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Editing and proofreading

Once you’ve written your assignment, it’s important to edit and proofread your work.

Depending on the type of assignment and your process of writing, editing may involve:

  • removing or adding text to meet the word limit
  • making your sentences clearer and more concise
  • restructuring paragraphs or sections
  • making sure your ideas flow logically
  • making sure you’ve provided enough background information
  • adding in subheadings or sentences to clearly signpost the structure.

Once you’ve edited your work, proofread it. This involves checking spelling, grammar and references.

Help editing and proofreading

There is no editing or proofreading service at the University. However, you can develop techniques to edit and proofread your own work. The Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) runs workshops and offers individual consultations where you can discuss ways to improve your writing. Bring an assignment that has already been marked as a sample of your work, and the Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) lecturer can identify any problems that tou have and advise you on how to avoid them in the future.

Unmarked work that you intend to submit cannot be edited by a Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) lecturer. At most, the lecturer can give you general feedback based on reading one or two pages.

If you are a postgraduate research student, you can ask the Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) for feedback on parts of your thesis. This would include advice on structure, clarity, expression, or aspects of grammar but does not involve editing and proofreading. If you want to use this service, begin well before your submission date, as it aims to help you develop writing skills, not to fix up mistakes.

If you’re a postgraduate student and willing to spend money, a list of private proofreaders and editors can be obtained via Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA). You may also find proofreaders who advertise their services on noticeboards around the University.


This material was developed by the Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning), which offers workshops, face-to-face consultations and resources to support your learning. Find out more about how they can help you develop your communication, research and study skills.

See our Writing skills handouts.

Last updated: 28 June 2023

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