Wanting best-quality proofreading for your business, story writing, university work, CV, letters?

Expert academic mentoring,
proofreading and editing

offered by experienced author/researcher/reviewer

Learn how to write better!
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Well-known British writer Chris Brand, once an Oxford don, offers highest-quality proofreading and kindred services for all prose work. He will quickly and substantially improve your application, article, book, business plan, correspondence, CV, dissertation, essay, letter, manual, memo, newsletter, novel, paper, presentation, press release, publicity material, research proposal, research report, story, submission or thesis. Just e-mail 500 words of your writing (in English) to proof_reading2004@yahoo.co.uk (no attachments, please); or snailmail to Natalia, 71 South Clerk Street (1F2), Edinburgh EH8 9PP. Chris Brand will offer FREE comments and improvements. If you like his suggestions, you can buy more. Service normally within three days of acknowledged receipt of your document – or faster for ‘rush’ jobs by negotiation.

2005 charges:

(A) £UKP12-00
[approximately $US23-00] per 1,000 words. FREE 1,000 words proofreading each time you introduce a friend or colleague who becomes a substantial paying user. Payments: 20% in advance, 40% at half-way stage, and 40% on completion.
  Student pays a self-chosen sum and Chris Brand will undertake as much proofreading work as possible, at £12-00 per hour, for that sum. On seeing the result, the student can purchase more proofreading time if desired. Payment: in advance.
DISCOUNT £20 when you introduce a substantial paying user.

           A discount of 10% on the above rates will be offered after the first 20,000 words.

Tuition/supervision/mentoring services for psychological, philosophical, political and historical topics a speciality -- £20 per hour.

Translation from French, German and Mandarin Chinese into English is also offered – £15 per hour.

            Chris Brand [M.A. (Oxon.)] was for many years a lecturer at Edinburgh University. He has often published invited reviews in Nature, Times Higher Educational Supplement, Personality & Individual Differences, Behaviour Research & Therapy, Financial Times (Sweden), Heredity, Occidental Quarterly (U.S.A.) and The Sprout (EEC – Brussels) and broadcast for BBC radio. He was for twelve years an Editorial Consultant for the European Journal of Personality and is a Fellow of the Galton Institute [London].

Telephone inquiries: first to (44) (0) (131) 662 8039 or, if that fails, to (44) (0) (131) 667 5394.

However good your message, defects in spelling, idiom, style, logic, organization, humour and persuasiveness can cost you credibility and weaken your impact.

Guidance notes to clients from Chris Brand about his proofreading conventions

On receiving your e-mail document for proofreading, I will first copy it and paste it below the original. This is so you can easily check the changes that I make or suggest. I will then go to work in the top document (T1), leaving your original (T2) beneath.

I will make any simple and unproblematic improvements directly to your T1 text.

If I am not entirely sure about a proposed change and want you to check especially that you are happy with it, I will put my proposed substitution in square brackets [  ]. To suggest omission, I will replace a word with [xxxx] or a longer passage with [xxxxxx].

If I am frankly rather uncertain about what you mean or about my proposed alteration, I will use curly brackets { } around my tentative suggestion. I will suggest alternatives (a,b,c) for selection by using { a / b / c}.

Where I have deleted a word or passage as apparently unnecessary, I will leave the marker ‘xxxxxx’ so you can check you are happy.

{EX}…….{EX} will be used to demarcate a passage which I feel you might usefully expand, explain more or give an example to clarify what you mean.

{M?}……..{M?} = I cannot understand the meaning of intervening material and need you to clarify it before I can attempt further improvement.

{EV}…….{EV} = It seems you are coming to a premature evaluation or conclusion which is best kept for later – after evidence, argument or other authority have been provided.

Fuller comments or queries from me will appear in double curly brackets {{  }}.



Unless your English is of an exceptionally high standard, do not attempt to write sentences of more than 30 words (3 lines of normal handwriting or typescript).

Remember that English always ‘maintains the subject.’ Everything is spelled out, even at the risk of repetition. This is how English has probably become the world language – unless the Chinese can make an enormous breakthrough (unlikely with ideographic rather than alphabetic script). (Mandarin is not a language with a grammar. – It has no reliable tenses, genders, or even the singular-plural distinction. It is rather a set of amusing and aspirationally beautiful notes exchanged between intelligent people who have a similar background and situation. By contrast, the Western tradition is to make one’s speech and writing clear and accessible to all – including complete strangers and people unfamiliar with the topic being discussed. So DON’T write in English: ‘Jane got a smile from Tom and could sense Sarah’s jealousy. She wondered what would happen next.’ DO write: ‘Jane got a smile from Tom and could sense Sarah’s jealousy. Sarah/Jane{{YOU SPECIFY}} wondered what would happen next.’ (Normally, in English, ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’ refer to the last-named subject, yet the last-named person in a sentence can distract. If it’s not clear, you should always renew the proper noun.) Remember: English goes for clarity (and even repetition), more than for cleverness and artistry.

Remember that the English tradition is always to provide evidence (and jokes and examples) to back up arguments. Do not try to rely on reasoning alone (the French way) or quotation/citation of authority (the German way) or on making a suggestive word-painting (the Chinese way). To succeed in English, the rule is to give BACKROUND/PROBLEM, POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS, LOTS OF JOKES, APPARENTLY RELEVANT STUDIES, CRITICAL EVIDENCE and CRUSHING CONCLUSION.

Each of your chapters should have an interesting summary and conclusion which you could state in one sentence at a party – e.g. ‘Napoleon had many girls, but the one he loved best was the teenager, Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.’ You needn’t necessarily give these mini-conclusions  -- they may be perfectly obvious from what you have written; but they should exist in your own mind.

Again, your whole thesis should ideally have an interesting -- indeed arresting – summary of some 150-200 words. E.g.: ‘British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston (P.M. 1855-1865) annoyed Queen Victoria with his vigorous sexual pursuits (e.g. under the Queen’s nose at Windsor Castle with one of her maids – whose bedroom he had mistaken for that of his own mistress) and was dubbed ‘Lord Cupid’ in the British press. Yet his lifelong relationship was with his Emily, beginning 1909, by whom he had three children and a wonderful social and (as far as we know) sex life. Palmerston was a liberal who opposed the slave trade and favoured toleration of divorce; yet he himself lived largely within his own strict principles, funding his own Irish farmers with coffee and whisky as they took off for America, always encouraging intelligence and education, and enjoying such a good relationship with his wife that she defended him publicly against (quite impressive) adultery allegations when he was aged 80. Palmerston was the first national liberal – a man of spirit for himself and his country and the world.’

No guarantee is offered in the above advertisement except of fair work for payment as indicated. Terms and conditions may be modified at any time.

Document last modified: 5 i 2005