Succeeding in academia is increasingly competitive and a professional proofreader is more necessary today than ever before – whether English is your first, second, or third language. Our aim is to make sure your argument is clear and effective without changing the meaning or character of the work, however complex your ideas. For academic work, this includes ensuring the structure of the work presents your thesis in a clear and logical way that conforms to accepted conventions.
At Inkwell Proofreading, we can work with you in whatever way most suits your approach. Some authors prefer to send the completed work while others may choose to send a first draft for feedback on the effectiveness of the structure and any inconsistencies in the text. We can give consistent and intelligent feedback regarding structure and layout, as well as the cogency of your discussion.
At its most basic, proofreading is a simple and effective way of giving your work its best chance by adjusting clumsy or ambiguous wording that can distract the reader from its content. This is especially important for work relating to conflict-affected countries, fragile states and interreligious and intercultural dialogue where a correct understanding of an author’s argument is essential.
However, academic proofreading also has more far-reaching functions. While a proofreader in no way replaces a tutor or other academic support, s/he(1) can spot factual errors and contradictions within your work.
As well as checking for good grammar and fluent prose, our service includes the following:
ensuring chapters and sections are well structured and link into each other effectively
pointing out/removing contradictions, inconsistencies or unnecessary repetition
ensuring references are correct and consistent
ensuring the text conforms to prescribed styles
inserting a table of contents and other tables/appendices
ensuring diagrams are correctly positioned
checking for consistency of spelling and the introduction of abbreviations at first use
reducing the length of the work, if necessary
If English is not your first language, having feedback and help with expressing your ideas can ensure that your work reflects your intellectual abilities rather than your use of English. For more information about this, see our ‘English as a Second Language’ page.
However carefully you write, you probably find you make minor mistakes that are difficult to pick out yourself. In fact, anyone familiar with your work is liable to assume you have written what they already know you mean. On the other hand, while computer programs can provide useful guides regarding grammar and spelling, they don’t have an intelligent approach and may make nonsense of sophisticated arguments – although these corrections can occasionally be very funny, they do nothing to further your discussion. So, to ensure your work is presented accurately and clearly, there is no serious alternative to a high-quality proofreader.
(1). As the use of gender-neutral pronouns is an active area of language change, I use s/he as a personal preference. However, within texts I proofread, I always follow whichever form is prescribed or preferred.
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