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As a non-native speaker of English, it can often be hard to spot some of the errors that a native speaker would find. For a long time, I've been thinking about getting a native speaker to help me with proof-reading my texts (articles, theses, application, etc), but I don't quite know where to look. What are some good ways to get proofreading for your texts?

For example, are there any websites on the Internet where one can exchange proofreading services between different languages? (Say, if you help me proofread my text in language x, I'll help you with yours in language y.)

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    Collaborate with a colleague who is a native speaker? – Artem Kaznatcheev Jun 25 '12 at 2:08
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    Unfortunately, I have none. – Speldosa Jun 25 '12 at 18:40
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Yes, Elsevier publishing group provides professional language services, like editing. You can find about it here

I also found this website which looks good, and it's cheaper and quicker, I think.

  • Wiley has also a language editing service. From my experience, they are a bit faster than Elsevier and automatically give you a certificate that the manuscript was edited. And you can by credits, so if your financing is getting to an end, you can pre-pay some service. Later, you can use your credits instead of direct payments. – user3624251 Feb 10 '16 at 9:43
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Being a native speaker does not mean they are a good proof-reader. In fact, most are far from it.

Your spelling- and grammar-checkers should pick up most of the horrors, and the common 'tricks' of pushing the text to one side for a few days and reading from the end to the beginning will probably allow you to catch the rest yourself.

If your articles are for publication, the editor or sub-editors will tidy up the details if the text is basically sound. A thesis generally needs only to be clearly readable - nobody is going to pull you up for ending a sentence with a preposition or using 'that' instead of 'which'.

For your CV... try a professional CV writer, or one of the many CV templates available on-line. Go to the the university ones though, to avoid the scammers.

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    If your articles are for publication, the editor or sub-editors will tidy up the details if the text is basically sound Actually, many editors (at least for math journals) do very little copy editing. – Dan C Jul 25 '12 at 6:25
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    this bring up an important point. Non native english speakers should not automatically assume english speakers know 'correct grammar'. Instead they may give clues to what 'sounds' correct or natural. As a native speaker, I admit to non native speakers teaching me alot about grammar that I took for granted in younger years. – user-2147482637 Oct 19 '14 at 11:29
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Learning all the nuances of a second language can be overwhelming. Fortunately, when writing in a technical field, often the vocabulary needed for your paper is a tiny subset of the whole language. However, I recommend that when you get the chance you ask native speakers (or others who write clear, precise prose) to explain the motivation behind their decisions. One good resource that does this is The Grammar According to West.

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There are professional translators who offer editing and proofreading of scientific articles.

Just google it (the good thing that they don't need to be nearby).

Once I tried such service and I was happy (and the reviewers as well). And even a bit surprised, as I had some doubts if such service can work for scientific texts, full of jargon and complex ideas.

Of course, to start with, the article needs to be decent enough - readable (even if with some grammatical errors). Otherwise you need someone to write it with you, not only correct.

  • Any reference to that service? – Armand Jan 17 '16 at 20:42

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