In my ten years as a copy editor, I’ve worked on all kinds of documents, from annual reports to cookbooks.

Below is a list of the things that come across my desk most frequently, along with the average cost to edit them.

Articles and Blog Posts

Why is the writing in publications like The Toronto Star and The New Yorker usually elegant and incisive, while the content of many blogs is not? It isn’t just because they can afford to hire the best journalists. They also have ancillary staff, from fact checkers, to copy editors, to proofreaders, who can review each article for quality and accuracy.

While I can’t replace such a team of professionals, I can confirm the veracity of your facts, such as dates, names, and quotations from online sources. I can also correct your spelling and grammar, eliminate dangling modifiers and redundant wording from your sentences, and carefully alter your tone to appeal to your target audience. I’m conversant with AP (and CP) standards and can also follow a house style. I’ve edited articles, blog posts, and web content on a variety of subjects, including fashion, interior design, shopping, computers, business, relationships, food, healthcare, and education.

Average Cost: $0.02 for copy editing, $0.01 for proofreading. Heavy fact checking may be extra.

Corporate Communications

Clear, well-written prose is a sign of professionalism and respect, whether you’re communicating with your staff or with your customers. I’ve edited materials for internal and external circulation for both corporate and non-profit organizations, including reports, presentations, memos, manuals, brochures, conference programs, press releases, newsletters, and web content. I can make your work comply with Chicago, APA, or AP/CP style, and can use in-house guidelines if they are available.

Average Cost: $0.02 per word for shorter documents, around $4-$5 per page for longer ones. Around $2.50 per page for proofreading.


You’ve spent considerable time and effort researching and writing your paper. You’re also necessarily very close to it. As someone who’s never read your essay, I can provide a critical perspective and spot flaws in your arguments that familiarity has made invisible to you.

In addition, I can correct your grammar, prune verbose or run-on sentences, ensure you use jargon accurately and judiciously, check that your paper meets your instructor’s requirements, and change your references and formatting to comply with APA, MLA, or other guidelines. My clients report that the clearer, more logical writing produced by my edits often improves their marks by at least half a letter grade.

I’ve polished essays in almost every discipline, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Art history
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English literature
  • Environmental studies
  • History
  • International studies
  • Linguistics
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

Please feel free to contact me if your field isn’t on this list.

Average Cost: $0.02 per word to edit a shorter essay or $0.01 to proofread it, with discounts for manuscripts over 5,000 words.

Non-Fiction Print and eBooks

If you’re self-publishing your manuscript or working with a publishing house that does not employ editorial staff, it’s a good idea to have it professionally edited and/or proofread. Clear, concise, and well-structured prose gives you credibility with your readers. Copy editing could be especially useful if you’re more comfortable communicating in a different medium, such as via seminars or blog posts, and are now trying to present your ideas in book form. I’ve also edited book proposals, sample chapters, and even a few short stories.

  • A partial list of the non-fiction I’ve edited includes:
  • A vegetarian cookbook
  • A book on Christian leadership
  • An eBook on raising educational standards for African-American youth
  • An eBook about fashion on a budget
  • A collection of essays by several authors on an individual artist
  • An eBook on self-improvement
  • A memoir

Average Cost: Around $3-4 to copy edit a double-spaced page, $2 for proofreading. My quotes tend to be a bit lower than for academic manuscripts.

Personal Statements

Crafting an effective university application requires conciseness, good storytelling, and a degree of self-promotion with which many people feel uncomfortable. As well as commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of your personal statement, I can condense it to fit the stipulated word limit, ensure that it covers the assigned topics, and restructure it to make it more compelling.

I’ve helped clients get into undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in universities across North America, including Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Rutgers, the University of Toronto, York University, UBC, the University of Washington, USC, and UC Berkeley. I’ve also edited petitions and appeals.

Average Cost: Approximately $30, including two rounds of revisions. $15 for proofreading.

Résumés and Cover Letters

Promoting your background and work experience, demonstrating a familiarity with a particular company, and persuading a bored HR person to offer you an interview is a lot to ask from a few pages of text. But my résumés and cover letters have frequently done just that. I can remove the fluff, emphasize key skills, and eradicate embarrassing typos and grammar errors. I can also proofread the many e-mails you need to send to prospective employers during the application process.

Average Cost: Around $40 for a CV and cover letter, much less for different iterations of the same letter for various applications. Around $20 for proofreading, depending on the length.

Theses, Dissertations, and Journal Articles

I’ve edited dozens of longer academic documents in various fields, including medicine, psychology, art, education, economics, statistics, and law. Although I’m most familiar with APA guidelines, I can format your work to comply with MLA or other standards. I can also check that it meets the requirements of your university department or publication. Finally, I recognize that the writing process involves an inordinate amount of revisions, and I’m happy to go over your draft until it’s fully polished.

Average Cost: Around $0.15 per word for copy editing, $0.01 per word for proofreading. However, since the cost can vary widely depending on the number of tables, figures, and references, please contact me with an excerpt for an estimate.

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Proofreading does not include any structural, stylistic, or copy editing, so it’s best suited for work on the verge of completion. You can view it as a final pass before your document goes public.Correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

  • Standardizing how numbers and abbreviations appear in the text.
  • Ensuring that all elements, such as running heads, captions, and cross-references, are visually and textually consistent.
  • Checking for appropriate formatting.
  • Incorporating any changes from the author or from others.
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As well as including the services provided in my proofreading package, copy editing involves:

  • Eliminating wordiness, redundancy, unnecessary jargon, and excessive use of the passive voice.
  • Fixing awkward sentences and paragraphs by making them smoother and more idiomatic.
  • Indicating and attempting to correct biases and inconsistencies in the text.
  • Checking basic facts, including Scripture references, on a case-by-case basis, and querying the author if something looks inconsistent or inaccurate.
  • Applying a particular editorial style, especially to references (i.e., APA, MLA, CPP).
  • Commenting on ambiguities in logic, marking where citations are needed, and bringing any other inconsistencies to the author’s attention.

Note: These descriptions are loosely adapted from the Editors Association of Canada’s Professional Editorial Standards (2016)