Ms Rachel Duncan

Membership Grade
Professional Member

About Rachel

I am a fully qualified non-fiction and academic proofreader with experience of working on a wide range of materials, including theses, dissertations and journal papers, books and book chapters, blogs, travel writing and content for web pages. I offer professional, friendly and personalised editorial support to:

students and academics


writers in ESL/EFL

independent authors

organisations and charities

My academic background is in the humanities and social sciences with an interdisciplinary degree within which I focused on philosophy. This honed my analytical, writing and critical reading skills, and has given me a keen eye for identifying ambiguity and inconsistency.

I have particular experience of working with people for whom English is a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL), helping to ensure their writing flows smoothly and naturally.

Please scroll down to read client testimonials, or visit my profile on Find a Proofreader.

Recent training

  • How to Mark Up PDF Page Proofs (Denise Cowle)
  • Copyediting 2: Headway (Merit) (CIEP)
  • Copyediting 1: Introduction (CIEP)
  • References (CIEP)
  • Word for Practical Editing (CIEP)
  • Proofreading Theses and Dissertations (CIEP)
  • Basic Proofreading (Merit) (PTC)

Qualifications and awards

  • BA Interdisciplinary Human Studies (First Class)
  • Cambridge ESOL Level 5 Certificate - CELTA
  • NCFE Level 3 Award in Education and Training with a focus on ESOL
  • ELT Grammar for Language Teachers online course
  • Permaculture Design Certificate

Contact me to have a short sample of your work proofread for free, and find out how I can help you. Send an email to: [email protected]


I am incredibly grateful to Rachel for her meticulous and thoughtful proofreading of my PhD thesis in Medical Anthropology. Her attention to detail and thorough understanding of academic writing greatly improved the clarity and quality of my work. Rachel's keen eye for spotting grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and awkward phrasing was invaluable, and her insightful suggestions for rephrasing and restructuring sentences enhanced the overall flow and readability of my thesis.

Rachel's feedback was always constructive and delivered in a supportive manner, making the revision process both efficient and enjoyable. I was particularly impressed with how quickly she responded to my queries and provided detailed corrections. Her ability to understand the technical content of my thesis and provide relevant and precise corrections without altering the intended meaning was truly remarkable.

Her professionalism, expertise, and dedication to excellence are truly commendable. Thank you, Rachel, for your outstanding work and for helping me present my research in the best possible light. I highly recommend Rachel to anyone in need of high-quality proofreading services.

Dr Mohammed Elsheikh

In my experience working with Rachel as a proofreader for my thesis, I have gained valuable insights and skills, especially as a non-native English speaker. Rachel provided constructive feedback that extended my knowledge beyond just formatting and formal language, delving deeper into the nuances of the language itself. She meticulously considered every aspect of her suggestions. Furthermore, Rachel consistently reminded me to avoid sentence repetition and encouraged me to thoroughly review my draft, ensuring its quality.

Rachel's professionalism is noteworthy; she strictly adhered to proofreading regulations and maintained a clear distinction between editing and proofreading, which is crucial for PhD students. Moreover, Rachel demonstrated her compassion and understanding when she learned about my health issues. She offered invaluable advice on achieving a balance between working on my thesis and taking care of my well-being.

While many students and researchers are turning to AI for assistance, professionals like Rachel remain indispensable. Human skills, like hers, continue to play an irreplaceable role in refining academic work.

Amal, PhD researcher, SOAS University of London

I would like to leave a feedback of my fascination for Rachel and her work. I have found Rachel occasionally on Google and was attracted by wonderful reviews of her services. After having tried four different proofreaders during these four years of my PhD I was quite disappointed by the fact that it is so hard to find a person who would make professional proofreading of complicated sociological language. Being a non-native English speaker I still use quite complex language in my works, relying on difficult sociological theories, such as morphogenetic approach (by M. Archer) or neo-institutionalism. Rachel was a big present for me at the end of my PhD journey!!! She didn't only read my very demanding English language carefully and intuitively, but was actually a big source of support for me! Her very thoughtful, thorough and extremely careful reading of my dissertation actually helped me to look at my own work from fresh angle! It was immense pleasure to work with her, to get her advice on the language use and actually just to share some thoughts which came together with this proofreading period. I am definitely blessed that I have met her! My highest recommendation of Rachel as a very professional, intuitive and talented proofreader!

Liudmila Zaichenko, PhD researcher, School of Educational Sciences, Tallinn University,
Tallinn, Estonia

As a non-academic, finishing an MSc later in life, considering and contacting a proofreader was not a comfortable idea. However, from the first contact Rachel was so supportive and warm in her professionalism that it added a hugely important element to her service that was much needed at a stressful and uncertain time. Her work elevated my thesis to a thing of concise elegance, by comparison to the original, and her insightful and thoughtful comments improved my own understanding of my writing. Regarding the meticulous attention to detail, you do not find this level of diligent work-ethic in modern life anymore. I look forward to working together again on a PhD.

Heather McLeod, University of Glasgow

Having worked with Rachel previously it was an easy choice for me to go back to her as a proofreader, this time for my PhD thesis. Just like earlier, working with her has been an absolute pleasure. I had very little time to hand in my PhD thesis, but Rachel managed to work on my tight schedule, sending all her feedback timely. She also added comments and explanations to her proofreading-edits and sent a very useful personalised style-guide, which made it easy for me to follow the rationale behind her work and, I believe, has improved my writing as well. I would always go back to Rachel for proofreading any type of work, and would highly recommend her to anyone who needs an excellent proofreader!

Monika Hirmer, PhD candidate, SOAS University of London

I’ve been very impressed with Rachel’s work; not only is she fast, efficient and accurate, but she is also clearly aware of the subtleties of the subject matter.

I recently employed her, along with three other proofreaders, to work on a multi-author academic volume of African studies. Rachel’s work was significantly more accurate and responsive to the authors’ intentions than was the others’ work. She was also able to ensure good use of English while preserving the author’s style – a valuable skill which goes beyond regular proofreading, and is especially useful in international academic work. She liaised with me well and generally made the whole project go much more smoothly than it would have without her input.

I highly recommend her work.

Jessica Aitken, Inkwell Proofreading and Editing

I have worked with Rachel for some time, including sometimes subcontracting academic proofreading work to her. She pays attention to detail, is thorough, has a good grasp of English grammar and is qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language, so she is also very good at proofreading documents written by non-native speakers of English. I work to a high standard and Rachel’s reliability, professional approach and the quality of her work make her a pleasure to work with and easy to communicate with. I have no doubts in recommending her to anyone looking for an academic proofreader.

Dawn Leggott, Dawn Leggott Consulting Ltd

I have worked with Rachel in the past two years as Principal Investigator of Project dldl/ድልድል. Rachel helped to proofread our English website ( and dedicatedly supports the proofreading of our blog. Her work is highly professional, thoughtful and considerate of our contributors’ diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Rachel is very conscious of epistemological inequalities in knowledge production and publishing and is very careful not to impose Anglophone or other rigid standards when proofreading the work of our diverse contributors, allowing them to express themselves as well as guiding them to write clearly and effectively in English. I consider it a privilege to be working with Rachel and I would recommend her without any reservations.

Dr Romina Istratii

I am very pleased with Rachel’s proofreading - I would call it First Class professional proofreading. Rachel is extremely thorough, and made excellent suggestions, and was extremely helpful at very short notice. Rachel is flexible, and so easy to work with, I highly recommend Rachel for academic work.

Dr Saleh Dhumad, Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Rachel is a wonderful proofreader to work with! She communicates with me in a timely manner and is very flexible in terms of adapting her work to my needs for presenting and formatting ideas in my academic field. The quality of her work is exceptional, with attention paid to details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Her comprehensive and constructive suggestions not only helped me improve one piece of work, but may also benefit my future academic writing.

Zihan Xu, University of Oxford



Disclaimer note

The CIEP Directory of Editorial Services should be considered a point of first contact and prospective clients must satisfy themselves that members are capable of the work on offer. The Institute cannot be held responsible for the quality of work provided by any member listed in the directory. The members themselves are responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of their entries in the Directory and the CIEP has not made any attempt to vet them. The institute cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the Directory. Inclusion in the Directory as a freelance does not necessarily mean that the member is self-employed as defined by HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.


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