For over ten years, I have also provided academic writing assistance to students, postdocs, and professors. As a native English speaker and multilingual translator, I specialize in enabling talented academics to express complex ideas clearly. My graduate degree is in Linguistics.
I offer proofreading, editing and writing support for all academic texts, including grants and conference applications. I have experience in fields such as: engineering, sociology, psychology, law, history, economics, physiology, medicine, philosophy, literature, and linguistics.
Q. HOW DO I PREP FOR THE SESSION? I HAVE TROUBLE GETTING STARTED.
A. As far as how much time each essay will take, it depends on how much help you need. The more you can get done yourself or even outlined, the faster it will go. I discourage students from getting me to read other texts; I can do it but that is more expensive.
It's best if you've done the readings and then we can work together to express your ideas or even figure out what your ideas are.
Once the ideas are organized, the writing will go much faster.
If you haven't gotten started yet, I suggest taking some notes on each of the readings and highlighting interesting passages. Mark notes that are in your own words clearly and accurately so you know what they were referring to; if you copy any interesting passages into your notes, be very clear that they are copied and from where. When you refer to these, you will need to be clear where they are from. You would be surprised: when you look back at your notes, it is not always possible to remember what are your notes and what are quotes you've collected. Then we can go from there. If you have a draft or any kind of work done already, so much the better.
If you want to work together from the beginning, we can do that but it will take longer of course.
Q. HOW MANY HOURS WILL IT TAKE TO REVISE MY TEXT?
A. How long a review takes depends on a few factors:
1) what kind of feedback you want,
2) how clear the text is and how clear you want it to be,
3) your budget.
As a rule of thumb, for an average text, I estimate about three pages an hour for a thorough review, i.e. 750-1000 words an hour. If there is a lot that needs work, it can take longer, and vice versa.
For proofreading, my preferred method of working is to work at the level of the sentence, to make sure that each sentence is clear and unambiguous. If I happen to notice any gaps or unnecessary repetitions in the flow of ideas, I can mention these as I go, but the focus is on the language. If you want detailed feedback in terms of structure or order of ideas, I can offer this too but I prefer to do that as a separate reading, usually once the language has been cleaned up.
I generally prefer making proposed corrections in a program compatible with Microsoft Word with a "track changes" function so that you can see exactly what I have done (e.g. MS Word, Google Docs, Libre Office, Apple's Pages). I can also review texts in LaTeX. For proofreading, PDFs make the work slower.
Depending on what you prefer, when I find a problem in a sentence, I can simply correct the grammar but, more usually, the problem may be that the sentence is not clearly written. In those cases, I offer a suggested reworking of the sentence. If I cannot understand exactly what you mean, I flag the sentence in a comment so we can discuss it together or you can rewrite it on your own.
All of that said, if you have a particular budget in mind, I can keep to that and only address or flag the most serious problems.
We can also work on the text together by Skype and Google Docs, discussing the text as we go. That's to say, with Google Docs, you can see my proposed changes as I make them and we can discuss these by Skype or another VoIP option.