Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between copyediting and proofreading?


Copyediting involves checking for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. The process includes rewriting paragraphs where necessary to address any problems with transitions, wordiness and jargon. It is also important when copyediting to ensure the style of the document is consistent throughout. Proofreading involves searching for typographical errors once the document is in its final draft. Proofreading does not involve rewriting or carrying out major text changes (as these processes will have taken place already) but can include minor text and formatting amendments.




How much do you charge for your copyediting and proofreading services?


As each job is different, please get in touch so that we may discuss your needs, and I can provide you with a quotation.




What format does my document need to be in and how do I get it to you?


You will need to email your document to helena@helenapeacock.com, in either Word or as a PDF. If it is in Word, I will make any amendments using track changes, and if in PDF, I will use the comment function to advise my recommended changes. If your document is in another format, please contact me to discuss.




How long does it take you to copyedit or proofread my document?


Each document will differ so it is impossible to specify exactly how long it will take me, but as a very rough guide, a document of 100 A4 pages should ordinarily take me about a day to proofread. If I am required to copyedit the document, then this may take longer.




Does it matter if there is no prior knowledge of the subject matter?


I copyedit and proofread a number of documents with subject matters for which I have no prior knowledge and this does not hinder my ability to carry out the jobs required of me. In fact, a number of my clients find it very useful when I don't have a full understanding of the subject matter as I can critique the work from an objective viewpoint.




What if I am a non-native English speaker or writer?


Where English isn't the writer's first language, and as much as the text may make perfect sense, I will put forward suggestions to enable the text to read in the correct tone for the proposed reader. Often non-native English speakers write with a more formal tone when this is not necessarily their intention.




How does a maritime or yachting CV differ from a regular CV?


The maritime or yachting industry requires CVs to be drafted in a very specific way. For more information regarding this, please see this blog which I wrote for UKSA, a UK maritime academy.




Why can't I proofread my own work?


It is seldom advisable to check your own work for errors since the human brain is able to trick you into reading what it knows should be written as opposed to what is actually written. Employing a professional proofreader with a fresh set of eyes and attention to detail will invariably benefit even the most experienced writers.