Isn’t spellchecker enough to find all the mistakes in my written documents?

In short, no. Spell checker or Autocorrect do have their place as useful tools for correcting written work, however they DO miss words or phrases that make no sense even though they may be correctly spelled. For an entertaining example of this please read: Candidate for a Pullet Surprise (Also known as the Spell chequer pome) by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H Zar:

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker’s
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word’s fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

What types of documents do you work on?

I specialise in proofreading and editing novels, both fiction and non-fiction. However, I also enjoy and have experience in academic work (essays, reports, coursework, journal articles), corporate work (business reports, magazines, advertisements, resumes and marketing materials, websites) and more (poetry, prose, scripts). If you’re not sure if your text is something I work with send me an email at: sarah@myproofreader.com.au or give me a call on: 0414 454 963.

Do you offer Gift Certificates?

Yes! Knowing that there are many writers who are too modest to initiate getting their book/writing ‘out there’ prompted me to offer Gift Certificates. This enables the loved ones around such writers to give a gentle ‘push’ of encouragement as well as the sign of confidence that comes with giving financial aid/investment.

Will my University consider consulting My Proofreader as cheating?

No. Universities in particular understand the value of having a ‘fresh set of eyes’ to proofread a student’s work. Being a university graduate myself I have experienced the university standards and procedures relating to this and will conduct my services accordingly.

How do you receive my text/manuscript and how do you return it?

I can receive your text either through email, download or USB if it is in a digital format, if it is hard copy (ink and paper) postage would be the likely means used. I am able to meet face-to-face if preferred by the client and exchanging of the text can be done then, so it’s best to decide what you would prefer, then let me know in our first communication.

Will you write the document for me?

As a proofreader or editor, No. I will only provide proofreading and editing services which means I will function at an ‘assisting’ level and at most will suggest rewriting sections of a text. I believe that the author’s work should be their own.

As a ghost writer or typist, yes. I will write the document for you but I will only be working in a ‘copying’ capacity I will not include large amounts of my own creative or subjective writing to your text.

What parts of my text do you proofread?

Simply, I proofread everything. Anything that is contained within the text will be checked, including page numbering, headings, footnotes, tables etc. Keeping this in mind, only give me what you actually want checked.

Do you edit in American and Australian English?

I do offer services in localising text from US English into Australian English. I use The Macquarie Dictionary and the Style manual: for authors, editors and printers (6th Edition) as my ‘go to’ reference tools. My standard is to edit and proofread assuming Australian English.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Preferably bank transfers and in some circumstances, if previously agreed upon, cash.

What types of document do you accept?

I primarily accept Microsoft Word document formats .doc, .docx and .rtf for a myriad of reasons, however I can convert PDF and Mac OS files (at the risk of some small inconsistencies caused between rival software or the converting process.) I use Microsoft Word documents and TrackChanges not only because it is preferable from a user’s stance, but also because it is superior to the PDF equivalent, and is easier for the writer to use too. If you have another file format please contact me and I will let you know what I can do with your specific file type. If you only have a hard copy (printed) version there will be extra costs associated with converting it to a digital copy (necessary for any publishing or printing process).

How do you keep my work safe?

All client files are kept on a private, secure drive within a system that has current Trend Micro Maximum Security software. I guarantee that your work will never be passed onto third parties and all work can be deleted once complete at your request. Additionally, I can sign a specific, legally binding, non-disclosure agreement for your project at your request.

How will I be sure of the quality of your services? What if I am unhappy with the work that is returned?

In the unfortunate and unlikely event that you are not satisfied with the service you receive and you can cite a credible reason for any dissatisfaction, My Proofreader will give you a full refund.

I’m not familiar with TrackChanges software, what can I do?

You’re not alone, most people are not aware that TrackChanges has been available to them in Microsoft Word until it becomes relevant and are explicitly shown it (which is not very often). I will walk you through how to find TrackChanges, how to read changes made and comments given, as well as, how to navigate through the changes by either accepting or rejecting them, or even adding some of your own! This brief training will usually happen in the second or third consultation, after I have read through the text and ‘marked up’. This service is included in the ‘consultation fee’. If you would rather have this session at the beginning or not at all please let me know and we can adjust the quote accordingly. But rest assured, it is user friendly and will not take too long to pick up!

How will you improve my writing?

For a more detailed explanation please see my specific services on the ‘services’ page. But briefly, I will review your writing and make improvements/suggestions based on tone, vocabulary, meaning, context, tenses, repetition, sentence structure (syntax), flow (on text and story levels), grammar, typos, formatting and punctuation. All suggestions/changes I make are highlighted using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes which means you can see everything I have done and accept or reject as you see fit. I try to always give an explanation or comment if the reason for the change isn’t blaringly obvious.

What are your opening hours?

My Proofreader is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5.30pm. Some allowances can be made outside of these hours, please contact Sarah at: sarah@myproofreader.com.au if you have any inquiries regarding this.

What if I need/want to make changes to my text/manuscript after you have finished proofreading/editing it? Will you redo it?

I will be happy to review any changes you make post-proofreading/editing for no extra charge, so long as the new material/alterations are minor and you have highlighted the sections clearly. However, if you make substantial amendments and need large portions re-done there will be an additional fee. My general rule of thumb is anything under 20 minutes I’ll do for free, anything over I will charge for.