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How to Proofread Your Dissertation – There are Some Tricks

September 23, 2015 - Posted to Dissertation and its parts

Content how to proofread yourdissertation

How to Proofread Your Dissertation – There are Some Tricks

You have finally conquered the monster that has been lurking around for the past 18 months. You are probably pretty proud of yourself, and you have right to be. Writing a dissertation is a project that very few individuals are will to take on, or, if they do, a large number just never finish. Now for the final task before typing the final copies, binding them and getting off to the dissertation committee for that oral defense. That final task? Dissertation editing, of course!

A Two-Pronged Process

Editing involves reviewing the entire work for overall flow and coherency, for structure, and, of course for those grammatical errors that we all make when we write major works. If you have used really good software for grammar check, you should have caught most of the errors. However, no grammar check software is completely perfect, and it really only corrects sentence structure, punctuation agreement and verb tenses. You will still need to review the entire work again, because there is nothing like a real person taking a good hard look. If you feel uncomfortable editing your own work, and many students do, you should conract with a dissertation editor – someone who has the expertise in your field and who is also an excellent grammarian.

The Other Prong – Proofreading

This task puts the final polish on the work. It is finding those mis-spelling that spell check did not catch, such as the wrong use of to, too, and two, of there, their, and they’re – you get the picture. As well, you have to double-check all of your figures to ensure that there are no typos. Dissertation proofreading take time and it is tedious work. Here are a couple of tricks you can use.

  1. Read each page from bottom to top. This way, you will not be focusing on the content but, rather on the words and sentences. Read one sentence at a time. It will take hours to do this, but it has to be right
  2. You might want to purchase an app like “Grammarly.” You can paste in your dissertation, chapter by chapter, and this program will scan it and then point out errors in a column to the right of the piece. Grammarly does a pretty good job of catching even those things that your editing process may have missed.

Again, you always have the option to have the editing and the proofreading done by a professional. The cost may be a factor for you, but how much is it worth to have a dissertation that no one will read and begin to point out all of your errors? Really, it’s priceless.

Don’t risk this final step by editing and proofreading your own work unless you are really confident in your English composition skills. Otherwise, get someone else. They are not “emotionally” attached to the work as you are, and can really be objective in their suggestions for improvement and, of course, in the correction of those grammar errors. You’ve done that hard part. Now, let someone finish up this last step for you.`

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