Use of editorial and proof-reading services
Students are not permitted to use another person
(‘third party’) to proof-read or edit their assessed work, whether a friend,
family member, classmate, or a professional or paid proof-reading or editorial
service (except, in the case of Higher Degree by Research students, where
third-party proof-reading is undertaken during the publication process for part
of the thesis). Please see section 6.9.2 of the Assessment
Handbook (Conduct of Assessment: Examinations and Coursework) for further
Clear written communication: authorship, responsibility and sources of support
Clear and accurate expression is important in academic writing and in the successful presentation of an argument or a report. It is normally expected that your written English will be clear and accurate (including correct spelling, punctuation and grammar), and often clarity and accuracy of expression will be one of the marking criteria for assessments.
You are responsible for the substance and quality of your written work. You should always read through your written work to check that it is well-structured and clearly expressed (including accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar). You may find it helpful to use grammar and spell-checking software (e.g. Grammarly or checking functionality in Word); if doing so, you should be alert to potential risks, including the distortion of intended meaning and the failure to use technical terms appropriately.
You might also find it helpful to discuss issues around clear and accurate English with friends and classmates.
You are not permitted to use another person (‘third party’) to proof-read or edit your assessed work, whether a friend, family member, classmate, or a professional or paid proof-reading or editorial service (except, in the case of Higher Degree by Research students, where third-party proof-reading is undertaken during the publication process for part of the thesis). The use of a third-party proof-reader or editor is an offence under the University’s Academic integrity and misconduct regulations.
You should therefore not use a third party to:
- systematically identify and/or correct mistakes within your assessed work
- substantially edit the expression and/or content of your assessed work
If you are concerned about or wish to improve your written English, you are encouraged to:
- Discuss your writing skills with your Academic Tutor or other member of School staff
- Consult Study Advice (https://www.reading.ac.uk/library/study-advice), who are happy to advise on writing skills and improving the clarity and accuracy of writing.
- Consult the Academic English Programme (https://www.reading.ac.uk/ISLI/enhancing-studies/isli-aep.aspx), which provides academic language and communication skills support to international students.
Be mindful, however, that neither Study Advisers nor academic staff can proof-read or edit your written work, and, equally, friends, family and classmates are not permitted to do so.