Technical Proofreading


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The process for editing & proofreading technical documents

Our technical proofreading services team deals with all types of technical content in this highly-specialised field. Rest assured that each of our experts is a native English mother-tongue specialist with a professional technical background.

Technical proofreading
Your technical document will be checked for:
– Grammatical errors, punctuation and spelling
– Vocabulary & terminology, word usage, word omissions, repetitions
– Sentence structure, style, tone, flow, clarity, cohesion, syntax, logical transitions
– Structural layout and formatting

Our promise to you: 
We will edit your text until you are 100% satisfied.

Copy editing and proofreading services for technical English

Technical proofreading tips

Improving the written technical English of English Second Language (ESL) writers

At English Monitor we understand the massive growth of technical writing in science, engineering, academic and medical fields. While this growth continues to expand at a rapid rate we must acknowledge that the main written language to communicate internationally in these fields is English.

This is particularly the case in the academic and scientific worlds. We specialise in editing and proofreading English texts by authors who are English Second language (ESL) writers. We employ technically qualified, mother-tongue, native English speaking graduates with backgrounds in technical writing; many are post-graduates who are qualified within their subject areas.

It is our declared objective to correct and redraft your technical English to preserve not only its technical content but to also to edit to a level of English that would pass unambiguously as written by a native writer.

We are sensitive that care has to be taken with not only the technical content but also with the use of idioms and grammar, the sense of which all need to be preserved. Additionally, in many fields, the cultural context must equally be preserved.

There are numerous issues that we take account of when editing technical work:

Selecting a native English editor 

This goes without saying! We only use mother tongue editors to ensure the correctness of spelling, grammatical constructs and syntax. Many ESL writers tend to try to mimic the constructs of their own native language and this makes for an awkward style of English that would sound very unnatural to a native English speaker.

These issues are particularly evident when word-by-word translations have been made into English from Russian or Chinese. We spend much time converting ‘Russlish’ and ‘Chinglish’ to native English and this extended timescale, unfortunately, has to be reflected in our pricing since it requires a level of work much greater than simple proofreading.

We aim to produce text in a modern style using simple, short sentences that unambiguously convey the intended meaning and ensure that repeat phrases are treated identically so that any obscuration of meaning is avoided.

Additionally, when we have also been requested to carry out the original translation from the source language, we always use a bi-lingual translator native in the source language followed by liaison with our English editor during the final drafting to ensure accurate translation and natural written English.

Other important considerations

  • Selecting a specialist in the subject matter area. We have a database of subject matter editors, many are academics qualified to masters or doctoral level in their subject areas. This is an important factor when editorial work is being carried out since often we find ambiguities in meaning that can only be resolved by an editor who understands the subject area. This is a necessity since much technical writing contains jargon words and phrases that are particular to the subject area. Should we be unable to resolve these issues then we always refer back to the author for clarification.

  • Selection and use of consistent units. Virtually all technical documentation contains quantity information in a variety of units (hopefully, S.I. units as standard). Attention to detail is required here to ensure consistency of both accuracy and presentation e.g. prefixes ‘k’ or ‘K’ – do you mean kilo (103) or Kelvin (absolute temperature?) – a very common error. ‘m’ or ‘M’ – milli (10-3) or mega (106)? Corrections are generally required to ensure a consistent and professional standard of presentation.

  • Style and selection of referencing style (as appropriate). This is a general issue and mostly of concern in the publication of academic work. Consistency in the citing of referencing material in body text by either, author, date, number or through footnoting can be an issue. The referencing style is normally dictated by the target publication but it is often the case that reference listings do not reflect the order of text referencing and remedial work is required to order reference lists correctly. We check this aspect should our client select our “copyediting” service rather than our simple “proofreading” service. Due to the vast range of data sources (internet and conventional), it is not possible for our editors to cross-check cited references, either for accuracy or applicability in the context you have used them. Here, we consider this to be the role of your peer reviewer.

  • Use of Graphics. Essentially all the technical publications we deal with contain some level of graphical information ranging from simple graphs containing data points and axis legends, flowcharts, organograms, block diagrams, engineering drawings and all manner of photographic materials. Using our various DTP packages we always aim to present your visual data with the impact and legibility that it deserves with logical placement within in your document to complement any supporting text. If you are unsure of the layout of your document our DTP professionals can assist.
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English Monitor can provide editorial and proofreading services for technical English across a wide range of technical and engineering disciplines including:

  • Electronics
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Energy sector
  • Telecoms
  • Construction
  • Academic papers (journal, conference papers, research papers, masters and doctoral dissertations

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