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Hire a Freelance Editor

(not for undergraduate students)

If you are a graduate student or a faculty member at Temple University, you can use this service to connect with freelance editors and proofreaders.  Hiring an editor is a good choice if you need someone who can:

  • Proofread your document for typos and grammatical errors
  • Edit your text for style and clarity
  • Make concrete suggestions for improving argument and organization
  • Check citation and reference pages for accuracy and form
  • Format a document (e.g. a dissertation)

This service is designed for writers who are in the final stages of completing high-stakes documents, like dissertations, journal article manuscripts, and the like. It is generally not effective or recommended for students working on regular assignments for classes.

How does it work?

  • Use the online form to give us information about the type of text you're working on, the kind of help you want, and the deadlines you're working with.
  • The information you provide will be sent to our listserv of freelance editors, and any editors who are available for your job will contact you directly.
  • Negotiate a fee and a timetable with the editor(s) who reply. Some editors work on a "per job" basis, but most prefer to charge an hourly rate. A typical rate for general editing is $35/hour, and an editor can usually read and edit 3-12 pages per hour. (These figures may vary depending on your deadlines, your text, and the type of editing you are hoping to have done i.e.: detailed grammatical work, content suggestions, surface level proofreading. Each editor sets his or her own rates.) Some editors may ask to see a small portion of your text to help them estimate how many hours it will take to complete the job.

Still not sure? Read our FAQ about the editing serviceand/or contact Lori Salem.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please note: We do not provide editing services to undergraduates.


Q: I've worked with a tutor in the Writing Center, and now I'd like to hire him to be my private editor/proofreader. Can I do that?
We would prefer not. If you've already forged a productive relationship with a Writing Center tutor, it makes sense that you'd want to continue to work with that person for private editing. Unfortunately, that scenario would be very problematic if Writing Center tutors began using their positions to drum up business for freelance work. To protect both the editing service and the Writing Center, we need to establish a boundary between the two. Therefore, we ask that you find another editor for private work.

Q: I submitted a job to the editing service, but no editors replied. What should I do?
Contact Lori Salem. Sometimes writers submit jobs that are too large, unusual, or specialized for our service, and very tight deadlines are also sometimes unworkable for our editors. If this is your situation, we will work with you to figure out how to meet your needs. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to find an editor for every job.

Q: Elsewhere on your website, you say that the Writing Center does not provide proofreading. So why do you offer it here? Why can't undergraduates use this service?
It's true. Most Writing Centers-ours included-emphasize that tutors don't proofread students' papers, and yet here we are encouraging writers to hire editors. This seems like a contradiction until you consider the different purposes writers have in producing texts. Sometimes the act of writing is primarily about learning , and other times writing is primarily about producing a written product . Generally speaking, the papers that undergraduates write in their courses are on the "learning" end of the spectrum. That is to say, undergraduates write papers in order to learn the material they are writing about, and also to learn about writing. We don't encourage undergraduates to use professional editors/proofreaders because doing so would disrupt these learning opportunities. Instead, we encourage undergraduate students to work with tutors in the Writing Center because the Writing Center's goals are aligned with learning. In a tutoring session, the tutor doesn't proofread or edit the student's paper-meaning, the tutor doesn't "fix" the paper for the student. Instead she uses the paper as an opportunity to teach the student something about writing.

However, there are times when the importance of having a nearly-perfect, on-deadline paper outweighs the importance of learning how to write. Advanced graduate students and faculty members who are working on high-stakes documents-papers for publication, dissertations, grant proposals, etc.-may find that it makes sense to hire an editor for routine editing and proofreading, since this allows the writer to spend more time working on substantive concerns. We developed the editing service to meet this need.

This is not to suggest that graduate students and faculty are not also learning as writers. Many graduate students come to the Writing Center for on-going tutoring, and we have developed tutoring services with the special needs of advanced writers in mind. We prefer to think about it as a matter of exigent circumstances - sometimes meeting the deadline with a clean, understandable draft is the priority, while other times writers are able to prioritize the learning process.

Q: I am an editor, and I would like to work with this service. What should I do?
If you have had experience as an editor or proofreader at an academic journal, a university press, or a publishing house that produces academic texts, we would love to hear from you. Please send a copy of your CV to Lori Salem, along with the names of two professional references we can contact.

Q: I am not affliated with Temple. Can I still use this service?
Unfortunately, no. The volume of requests we receive means that we can no longer accept requests from outside of Temple. But this doesn't mean that you can't work with an editor. If you are affiliated with a university, the writing center or writing program director at your institution might be able to recommend editors for you. If that is not possible, you will also find many editors and editing services on the web.