Proofreading / Get detailed feedback from an 'English major.'


What do you mean by “collaborative?”

I like to draw a distinction between minor and non-minor changes.  For me, minor changes include things like basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  A good example of this is the classic “let’s eat Grandma” versus “let’s eat, Grandma.”  Punctuation can make a huge difference, and I’ll pick up on such things for you.  “Definately” will change to “definitely” when you receive your work back.  Such changes I consider to be minor, and will be made for you automatically.  However, so that you are aware of what has been changed, even minor changes will appear for your review in the “EDIT” version of the document which has the “track changes” or “show changes” feature turned on.

Where the collaborative part comes in is non-minor changes, such as substantive revision of a sentence or paragraph.  This will be left up to you to decide, and you can send the work back to me with questions or comments of your own.  Rather than bulldozing through your prose, I’ll highlight the area(s) in question and insert a “comment” with a question for clarification and/or a detailed suggestion for improvement.  Comments will typically focus on appropriate word choices, clarity, and specificity.  For example, you will be asked in the form of a comment to clarify sentences that are unclear due to the use of “passive voice.”  Passive: “The work was proofread.”  Active: “I proofread the work.”  To say that you or someone else did something (active) rather than saying that something was done (passive) is not only stylistically preferable, but more meaningful and clear: and this is the kind of  change I cannot make for you unless I know exactly what you’re talking about.  If I am fairly certain of what you’re talking about, I will make such changes for you, but will insert a comment advising against the use of passive voice (of which I am probably guilty in more than one area in this website–we all do it!).

For pricing information and how hourly rates are calculated for proofreading services, please click here, or contact me with your inquiry.

What exactly does Words in Minutes proofread?

Pretty well anything, but I have particular interest in helping students from high school to graduate school improve not only their grades, but also their writing. I don’t believe in unilateral editing; it should be a collaborative process by which both of us learn something. That said, I am certainly not in the business of writing students’ essays for them. What you can expect with Words in Minutes is thoughtful, thorough proofreading of the following academic documents:

  • Essays
  • Theses
  • Dissertations
  • Statements of interest

How does it work?

When you send me a draft in the form of a file named “myreport.doc,” I will rename this file “myreport – DRAFT.doc.”  I will copy this and rename the copy “myreport – EDIT.”  I will open the EDIT version, turn on “track changes,” and proofread the document, making minor changes and inserting comments for non-minor changes that I think you should consider.  The purpose of the EDIT version is twofold: transparency and learning.  The “FINAL” version has the tracked changes accepted, leaving only the comments for you to read and remove.



The “EDIT” version of a Grade 11 student essay.