Do I need scientific/technical proofreading?
There are many reasons why we recommend scientific or technical proofreading, for example:
This is especially valuable when many people work on an extended text, like a technical report or an advertising booklet, and where inconsistencies often creep in. Someone may write “bureaux”, “sub-region”, “won’t” or “economy-sized” and another “bureaus”, “subregion”, “will not” or “economy sized”. Revising a long text can result in team members losing an overview. In German this is known as “Betriebsblindheit” or “operational blindness” – in English we say there are too many cooks in the kitchen, or that someone “can’t see the wood for the trees”. Often an objective eye is crucial: the person who can step back from a text and provide an overview of its entirety.
We at HFL will go through your text and make sure your report consistently expresses what you want to say without the risk of different formulations distracting the reader. Is someone writing „organisation“ (i.e. UK-English spelling with German-style quotation marks?) while another is using “organization” (US-English spelling with English-style quotation marks)? Is the text always aligned to the right (or always unaligned), and are the font sizes and indentations in subtitles consistent all the way through? Is the boss using too many semicolons and her assistant over-hyphenating? This attention to detail can only come from an editor tasked with considering a text as a whole. And when a proofreader does his or her job well, you won’t notice – your writing will be polished but look natural and the themes and arguments you put across will not be essentially changed.
Improving your grades:
When you’re writing your final degree paper, you need to show you can work on a topic independently, to a predetermined deadline and using the proper methodology. Candidates usually manage to tackle their subject in-depth, but they often lose marks through mistakes in spelling and punctuation or a bad writing style, or through repetition, irrelevant subject matter, omission of related material or errors in their conclusions. We step in to help you improve your grades.
Safeguarding you from accusations of plagiarism:
Students are increasingly hearing about someone who has failed their final examination due to allegations of plagiarism. Before they hand in their final paper, students worry that they themselves will face these charges. These accusations are generally made either when there is a “one-to-one” correspondence between their work and another’s or when academic material has not been properly referenced.
To insure you against this, we put your final thesis, if you wish, through a strict process of plagiarism control using special software. We provide marginal comments at those points in your thesis that don’t seem to have come wholly from you and which lack a proper reference.
Improving readability for the examiner:
Bear in mind your examiner, who must read not only your paper but those of many others as well. Inconsistent or erroneous punctuation can make it hard for the reader to get a feel for what’s written. “Come on, let’s eat, Gran” is easier to digest than “Come on, let’s eat Gran”. Imagine what that would mean for the far more complex sentences in your thesis. We’re here to iron out those wrinkles before your examiner tries on the finished product.
Detecting discrepancies BEFORE the oral examination (viva voce):
Imagine you’ve been preparing for a face-to-face defence of your written work. You know it back to front. But the examiner has misunderstood one of your points or lines of argument because you’re describing it ambiguously or unclearly. What you’ve written makes perfect sense in your own head because you know the background and context, but in your text you haven’t been precise enough in laying out connections and interrelationships. Your examiner has been following a different line of reasoning or has misunderstood a point, and asks you something about your work that you were unprepared for. We help you sidestep these potential stumbling blocks by spotting discrepancies and letting you know where they occur.