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frequently asked questions

proofreader, copyeditor – what's the difference?

It depends. in New Zealand, the term "proofreading" covers both correcting or improving the copy ("copyediting") and reading the "proof" of a printed work; a proof is what the printer expects to print, and this is compared with what the author wanted printing – and corrected if necessary. We use the term "proofreader" throughout our website and publications, because that is the local standard, and being pedantic loses us friends; however we are aware of the difference. But you don't need to be.

what does a proofreader do for me?

A proofreader checks that the spelling and grammar are all correct; that the best words have been used; and that nothing in the document trips up a reader, and makes them think "Hang on, what did I just read?". Perfectly Worded either use Word's change tracking and comments to recommend changes, or we write similar information in a separate report (for printed documents and uneditable electronic items: PDF documents, websites).

what does it cost?

Depending on the difficulty we have with the work, and whether it is in Word or hard-copy (e.g. is a published website, or comes to us as a PDF or on paper), in general a proofread can cost between 3 and 4 cents per word, including GST. For website appraisals we charge by the page, and the range is between roughly $8 and $12 per page (also including GST). Use the form below to ask for a better estimate for your specific need.

what documents does Perfectly Worded handle for me?

What kinds of documents do you have? Seriously, Perfectly Worded can handle academic theses and articles; instruction manuals; business documents (annual reports, proposals, and so on); website content, (and we can also appraise your websites when they are live, recommending structural changes as well as wording corrections, if necessary); journalism; fiction; – the list is endless. Ask us, and we will tell you if we feel competent to help you. You should know, however, that we only work in UK/NZ English; US English has different conventions for spelling and grammar, and we are not familiar with them (nor do we have reference material for US English).

There is one other caveat we must bring to your attention: we are MS-Word specialists, and Google Docs don't always convert terribly well. We will attempt to convert text from Docs into Word so that we can use some of its options for making changes (comments, black-bar highlighting, and so on), but the format of our document will probably not match the format of your own version, and the advantage of Word's "accept change" is, of course, lost.

how does the process work?

To start with, you can ask Perfectly Worded for an estimate using the form below. The estimate will be indicative, and let you know if it is within your budget. After that, we may ask for a sample to edit, to refine the estimate, particularly for a very large job, or we may simply accept the job based on your agreement to our estimate. Once we see the document, we will give you an accurate quote. If after we start we find the work is taking much longer than we expected, we may discuss the issue with you – we have been at the job for long enough to know quite early if we have under-estimated badly. In general, if we over-estimate, so the job is shorter than we expected, we charge what it actually costs us; if we under-estimate by only a small amount, we take it on the chin, and learn from the experience. There is more about this in our Client Guide and Terms of Trade document.

what does a proofreader bring to the table?

Proofreaders are readers, first of all. They have read widely, so poor writing attracts their attention. Second, they have broad experience, so that they can add value to the work from their own knowledge, even if it might appear to be unrelated to the task. Third, before they suggest changes, they verify all the alterations from their own experience or from reference material.


To obtain a free "guesstimate" for a proofread of your work, please complete and submit the form below, and we will respond as soon as we are able:

* Your first (or preferred) name:

* Your last name:

* Your email address:

* Document type:

* Size (page count for live websites, word count for everything else)

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