Are Proofreading Services Legit?
  • 7-minute read
  • 13th February 2023

Are Proofreading Services Legit?

If you’re looking for proofreading services online, you’ll find an overwhelming number of options, including reputable companies, independent editors, and total scams. In this article, you’ll learn what proofreading services entail and how to find reputable and reliable ones. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is a Proofreading Service?

Proofreading services check written work for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors. It’s the last step in the writing process, so the goal is to give a final polish to ensure clear, concise, and error-free writing.

Proofreading services don’t include content, organizational, or structural edits, so make sure that your work is ready for proofreading and doesn’t need editing or revising. If you submit a piece of writing that requires more work than the standard proofreading services, the editor or company will let you know. Keep in mind that editing services will be an additional cost.

Benefits of Using a Professional Proofreading Service

While proofreading your own work or having a friend look at it is cost-effective, professional proofreading services ensure that your work is high quality and error-free. You also get tailored comments with suggestions for improvement or when specific areas lack clarity.

Benefits for Authors

If you’re an author looking to publish a book or short story, professional proofreading services are imperative. Missing commas, awkward dialogue, and lackluster descriptions will reduce your chances of getting published. And if you self-publish without having used professional proofreading services, your readers could leave bad reviews about the quality of your language, which would hurt future sales. Hiring a professional might be costly, but nothing can replace their experience and expertise within your genre. Click here to read more about Proofed’s author proofreading services.

Benefits for Students and Academics

For students writing theses and researchers hoping to get published in top journals, professional proofreading services are important and sometimes even required by universities or journals. Your chosen journal may have specific guidelines and formatting requirements that can be overwhelming to meet without help.

Do you know how to work with a specific referencing system or properly format charts, graphs, and tables? Do you know how to use abbreviations in text or write a killer abstract? If these requirements are not met, your thesis or paper is likely to be rejected. Professional proofreading services make sure that your work is of the highest quality to give you the best chance of being accepted. Learn more about Proofed’s student proofreading services here.

Benefits for Professionals

Whether you’re applying for a new job or writing content for a company’s blog, professional and high-quality writing can make all the difference in getting hired or increasing your brand awareness. It goes without saying that companies and consumers expect high-quality writing – it’s the standard. Professional proofreading services can help you take your business to the next level or land that job you’ve been aiming for. Click here to find out more about Proofed for professionals. Or if you’re looking for proofreading on a larger scale, check out our business page.

How To Find Legit Proofreading Services

Not all proofreading services are created equal, so it’s important to find one that’s reputable and trustworthy. Here are a few things to look for when searching for a legit proofreading service.

Reputation, Reviews, and Testimonials

Any decent proofreader or proofreading service will have clients who have left positive reviews. Always check for reviews on websites such as Trustpilot, and if there aren’t many or mostly bad reviews, find another company or proofreader.

Most independent proofreaders and proofreading companies will have a section on their website dedicated to testimonials from previous clients and companies they’ve worked with. If you can’t see any, be sure to ask for them. If they can’t provide any, run!

Find Qualified, Experienced Proofreaders

If you write mystery novels, you’ll want to find a proofreader with experience in your genre. If you’re writing an academic paper for publication in a top journal, you’ll want a proofreader who is familiar with the journal publication process. Find a proofreading service that is suitable for your piece of writing and has relevant experience.

Additional information to look for includes tertiary education, certifications, and membership in a professional editor association. Most proofreading services or independent editors should already have these details on their websites.

Check Their Website

All proofreaders and proofreading services should have a professional website. If you see a single error in the text of their website or strange wording, don’t use their services. If you suspect that the website is fake or has been stolen from a legitimate proofreading company or independent editor (fake social media pages are also common), check LinkedIn and cross-check the contact information.

Unfortunately, there are lots of scams in the editing, proofreading, and publishing world. But the quality of a website or contact information that doesn’t match with Google search results are both great ways to spot scams. When in doubt, just go with someone else.

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Overall, a professional proofreading service should have a high-quality, easy-to-read, and easy-to-navigate website where you can contact customer support and see pricing, testimonials, and their credentials.

Look for a Range of Services

While it’s important to keep in mind that proofreading services are separate from editing and revising, check whether they offer other services. For example, if you’re looking to publish a novel, you will most likely need developmental, line, and copy editing before you get to proofreading (remember, proofreading is the last step in the writing process). Most editors in the publishing industry will offer all these services as they’re all required for book publishing.

If you’re a business, you might look for a company or independent proofreader who also offers copy editing and copywriting services. These services are related to the industry and the type of copy you need proofread, and most professionals will offer more than one service as a result.

Pricing Options and Free Trials

Reputable companies offering proofreading services should have their pricing clearly stated on their website. If you’re considering working for an independent editor or need long-term proofreading services, a contract would be helpful.

Most proofreaders and companies will offer a free trial so you can get an idea of what their services will look like. This trial could be a word limit (up to 1,000 words, for example) or the first chapter of a book.


Proofreading services can be a valuable tool for any writer, whether you’re looking for proofreading for an essay, novel, or business document or just need someone to give your work a final polish. However, not all proofreading services are created equal, so it’s important to find a reputable and trustworthy company. Make sure you consider all relevant factors when choosing a service:

●  Reputation, reviews, and testimonials that are available to the public

●  Qualified and experienced proofreaders for the type of writing you need services for

●  A high-quality and professional website that is easy to navigate and error-free

●  A range of services targeted for your writing needs

●  Clear pricing and a free trial


How do proofreading services compare to using grammar-checker software?

While grammar-checking software is great to use for your everyday writing, it can only go so far. Professional proofreading services are tailored to your specific writing needs, offer suggestions and feedback, and guarantee that your writing is polished and professional.

Are there any free proofreading services available?

Yes. Most proofreading companies should offer a free proofreading sample so you can get a feel for their work and whether it would be a good fit. Proofed offers a free trial for first-time customers of up to 500 words.

Can proofreading services also edit my document for content and structure?

No. Content, structure, and organization are addressed in editing. If you request proofreading services when you actually need editing services, the service will let you know. Keep in mind that editing services are an additional charge.

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