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How to Edit and Proofread a Dissertation – List of Do’s and Don’ts

Published by at January 26th, 2023 , Revised On April 6, 2023

Many students ask us how to edit and proofread a dissertation. Editing and proofreading a dissertation is a crucial task that you need to handle with care. It is because the quality of your work will depend on how well you do it.

Once you have finished writing your dissertation, there are still some things left to do before you can submit it for review. This includes editing and proofreading it.

Editing is the process of correcting any mistakes in your paper. It’s also about making sure that your arguments are coherent, that there are no errors in grammar or spelling, etc. We can make your editing process easier with our tips for editing a dissertation.

On the other hand, Proofreading is the last step in this process. It means reading through your paper one more time and checking whether there are any remaining mistakes or typos (typos are spelling errors).

Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts when editing and proofreading your dissertation:

Tips for Proofreading a Dissertation

Proofreading is an important step. Here are some tips for proofreading a dissertation. 

  • Grammar Check: Make sure the spelling and grammar are correct. If there are any mistakes, correct them immediately before you move on to the next step.
  • Read your dissertation at least twice before submitting it to your professor or supervisor for review. The first read should be done without making any changes so you can get an idea about what needs to be changed in your paper. The second read should focus on fixing all the mistakes found during the first reading process so that they do not appear in front of your professor or supervisor during their review process.
  • Tense changes – remember that past tense is used for events in the past, present tense for events happening at the time of writing, and future tense for events predicted to happen in the future. If you mix these tenses, you could confuse your reader.
  • Adjective agreement – ensure all adjectives agree with their nouns in number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine or feminine).
  • Punctuation – use commas correctly, especially when separating items in lists; use semicolons correctly; use colons correctly; don’t forget apostrophes!
  • Spelling – always check your spelling before sending off your work.

Pro Tips for Dissertation Editing

Editing can be hectic and complicated. But these tips for editing a dissertation can help you out.

  • Get a fresh pair of eyes to look at it: Get someone else to read it, preferably someone who isn’t too close to the project or your research topic, so they can see errors that might have been missed by yourself or others. They will also be able to give you feedback on whether they understand what you are writing about and whether they think it is relevant enough for their field of interest. If not, this should lead to changes in the structure and style of your writing, making it more accessible for readers from different backgrounds.
  • Write down the Guidelines: Write down all suggestions your professor or supervisor gave regarding corrections and make necessary changes according to their instructions
  • Don’t assume that your supervisor knows how to edit or proofread: Your supervisor has been working with you throughout your project, so they may be able to spot spelling mistakes or punctuation errors when reading through your draft chapter summaries or other documents, such as the research proposal or methodology section. However, they may not know how best to edit and proofread a dissertation, so always ask them if there is anything specific that needs changing before sending anything off for review by your professor.
  • Don’t get tired or stressed before the editing process starts: You have spent a lot of time working on this project, so make sure you don’t get tired or stressed before editing it. It is important to take breaks and rest whenever you need them. On the other hand, don’t push yourself too hard–take as much time as you need until you feel ready to start editing.
  • Don’t panic if everything seems too difficult at first glance: Everything may look overwhelming at first glance – there are lots of pages full of text and information but don’t panic! It is easier than it seems, especially if you know how to organise all these materials properly.
  • Read everything carefully: Don’t skip any parts of your dissertation while editing it.

Reading every word from the beginning to the end when editing your paper is very important. Don’t skip any sections or parts.

Other dissertation writing guides: How to start writing a dissertation, How to structure a dissertation, How to choose a topic for dissertation.

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Don’ts for Proofreading and Editing

  • Don’t read through the text too quickly–you will miss spelling mistakes if you do this.
  • use a word processor–if you do this, many of its features will change your writing style without you noticing.
  • rely on a spellchecker to catch all your mistakes–they won’t pick up subject-verb agreement errors or words spelt correctly but used incorrectly (e.g., affect/effect)
  • Don’t leave corrections until the very end–you need to be able to edit at every stage of the process to catch problems early.
  •  Don’t rush it–take plenty of time to write and edit your work properly.
  • Don’t rewrite whole sections–fix errors in individual words or sentences instead.
  • Don’t be afraid of deleting too much! It is better to delete unnecessary parts than leave them in your dissertation without correcting them properly.
  • Don’t rush through the editing process–Take your time, as rushing through the editing process will only result in more mistakes! Make sure you understand each section fully before moving on to the next one.
  • Make sure you don’t use too many complex words or unusual expressions which might confuse readers.
  • Avoid passive voice constructions; use active voice instead! It makes your writing easier to understand!
  • Remove unnecessary words from sentences and paragraphs–they make texts less concise!

Proofreading and editing are daunting tasks. It is a job many new PhDs must face during their research and writing process. To get better, you can take some help from the above pro tips for dissertation editing and proofreading. However, it needs skills that go beyond grammar and spelling. It would be best if you become aware of the challenges facing you when starting the task of proofreading and editing a dissertation.

If you think you can not do this on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Because proofreading and editing sometimes require a second eye. We are here for you to do this. We have been providing professional proofreading and editing services for many years.

Whether you require a single-page proofread or a full dissertation, our array of academic editing services can deliver. The editing and proofreading services we provide can be as simple and straightforward as standard proofreading or as extensive as complete editing of all parts of your assignment or article.

To be certain about what you will get and for the best quality, each stage is overseen by one of our skilled experts. We are confident that we now edit and proofread more than any other online organisation, providing clients with the highest level of attention and quality they deserve.

About Ellie Cross

Avatar for Ellie CrossEllie Cross is the Content Manager at ResearchProspect, assisting students for a long time. Since its inception, She has managed a growing team of great writers and content marketers who contribute to a great extent to helping students with their academics.