PhD Students

How’s it going with the writing up?

Maybe you’ve amazed yourself. Your carefully crafted thesis proposal has melded itself into a fluent, well-structured piece of original research that you never imagined you were capable of. Or are you fiddling with the sentences, moving paragraphs around, never quite getting it right and all the time feeling like you’re going round and round in circles? You’re not sure whether you’ve explained your argument clearly enough. It doesn’t really seem to flow. Your supervisor is on holiday, or sick, or at a conference. Or they have told you to stand on your own two feet and don’t respond to your emails any more.

We can help you. We will check that you maintain your original research question throughout the thesis, so that you build a well-structured and convincing argument. We can spot the hidden assumptions and gaps in your reasoning, and suggest improvements to your style.

And we will spot the typos.

Just need a last look?

You have spent a lot of time writing and re-writing your material until it flows like melted chocolate. However, your thesis also requires a high technical standard of written English. Any experienced author will tell you that after a while you are so familiar with your work that you will miss the simple errors. There are always inconsistencies. For example, is it ‘trouble-shooting’ or ‘troubleshooting’? They are both potentially correct. It doesn’t matter which you choose, but you must use it consistently. You might not notice it, but your thesis committee will.

With fresh eyes,  we can catch your mistakes and make sure your work is presented in the best possible way.

Is English your second language?

For non-native speakers, the challenge is even greater. You have all the problems that native speakers have. Moreover, your style will be influenced by your native language.  I can standardise your syntax and vocabulary, and perfect your punctuation.

How does it work?

Everything is done electronically. You can send us your thesis in .odt, .doc or .docx format. There is an initial read-through to become familiar with your topic and style. At this stages, we may have questions about any particular points that might not be clear, or give you brief, general feedback. Finally, we prepare a quote.

All changes are recorded and comments are inserted directly into the document. We will either receive the chapters one-by-one, as they are completed, or (more likely) the whole document will be sent when it is done. You will be able to see all the comments and suggestions, and you make the final decision on whether to accept them.  If you don’t understand or agree with a change, we are more than happy to talk about it.

What about the references?

A cross-check of references is optional, and priced at 50 per hundred references.

How much does it cost?

Everyone is different.  Some manuscripts only need a final proofread, others need more thought, but a rough estimate is 4 per page. If your thesis is 150 pages (30,000 words) long, needs light editing and proofreading,  it would typically take a week to complete, and cost around 600.  We know this is a lot of money – the first thing to try is to ask your supervisor if your lab or project will pay.

If your thesis is longer than 30,000 words (excluding any introductory material, references and appendices) then the cost of editing is likely to exceed your budget. The first suggestion is that you cut down your text to around 30,000 words. This has two benefits. First, your manuscript will be much more focused and easier to read, and second, you may be able to afford to have it edited. Alternatively, some doctoral students just send the most important chapters, while others send a chapter at a time so that the work (and the cost) is spread out over several weeks (or months). We are happy to try to work out a system that can work for everyone, so please enquire.

Quotes and payment

A written quote is supplied after the first read-through. Payment is in two instalments. Work will start following payment of the first instalment. The second payment will be due on completion. Payment is by bank transfer or PayPal. Prices are given in euros, but we can also accept payment in other currencies (via PayPal).

What next?

Talk to us! Send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.