How We Charge for Our Academic Editing Services

We customize our pricing to match each paper. For that reason, we request that you send the complete paper so that the editor can do assess the cost based on the entire paper (the sample edit).

The editor determines the cost of the edit. If you request a light edit, but the editor thinks that that the text needs a medium or heavy edit, the edit must be at that level or we won’t be able to edit the paper. The editor cannot under-edit, which would do you a disservice. By the same token, the editor will not over-edit.

We usually charge by the word, which is based on an hourly rate of $60 or $65 per hour ($85 to $90 for heavier edits, and occasionally higher for specialized jobs). After we’ve calculated the per-word rate, we multiply that per-word rate, for example, 6.8 cents, times the number of words in the manuscript. This per-word rate gives you a firm quote going into the job, which can give you peace of mind: You pay for the exact number of words that we edit. We are also happy to charge by the hour, which can be more economical in some situations.

For standard academic manuscripts, the cost ranges from 3.5 to 20 cents per word (roughly $8.75 to $50 per page, based on 250 words per page, double spaced.)

For application and promotion materials (e.g., CVs, cover letters, teaching philosophy statements, and research statements), the cost ranges from 6 cents to 25 cents for our top application materials editor. The hourly for this editor is $65.

For short papers, under 1,750 words, there is a minimum fee of $65.

For proofreading, which is the final step in the process, that is, after all editing and copyediting have been done, we charge between 2.5 cents and 3 cents per word. We also edit by the hour, and if the level is truly proofreading level, the time will go relatively rapidly. For a paper we’ve just edited, that is, the second editing pass with the same editor who just edited your paper, the proofreading rate is $5 lower than your hourly rate, and the first 30 minutes are complimentary. This offer is good for three months following your initial edit.

Please note that while many clients refer to copyediting and editing as proofreading, for editors, proofreading is not equivalent to copyediting or editing.

Per-Word Rates

Several factors affect the cost of editing your paper. In addition to the number of words, editors take into account the volume of grammatical or wording problems in the lines. They also take into account the extent of “structural” editing, that is the analysis and solutions the editor provides in the comments on the logic, flow, or overall organization of the paper as well as any actual restructuring, which can involve moving sentences or or paragraphs and proposing rewrites of sentences (which your editor would ask you to review to ensure that the sense is in tact). This work is much more time-consuming than a light copyedit of the lines. All changes are tracked (in a different font color) so that you can readily find them. We find that Microsoft Word offers the best vehicle for tracking changes and commenting. We cannot edit a .PDF.

Cutting the Word Count

Shortening text is a byproduct of the editing process as editors typically focus on eliminating repetitive and tangential text and tightening awkward wording to make the text more concise. However, if the amount that needs to be cut is extensive (say to meet a journal word limit), it can be difficult for the editor to do. Searching for places to cut can take a lot of time and so can be costly, if it’s even possible. This is why we cannot guarantee to cut as much text as is necessary because it is impossible for the editor to achieve the author’s level of knowledge of the argument. Generally speaking, such cutting is the work of the author, not the editor.

Per-Word Rates

The per word cost of your edit usually falls into one of the following categories:

  • Light edit (copy edit): 3.5–5 cents per word ($60 to $65 per hour)
  • Medium edit (substantive edit): 5–6 cents per word ($60 to $65 per hour)
  • Heavy edit (developmental edit): 6–25 cents per word ($65–$80 per hour)
  • Proofreading (after the above editing passes): 2.5–3.4 ($60 per hour)

Typically, a light edit is limited to editing on the word and sentence level and doesn’t involve much or any substantive rewriting. A medium edit can include more structural issues on the sentence and paragraph level. A heavy edit can include all of the above plus structural issues on the document level, such as the reordering of paragraphs or cutting of redundant text, which calls for a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of the text.

Sample Edit

When you submit your request for a sample edit and price quote, we ask that you submit the full manuscript. With the full manuscript your editor can review the paper for any structural problems that could impact the cost, and the ultimate success of your paper. Knowing the full size and scope of the project also helps us to identify an editor who can complete your job within your requested time frame.

The editor who can meet your deadline (and is appropriate for the subject matter) will do a sample edit (for a manuscript longer than 5,000 words, it is 500 words; for a manuscript less than 5,000 words, it is 10 percent of the full text), which we use as the basis of the quote. The sample edit demonstrates what you can expect for the full edit and also helps us to verify the appropriate level of edit for your paper.

We do our best to return the sample and quote within 48 hours of receiving your complete text. If you need the sample returned earlier than that, please let us know.

We reserve the right to refuse to do a sample edit if we don’t think we can edit your paper.

» Request a Price Quote and Sample Edit


If we format only — without editing — we charge $60 per hour. We can provide you with a firm quote for formatting jobs.

Cite Checking

While we can check the accuracy of your citations, this work is usually very time consuming. We charge $60/hour. Because this work is open-ended, we find it impossible to provide a firm quote for this work, which involves searching for missing information. For this reason, most authors prefer to handle this work themselves.

Custom Jobs

Oxford’s editors have a wide range of skills, so we can usually meet a broad range of customer needs. If you have any specific requests, such as indexing, please inquire.

Rush Jobs

Once you’ve confirmed that you want us to proceed with the edit, for jobs under 10,000 words, we usually guarantee that the edited paper will be returned in 5 to 6 days. However, for a specific editor, it may not be possible owing to their schedule. If you cannot wait for that editor, we can usually identify another editor. If you require a turnaround faster than 5 business days, we can usually accommodate rush jobs. We charge the following surcharges for rush deliveries:

Within four days: Surcharge of 30%
Within three days: Surcharge of 40%
Within two days: Surcharge of 50%
Within one day: Make inquiry

Minimum Job

We accept small jobs but have a minimum order fee of $60 for papers that are 1,000 words or less.

Oxford Editing Offers Competitive Pricing

Oxford Editing makes an effort to be competitive in our pricing. Because we are a small firm, we are able to work with clients to offer them the best value. Therefore, we are willing to consider matching or beating a competitor’s price. Please inquire.

Payment Methods

The payment methods we accept are Visa, MasterCard, Zelle, and PayPal and wire transfers. For clients with a US bank account we can offer bank-to-bank transfers, referred to as mobile or email transfers, with some banks in addition to Zelle. Please let us know in advance if you would like to pay with a wire transfer. Zelle is our preferred payment method for US-based clients.

» Online Submission Form and Price Quote
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Payment Page

To pay for your editing job using a credit card, please go to the Oxford Editing Payment page.

Oxford Editing Adds Value

Using our services can shorten production time: If you need a fresh pair of eyes to look objectively at your writing but don’t have the time to gain that objectivity, we can speed up the production process for you by offering the objective assessment that every document headed to publication needs. Our editors understand publishing standards and journal editors’ expectations and can help bring your manuscript up to standard. Please read our Testimonials to appreciate the benefit of choosing a professional editor from Oxford Editing.