Terms and Conditions

Catherine Doran proofreading

Terms & Conditions 12.3.21

Please note – these are my default conditions and can only be overridden if I have made a personal written agreement with you.

1.   Accepting these terms and conditions

When I negotiate with you, I will draw your attention to these terms and conditions. By sending me your work to complete, you are indicating that you accept these terms and conditions. Please read them in full and ask me any questions before we commence working.    Thank you!

2.   My work – proofreading

I will carry out the work in MS Word, using ‘Track Changes’ and ‘Comments’ (I will explain how to use these features if necessary) or by work on PDF if this is arranged between us prior to commencing proofreading. This will be done fully in accordance with the proofreading policy and style sheet provided by your department/educational institution, should either be provided to me. If not, please see the notes below – which are written in accordance with the proofreading policy of my local university (the University of Essex).

It should be noted that proofreading and/or editing services for students are provided to improve the text of your thesis or dissertation; responsibility for the accuracy and content of the final manuscript lies with the author and not with the proofreader.

In summary, I will:

More details on the restrictions on work carried out are given in the table below.

Proofreading/editing activityChecked and corrected by the proofreaderHighlighted by the editor for correction by the student
Typographical errorsü 
Spelling errorsü 
Misaligned fonts, line lengthsü 
Clumsy or missing paragraph breaks/pagination, where appropriate (initial paragraphing by author)  ü  ü
Incorrect grammarü 
Inconsistencies in language and abbreviations, depending on situation (see student section below)üü
Lack of clarity ü
Repetition ü
Poor logic flow (in text, not in argument) ü

Adapted with permission from Trivalent Editing

3.   Important things to remember:

4.   Pricing

Proofreading and copyediting

My charges for proofreading begin at £8 per thousand words.

My charges for proofreading for urgent work – where turnaround time is less than a week for shorter pieces of work and less than a month for longer pieces, begin at £15 per thousand words.

Please contact me to find out how I can help you. I always prepare a quote and confirm the charges by proofreading a part of your work before agreement is made – see the relevant section below.


I often transcribe interviews and can provide this – please get in touch for pricing. My charges for this usually begin at around 90p per minute.

5.   Quotations

I will give you a quote and return time based on the sample of work and information you provide to me.

I will provide you with a quote based on the sample you have sent me in pounds per thousand words and a quote for likely total price – this may alter due slightly due to changes in final wordcount. The wordcount will include all the words in English (I don’t do other languages I’m afraid!) and will exclude references if you are writing academic text to be assessed. will apply this to the word count of each section of work you send me and invoice for it accordingly provided it does not fall in the ‘urgent work’ category – in other words it needs doing at very short notice – the price per thousand words will increase to a higher rate (see pricing section).

Your quote will be subject to the following conditions:

If, however, a new situation arises with the document provided or new situation personally for me which affects quote or return time then I will stop work while you can decide whether you wish to continue.

If your work has been provided as one text, then when the work is finished, I will provide an invoice for the full amount (unless you prefer two separate invoices). Final payment should be within one week of the completed job.

If your work is provided chapter by chapter (this will only happen following mutual agreement) then payment for each chapter is due on return of the proofread document.

Payment by direct bank transfer is appreciated.

6.   Booking in advance

All work needs to be booked in advance. I recommend getting in touch at least a week before a piece of writing needs completing, increasing up to several weeks or even months for much larger texts such as theses and dissertations.

As I will have other work booked for the majority of the time, contact in advance is necessary so I can ensure enough time is available to give your work the attention it deserves.

Please note that I may not be able to complete work depending on what is already have booked in and how long your work needs. Therefore, I may need to specify a different timescale, charge more for urgent return times or refuse work depending on the existing circumstances of my workload.

When booking your work in, I will need:

If your work is a large document such as a thesis or dissertation, we will need to decide a rough return date for the finished document, and this can be confirmed as we approach that time. I advise you to leave a good amount of time between the date I hand the work back to you and you check it, and the date you need to hand it in – you may need another round of edits and this stage can be longer than you think!

If we have mutually agreed before proofreading starts that you can send your work in chapters, then I need to know a week in advance when each individual chapter is arriving (see ‘student’ section below).

I will ask you to confirm the details above by signing and returning an Agreement Form, which I will email to you, before I begin work (photographing your completed form and sending me that is fine).

Please note that after I have sent you the completed work, you may need several days to consider each proposed change and to deal with any queries arising, and this could be a longer time than expected; this is normal and is something you should definitely schedule into your deadlines.

7.   If the plans need to change

If your work can’t be sent to me on the date we agreed, I must reserve the right to refuse your work even if we agreed previously. This is because it may no longer be possible to fit your new schedule into the pattern of my existing work. Therefore, the bottom line is you need to be kept informed about any delays or I might not be able to do your proofreading. If you cannot meet an agreed deadline for sending me the work, please:

This also applies if the document turns out to be significantly different in content, proofreading requirement or in length that originally agreed. I will reserve the right to refuse (with regret) the work or to change the deadline in order to accommodate it.

8.   Corruption and viruses


If your document turns out to be corrupted in some way, I cannot promise that any formatting I undertake on the document will stay stable on return. If I do find corruption, I will inform you immediately – either we accept that the document may not stay stable, or I will return the document to you without working on it. I may need to charge for any work completed up to the time the corruption was discovered. I will reserve the right not to work on that document if corrupted, even if previously agreed.

9.   Students

Please note that your sending of work to me for proofreading also indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions for students in particular. Please read these thoroughly as they do sometimes crop up later in the proofing process.

Chapters: If, by mutual agreement before proofreading starts, I have agreed to work on your thesis or dissertation chapter by chapter, each chapter then needs to be booked in at least a week in advance to enable me to accommodate it and complete it on time with the consistency your work needs.

Authorship and plagiarism: I will always be extremely careful about authorship and plagiarism. I will not undertake any rewriting of your work. My work will entail making suggestions on spelling, grammar, punctuation and word order/sense using the “track changes” feature in Word (or on pdf by prior arrangement only). I am happy to provide some guidance where needed as I do believe that often, for example, previous guidance received by the student in places on their educational journeys may not be yet complete for the skills they need (hence the need for writing skills support in universities, which is a regular part of student provision). I am happy therefore to help the student with guidance, but leave it to the student to actually write their work.

You will retain the authorship of the work. You will need to go through your work again after it has been proofread by me. Then, you need to decide whether to accept the changes I have suggested. There may be places where you need to rewrite the text – if I cannot proofread because the meaning isn’t clear for example, I will indicate this to you in a comment and ask you to rewrite your sentence. The amended errors are left in the text so that you can see what has happened and learn what needs to be written, and that you can be sure I am not misinterpreting your meaning – I am not an expert in your work and ownership of the meaning of the document is your own. You are therefore aware of any changes and retain full authorship.

If I find examples of deliberate plagiarism in your work, I reserve the right to refuse to work further on the document. It will be returned to you and I will reserve the right to charge for any work already completed on the document. The same conditions apply should it become apparent that you have copied work from another person or

organisation’s web page or text, or if I am asked to rewrite anything to avoid this. All writing must be the work of the author.

If there are areas where a greater level of proofreading becomes necessary, where plagiarism is not deliberate but where there is a concern that the work might potentially stray into the area where I am writing rather than correcting, my policy is to then stop, provide the student with an annotated and corrected copy of the text in question and ask them to show it to their supervisor. I will then need either an email or a letter on headed notepaper, scanned in, to confirm that this level of proofreading is acceptable. This is to ensure that the work can be confirmed to be adhering to good standards of proofreading. I would not be able to continue with proofreading until this is received because it is not fair on either the student or the proofreader, and not what either of us would wish. I am happy to provide some guidance on writing skills, but cannot, of course, write sentences on the student’s behalf.

Payment in full will be due upon completion (unless we made other arrangements before work began). The quote price may be different from the final invoice price depending on exactly what work has been involved (I will specify what work has been undertaken on the invoice). The final invoice prices are not negotiable.

If any rewritten proofread work is submitted to me, then I reserve the right to charge for proofreading new text. If there are small amounts of text which, due to changes during the proofreading process and subsequent author alteration then need proofreading again, then I will treat this as part of the initial quote. This seems a reasonable thing to do as part of the process, and I would be able to do this for any extra material or material resubmitted after initial proofreading up to 10% of the whole initial word count. Anything after that I would have to treat as new material and add to the final invoice.

10. Referencing and data

For academic writing being prepared for assessment, this is largely the domain of the student. When I check references, I check formatting and style, both for citations in the text and reference lists. If I see any citations missing from the reference list, or vice versa, I do not write them in; I will flag the question of whether the referencing is complete or needs rewriting for the student to deal with deal with as it is their thesis. I am happy to provide guidance on reference formats for the student’s particular reference system, but the student must then rewrite references themselves.

If your work is not to be submitted for assessment ie. you are not a student but the author of an article, for example, I am happy to check references.

I do not, of course, fact check references. I may ask a student to consider themselves whether any of the information in a paragraph needs a reference or not, so it is their decision, but would not indicate further. I do not check whether the reference itself is a genuine one – this is a part of the student’s research skills and therefore part of your assessment.

If your work includes data, I am happy to check layout and style of tables and graphs, but I do not check the data itself.

I do not check the formatting of equations – this is not my area of expertise and part of the student’s learned skills.

By accepting these terms and conditions – something you indicate by submitting your work to me for proofreading – you are indicating that you will not send me work containing plagiarism.

11. Invoicing and Payment

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I will usually (depending on our agreements) invoice for the full amount once work on an entire document is  completed. If your text is very large, I may reserve the right to request partial payment in advance or to return a watermarked copy to you with the unwatermarked copy sent on receipt of your payment. If I am completing your work in chapters (this is by mutual agreement only), then payment is due for each chapter as it is returned to you. Invoices will be provided for each chapter and will be based on the original price per thousand words which is applied to the word count of that chapter.

Payment is due immediately for student clients. Please pay me directly instead of sending the invoice to their finance departments or supervisors. I am happy to provide a receipt for payment so that you can claim back the money.

I accept payment by sterling cheque or bank transfer and will provide cheque payable and/or bank transfer details when invoicing you.

12. Late payment and debt collection fees

If your payment is late, I reserve the right to apply a late fee of up to 10% of the original invoice. If it continues to be delayed, I reserve the right to undertake the services of a debt collection agency and will give your fair warning before I do so in order to give you time to make the payment. Any charges I must pay to engage the services of the agency will be added to your bill.