making a hugely important investment in your future.
If you really want to give yourself the best chance of getting your desired grade we therefore recommend that, before submitting your writing assignments, you send them to us to receive the professional treatment of our dedicated proofreaders, with an academic proofreading service. Since any claims or arguments that cannot be readily understood will cost you valuable marks, it’s vital that you have your essays edited before you submit them. This is the case not only for the arts and humanities, where the quality of writing contributes significantly to the final grade, but for any course module in which written work makes up a sizeable component.
Our Professional Proofreaders
We employ proofreaders who have worked as copy-editors for the most prestigious academic journals and university presses. Some are university teaching assistants and lecturers who regularly examine undergraduate and postgraduate papers. All our proofreaders are native English speakers and hold advanced degrees from British universities. They have vast academic proofreading experience and the highest professional credentials. Our highly skilled and conscientious proofreaders will ensure that your hard work is presented in the best possible light, thereby providing you with the best opportunity of attaining the class of degree to which you aspire.
What Our Professional Academic Proofreading Services Can Do For You
Our professional proofreaders can:
- Improve the overall quality of your academic English
- Fix all spelling, grammatical, punctuation and typographical errors
- Amend mistakes that would not be picked up by automatic spelling and grammar checkers (e.g. those involving homonyms, compounds, proper nouns, and word meanings)
- Remove or complete all sentence fragments
- Correct any confusing switches of tense
- Amend any ambiguous uses of pronouns
- Correct any misplaced or dangling modifiers
- Break up or shorten overlong sentences and paragraphs
- Eliminate repetition and redundancy
- Ensure consistency of referencing and citation style
- Ensure that technical vocabulary is used correctly
- Ensure consistency of either British or American English
- Format your work to professional standards, improving layout, margins, line spacing, paragraph breaks and fonts
- Ensure your citation-style, footnotes, pagination, margins, font and layout all conform to your university’s specified guidelines
- Professionally format your table of contents, bibliography, references, lists of figures, charts, diagrams, graphs and tables
What You Will Receive (and How it Will Improve Your Academic English)
With all our academic proofreading services you’ll be provided with two fully edited copies of your work. One of these will be a highlighted ‘track changes’ version, enabling you to accept or reject any given alteration with a simple click. It also means you can see exactly what changes have been made, and from this you’ll be able to learn how to improve your writing when it comes to future assignments. Having inspected these changes and corrections, the next time you come to write an essay you’ll know where to focus your attention and which mistakes to avoid. This will both improve your academic English and give you more confidence in the work you submit. And as for the other, unmarked version, if you’re happy with what we’ve done, you can simply print it out and submit it right away!
Why not find out the benefits of academic editing by clicking here.
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