Services: Proofreading, Copyediting and Structural Editing

In my editing of papers, theses and essays, I work hard to answer questions like:

Is the message of the research clearly communicated? Does it flow well? Are all the terms defined appropriately? Are the arguments well developed? Is there any repetition?

PhD, Master’s and Honours level students who are writing a thesis usually get this sort of help from their supervisors. You may find the second level of help useful when you are writing an undergraduate assignment.

For undergraduate students, when sending work for proofreading, please also send the assignment question and any appropriate style guide and referencing requirements specific to the School or Faculty you are studying with. Your work will be returned promptly with corrections and some explanations.

Proofreading can mean a simple check for grammar and spelling but when it comes to my form of checking this is more thorough as I look at grammar in its widest sense: the precise conveying of meaning. Perfectly grammatically correct English sentences can appear vague, whether they are written by people who grow up learning English as a first language or a second or third one.

Copyediting involves improving the expression of meaning. For my clients this often means, for instance, reducing repetition, condensing long sentences into shorter ones, finding appropriate synonyms, using more accurate vocabulary and altering the sequencing of ideas to improve the flow.

Structural editing can overlap with this but at a higher level. This also known as substantive or developmental editing. For academic editing, this may consist of comments instead of or sometimes as well as track changes. Supervisors rather than writing professionals are responsible for this level in the case of higher degree research candidates’ writing. Academics can benefit from structural editing for research papers, chapters and books. This can range from ideas for the graphical representation of information through to the cohesion and synthesis of the research content.


Business Documents: A Spellcheck Won’t Fix it All

How many times have you used the spellcheck and found there are still glaring errors in your writing? Or even worse, someone else has found them for you? Spellcheck programs have become more sophisticated and try to offer grammar checking. If you have used them, you will have used the ignore button often enough. You may be presented with some obscure rule that doesn’t apply. Alternatively, you may need to teach it a lot of names and other words it wasn’t programmed with. Recently I was asked if I wanted to replace “boss’s” with “bass’s”. No thanks, I didn’t!

As grammar geeks, we have sometimes mentioned to retail staff that e.g. “frittatas” does not need ‘s, neither does “coffees”. The sad part is that we have been told more than once that the spellcheck was used, and that it must be American spelling. If this is true, then Microsoft has more to answer for than ever! Who would expect I.T. nerds to be able to spell anyway?

Lovely food looks good anyway, but in many businesses you may well be losing money if people do not take your writing seriously.

Grammarfun offers an editing and proofreading service to businesses, for their document templates. We will also give a checklist of common errors found, and how to fix them, which can be used for future document construction.

If your business needs a serious Grammarfun makeover, please contact us.

fix misspellings

Recommendations from Clients

“Julie Martyn responded extremely quickly to my initial email and was extremely professional throughout my dealings with her. She provided me with prompt and constructive feedback and suggestions to improve the writing of my thesis. It was fantastic to have someone like Julie, with an extensive knowledge of scientific writing, to have a final look at my thesis and ensure that the work I submitted was the highest quality possible. Thank you Julie for all your help and going above and beyond in proofreading my lengthy work. I would highly recommend Julie to anyone looking for a professional and helpful proof reader to ensure the highest mark possible for any piece of assessment.”

— Camille Percival, Bachelor of Environment Management – Sustainable Development Honours, UQ

“Thank you so much Julie for all your help. Your constructive comments when I first spoke to you were what snapped me out of the slump that I had fallen into and encouraged me to take a fresh look at the thesis.  Thanks again.”

Tina Buncic, Bachelor of Science – Animal Studies Honours, UQ

“Thank you again for your proofreading, it was really helpful. I wrote concluding remarks on each paragraph where you showed me and, because of you, my argument has become more coherent. You gave me a lot of inspiration on my final assignment, I was wondering how I should do it. Thank you for your work!”

Larry Kim, Bachelor of Arts – Media Studies, UQ