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How to Avoid Fake or Low-Quality Proofreading Services

Published : October 30, 2020. Updated: November 12, 2020.

Each month, hundreds of people looking for essay and paper editing services online type phrases like “legit editing and proofreading services” into Google. This fact highlights the problem of online scams offering very low-cost proofreading and editing services.

Authors of essays and research papers need to ensure that their work is being revised by an experienced professional editor and not some amateur on the internet trying to take their money in exchange for poor service.

Wordvice often receives questions from people who have been taken advantage of by less- than-legit editing companies, having been sorely disappointed with the revision services they received from a cheap editing service. Here are some of the things clients mention:

  • “I gave my essay to X company for editing and they didn’t fix anything except for the grammar and punctuation errors. Do you offer more thorough editing?’
  • “I’ve seen cheaper rates for some online editing services. How do you set your editing rates?”
  • “What is the difference between editing and proofreading? And why does one cost more than the other?”
  • “I have had some bad experiences with online English paper revision sites. Is Wordvice a legit editing service?”

Simply put, there are many “proofreading service” websites online that are out to either make a quick buck or to outright scam authors looking for affordable quality editing services. This harms the entire editing and proofreading industry because it erodes trust in the services of even the best editing companies.

To help authors identify the legitimate editing services (and the not-so-good ones), we have created a checklist of factors to take into consideration to ensure that the proofreading and editing service you are entrusting with your paper 1) is reliable, secure, and trustworthy and 2) provides the highest-quality revision services to its clients.

While we hope using this list leads you to choose Wordvice’s professional proofreading services, regardless of the editing or proofreading service you choose, taking some time to assess the service is sure to pay off in editing quality and overall satisfaction.

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Consider the cost of editing

The editing service you choose should be affordable and fit your budget. But be careful not to go for the cheapest option you find. Offers of unbelievably low editing rates for professional editing services are likely too good to be true.

As a rule of thumb, a document of 1,000 words should take around an hour to edit and a bit less to proofread, depending on the quality of the writing. You can determine whether a price is reasonable or two good to be true by asking the following questions:

  • Would a skilled editing professional spend 60 minutes editing a document at the advertised rate?
  • Could accurate proofreading be applied if the editor is being paid less than the offered rate (since editing companies take a portion of the payment)?
  • Do I want my important thesis, essay, or research paper to be edited by someone more interested in speed than precision?

If an editing price seems ridiculously low, your work is likely being edited by an editor with little experience or qualifications, or by an editor who may sacrifice editing quality for getting the work done as quickly as possible.

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Consider document turnaround/delivery time

Editing and proofreading services offer different turnaround times (i.e., the length of time in which your document will be edited and returned). If the company only offers turnaround times of 24 or 48 hours, regardless of the document’s word count, this should be a red flag as it means that they have editors on stand-by to rush through your work without taking the needed amount of time to do a thorough job.

If your document is thousands of words in length (e.g., a dissertation, thesis, or lengthy academic manuscript), it can take several hours to edit and proofread. Keep in mind that reputable editing companies often have editors who are busy editing other documents and that you may need to wait a day or two to have the most suitable editor get to your work.

Editing companies that offer longer turnaround times also tend to employ academic subject specialists who understand the terms and conventions of your specific topic or area of research.

Longer turnaround times also means lower editing rates. So, if you have the time to spare, choose a longer turnaround time and give your editor time to carefully edit your work.

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Search for editing services reviews from verified clients

A sure way to tell if an editing company is legitimate and offers quality service is to search for service reviews from clients.

Searching Google by simply typing in “proofreading service reviews” is one place to start. The presence of positive reviews is a good sign, especially if the purchases are verified and not paid supporters (or critics) of the service. If there are only a few reviews or none at all, this doesn’t bode well for the quality or security of the service.

You can narrow your search by visiting popular review sites like TrustPilot or ShopperApproved and typing in the editing company you are considering. However, be warned that fake or scam editing sites are also not likely to post real client reviews. Read the reviews carefully to determine if you are getting reliable advice.

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Assess the background and experience of the editors

Many online editing and proofreading services display some of the names and qualifications of their editors. This is especially true with open freelance editing platforms.

Searching through a few of the editors a proofreading service employs can give you a good idea of the caliber of editing you can expect. A site that does not list ANY information about its editors might be one to avoid.

If you have questions about the specific qualifications or experience of a company’s editors, it can be a good idea to send an email with your inquiries. After all, good customer service is also a hallmark of a legit proofreading company.

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Find out the company’s confidentiality and security policies

Search for information about the company’s confidentiality and safety policies and see if you can answer these questions:

  • Who has access to your document?
  • Do editors sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) agreeing never to share your document with anyone?
  • Do staff members also sign confidentiality agreements?
  • Will your file be deleted after it is completed and returned to you?

When you hire an editor or proofreader for language editing, you are entrusting the contents of your document to both the editor and the editing service. Be sure that you can trust the editing company with your important and sensitive information.

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Consider available payment options

How does the editing site take payments for their services? Do they use a reputable payment gateway like PayPal? Your purchase should not only be convenient, it should be safe and secure. PayPal is an especially useful payment gateway, as it accepts debit and credit card purchases without registration but is also highly secure.

How does the editing site take payments for their services? Do they use a reputable payment gateway like PayPal? Your purchase should not only be convenient, it should be safe and secure. PayPal is an especially useful payment gateway, as it accepts debit and credit card purchases without registration but is also highly secure.

Wordvice Editing Service

Is Wordvice a legit editing and proofreading company?

Now that you know a bit more about what to look for in a good proofreading service and what to avoid, you might be wondering just which editing company you should choose.

In our humble opinion, Wordvice Editing Service is among the most reliable and trustworthy online editing and proofreading services in the industry.

Here is a brief rundown of the features you can expect to receive with our editing and proofreading services:

  • High-quality editing at competitive (but not “cheap”) rates
  • A range of turnaround times
  • Native English-speaking editors with an average of 5+ years of experience and subject expertise
  • Proofreading and revisions for style, vocabulary, natural expression, and flow
  • 100% language accuracy guaranteed
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed
  • 100% confidentiality and security guaranteed
  • Discounts for leaving reviews and referring friends to our service

Although there are quite a few scam proofreading sites out there, there are still a few reputable ones to choose from. Use your best judgement and do your homework when deciding on an editing service to revise your important work.

Whether you are considering Wordvice or another service, use these tips to choose the right service for you and avoid being disappointed or scammed by an inferior editing service.