Seven Differences



(Photo by Alan R. Photography)


As an academic proofreader, I hold to a philosophy and ethos that may differentiate me from some of the rest. Here, I discuss seven things that comprise the Word Engineer Difference:

1. I don’t do lightning-fast.

I am looking for customers who’ll let me value their work.

This is probably the most important document you’ve ever prepared.

It’s too important to have a proofreader do a rush job on it. 

Therefore, I don’t promise 24-hour turnaround times. 

If you want your document reviewed in less than 72 hours, there are plenty of platforms who will be happy to promise a quick job.

I take on work with a minimum deadline of three days. For documents with more than 10,000 words, allow an extra day for every 5,000 words more.


2. I am not a platform. You are not a number.

You won’t be kept at arm’s length. You’ll know your proofreader’s name.

While there is clearly a role to be played by the global proofreading giants for whom numbers, anonymity and turnover are the name of the game, the beauty of today’s connected world means that there is still a niche for personalised service providers.

Let me treat you for who you are and your work for what it is: you are a person, and this is the most important document you’ve ever created.

3. I don’t guarantee “100% error free”.

A one hundred percent error-free guarantee is hype based on hope

A guarantee like that is based on the hope that the editor will do a 100% perfect job, and the more realistic hope that you won’t notice the inevitable errors that are bound to occur.

I can’t guarantee 100%. Nobody can.

What I can guarantee, however, is that your document will be treated with care by a professional who will strive for perfection from start to finish.

4. I am not cheap.

A race to the bottom benefits nobody, least of all the client.

I am not interested in being the cheapest operator.

I seek clients who want their document to be treated with the attention it deserves, as the most important document they’ve ever created. 

Clients who want their proofreader to spend the time needed to do the job well.

5. No instant quotes.

I don’t take on work sight unseen.

So, no instant quotes.

But send me a copy of your document and some instructions and I’ll come back to you within 12–24 hours with a proposed fee and delivery time based on my assessment of your document.

6. I am big on academic integrity.

Your academic integrity is front of mind when I do my work.

Your document is your intellectual property.

I will not add to your content, nor will I help you achieve your wordcount target, whether up or down.

In short, you do your work, and I’ll do mine.

Be sure to send me a link to your institution’s guidelines on third-party editing.

7. If you like my work, you’ll love my referral scheme.

Refer me, and if it gets me new work, you’ll get a 10% discount.

I am confident that you’ll be happy to refer me to your colleagues.

If your referral results in a new engagement for me, I’ll give a 10% discount retrospectively to you.

That’s right! Ten successful referrals and you’ll have recovered your costs.


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