Crosses and Dots | Proofreading and Language Services

Introduction

You can’t be good at everything! When you’ve put a lot of effort, perhaps even your heart and soul, into your work, be it a novel, dissertation, research essay, or publicity information for a new product, it can be hard to notice the little errors that may have crept in. Sometimes the better you know your stuff, the more difficult it is to spot those small spelling mistakes. Even if you are good at spelling and grammar it is easy to miss the odd discrepancy or typo.

If you want your work to look professional then it pays to use a proofreader, someone who knows their stuff – the stuff of spelling, the crosses on the t’s, and the dots on the i’s.
That’s the stuff I know and love: language.

What

Depending on your needs, I can do a straightforward proofread of your work, simply looking for errors, or, in addition, I can offer suggestions for improving language and style. If English is not your first language, I can offer assistance in making your work read as though it were written by a native speaker.

Proofreading

Standard proofreading includes:

  • Correcting errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar;
  • Standardising spellings, typically to either US or UK English;
  • Altering inelegant phrasing or suggesting alternatives;
  • Checking consistency of phrase, layout and spelling conventions;
  • Querying inconsistencies.

Light Editing

Light editing work includes standard proofreading above, and may also include:

  • Improving language so that it sounds as though it were written by a native speaker;
  • Suggestions for re-writing awkward sentences, or improving clarity.

Specialist subject areas

I have worked on a range of styles and topics including academic papers and books, fiction, and magazines. I have a good general knowledge, and I can work on documents covering the majority of subject areas. At times, however, it can be useful to have a proofreader who knows something of the topic. Based on my experience to date, my degree in French and Spanish, my previous work in education, childcare and homelessness, and from my general interests, I consider the following subjects to be my specialisms:

  • Economics and current affairs;
  • History;
  • Christianity, theology and church life;
  • Homelessness, social exclusion and social justice;
  • Child development, education and special educational needs;
  • Fiction;
  • French, Spanish and Latin American language, culture and history.

What I don't do

  • Checking factual detail, although I may query with you if something strikes me as factually incorrect;
  • Writing essays, dissertations or theses!
  • Cross-referencing if items are correctly placed in a bibliography. I can however check if your bibliography is consistently presented.

How

As a freelance proofreader, I have a certain amount of flexibility to adapt to meet your needs. However, as a guide, here are my standard ways of working.

Proofreading and Editing Methods

Paper Manuscript - BSI (2005) Symbols

I have been trained to work to publishing standards, using the (2005) BSI symbols. I prefer to work on paper, using these symbols initially, as I find that I work more effectively that way. If your document has been sent to me electronically, I will often print it out in order to work on it.

I can return your document by post, with a full list of the symbols used, if you require this paper version.

Microsoft Word

With a Word document, I can amend errors using track changes and add comments as appropriate.  This allows you to go through your work, accepting or rejecting any of the changes I have made.  You can also view the different versions of the document - Original, Final, or either - showing the markup.

Document transfer

Email

Original and proofread/edited documents are normally exchanged via email attachments.

Where I have completed proofreading on a paper manuscript, I can scan the document in order to email it back to you.

Post (Royal Mail)

It is possible for you to send a paper manuscript to me. The address will be provided if required.

Where I have completed proofreading on a paper manuscript, I can post this back to you. There may be a surcharge for this.

Large files

Where documents exceed email sending or receiving limits, WeTransfer can be used to exchange files.

About

Qualifications

Rates and Payments

Rates

You will need to contact me for an exact quote.  To base a rate purely on how many words there are to read is unfair, as something which has only a handful of errors is much quicker to proofread than something that requires substantial changes.

I base my prices on the levels suggested by the Society for Proofreaders and Editors, but as all jobs vary, I need to look at each one separately to give you a fair estimate.

However, as a guideline, my typical rate for straightforward proofreading is between £7 and £10 per 1,000 words, and for light editing, between £10 and £15 per 1,000 words.

If you require a short document to be proofread, such as a CV or short article, the rate will be marginally higher, to take into account the time taken to administer the job.  My basic rate for a CV, publicity flyer, or short article – up to 1,000 words – is £15.

A quote will be set according to how long I estimate it will take me to proofread your work. Typically, well-written prose, with only occasional errors, is quicker to proofread than something that is littered with mistakes. Tables, indexes and references may also require more time than prose.

I usually offer a discount of 10% for students and for charitable organisations; this will be included in my quote.

Payments

BACS payment is requested for all work. Details are provided with the invoice.

Feedback

Non Fiction

Crosses and Dots helped me a great deal with my book on Michael Ramsey, archbishop of Canterbury. On a tight schedule, Kathryn's proofreading saved me from many mistakes, and all at a very competitive price. I would not hesitate to use Crosses and Dots again.

Dr Peter Webster, Webster Research and Consulting

Public Sector

Kathryn provides a very professional and quality service. I didn’t expect the documents which were proof read to need quite as much correction as they did, showing how valuable the service is. Kathryn picked up on one inconsistency which could have led to a high degree of confusion for readers. Kathryn’s corrections are also easy to follow making it a quick process from my point of view.

Highly recommended service.

Alison Smith, Cambridgeshire County Council

Non Profit

Kathryn did a great job of proof reading a 40 page directory of telephone numbers/addresses for me recently. She noticed small but important errors that myself and three other proof readers from the Charity had not spotted. She also pointed out various inconsistencies in the layout which lead to a much neater end product. We were very grateful for Kathryn's help in this.

Natalie Clark, Sunderland Methodist Circuit

Contact

Contact us for further information.

Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom


Availability

Please be aware, I am able to do only a small amount of work during the school holidays. If you have a large thesis or novel that needs proofreading urgently during July or August, then I suggest you contact another proofreader. The Society for Proofreaders and Editors would be able to point you in the right direction.