Academic Editing Services

The aim of functional editing is a document you can submit with confidence.

Choose a service

Actually, you don’t have to! We offer only one service: Functional Editing. However, functional editing covers five distinct kinds of editing.

Your Managing Editor (usually Guenter Plum himself) will prepare a quote in which we will detail how much of each kind of editing we think your text needs to provide you with the greatest possibility of success. The quote will indicate an approximate cost for each of the operations we recommend.

You may then choose to negotiate to do parts of the work yourself; or have a colleague or friend do it. For example: you may make quite a large saving of time and cost by running the spelling and grammar checkers in Microsoft Word and resolving all the issues they find. Similarly, checking references for a substantial thesis can be very time-consuming (thus costly) – you may choose to have your citations and reference list generated by a specialist bibliographical program such as EndNote (or even, by the Citation Manager in Microsoft Word). Used expertly, these programs can avoid errors in citations and references.

If you have the time, knowledge, skills and tools to do part of the job yourself, we will be happy to support you and edit your text after you have done so. You could potentially save some money. Of course, you need to be confident that you do have the time, knowledge and the skills required: please allow us to gently warn that it is very possible for an unskilled editor to make your text worse, and need a lot more time and money to bring it up to the standard required of submission for examination or publishing.

While we would be delighted to teach you how to do this for yourself, please understand that this is how we make our living; we would need you to agree to pay for the teaching time involved.

Kinds of Service

You can choose from five kinds of service:

  • Copy Editing
  • Substantive Editing
  • Formatting
  • Reference Checking
  • Final Reviewing

Effectively, we do functional editing on all documents, but enable you to manage time and cost by choosing a service level.

Copy Editing (often called ‘proofreading’) attends to a long list of issues such as minor grammatical errors, spelling, punctuation, numbering of figures and tables, terminology, abbreviations, formatting of citations and many more. This level of service is most appropriate for experienced academic writers who are native English speakers and have self-edited their work. We can achieve the shortest delivery times with this level.

Substantive Editing (which includes what we do as part of Copy Editing or proofreading) attends to issues such as flawed argumentation, lack of information, flow of text, structuring of text, appropriate expression and many more. This level suits writers submitting their first formal writing for publication or to college or university, and especially writers whose native language is not English. By the time we have finished with it, your text will read like that of an experienced academic writer who also happens to be a native English speaker.

Formatting ensures your text follows the guidelines of faculty, journal or publisher, using Microsoft Word paragraph formatting (paragraph styles). This means that your text is formatted consistently throughout. We also create the Table of Contents and Lists of Figures and Tables, which word-perfectly represent chapter, section, figure and table headings, and display clickable page numbers. These are essential in theses / dissertations and books, as well as a very useful help in structuring your text.

Reference Checking

Reference Checking ensures that all entries in a List of References are correctly formatted in line with the guidelines nominated by your faculty for your thesis, by the journal for your article or by the publisher of your book. If you have used bibliographical software such as EndNote or Bookends to enter in-text citations and create a List of References you may not need this service; but you should check that the Reference list entries conform with the guidelines.

Final Reviewing is an option primarily intended for non-native speakers of English. We review any text written or changed by the writer in response to editing comments in order to prevent any English ‘glitches’ finding their way into your final text.


Documents prepared by FunctionalEdit have been submitted to universities, journals and publishers in many countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Malaysia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • UAE
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • and others…


Documents handled by FunctionalEdit have been by writers whose native language was:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese
  • and others…

Our only requirement is that the manuscript is in English.


Manuscripts of articles, monographs and books have been readied by FunctionalEdit for submission to major international journals and publishers.


Each of our clients pays the exact same rate; however, the price of a given job will vary depending on its level of difficulty and its length.

We can’t publish pricing because every job is different! Some websites will give you indicative pricing, carefully selected to make it appear that they are the cheapest. We charge all clients the same hourly rate; but perform only the work you really need: this gives you the lowest real-world charge for your work.

A paper from an experienced academic writer whose native language is English, and who has had their work peer-reviewed, self-edited and reviewed by their supervisor will achieve the lowest cost.

By the time you submit it, your paper will be just as good, although it may require a little more work, from you and from us, to get there.

You can save yourself a lot of time and money by having your paper peer-reviewed by a friend who is a native speaker of English if you are not, and by running Word’s spelling and grammar checkers.


  • We do all work electronically or on-screen, using MS Word.
  • We return your document with changes ‘tracked’, so you can accept, reject or modify any change.
  • We insert comments with queries, suggestions or explanations in the Word file, at the appropriate place, and these are to be addressed by you.
  • All correspondence and exchange of files is by email (or ftp for files over 20MB).


  • We guarantee delivery at the time agreed upon.
  • When requesting a delivery date, take into account that you need to allow some time to review our changes and to address our comments.

Privacy and Confidentiality

  • We guarantee to respect your privacy and maintain the confidentiality of all practices, procedures and information.


Because we specialise in academic editing, FunctionalEdit clients typically have been:

  • Students, both undergraduate and postgraduate
  • Academics
  • Researchers

However, our specialty is the kind of material we edit, regardless of who wrote it or for what purpose. We focus on the content: we have world-class capability with material of an academic nature.


The quality of all work performed by FunctionalEdit is guaranteed by Guenter Plum, who personally reviews all work before returning it. No work will be returned to you until Dr. Plum is satisfied that it meets his quality standard.

Get A Quote

Dr Guenter A Plum

309/3 Holtermann Street,
Crows Nest (Sydney)
NSW 2065 Australia

ABN 72 484 549 836

To give you an accurate estimate of the cost of the work involved, we need you to send us your Word document (not a sample of your writing but the complete text to be edited) and to tell us:

  • which service/s you require,
  • which (if any) guidelines are to be followed, e.g. by your faculty for thesis presentation
  • which style guide for references and citations is to be followed, e.g. APA6
  • when you require the work to be delivered to you