Do external proofreading/editing services help or harm student learning?

Over recent years there has been a continuing debate over whether the use of private proofreading and editing services is harmful or beneficial to student learning. Those opposed to these services have suggested that it can be perceived as a form of ‘cheating’ and that it therefore stops the student learning for him/herself. shutterstock_146210888However, if these services are performed in an ethical manner, it is argued that nothing could be further from the truth. To support this arugment, it is important to understand the rationale of the higher education process.  When students enter colleges and universities, they have tutors who both teach and guide them through their studies. In other words, these tutors act as mentors as well as educators. When students are set coursework research projects to complete, it is quite common for tutors to offer guidance. This guidance often includes offering to critique the student’s coursework before its final submission. As part of the critique process, the tutor is likely to proofread the work, highlighting spelling and grammar errors and including comments about areas of essay/dissertation that could be amended to improve the quality and standard of the submission. However, with increasing student numbers and limited resources, this aspect of tutoring and mentoring is coming under increasing pressure, which means that tutors may not be able to provide the level of student guidance they would like to achieve.

shutterstock_214665313It is this gap in tutoring and mentoring that private proofreading organisations are endeavouring to fill. Ethical company’s like Re&d, conduct their proofreading services in exactly the same way as university tutors have done for many decades. Using the facilities available in programmes such as Microsoft word, we return the coursework to the student simply with suggestions for grammar/spelling corrections and valuable comments added to assist them to reconsider aspects of the work that may need improvement. We do not re-write the work for them, but are simply there to help and guide the student and, more importantly, to improve their learning.

We all use tutors and mentors throughout all the stages of our lives, and this is particularly apparent as we embark upon our chosen careers.  The proofreading services provided to students by companies like Re&d are simply extending this mentoring facility to students as they work towards gaining a quality of education that will help them to achieve their own career objectives, in whatever field of work that may be chosen.

For more details about our proofreading & editing services visit our Re&d website

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