What is the ALP editing service and what can you expect?

1. The ALP editing service

The ALP editing service is part of the Writing Centre of the Academic Language Programme (ALP) of the Faculty of Humanities. The Writing Centre is one of the initiatives that the ALP has developed to support members of the VU community in developing their communicative skills in English and Dutch (which we also do with workshops, coaching, and tutorials, see www.fgw.vu.nl/alp).
The staff at the Writing Centre are teachers with extensive experience in teaching academic English and Dutch. They are also responsible for training our young editors, who, by dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s, help Master’s students and PhD candidates to produce texts written in clear and correct English or Dutch, in a style befitting of an academic text.
Our ALP editors work under the supervision of the experienced teachers in the Writing Centre.

2. What can you expect from the ALP editing service?

We check your text and show you – with the help of ‘track changes’ and comments – where it can be improved. The track change function shows you which corrections we’ve made in the text. These will always relate to simple and clear linguistic errors. The comments are used to point out unclear passages in the text, or cases where there are different options for improvement. If we think it’ll be useful for you, we will add some general comments on your writing style at the end of the document. You make your own decisions about the text on the basis of our comments.
Please note: we are not ghostwriters, which means we don’t write your text for you. We also don’t correct a text on the last night before you have to hand it in. On average, we will need seven to ten days to edit a text (see also 5: How does it work in practice?).

3. What do we edit and what do we not edit?

We only look at the actual text, that is to say the chapters in which you report on the research you have done.  We don’t look at everything before and after, such as the Table of Contents and the Bibliography. We also don’t consider the layout of the text, nor do we check the references in your text, because there may be very specific guidelines for these in your field. We will, however, make a comment if we see that the references in the text are not consistent.

4. How much will it cost?

Your thesis or dissertation will be edited by one of our editors and will be checked by a second editor to ensure the quality of the work. You pay 47.50 euros per hour for the work done. Of course, we will give you an estimate of the expected costs (see 5).

5. How does it work in practice?

  1. First of all fill in the form. It will require you to fill in your contact details, as well as those of your supervisors. Please note: we only edit final versions. You can also fill in whether you want British or American spelling for an English text. 
  2. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation. 
  3. Within two days, you will receive a message from us about the expected costs (see 4) and the expected time it will take to edit your text. In addition, you will receive the ALP editing guidelines.
  4. If you agree on the costs, the editor will start editing your text.
  5. You will receive your edited text within the period that was agreed on. The edited text will also be sent to your supervisor, if that was part of the agreement.
  6. You will receive the payment details.

More information for supervisors and teachers