How to find a good proofreader

A dissertation or thesis is an important document where academic students write — in great detail — about their original research work.

A thesis or dissertation manuscript would typically include an abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, discussion and findings or conclusion.

Based on the advice of supervisors, PhD and MA students often need to get their dissertation/thesis proofread for language before the academic paper is finally submitted for a formal assessment.

Given the importance of the paper and the fact that any language errors or problematic academic writing style would cost the academic student valuable marks, the dissertation or thesis has to be written in sound, error-free academic English.


Although it is quite easy for us nowadays to go on Google and search for what we want, it should probably be the second option, not the first one for the MA or PhD student.

It would always be safe to use a proofreading service that someone else you know has used and is happy with.

During the academic year, students are required to provide essays and other assignments and some students — particularly non-native speakers of English — get these academic manuscripts proofread as well.

So, it is highly likely that anyone of your friends or university colleagues will have used one of these services during their academic course.

Ask them about if they know of a good proofreading service that specialises in proofreading and editing academic papers such as dissertations and theses.

Also, check if they used the editing service provider more than once or only one time.

If they used the service a few times and they are happy with the quality of their work, then you are 99% in safe hands!

You can then get the contact details of this recommended proofreading and editing service provider and contact them directly.

Google it

The second option to find a trusted dissertation proofreading service for your paper is to Google it.

Try to be specific with your search phrase. Phrases like “proofreading services” or “editing services” are too general and will not often give you the right results.

You can instead use any of the following search phrases:

Dissertation proofreading services

Thesis proofreading services

Want to be more specific? Add the country you study in at the end of the search phrase:

Dissertation proofreading services uk

Thesis proofreading services uk

Phd proofreading services uk

Master’s thesis proofreading services uk

You can also use/add or swap variants if you need to:

Dissertation proofreading and editing services UK

PhD proofreading and editing services uk

Thesis editing and proofreading services uk

These refined and targeted search phrases will throw up the most relevant search results that you need.

Want to refine your search further? Just add the word “best”, “specialist”, or “in-depth”

One point to note: when you type any of the above proofreading or editing search phrases, the first few results will be “sponsored” or “paid” adverts prioritised by Google. You will find the two-letter “Ad” next to those results.

Basically, those proofreading services providers pay Google money to put at the top of the results.

However, what you really need to look for is the organic search results that appear after those paid adverts.

Next: Testing and trying

Once you have seen the organic search results for your proofreading service search phrase, choose the top five companies or agencies.

Go to the website of each of those five top search results and read through the website content.

You need to look for:





Once you have gone through the website and formed an idea about each, you need to follow a few steps:

1- Look for any comments or reviews of these dissertation proofreading services providers on Google. Most of them will have a presence of review sites like Truspilot or Freeindex

2- Read clients’ reviews on their website “but with a pinch of salt”

3- The last and key step is to contact each of these companies and asked them for a free sample, i.e you send them a couple of hundred words of your paper and they do it for free so that you can see beforehand what is the best thesis proofreading service among them

Two points to note:

1- Some thesis/dissertation editing and proofreading services agencies refuse to provide a free sample option and would want to force you to pay first for a part of your dissertation, and others would reject it outright. If so, ignore this company completely. It simply means they are not trusted and are confident about their service quality. Proofreading or editing a couple of hundred words from a dissertation or thesis that is thousands and thousands of words is a small thing to request. You definitely have the right to know whether your important academic paper will be proofread professionally by capable specialist editors or not — beforehand.

2- Some dissertation proofreading and editing services companies would refer you to samples they place and show on their websites and refuse to do a sample of your own text. Again, you need to ignore those companies because you cannot be 100% sure your paper will have the same quality as the sample presented for showcasing purposes on their websites. What you need to see is an exact, passage or page of your thesis proofread and edited before signing up to the service.

Note: when you choose a passage as a sample, use a very tricky and problematic extract from your dissertation/thesis

Once you have samples from different proofreading services providers, then you can go through them carefully and compare which one did a better job on your text.

Look out for:

Precision (leaving no mistakes)

Consistency (ensuring consistent delivery of names, spellings etc)

Expertise (expert proofreading and editing means significant improvement in your paper, in terms of grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice, sentence length and structure, flow, clarity, academic vocabulary, etc)

Do not go for any proofreading services company that does only shallow or cosmetic changes in your paper. Go for the company that makes a real difference by correcting language-related errors, improving sentence formation and enhancing your academic writing style.