There is no obligation for any student to engage the assistance of a paid proofreader at any stage of study or on any piece of coursework. However, it is acknowledged that certain types of student texts are quite often submitted for proofreading to a third party, and such assistance is at times actively recommended by supervisors. This is particularly the case for doctoral dissertations which typically aim for publication standard in their presentation. In addition, students whose first language is not English may want to have Masters level projects and dissertations proofread.

The University’s policy on proofreading is currently under review. If you decide to have your work proofread by a third-party or commercial proofreader, please ensure that they are aware that your work is for submission to the University of Essex, and that the work they undertake for you does not breach the University’s rules of assessment.

Please note - Proofreading should not entail any intervention that would substantially change the content of a piece of work. Proofreaders should avoid:

  • Rewriting sections where argumentation or logic is faulty.
  • Significantly rearranging paragraphs with the intention of improving structure.
  • Correcting data calculations or factual errors etc. 

Note though, a proofreader may advise the student writer to check possible problems of this type with a relevant supervisor or tutor.

Two woman talking at a helpdesk
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.