Attending university in another country is full of difficulties. These range from tedious administrative issues – visas, flights, luggage restrictions – to more profound cultural changes – food, being polite, knowing when people are trying to flirt with you and when they’re being unfriendly. And this is to go without mentioning some of the personal problems that new international students can encounter: loneliness, isolation, confusion.
Underpinning many of these difficulties, or exacerbating them, is the English language. English is a hard language. It’s big and baggy and flexible and full of slang and irregularities. Most of its rules don’t make sense, or get broken so often that they seem meaningless. And, worse, most English people are so complacent in their mastery of English that they don’t bother learning how to speak any other languages – so there is no help there.
Being able to speak and write perfect English is important academically – possibly more important than it is socially, culturally, and administratively. For one thing, it is important that your written work is clear and easy to understand for whoever is marking it. For another, many courses will award some portion of the available marks for good spelling and grammar. And, less obviously, academics are the kind of people who are likely to notice errors and to think less kindly on students whose work is error-strewn. (Conversely, academics are also the kind of people who are likely to be positively impressed by elegant and professionally presented work.)
For most international students, producing work in English of a high academic and grammatical standard is not that much of a challenge: universities have strict English proficiency requirements, after all. What can be more of a challenge is eliminating the stupid errors that creep into everyone’s writing: the typos, the misplaced commas and apostrophes, or those sentences that don’t have a full stop at the end. This is exactly the kind of thing that our proofreading service is designed to deal with.
Academic proofreading is particularly necessary for non-native speakers, because they can often lack a certain familiarity with English, with how it looks on the page, with which words are often typo’d or misspelt. Non-native speakers are less likely to notice homophonic errors, like writing ‘plaice’ instead of ‘place’ or ‘lead’ instead of ‘led’.
These are the things our proofreading service will pick up. Our proofreaders are all native English speakers, expert editors, and experienced academics. Proofreading is designed to help with already very well-written documents, to which it applies the finishing touches. The most difficult thing about being a non-native speaker of English is achieving full fluency. Oxbridge Proofreading’s service can help with this: our proofreaders can find and correct the kind of errors an experienced academic writer would avoid, and therefore give your work the kind of professional perfection that professors are looking for.