Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading And Editing

 

There is a huge debate of proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing up to now. 

 

English is the most common language on this planet. However, many PhD research students perform poorly in PhD thesis and journals writing. A strong command of English in thesis and journals writing can impress your prospective readers or examiners. Yet it can be fairly challenging to write well with minor spelling, syntax, punctuation, and grammar errors. How to know that I’m writing my PhD thesis or journals well?

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The proofreading programs offer a ton of great features to minimize your likelihoods of making many awkward mistakes in your PhD thesis or even journals. That said, finishing writing your PhD thesis or journals can be a daunting job. Making sure your PhD thesis or journals is free from mistakes is super important. But, is it reliable if I only depend on the proofreading programs? Can proofreading programs ensure that my PhD thesis or journals are free from errors? Does the sceptical of proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing really exist?

 

Frankly speaking, the sceptical of proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing will never end because there is no case study being conducted so far. That’s why we put together a deep review regarding the proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing to make sure that you understand the distinction between two of them.

 

 

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Original Journal Manuscript

The following excerpt is taken from the original journal manuscript, which intends to publish under Polymer Degradation and Stability (Elsevier):

“However, due to electro-osmotic drag phenomena1., the methanol have2. high tendencies to permeate through the PFSA membrane, thus reduce the DMFC system using PFSA membrane3. up to 35%… All membranes are weighed4. before being immersed5. in Fenton Reagent solution6. for 6 h… 5 cm × 1.5 cm samples7. were prepared for this test.”

Comments: In the above sentence, there are 7 mistakes (grammatical errors and unclear statements) can be found (underline one). For more details, see the explanation below.

  1. Since “electro-osmotic drag” is referring to a single event (singular form), “phenomenon” (singular form) should be used.
  2. Since “methanol” is referring to a singular noun, “has” should be used.
  3. The statement of “reduce the DMFC system using PFSA membrane” is unclear and sounds confusing.
  4. Since the event has occurred, “are weighed” is not appropriate. It should be replaced with the past tense as “were weighed”.
  5. Due to the presence of the future time clause “before”, “before immersing” should be used.
  6. Indefinite article “the” should be inserted to mark this noun “Fenton Reagent solution”.
  7. The statement of “5 cm × 1.5 cm samples” is unclear and sounds confusing.

The as-mentioned excerpt was run using 6 various types of proofreading programs in order to access the effectiveness and capability of these proofreading programs to detect the grammatical errors and sentences structures problems. In summary, each one mistake is graded out of seven. At the end, you’ll know the result of proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing.

(A) Result Based On The Best Free Proofreading Programs

1. Grammarly

Advantage

Grammarly confidently promises every user to become a better writer, immediately correct more than 250 types of errors in writing, and guarantee to avoid plagiarism. Grammarly is free to use but to unlock its full features and know the writing errors in detail, you have an option to select a plan that is right for you. You can select monthly ($ 29.95), quarterly ($ 19.98), and annual ($ 11.66) plan.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Disadvantage

However, its proofreading quality or service has been criticized by some of the users. For instance, more than 50% of users gave a 1-star rating to Grammarly on SiteJabber.

Result

Grammarly failed to identify errors in writing as clearly illustrates below.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs

Conclusion

Grammarly scored: 0/7 (0% improvement in writing)

2. 1Checker

Advantage

1Checker is totally free to use. It operates based on the state-of-the-art of the artificial intelligence technologies. It also provides supporting features such as dictionary and translation. You will also receive feedbacks to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and sentences structures. The best thing is you can view the correction statistics such as the percentage of how many spelling and grammar mistakes that you made for every writing. Your writing will be evaluated according to The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) vocabulary level.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Disadvantage

1Checker may give a false alarm, especially if involves with scientific terms or author name.

Result

It’s a shame that 1Checker only identify an error in writing as clearly illustrates below.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs

Conclusion

1Checker scored: 1/7 (14.3% improvement in writing)

3. Polish My Writing

Advantage

Polish My Writing specifically focus on highlighting spelling error and giving suggestion in terms of vocabulary or style in writing. It is totally free for free download.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Disadvantage

Polish My Writing may give a false alarm, especially if involves with scientific terms or author name.

Result

Polish My Writing failed to identify errors in writing as clearly illustrates below. It also gave a false alarm by picking up the scientific abbreviations as the errors.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs

Conclusion

Polish My Writing scored: 0/7 (0% improvement in writing)

4. PaperRater

Advantage

PaperRater is a 100% free program that emphasizes on plagiarism detection and grammar and spelling checker. It will analyze your text and give you a general grade based on word choice, style, grammar, spelling and others criteria. You even can select the education level and type of paper you’re submitting. The generated report can give you insight into your writing skill accurately. You can enjoy some premium features such as plagiarism detection for $ 95.40/year or $ 14.95/month.

Disadvantage

PaperRater may give a false alarm, especially if involves with scientific terms or author name. It is quite annoying when the advertising is popping out continuously.

Result

PaperRater failed to identify errors in writing as clearly illustrates below.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Conclusion

PaperRater scored: 0/7 (0% improvement in writing)

5. Reverso

Advantage

Reverso is a 100% free online spell checker that check grammar and spelling for English texts. The best thing about Reverso is it provides you with some additional great tools that will guide you throughout the corrections. It also equipped with many linguistic tools such as free online translation in more than 10 different languages, dictionary, conjugation, pronunciation, and grammar features.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs

Disadvantage

Reverso can only check the texts up to 600 characters.

Result

It’s a shame that Reverso only identify few errors in writing as clearly illustrates below.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Conclusion

Reverso scored: 2/7 (28.6% improvement in writing)

6. Language Tool

Advantage

Language Tool is the proofreading program that can detect errors in your writing over 20 languages. You can discuss problems that you’re facing in the given forum. You even can suggest new features. It is user-friendly as well. Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading And Editing-EdiThumbs

Disadvantage

Language Tool may give a false alarm, especially if involves with scientific terms or author name.

Result

Language Tool failed to identify errors in writing as clearly illustrates below.

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading-EdiThumbs
Conclusion

Reverso scored: 0/7 (0% improvement in writing)

(B) Result Based On Human Proofreading And Editing (EdiThumbs)

Executive Summary

Dr. Juhana from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) want to publish her research findings in the Q1 journal which has high Impact Factor (Polymer Degradation and Stability). Her student, Taufiq also want to have an international journal publication before graduated from the Master degree. However, Taufiq was not confident with his writing skills. He was looking for the high-quality proofreading service. After using our service, his manuscript was accepted without any correction, which took about one month.

Challenges

Dr. Juhana has research grants allocated for proofreading service. But, she doesn’t know the trusted company and her intention was to get the job done. Fahrul (previous customer) recommended Taufiq to use our service based on his success story.

How Our Service Helped

Taufiq emailed us and asked for the quotation. Then, he proceeded with the service. We also edited his journal manuscript heavily to ensure all the sentences were clear (this is how we differed as compared to other companies).

Case Study: Proofreading Programs vs Human Proofreading And Editing-EdiThumbs

This is how we corrected the excerpt:

“However, due to electro-osmotic drag phenomenon, the methanol has high tendencies to permeate through the PFSA membrane, thus reduce the efficiency of the DMFC system up to 35%… The mass of all the membranes was identified before immersing in the Fenton Reagent solution for 6 h…Samples with a dimension of 5 cm × 1.5 cm were prepared for this test.”

Results, Return on Investment, and Future Plans

Taufiq submitted the edited manuscript to the journal of Polymer Degradation and Stability (Elsevier) on 20 November 2016. The manuscript has been accepted on 21 December 2016 without any correction. The manuscript was published and available online on 5 January 2017.

 

Conclusion

EdiThumbs scored: 7/7 (100% improvement in writing)

Success Story

The manuscript was published at Polymer Degradation and Stability (Elsevier). It is Q1 journal which has an Impact Factor of 3.120.

Over To You! Start Proofread And Edit Your Manuscript

The sceptical of proofreading programs vs human proofreading and editing finally comes to the end. After analyzing both camps, it can be said that the positive aspect of human proofreading and editing will forever be stronger than the negative ones. The outcome of human proofreading and editing is completely worth it.

Do you want to say something about it? Chime in below in the comments section. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

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Chiong Sie Jing

Chiong Sie Jing

Sie Jing is an experienced proofreader and copyeditor with 8+ years of experience proofreading and editing for a variety of clients. He has helped many PhD students to publish their research in international journals with high impact factor. He is also a Certified Internet Marketing Practitioner (CIMP) & Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB).