Audacity is a good audio recording/editing program that is a free download from the Internet onto your computer. There’s a tutorial included, which I recommend, but it really is as easy as setting your levels, clicking record, and reading your script. You can edit your audio file almost like editing in a word processor. Just highlight a section, then click delete, and it cuts. You can save your file as an MP3 and email it to your client. You may need to download the free MP3 encoder LAME to work with Audacity.
When I first asked my local professional audio video supplier which microphone I should get, I told them I was plugging directly into cassette/reel-to-reel/DAT units. They sold me the Sennheiser MD421, which I’ve used ever since. Now it plugs directly into my computer mic input using a converter plug to get from the big microphone plug (XLR) down to the mini-computer plug. Search the various online forums if you need help figuring out how to make everything work.
This is what I use for simple recording and edits. As I mentioned in another post, for anything complex I go to a professional studio.