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Duncan Proofreading – academic and non-fiction

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Experienced academic and non-fiction proofreader – I have worked with a wide range of materials, including PhD theses, master’s dissertations and academic journal papers, book chapters, blog essays and travel writing, business documents, magazine articles and content for web pages.

I have helped a variety of clients to ensure that their written material is free from errors and consistent in content and presentation, including the formulation of style sheets and guides where necessary.

My academic background is in the humanities and social sciences with an interdisciplinary degree within which I focused on philosophy. This honed my analytical, writing and critical reading skills, and has given me a keen eye for identifying ambiguity and inconsistency.

I have particular experience of working with people for whom English is a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL), helping to ensure their writing flows smoothly and naturally.

I am a Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) – you can view my CIEP profile here – and am listed on the register of approved proofreaders for Royal Holloway, University of London and Sheffield Hallam University.

Qualifications and Training:
BA (Hons) Interdisciplinary Human Studies – First Class
Proofreading training from the Publishing Training Centre and the CIEP, including specialist courses on proofreading theses and dissertations, and working with references
How to Mark Up PDF Page Proofs (Denise Cowle)
Copyediting training with the CIEP: Copyediting 1 and Copyediting 2 (Merit)

I am also CELTA qualified with a great interest in language learning and grammar. A self-taught and still-learning Hindi speaker, I understand the difficulties of communicating in a second (or third) language.

“I work to a high standard and Rachel’s reliability, professional approach and the quality of her work make her a pleasure to work with and easy to communicate with. I have no doubts in recommending her to anyone looking for an academic proofreader.” Dawn Leggott Consulting Ltd

For professional, friendly and personalised proofreading support, contact me at [email protected].
Don’t forget to tell me your subject, type of work, approximate word count and, most importantly, your deadline, so that I can quickly understand how I can help you.


I would like to leave a feedback of my fascination for Rachel and her work. I have found Rachel occasionally on Google and was attracted by wonderful reviews of her services. After having tried four different proofreaders during these four years of my PhD I was quite disappointed by the fact that it is so hard to find a person who would make professional proofreading of complicated sociological language. Being a non-native English speaker I still use quite complex language in my works, relying on difficult sociological theories, such as morphogenetic approach (by M. Archer) or neo-institutionalism. Rachel was a big present for me at the end of my PhD journey!!! She didn’t only read my very demanding English language carefully and intuitively, but was actually a big source of support for me! Her very thoughtful, thorough and extremely careful reading of my dissertation actually helped me to look at my own work from fresh angle! It was immense pleasure to work with her, to get her advice on the language use and actually just to share some thoughts which came together with this proofreading period. I am definitely blessed that I have met her! My highest recommendation of Rachel as a very professional, intuitive and talented proofreader!

Liudmila Zaichenko, PhD researcher,
School of Educational Sciences,
Tallinn University,
Tallinn, Estonia


In my experience working with Rachel as a proofreader for my thesis, I have gained valuable insights and skills, especially as a non-native English speaker. Rachel provided constructive feedback that extended my knowledge beyond just formatting and formal language, delving deeper into the nuances of the language itself. She meticulously considered every aspect of her suggestions.

Furthermore, Rachel consistently reminded me to avoid sentence repetition and encouraged me to thoroughly review my draft, ensuring its quality.

Rachel’s professionalism is noteworthy; she strictly adhered to proofreading regulations and maintained a clear distinction between editing and proofreading, which is crucial for PhD students.

Moreover, Rachel demonstrated her compassion and understanding when she learned about my health issues. She offered invaluable advice on achieving a balance between working on my thesis and taking care of my well-being.

While many students and researchers are turning to AI for assistance, professionals like Rachel remain indispensable. Human skills, like hers, continue to play an irreplaceable role in refining academic work.


As an academic proofreader myself, I’ve been very impressed with Rachel’s work – not only is she fast, efficient and accurate, but she is clearly aware of the subtleties of the subject matter. involved

I employed her, along with three other proofreaders, to work on a multi-author academic volume of African studies. Rachel’s work was significantly more accurate and responsive to the authors’ intentions than that of the other proofreaders.

She was also able to ensure good use of English while preserving the author’s style – a valuable skill which goes beyond regular proofreading, and is especially useful in international academic work. She liaised with me well and generally made the whole project go much more smoothly than it would have without her input.

I have employed her to work on several papers since then and have been consistently impressed with her skills.

I highly recommend her work.


As a non-academic, finishing an MSc later in life, considering and contacting a proofreader was not a comfortable idea. However, from the first contact Rachel was so supportive and warm in her professionalism that it added a hugely important element to her service that was much needed at a stressful and uncertain time. Her work elevated my thesis to a thing of concise elegance, by comparison to the original, and her insightful and thoughtful comments improved my own understanding of my writing. Regarding the meticulous attention to detail, you do not find this level of diligent work-ethic in modern life anymore. I look forward to working together again on a PhD.


I have worked with Rachel in the past two years as Principal Investigator of Project dldl/ድልድል. Rachel helped to proofread our English website ( and dedicatedly supports the proofreading of our blog. Her work is highly professional, thoughtful and considerate of our contributors’ diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Rachel is very conscious of epistemological inequalities in knowledge production and publishing and is very careful not to impose Anglophone or other rigid standards when proofreading the work of our diverse contributors, allowing them to express themselves as well as guiding them to write clearly and effectively in English. I consider it a privilege to be working with Rachel and I would recommend her without any reservations.


Rachel is highly professional and provides insightful suggestions when proofreading.
She can identify the discordance in my work and replace them with more suitable words/sentences. Also, she can grasp what I want to convey in her enquiries, helping me to reflect on my work. My dissertation is therefore more logical and coherent. I feel good working with her for her high quality and effectiveness. Hope to work again : )


Rachel was such a joy to work with! Not only is she hardworking and very thorough but mostly important delivers the work on time. She is extremely meticulous and truly added value to my thesis. I will definitely be making use of her services again.


Rachel is such a responsible and absolutely professional proofreader. I feel so lucky to meet her because after her work, my wording are more clear which shows in the improved scores.


Rachel is a wonderful proofreader to work with! She communicates with me in a timely manner and is very flexible in terms of adapting her work to my needs for presenting and formating ideas in my academic field. The quality of her work is exceptional, with attention paid to details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Her comprehensive and constructive suggestions not only helped me improve one piece of work, but may also benefit my future academic writing.


It’s my second time working with Rachel. She is so helpful! Really appreciate her high-quality and efficient proofreading.


Rachel has been a wonderful proof-reader. I loved her work and her professional advices while she was proofreading my thesis. Besides her wonderful work, she is a very friendly person which was really helpful for me. I also loved the way she managed to do the work in such a short time! Great!!


Rachel has a very friendly, patient attitude and professional skills and it was a great experience to work with her. She provided a lot of professional and pertinent advice on my essay.


I am very pleased with Rachel’s proofreading , i would call it First Class professional Proofreading, Rachel is extremely thorough, and made excellent suggestions, and was extremely helpful at a very short notice, Rachel is flexible, and so easy to work with, i highly recommend Rachel for academic work.


Having worked with Rachel previously it was an easy choice for me to go back to her as a proofreader, this time for my PhD thesis. Just like earlier, working with her has been an absolute pleasure. I had very little time to hand in my PhD thesis, but Rachel managed to work on my tight schedule, sending all her feedback timely. She also added comments and explanations to her proofreading-edits and sent a very useful personalised style-guide, which made it easy for me to follow the rationale behind her work and, I believe, has improved my writing as well. I would always go back to Rachel for proofreading any type of work, and would highly recommend her to anyone who needs an excellent proofreader!


Rachel has been a great proofreader and she has been very helpful. She was always available and willing to help, checking all small details of my paper and making sure she understood what I wanted to say in my paper. I learnt a lot from this experience and think that after her help, my writing techniques improved a lot! If I need a proofreader again, I will definitely contact her.

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