5 reasons you need your work edited by an academic
(Last updated: 7 March 2020)
You may or may not already know, but editing and proofreading are two processes that can really elevate your academic assignments. Done well, they can even push your work to the next grade boundary. An essay that is littered with errors, formatted incorrectly and weak in structure can come out polished, coherent and error-free.
And yet, for many people producing work at academic level, proofreading is often an after-thought, or worse – not thought about at all. Why is this a problem? Well, an essay that’s full of mistakes is going to be hard to read. The flow will be interrupted and it may be difficult to make sense of the points being made. For some, writing a flawless essay with perfect grammar and punctuation, zero typos, and an effective and succinct argument, comes naturally. But for the other 90% of us, the academic writing we produce probably contains at least a few errors. A person marking an error-full essay will likely have little time to sit and painstakingly work their way through all the flaws. They may get to the end and feel frustrated that the writer didn’t take their submission more seriously. And all of this could, ultimately, cost a student precious marks.
In this blog post, we’re going to tell you exactly why it’s crucial, especially in an age where anyone can be a writer, that you have your work professionally proofread or edited before you submit it to your tutor or teacher.
But first, let’s clarify the difference between both editing (also known as stylistic editing or copy editing) and proofreading:
The difference between editing and proofreading
Stylistic editing / Copy editing
A stylistic edit involves an assessment of every last element of your essay or dissertation. The academic will look at and suggest corrections of the technical aspects of the work – such as the formality of the language used, all terminology and references, spelling and grammar, layout, font style, and so on. They’ll also look deeper into the piece, refining the clarity of your argument and improving the structure and flow.
It is similar in some ways to editing, but proofreading is a lighter, quicker process that removes all technical errors – namely spelling, grammar and punctuation – and checks for consistency in layout, font and numbering styles. If you’re confident your argument and structure are clear but you’d just like a second pair of (professional) eyes look at your work, then proofreading is your ideal option.
Why you need editing and/or proofreading
1. Your work will reach its full potential
Our stylistic editing service is both comprehensive and extensive. The academic assigned to you will delve deep into your essay or dissertation, leaving no stone unturned, so to speak. You may have made some excellent and valid points in your argument, but the academic will scrutinise these, ensuring you have covered all angles and presented your points logically and thoroughly.
2. It’s an investment for your future as a student
When you have your work edited or proofread, you’ll receive pages of notes from an academic who has been working in your field of study for a number of years. Added to that, they’ll also be educated to at least PhD-level, so you’ll be getting advice from someone who really knows their stuff.
The notes and feedback they give you can serve to help you not just on that one particular essay or dissertation, but for all future assignments. You can take their advice – how to better phrase your ideas or present your references, for example – and ensure you implement it into every essay or dissertation you write going forward.
Invest in editing or proofreading just once, and you can reap the benefits time and time again during your time at university.
3. It’s a valuable service for international students
For anyone who considers English to be their second language, having an assignment proofread or edited by an English native can certainly be the difference between grade boundaries. The English language is notoriously complex and full of subtle nuances that can be tricky for a non-native to grasp, particularly when writing in a formal academic style. Unless executed perfectly, anyone marking an essay or dissertation by an international student will likely know that the writer’s first language is not English.
Many international students find our proofreading and editing services invaluable, noting in particular how confident they feel handing in an assignment that has been through our processes.
4. Who wouldn’t want to clinch extra marks and get better grades?
Maybe you have done everything you can to perfect your essay or dissertation: you’ve written and re-written it. You’ve run it through Grammarly. You’ve proofread it yourself multiple times. Your best friend has proofread it for you and says it’s good to go. Even then, there will still be extra marks that can be scored by having your work professionally edited. An academic who has seen hundreds (or sometimes thousands) of essays will always be able to find improvements that can be made to your work.
5. You’ll increase your future career opportunities
Once you have your work proofread or edited and you see the difference it can make to your work, you’ll be more likely to implement these sorts of improvements in everything you do going forward. Your CV, your LinkedIn profile, your future job applications, your personal statements… wherever you produce formal writing, you will be able to inject what you learned from your Oxbridge Essays academic and elevate your writing style.