When you select a thesis proofreading service, you are buying the highly individualised labour of a single proofreader. It is therefore important to know what qualities to look for in that proofreader, because making sure that you get the right professional is the only way to make sure that your thesis proofreading is done to the correct standard.
The first thing to look for – and this is universally true for all proofreaders, regardless of what they are proofing – is attention to detail. Much of a proofreader’s task is spotting errors that are very minor, like incorrect apostrophes, semi-colons impersonating colons, or footnotes that are on the wrong side of a full stop. Noticing these details requires a certain kind of mind-set.
Relatedly, your proofreader should have a systematic approach to his or her work and be able to notice inconsistencies. Inconsistencies are not the same as mistakes, but rather occur when there are several possible ways of doing something. For example, a piece of work using the Harvard Reference System might have some references in the format (Author, date) and some in the format (Author date), or perhaps some that look like (Author & author, date) and some that look like (Author and author, date). These inconsistencies are correct in themselves , but it creates a better impression if your work is highly consistent, so it is important when thesis proofreading that your proofreader is able to remember the list of styles you have chosen throughout your thesis to ensure that they remain consistent.
This would seem to be common sense, but you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t seem to think that it is a priority for their proofreader. The simple truth is that without a proofreader who is a grammatical expert, you are likely to receive work with mistakes in it, no matter how attentive and diligent your proofreader is.
It is also important to have your thesis proofreading carried out by someone who is a subject specialist in the area in which you are studying. The reason for this is perhaps less obvious: academic work is often reliant on obscure and technical vocabularies and phrasings, and it requires someone who is familiar with this kind of writing to identify when it is being used erroneously and when a non-standard English is being used correctly. The risk when not employing a subject specialist proofreader is that your thesis proofreading might come back with some of the important technical aspects misunderstood and ‘corrected’ into standard English, which will not impress your markers – particularly because the correct use of academic terminology is often an important and explicit part of the mark scheme.
Finally, it is important that your proofreader is diligent, trustworthy and discreet. Your thesis is a highly important document, and you do not want to risk giving it to someone who is irresponsible or unreliable and therefore to potentially expose yourself to error, plagiarism, or even fraud. Furthermore, thesis proofreading usually happens under quite strict time constraints near to rapidly approaching deadlines, and you need to be able to trust that your work will be finished well before you have to submit it.
If feel that finding a proofreader with all these qualities might be difficult, you are in luck: Oxbridge Proofreading has a large stable of proofreaders from all disciplines who can be trusted to complete your work to the highest academic standards. They are grammatical experts and subject specialists with a keen eye for detail, an impressive attention span, a strong work ethic and a stronger sense of their obligations and responsibilities to their customers. They are the perfect people to proofread your work, and can be absolutely trusted to return it to the very highest standard.