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Proofreading in a UK university: proofreaders' beliefs, practices, and experiences

Harwood, Nigel and Austin, Liz and Macaulay, Rowena (2009) 'Proofreading in a UK university: proofreaders' beliefs, practices, and experiences.' Journal of Second Language Writing, 18. pp. 166-190. ISSN 1060-3743

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Abstract

This article presents key findings from an interview-based study of the beliefs, practices, and experiences of 16 proofreaders of student writing in a university setting. Proofreading is defined for the purposes of this research as “third-party interventions (entailing written alteration) on assessed work in progress.” We report results relating to the proofreader informants’ profiles, the types of texts informants are willing or unwilling to proofread, how much proofreaders charge for their work, the terminology informants and writers use to refer to proofreading, the changes proofreaders are willing and unwilling to make to writers’ texts, and some of the ethical uncertainties informants have experienced when proofreading. There were differing beliefs about the appropriacy of proofreading outside the informants’ disciplines, different labels given to proofreading by informants and student writers, differences in fees charged and in proofreading practices, and uncertainty regarding the ethical (in)appropriacy of certain types of intervention. We end by discussing the implications of the results and pointing to future research that will enhance our understanding of proofreading.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic writing; Language support; Revision; Editing; Textual intervention; Ethical issues; Proofreading; Beliefs
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 12:37
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2011 12:37
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1037

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