What to expect from a professional proofreading service

We’ve already covered what to consider when finding a reliable editing service for both one-off and long-term projects. Once you’ve settled on one, what can you do to get the best from your editor? Here we’ll cover what to expect from a professional proofreading service in terms of responsiveness, communication, access to support, and opportunity to provide feedback. In short, what you should expect from Wordy – or any other professional proofreading service – and how to make sure you get it, and what to do if something’s missing from your experience.

Your work should start with a comprehensive brief

Editors want to understand your needs, accurately and comprehensively, so you won’t be disappointed by receiving something different from what you were anticipating. When you submit your text for editing, let your editor know exactly what you are looking for. For example:

  1. Tell us who your intended readership is. Make sure we know who will be reading the final text. Are you writing to a recruitment panel to apply for a job? Are you posting a new blog on your company website? Are your readers children whose language level may be lower than the average adult’s? Are you writing an academic thesis which calls for accurate citations? Are you writing a brochure describing holiday homes for rent? All these situations require a different kind of language. Your Wordy editor will better understand what changes are required if they can picture who will be reading the final product.
  2. Tell us if your text has been translated from another language and you want the editor to be extra careful that the edited version sounds natural and idiomatic. English may be a global language, but there are all sorts of interesting variations in terms of spelling, punctuation, word choice and formatting conventions. Your editor will be aware of these nuances and will apply the correct style accordingly – as long as you tell them you need this.
  3. Tell your editor if you need your text to conform with the writing style practices of your company, organisation or institution. Some organisations have idiosyncratic preferences, and it’s important to follow these when consistency is required. If your organisation has a house style guide, please attach it together with your text, so that your editor can refer to it as they work on your document.
  4. Tell us if there is a specific word count you need to stick to. This will indicate to your editor how much or how little they should stretch or condense the text. Note, though, that if the document needs a lot of cutting, you will need to select the “rewrite” option. Often, reducing a word count is not merely a matter of deleting the occasional sentence; it can involve substantial tweaking of what is retained. Also note that creating content is outside the Wordy editor’s scope. Please don’t supply a 600-word list of bullet points and expect that your editor will transform it into smooth, flowing prose of 1,200 words in perfect paragraphs. If you submit a list of bullet points, you will get a list of bullet points back (although they will be spelled and punctuated correctly).
  5. Tell us if you are under a tight deadline. You can request the “express” option, but note that the delivery time you will be given is an estimate only. Although almost every job is returned within that time, it is not guaranteed. (Delays can be due to work surges, or the specialist editor you need not being available immediately, etc.) However, we will always work hard to get jobs back to you in an impressively quick turnaround time, especially when there is any urgency. And when you say you need something back “by 4pm tomorrow”, make sure you tell your editor what time zone you are referring to, or what part of which country you are in! (It may already be “4pm tomorrow” in their part of the world.)

Once your job has been claimed, stay open to communication

It’s great to brief your editor comprehensively, but you may wish to make some last-minute changes or they may have a few questions for you. Keep your job page open, or adjust your Wordy notification settings so you know the minute any messages come through from your editor. The job page is a great way to stay in touch while your job is being completed. It’s also an easy way to send a note to your editor that you’ve received the edited work and you’re happy with what they’ve done. We love hearing good news!
Sometimes clients ask us if they can speak directly to their editor by phone, but our policy is to limit communication to written form. Remember that you and your editor may be on opposite sides of the world. Neither you nor they will do their best work if unintentionally disturbed by calls coming through at inconvenient hours.

Once your job has been returned to you, check to see what we’ve done

Our guarantee is that you will be happy with the results. On rare occasions, if there has been a miscommunication or misunderstanding, the text may not be what you expected. Let us know! First, send a message to your editor explaining what you think is wrong. The editor can make more changes and upload a new file for you. You can request up to three re-edits at no charge. If you are still unhappy with the work provided after the re-edits, you can email [email protected] to request a refund. Wordy has an established process it undertakes in cases like this. A head editor will review your document and base any decision about a refund on the number of errors and inconsistencies found in the text. This process is backed up by service and support via live chat or email when you need it.

We hope this has added to your understanding of what to expect from a professional proofreading service – and certainly what to expect from Wordy.

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