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Hire a Freelance Editor

(not for undergraduates)

Are you looking for someone who can help you complete a writing project? If so, you can use this page to get connected with qualified freelance editors. Editors can help you with a variety of documents, from resumes and CVs, to journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations.

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)

How does it work?

  • Use the online form to give us general 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 $25/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 service. Or contact Lori Salem at or (215)204-0709.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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

Q: Who are the editors?
The freelance editors and proofreaders subscribed to our listserv are experienced college writing instructors, experienced professional editors, and/or current or former Writing Center tutors. All are accomplished writers, and most have completed at least a master's degree. They are trained in a variety of academic disciplines, including (but not limited to) English, history, journalism, psychology and religion. (You may not see your discipline listed here, but you should consider placing a request anyway. A good editor from outside your field can often serve as an effective reader for argument, organization, and clarity.)

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. (I submitted a job, and I didn't get replies from editors with the right qualifications.) What should I do?
Contact Lori Salem (215-204-0709). 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.