How to make a perfect dissertation: basic editing rules

When you have written the perfect dissertation your goal at the end of the writing phase is to edit it properly. So how can you make the perfect dissertation? By following these basic editing rules…

  1. Give yourself some time away. Proper editing requires you to take some time away from your finished piece. Because the dissertation is such a large endeavor and one with which you have been focused for months it is important that you take a week or so off before you return to the proofreading process. Before you start editing you should break and do something you love. Reward yourself for a job well done before you move on to the editing phase.
  2. There is also a science behind this: your brain will register what you meant to say. So when you read over the same paragraph seventeen times your brain will read what you meant to say all seventeen times. It will fail to notice that what you meant to say and what you actually said are slightly different. When you take some time off you are not as wrapped up in it. You stay away. And then you come back refreshed with a brain that has stopped repeating what you meant to say. You can review the paper and start to see things with new eyes.

  3. Print off a hard copy double spaced. Set aside some uninterrupted time during which to edit. Sit down with a red pen and the print copy. Sometimes seeing it in print will cause it to read completely differently than reading it on your computer screen. Start out by searching for flow and the bigger picture. Look to make sure your arguments make sense. Verify that you have covered all of the key parts. Make sure the reader has enough background information. Do all of these bigger picture items first. Once you have marked up the paper it is time to integrate the changes into your computer document.
  4. Then print off another clean copy and start editing for the smaller line-by-line stuff. Look out for spelling errors first. Then read over it again for grammatical errors like subject verb agreement. Read over it a third time for punctuation errors. Read over it yet again for typographical errors. It is important to search for one thing at a time when you edit.

Dissertation writing

Follow these academic guides and manuals to write great thesis papers or edit your written graduate projects.

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