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What does James do?

James Does...

What I've done: my experience

I'm a native English speaker with years of writing and editing experience in various formats, including academic (writing and marking essays, dissertations and theses), professional (minutes, reports, emails and website content), and creative writing.

I have carried out research for my own PhD that involved transcribing audio recordings of interviews and focus groups, devising an online questionnaire, creating graphs and charts to display my data, and then writing and referencing the resultant thesis. I am also the author of a series of Disney reference books. 

I began proofing and copy editing on a self-employed basis in 2016, and since then I have grown my business year-on-year.
I have proofed and copy edited numerous PhD theses, dissertations, articles, job applications and more for postgraduate researchers and academics, as well as works of fiction, museum exhibition texts, professional reports, app content and more for non-academic clients. I also transcribed over 60 audio interviews for West Yorkshire Queer Stories.


What I do: my work

I offer a friendly, affordable and personal service that combines elements of copy editing and proofreading. As well as correcting spelling and grammar errors (using Track Changes in MS Word, so you can see the changes made), and checking that references, citations, footnotes and headings are correctly and consistently formatted, I include comments and suggestions about word usage and sentence clarity - my aim is to help you produce the best version of your work for submission, publication or presentation. I help those who are not native English speakers polish their work so that it reads more naturally to a native English reader. I can also address formatting issues to meet your particular submission guidelines.

A 10,000-word article can take between 2 and 4 hours to review and format, while a 100,000-word thesis could take 15-25 hours (these estimates are based on previous experience; times vary depending on the writer's standard of English).

I charge an hourly rate rather than a flat fee, so you only pay for the time I actually spend on the work. I provide an estimated time up front, and on completion of the work I provide an invoice that reflects the actual time spent on the work. Invoices are payable within 30 days. 

What I charge: my costs

From 1st January 2023, my standard rate is £25 per hour.

My minimum charge is £12.50 for any individual piece of work that takes up to 30 mins.
My charging structure works in 15 min increments; for example, work that takes between 61 and 75 mins is charged at 1.25 hrs.
Urgent work, required back within 24 hours (depending on document length and my availability), is charged at £30 per hour.

To find out how I can help with your copy editing and proofreading needs, please email me: 

Home: Proofreading

Proofreading & Copy Editing Testimonials

I am delighted to offer my highest recommendation for James Mason, who has provided exceptional proofreading services for my academic papers. I first engaged James’s expertise while based at the University of Leeds. The meticulous attention to detail and profound understanding of critical academic writing exhibited by James significantly enhanced the clarity of my work. Once I moved to the University of Milan, I continued to rely on James for my own scholarly publications and extended this valuable resource to the other members of my ERC project. James’s ability to refine complex ideas and ensure the linguistic accuracy of both sociological and legal texts made a significant difference to the quality of our work. For the consistency, reliability, promptness, and professionalism demonstrated by James, I endorse his work wholeheartedly for any academic correction needs and I am confident that others will also benefit from the outstanding service he provides.

Annalisa Murgia, University of Milan,
Associate Professor, PI of the ERC project SHARE

James provided invaluable support to me when setting up Yasper. As a new business, you have to balance many competing demands, and knowing that James was on hand to provide a prompt and highly effective proofing service took a load off my mind. I found James to be very responsive and highly flexible to Yasper’s needs. Not only did I work with him in the early pre-launch days, but he has provided his services ever since, proofing complex and often technical documents to tight deadlines. I would happily recommend his service.

Julian Pearce,
Founder of Yasper

I contacted James well before my thesis submission, and even without a confirmed date, he kept his schedule updated with mine. His prices are reasonable and fair. James's editing is very detailed - he catches even the smallest mistakes. He returned my heavily proofread work quickly, which is great for anyone with tight deadlines.  His proofreading greatly helped make my thesis tidy in grammar and precise in wording. He always replies to emails quickly and keeps you updated. James follows all the requirements and content preferences you give him. He's really nice to work with and was a huge help with my PhD thesis. I highly recommend him, especially for those starting their academic careers.

Yumeng Guo, PhD candidate,
University of Sheffield

Home: Testimonial

James Does...

I have always been a fan of Disney films and the wider Disney world (and indeed Walt Disney World), and on returning to postgraduate study I found myself becoming more and more immersed and interested in the subject. I spent three years researching and writing about Disney films and their audiences in order to earn a doctorate (PhD) - over 3,500 people completed my online survey about Disney, and I gathered and analysed data about 390 Disney films. 


You can read my PhD thesis online (for free) here: 

Disney Film Genres and Adult Audiences: 
A Tale of Renegotiated Relationships.

Towards the end of my PhD I began writing Disney Connections and Collections Vol 1: Movies, which was followed by Vol 2: TV Movies & Anthologies, both published by Theme Park Press. I later self-published Vol 3: Shorts and Vol 4: Touchstone & Hollywood Pictures. I plan to revisit these books at a later date. 

Hear me discussing my research and Disney Connections and Collections on the Notably Disney podcast here.

You can also listen to me discussing Disney's Treasure Planet (2002) on the Beyond the Box Set podcast here.

To contact me about my research, email me:

Home: Disney
Minnie Mouse hugs James Mason at Tokyo DisneySea

Meeting Minnie Mouse at Tokyo DisneySea, 2024

Home: About
James Mason pictured at Tokyo DisneySea, wearing a Baymax headband

About me

After growing up on a farm in North Yorkshire, I obtained a BA in American Studies & English from Keele University; studied several courses, including Creative Writing, with the Open University; picked up an MA in Film Studies from the University of Bradford; and then earned a PhD from the University of Leeds

I have also gained much administrative and professional experience from employment in local government and academia between my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. I now live in Leeds, West Yorkshire where I balance my work in copy editing and proofreading with occasional jobs as a TV and movie extra (blink and miss me in episodes of All Creatures Great and Small and Ackley Bridge, as well as the film Upgraded. My work on the Everybody's Talking About Jamie movie and Emmerdale was too good to make it to screen...) and as a front of house attendant at Leeds Playhouse.

When not working, I'm usually with my friends doing something cultural like watching films, playing board games, or visiting the theatre.

Or I'm on holiday with my husband, probably somewhere in Europe, Japan or North America.

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Leeds, UK

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