PhD Students


By the time you are reading this, you will probably have spent 5 years studying in a foreign culture/language, you will be worrying about your supervisor’s comments, meeting your hand-in deadline and thinking about the thousands of pounds and the years you have invested in your PhD. In addition, there may be pressure from your family and/or your employer to finish as soon as possible. All in all, you probably will be extremely stressed; hopefully, I can take some of the pressure off you.

I can ensure that the work you have written will be expressed in accurate, well-expressed academic English. Your ideas will be clearer, your work will appear better-prepared [and therefore more professional] and you can be confident that you have maximised your chances of passing the academics’ scrutiny. It will also be easier to get your work accepted for publication in academic journals etc.

Remember: the expense of having your work proofread/copy-edited is relatively small in relation the thousands of pounds you will already have spent on studying for your PhD.


What do I do if I want my thesis to be proofread?

First of all, you send me your work, preferably the entire document, as a Word document, even if it is not 100% finished.

I will then have a look at your work and send you an example page or two that I have corrected. Please remember that at International Students’ Dissertations we not only proofread your thesis [i.e. correct the grammar/translation mistakes] but also copy-edit it [i.e. make the English sound more formal/appropriately academic where necessary.

I will then send you a quote for the entire document and we will discuss a schedule. There is no obligation for you at this point – this service is free.

What about fees and payment?

I do not charge a set fee for proofreading theses, as this seems unfair to me. I will charge you a fee that is based on the amount of work that needs doing to your thesis, as well as the schedule that you have.

You will be able to see from the example of your proofread work that I send you what sort of corrections need doing, and how much work is needed. I will also send you a quote from a competitor’s website so that you will be able to see that my fees are reasonable and very competitive. For PhD theses and long documents, I ask that you pay the agreed fees in 3 payments of around 1/3rd of the total: one payment before, one payment during and one payment after the work. Most people find it convenient to do this via PayPal, although other methods can be arranged.

How long does it take?

Most PhD theses are between 60,000-90,000 words. This will take around one to two weeks to proofread, although a quicker turnaround can be negotiated. I will return your work to you chapter by chapter, as this will then give you time to implement the corrections whilst you are waiting for the rest of the document.

What will my document look like when you return it to me?

It will have the changes that I have suggested appearing in coloured text; these changes have been implemented using the tool “Track Changes” on Word. This allows you to accept the changes one by one, or all at once. There may also be sections that I have highlighted with a comment: this comment may state that a particular sentence is ambiguous [has two possible meanings] or that it is impossible to understand, and you will need to rewrite it. You will need to factor in time before your hand-in deadline to address these points. Here are some examples of proofread work.

Do I need to send you reference lists, acknowledgements and tables?

This is entirely your decision. My personal recommendation is that you should send them to me to be corrected; they are only a few thousand words more, and it will seem careless to your supervisor if parts of your thesis are in excellent English, yet other sections have obvious mistakes. Tables, in particular, frequently contain errors, in my experience.

Do you advise on supervisors’ comments?

No. I cannot ethically have any input as regards the content of your work; many of my clients come via the recommendation of highly-respected academics, and they trust me not to help students in this way. This would be unethical, and cheating.

Do you proofread all types of academic theses?

Yes. Just in the last year I have proofread theses on subjects as varied as Accountancy, Architecture, Business, Marketing, Chemistry, Management, Religious Studies, Robotics and Sociology, to name but a few!

Why should I choose International Students Dissertations?

I specialise in proofreading International Students’ academic writing; most other proofreading services charge much higher fees to correct non-native speakers’ writing. In addition, I copy-edit your work [i.e. make it sound more academic/formal where necessary]: not all proofreading services do this.

In addition, I have over 20 years’ experience of correcting International Students’ writing, and I have supervised numerous students in their independent study within the UK University system. I fully understand both what the students and the academics require in terms of academic writing [see About Me]. Your work will be in the best possible hands.

Finally, the fees that I charge are competitive; I do not spend thousands of pounds on advertising, as nearly all my clients come to me via academics’ recommendations, or by word of mouth amongst students.

Before I send you my work, do you have any advice?

Yes. Have look at some of the blog posts I have written about academic writing.  This is free advice that will help you with some of the problems that International Students have when writing Academic English.