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Proofreading and Copy Editing

I offer three options based on your needs. I'm available for both fiction and non-fiction, including academic/dissertation materials. Please feel free to contact me with any questions; I'd love to work with you!

Open Book


If your manuscript is right where you want it, but you need a final set of eagle eyes to make sure it's technically spotless before it's finished, I'm here for you! I'll look at your finished work objectively and render it clean and consistent.



Copy Editing + Proofreading

If you're looking for a thorough polish on the details of your work, beyond what's technically passable, I will comb through and leave notes and suggestions (in addition to more objective proof corrections) on ways you can clarify exactly the message you're intending for your readers.



Sample Edit + Grammar/Punctuation Aid

Not finished with your manuscript yet, or ready to take the plunge for a full edit? I'll read your sample of around 4,000 words/15 pages, and in my comments will highlight any recurring errors I notice in your grammar and/or punctuation. Then I'll explain the principles behind the edits I've made so that you're better equipped to correct your own work from there.


As your copy editor, I am here to help you...


  • Remove your typos and misspellings

  • Correct any punctuation errors

  • Standardize sentence structure

  • Ensure tense consistency

  • Rectify dangling modifiers, split infinitives, etc.

Streamline Structure

  • ​Assess the clarity of your paragraph divisions and signposting​

  • Rearrange awkward or ambiguous syntax

  • Simplify unduly complex sentences

Fact Check

  • Double-check the plausibility of details, including those pertaining to setting and timeline

  • Ensure continuity and credibility throughout your project

Remove Repetition

  • Remedy reuse of words and phrases in proximity

  • Trim synonyms

  • Adjust phrasing for parallel structure

Clarify Intent

  • Assess the denotations and tone of your word choice, and suggest alternatives to remove ambiguity

  • If applicable, consider audience/age-accessibility of your language

Cite Academic Sources

  • Help to conform your academic citations to your institution's preferred manual of style

  • Note missing citations



Dr. Elizabeth C. Teviotdale

Associate, CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, UCLA

"Mary Helen is a great communicator and a thoughtful editor and proofreader. Her work shows unflagging attention to detail and a healthy respect for authorial voice and deadlines. It is always a pleasure to work with her."
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