English for Academics

Academic English is different from most other types of English because it is written and spoken at a much higher level.  You are often discussing complex theories and concepts.  Your writing is not just informational; your text also has to make an argument to prove your thesis. 

With that in mind, the academic services I offer are:

Click on each service to find out more.  Please contact me if you need a service not listed here.  I’d love to chat. 

Copyediting and proofreading

Everyone needs a second pair of eyes to look over their work.  That is why I offer copyediting and proofreading services for academic journal submissions, as well as theses and dissertations.  Please see below for specific information on each.

Before I accept a thesis or dissertation for proofreading, you must check your university’s policy on proofreading and get a signed statement from your advisor/supervisor approving the use of a proofreading service.  I can provide this statement if your university doesn’t already have one. 

Once I get that authorisation, I can edit as allowed.  Some universities only allow for proofreading, which means checking for spelling mistakes or deviations from the editorial style sheet.  Other universities allow copyediting, which means I can check for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other mechanics of style, as well as citations.  

If a section or paragraph is unclear, I will mark it as such in the comments.  Generally, I am not allowed to rewrite that section for you.  That would be your responsibility.

This may seem harsh, but this is to protect both myself and you from charges of plagiarism or cheating.

Do you just need a set of fresh eyes to look over your work?  Or do you need a more structural edit?  I can do as much or as little as you need.

  • I am an experienced writer and editor.
  • I have a B.A. in history with a minor in writing, as well as an M.A. in historical studies.
  • I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, the Editorial Freelancers Association, ACES: the society for editing, and the National Council for Public History.
  • I am a Cambridge qualified ESL teacher and have a deep understanding of grammar and syntax.  
  • I teach Business English to executives across Germany.

Because of my background, I will edit and proofread subjects within the social sciences and humanities.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Languages and linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Archaeology
  • Art and art history
  • Religion and theology
Unfortunately, I do not proofread/edit scientific work of any kind.  If your subject is within the social sciences/humanities and not listed above, please feel free to contact me.  

I have a deep understanding of the Chicago Manual of Style and I will chose that if no style guide is prescribed.  However, I can use whichever style guide is required by your university/advisor.

I do!  I check for errors and formatting as part of the proofreading/editing service.  However, I also provide this as a separate service where I just check the citations and bibliographies.

I do not.  However, most plagiarism isn’t intentional; instead, it is often due to missing citations.  If I see a section that I think is missing a citation, I will mark it as such. 

My price is based on the length of the document, the amount of work needed, and turn-around time (when you need it back).  That said, my prices are reasonable and the quality of my work is of the highest standard.

In order to evaluate how much work is needed, I will require at least three pages of your document.  Once I make this assessment, I can give you a price.  Should you accept this offer, I require half upfront, with the other half to be paid upon completion.  I will return the edited document upon payment.  I use PayPal, which is easy and gives customers piece of mind.

If cost is an issue, you can send me your thesis/dissertation one chapter at a time.  This will allow you to break up the payments.

Again, that depends on the amount of work needed and the length of the document.  A good rule of thumb is  3 working days for every 5,000 words (5.5 double-spaced pages), or 14 working days for 80,000 words (320 double-spaced pages).  

Coaching to improve your writing skills

A lot of people struggle with putting their thoughts on paper.  I can help with that!  We’ll look at what you are writing and how it can be improved.  We can work on anything from grammar and vocabulary, formulating a convincing argument, as well as style and flow.

One-to-one language training

I offer English language training specifically for academics.  This training focuses on the skills you need to complete an academic qualification, I offer one-to-one 4-week courses on topics such as:

  • Improving your conversational English
  • Improving basic grammar
  • Non-academic writing – emails, reports, etc.
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiations and meetings
  • CV help
  • Interview skills
  • One hour per week for 4 weeks: €250
  • Two hours per week for 4 weeks:  €450
  • 10% discount for follow-on weeks

Four weeks is enough to see real improvement if we focus on a specific goal.  Of course, when we come to the end of the four weeks, you can book the next four – and with a 10% discount!  This isn’t limiting you to the number of lessons you take.  It’s focusing on what we do in those lessons.

What others are saying about marshallsay English

“Laura’s superior command of the English language, meticulous attention to detail, and exceptional editing not only helped me get an article accepted for publication but also reduced the amount of time I had to spend on revisions after it passed through the peer review. I will use Marshallsay English for all of my future editing needs.”

James Risk, PhD
University of South Carolina

“Some organizational skills can be learned through formal training, but the personality required to be an effective liaison cannot. Laura has this needed personality trait.”

Vince V.
Chief of Visitor Services, USNPS

Laura Marshallsay is a proud member of

National Council on Public History
English Language Teachers' Association Frankfurt
English Langauge Teachers Association Frankfurt
Editorial Freelancers Association Logo
Editorial Freelancers Association
ACES: the Society for Editing
CIEP: the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading logo
Chartered Institute for Editors and Proofreaders