. Apollo Communication Blog | Professional Proofreading in the UK

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Essay assignments are an important part of further and higher education, and a well-written essay assignment will be the difference between a pass and a fail.

Students are continuously being taught the correct technique of essay writing in order to improve their overall grades. In the presentation of an essay, colleges and universities often follow a specific layout, which can differ from one academic institution to another. In most cases, however, candidates have to ensure that their written assignments follow required regulations in relation to headings, margin widths, rules on capitalization, and that a reference list or bibliography is presented in the correct form.

Essays should be free of clichés, inconsistencies, typographical and spelling errors. In writing essays, it is important to ensure that the various parts of the text are linked and not scattered throughout a project. Otherwise a candidate stands to lose out on valuable points when the content is good. Professional editing and proofreading will make sure that essays are free of jargon and that the text is well written and precise.

Apollo Communication is a professional online proofreading and editing service that has been providing students with excellent work for 16 years. Our professional editors can tackle any request with ease and provide you with a top quality essay according to your requirements.

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A dissertation or thesis is a document that a candidate submits to a university or other academic institution in order to obtain a grade that significantly contributes to their professional qualification(s). Candidates are obliged to present their own research findings; and, in taking responsibility for their learning, they must choose a method of undertaking a study, document their findings and discuss the outcome(s) of their research.

The Dissertation Season – in editing, proofreading and rewriting disciplines – is popularly stated to be from May to September.

‘Thesis’ is an inclusive term; colleges and universities can vary greatly in relation to their requirements for the layout, design and style of a thesis. Candidates should study the current requirements of their colleges and universities before they present their work.

Many degree courses use a dissertation as a concluding form of study. In this final assessment, candidates may identify their own interest in a particular area of their subject. In the process, they may explore a particular field in greater depth and take charge of their topic in its entirety. By choosing their own study and presenting the research findings in a clear, systematized, logical and well-structured manner, candidates can undertake an extensive programme of research and show considerable originality.

Candidates have to employ academic skills in relation to their own disciplines. Skills include collating and assimilating information that is then used in the various sections of the completed project.

In the preparation of the final typescript, a multiplicity of factors have to be considered. These include the following: the submission date of the typescript; the word count and if this includes references/bibliography and any appendices.

Nowadays, many candidates have an appointed supervisor for their dissertations. It is important to establish if a set schedule is in place for meetings with this supervisor, but a more important asset is a supervisor who is approachable and reassuring.

Although dissertations can vary in format, style and layout, many adhere to a fixed pattern:

Title page (many colleges and universities now have a so-called prescribed page which includes the full name of the candidate/author, the qualification they are working towards, the name of the college or university where the thesis is presented, and the date;

Abstract (usually 300–500 words in length and follows on the Title page. An abstract presents a concise summary of the content of the dissertation, the extent of the work undertaken, the divisions of the thesis and it mentions the potential conclusions & recommendations);

Table of Contents; List of Figures/Tables/Abbreviations;

Acknowledgements (here candidates express their personal thanks for the assistance and support they have received in writing the thesis);

Introduction (this discusses the subject matter of the dissertation; candidates may outline here the general assistance they have obtained from their supervisor(s));

Literature Review (this discusses the research done and how it compares with similar work in the field in question);

Methodology (this discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the methods selected in obtaining the necessary information for the project);

Findings (the chapters of the thesis);

Discussion (this is where the candidate discusses three entities – the Literature Review, the Findings and the Methodology);

Conclusions and Recommendations;

Appendices; References/Bibliography.

Candidates are responsible for the accuracy of their dissertations. Guidelines, as stipulated by colleges or universities, must be adhered to. Although colleges can differ in their regulations on presentation, dissertations must usually be word-processed in double spacing with a left margin of 3–4 cm (to assist binding).

Copy-editing, often referred to as editing, is essential in the production of a dissertation. It is important that the typescript is checked word for word, that quotations are accurate and checked against the originals, that page numbers are supplied where quoted text is given, and footnotes are in sequence and checked for accuracy.
Most UK proofreaders can provide this service, but it is important to choose a qualified, accredited company like Apollo Communication for the best results. Candidates who ask for proofreading of their dissertation are really requesting that the entire project be checked for all kinds of errors. These errors may include typos (literals) or incorrectly typed words, missing words, repeated words or phrases, and bad word breaks

A CV is a concise document summarizing a job applicant’s past skills and experience. It provides a summary of an applicant’s suitability to do the work that they are applying for. In order to project an image of utmost professionalism it is important for a CV to be clear, concise, and well-written. A proofreading service will ensure that spelling is correct, but a candidate will also have to provide the initial content.

A CV is not set to any definite format and what it includes is very much dependent on the individual applicant. However, candidates who apply for a specific position with a company should:
  1. Check the company’s website and endeavour to find out what that company is looking for in a prospective employee; they (the candidates) should also ascertain the specific skills that are required for the job on offer;
  2. List their present position(s) and the jobs that they held in the past providing all relevant employment dates, company names and addresses;
  3. Mention their pastimes. Some pastimes and sports, for example a rugby enthusiast, may suggest a positive image, whereas others such as reading or watching TV may imply a more passive personality;
  4. Outline their special skills; for example, a specialist knowledge of Photoshop, social media marketing, or fluency in other languages may be beneficial to the company. An applicant’s skills, experiences and personal qualities can provide a prospective employer with a more in-depth understanding of that candidate. Candidates can also mention published articles, reports, and booklets as well as conferences they organized and attended or lectures they have given;
  5. List qualifications, education details in reverse chronological order, beginning with university and providing information of the relevant dates and the grades obtained;
  6. State at the end of their CVs ‘references available on request’. Employers can then ask for details of the names of references if they are prepared to offer an applicant a position. Candidates should discuss their job applications with the referees they have selected, but not provide the names of referees at the time of application.

Reports are defined as ‘written accounts of something that has been observed, heard, done, or investigated’.

A multiplicity of organizations, including government bodies, businesses, the media and many educational disciplines make use of reports. Reports can be diverse and varied, but they must be accurate in their presentation, context, style, and they should be free of all kinds of grammatical and stylistic errors. The professional proofreader can address the subject of report proofreading and ensure that these documents fulfil their author’s expectations in that sentences are crisp in their meaning and free of spelling and typographical mistakes. While making a report suitable for publication, one must ensure that the information contained in it is grammatically accurate and consistent throughout.

When proofreading a government report on energy conservation, consistency is of the utmost importance; for example, it should be absolutely clear throughout the text whether one is referring to a metric ‘tonne’ or simply a ‘ton’. This is only one example of where errors can arise in the text of a report, and these inconsistencies have to be checked before publication.

Accuracy in reports cannot be overemphasized as inconsistencies in the text can lead to extreme errors, for example, ‘they haled from Turkey . . . ’

Professional proofreading, especially where reports are concerned, will ensure that sentences are free of jargon, repetition and factual mistakes. A simple error like the insertion of a comma in the wrong place can change the meaning of a sentence. For example, in ‘the crystal ball’ there is no comma between ‘crystal’ and ‘ball’, which is a compound noun.

But it is not only grammar, punctuation, spelling errors and typos that Apollo Communication will address when proofreading a report. Layout, consistency in the style of tables and illustrations will also be part of the remit, and references will be presented in a precise and systematic manner that is in keeping with a stipulated house style.

Apollo Communication, established in 1999, has helped government bodies and businesses to choose a suitable publication house style where one is not already in place. A house style is meant to ensure consistency in presentation of the written word. Dates should be presented consistently throughout a document. For example, ‘23 July 2006’, is clear and easy to read: here figures are separated by a word, but it should not be ‘July 30, 2006’ in another part of the text. The same applies for the names of organizations, especially when capitalization must be adhered to. Proofread reports will be presented in a professional manner; and they will be free of jargon, spelling mistakes and precise in their meaning.


It has been said that proofreading is akin to spring cleaning. You spring clean your house because your friends are coming and the place is now spick and span, until your friends arrive and notice corners and crevices that you have missed.

It's practically impossible to spot mistakes in a document that you have been working on for many hours. To be honest, spotting mistakes in your own writing is not easy; misspelt words, confused meanings in the text and inconsistencies are just some of the errors that can be rectified by a fresh pair of eyes. Spell-checkers are not really the answer and some of the flimsiest errors can be missed, even when a document is read aloud or checked in hard copy.

Publication errors can change the meaning of what is implied in a sentence and they can be embarrassing for the author and the reader alike.

Here are some errors that have appeared in journals and websites:
  • company headquartered are in the USA (UK website)
  • they waved their claim for a better deal (Finance journal)
  • the lady was sipping her coffee when she tasted something funny. She experiences other affects, too (US website)
  • Mrs Mason is a heroin, who deserves our gratitude (The Spectator)

It is errors like these that professional editing and proofreading can address at reasonable cost and at fast turnaround times.

Not so long ago a client asked for our opinion about a chapter of their manuscript that they were about to send for translation. The book in question, they maintained, had been proofread; they asked us to ‘look over it’. It was well written but it was riddled with a multiplicity of grammatical errors and inconsistencies, such as (‘among’/‘amongst’; ‘realise’/‘realize’), clichés (‘they swept them into their arms’) and headings that were inconsistent in style (‘Reasons for society's actions’/‘Structure of The Book’). There were also many instances where dashes should have been used in place of hyphens and vice versa.

What does editing entail? Editing makes sure that sentences mean what they are intended to mean; that layout in a document is accurate and that text is presented in a professional manner for its intended audience; and that books, booklets, dissertations and reports are consistent in their style and free of jargon.

Editing, sometimes referred to as copy-editing, is an essential part of publication. Unedited documents that are riddled with grammatical errors give a poor impression of their authors. Authors are known to overlook elementary errors and inconsistencies in the documents they produce.

Written material should be free of grammatical and stylistic errors, including spelling errors, inconsistencies and ambiguities in meaning.

Developmental editing involves not only copy-editing and proofreading, but a substantial amount of rewriting and reorganization to improve a document's clarity.

When clients ask for proofreading, they really mean that they want a document to be checked for all kinds of errors. This may entail checking for typos (literals), missing words, repeated phrases and bad word breaks.

It is for these reasons that the ‘fresh pair of eyes’ is so important in the final preparation of a document.