FAQs | Peer Proof Reading | Academic Support

Who will proofread my work?
We have a team of trained volunteers who have been selected for their English language skills and their friendly approach. All proofreaders are University of Edinburgh students who are eager to help their fellow students. If you meet up with your proofreader, keep in mind that they have their own deadlines and will probably only have a limited amount of time available for discussion. 

If I submit my assignment to Peer Proofreading, will it definitely be proofread?

The scheme operates on a first come, first served basis, so we may not be able to help with all requests, especially at busy times. We will let you know within 24 hours if we are unable to find a proofreader for your assignment.

I've submitted my work, but haven't heard anything back.  What's happening?
Please make sure that you have validated your email address. When you submit your assignment, you will be sent an email by our system asking you to validate your email address. We will be unable to assign your piece of work to a volunteer unless you validate your email address. If you have done this, and are still waiting, email us at proofreading@eusa.ed.ac.uk

My work has been sent to a proofreader. How long do I need to wait for feedback?

You should receive comments electronically within three working days of the proofreader receiving the piece of work.  We do not count weekends as working days. If you are waiting longer than this, please get in touch with us at proofreading@eusa.ed.ac.uk  Please note that work submitted after 5pm will be sent to a volunteer the next working day.
We will make every effort to ensure that you receive comments in time for your deadline, but can accept no responsibility for students failing to submit work for assessment on time.

What will the feedback I receive look like?
Your proofreader will return your document to you with comments and basic corrections added using Microsoft Word's Track Changes function, along with a coversheet outlining any issues identified within the work. Guidance on how to use Track Changes is available on the factsheets below:
Track Changes for Word 2003
Track Changes for Word 2007
Track Changes for Word 2010
Track Changes for Word 2016


Can I meet with my proofreader?
In their feedback form, your proofreader will let you know if they think it would be useful for you to meet to discuss their comments, and will tell you how best to contact them. We would encourage you to meet with them if they suggest this, as it can be a really helpful way of learning. If you can't meet them, please send them an email to let them know.

I don’t think I will be able to submit my assignment 7 days before the deadline. Does that mean I can’t use the scheme?

If you are working to a deadline, we would encourage you to submit a draft to be proofread while continuing to make improvements to the piece of work. The Students' Association won’t be able to help you request an extension if you miss a deadline as a result of waiting for feedback from a proofreader.

Who can use Peer Proofreading?

Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students can all use the service if they are non-native English speakers. If you are studying a distance-learning course off campus, although you may not be able to meet with your proofreader, you are welcome to use the service and to benefit from receiving proofreading comments by email. 

Please note, we sometimes open for a limited time during the summer, however this service is only open to Masters students for feedback on a section of their dissertation. 

What if my essay is longer than the maximum word you allow?    

If you are working on a longer piece of work (e.g. a dissertation or thesis), please feel free to submit a section of your work up to the maximum word count. When the scheme is open from October to April we accept submissions of up to 3, 000 words. During the summer scheme for Masters students we can accept up to 2, 000 words. Please note we have fewer volunteer proofreaders during the summer which is why we have a more limited service then.

Why can't I submit more than two assignments per semester to the scheme?
This is to ensure we can help as many students as possible access the scheme.  Please note, during the summer Masters scheme, we can only accept one submission per student.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

I'm not eligible to use the scheme.  Can you recommend another proofreader to me?
We are not able to recommend any professional proofreaders as we are an impartial service.  You may see posters around the University from proofreaders advertising for work, or you could check online or local classified adverts to see if proofreaders are advertising. Please remember that a proofreader should only check the spelling, grammar, and general clarity of written English.  They should not advise on issues of content, style, or argumentation.  Take the time to agree on a price for the work before you send it, and never, ever disclose your bank details over the internet.


Last updated: 16/07/2018