A Few Things You Should Know About Dissertation Editing
Editing your dissertation shouldn't feel like an overwhelming task. With the proper amount of time and due diligence on your part, you should have no trouble completing this last step before handing it in. Here are some things to know about conducting a professional-level dissertation edit that will WOW the committee:
- Review the Entire Work:
- Review Section by Section:
- Review Each Paragraph:
- Review Each Sentence:
Keep the entire outline plan before you and make sure you that your argument follows your outline perfectly. Be sure to have defined important concepts or terms early in the work. You never want to confuse your reader. Try imagining a friend or a family member reading your dissertation; if neither can understand it, then you might want to reconsider your explanation and logic.
Did you include enough analysis of your research? Do you have sections with too much research? Look for arguments or points where you could be more explicit. Make it clear to your readers why each point is included and how it helps address a question or problem you have present.
Look for content that might be better placed in another section. A great way to check for this is to come up with a title for topic title for each section; if something doesn't fit then you might be better off moving it or removing it altogether.
Make sure that each sentence in each paragraph clearly introduces the idea or argument you will be discussing. In addition, make sure it shows how the paragraph is related to the rest of the content. Remember that each paragraph should have just one argument or key idea.
When transitioning from one sentence to another, try using phrases like "Furthermore," "However," "In addition," and "In contrast". These will each help clarify the relationship between one paragraph and another.
Whenever you're writing such a long document it's very easy to make a number of small mistakes. Read each sentence aloud. Does it sound right? Does it make sense? When reviewing each sentence you should take a page from grammar school and practice the exercise of identifying both the subject and the main action. Don't leave either buried beneath piles of unnecessary terms.
Of course, there's the all-important spell-checking. Pay attention to spellings of concepts and proper names. Make sure your use of upper and lower case letters are the consistent and correct.
We've structured this in a way that you end with a fine toothed comb. By the time you get to your sentence edit you will have read your dissertation three times! After your final edit you can rest-assured you're turning in a masterpiece.