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How Much Does Proofreading Cost?

How to get quality proofreading without breaking the bank

Every written work should be proofread before it reaches its intended audience. With the many proofreading services available on the internet, there is no reason not to seek professional assistance to ensure that your readers receive a flawless finished document. Price varies, and so does quality. The best way to protect yourself and your work is to learn how to find a reputable proofreading company.

What Kind of Document Do You Have?

Some proofreaders charge the same fee whether your document is a business memo, a scholarly article, or a birthday invitation. Others, like Scribendi, break their services into categories. Scribendi offers specialized proofreading for several document types, including services for authors, scholars, website designers, and medical and technical writers. Many of the services are tailored to writers who speak English as a second language.

How Much Does Proofreading Cost If You Need It Quickly?

The price of proofreading can also vary depending on how quickly you want your document back. Most online companies offer a 24-hour turnaround. Other proofreaders make no promises; you'll get your document whenever it is done. Of course, a fast turnaround time generally raises the price. A $20 project over 15 business days may cost you $80 if you would like it done in five.

At Scribendi, a 24-hour proofread of a 1,000-word academic text will cost you about $40 US. If you are in a hurry, Scribendi offers a quick turnaround of only four hours for several services. For the same academic document, this speedy return will cost approximately $70. If you have more time, Scribendi will return that same document to you within a week for around $30.

Pricing Proofreading Can Be Confusing

Since some proofreaders charge by the hour, by the page, or by the word, price comparisons can be simply impossible. You may need to request a quote from several companies to get a definitive price. Nonetheless, many do offer at least ballpark pricing information online. To simplify the process, each service page on Scribendi's website provides the option to receive a free quote before you place your order.

How Much Does Proofreading Cost If You Pay by the Hour?

With a proofreader who charges by the hour, you will not discover how much proofreading will cost until the job has been finished, which gives you no chance to choose the best value. Individuals offering freelance proofreading services, who vary widely in skill level and background, may charge by the hour. Generally, their prices range from $10 to $45 per hour. Professional services that offer by-the-hour proofreading can charge up to $95 per hour.

How Much Does Proofreading Cost If You Pay by the Word?

It is much easier to know ahead of time how much proofreading will cost if you choose a proofreader that charges by the word or by the page. Among professional companies, charges range from two cents to seven cents per word for a 1,000-word document, depending on the factors discussed above. At Scribendi, a document of this word count would range in price from approximately three cents per word ($30) for a one-week turnaround time to six cents per word ($60) for an eight-hour turnaround time.

Some freelance proofreaders promise online proofreading services for much less—as low as $5 per 1,000 words—but if you hire an individual to do your proofreading, there is no guarantee that the proofreader will have the qualifications needed to do a good job, and you may not get a refund if you are dissatisfied with the work.

When you ask, "How much does proofreading cost?" be sure to watch for hidden fees. Some companies have a minimum charge for any order. This can be as low as $10 or as high as $55, which is hardly good value if your project is small. Scribendi's minimum order is only $5, and high-quality proofreading is guaranteed.

Image source: Bram Naus/

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