Proofread your thesis or dissertation before you submit it

By Ankita Agarwal on February 19, 2013

Thesis or dissertation forms an integral part of most of the doctorate and post-graduate academic programs. The basic idea behind asking a student to write a thesis or dissertation lies in checking his or her ability to apply the theory that have been imparted as part of the course program. And this is where most students fail. Irony lies in the fact that many times the students do not fail because they are not clear about the concepts; but because they had not communicated it well. If the supervisor is not able to comprehend the content correctly; he or she will never be able to approve it. Yet another mistake students make in this context is that whenever the supervisor rejects their paper, they concentrate only upon finding any faults in the content. But this is again wrong! Even if the content is good but if it has not been presented correctly then it does not meet the purpose.

How does editing of thesis or dissertation helps?

Proofreading and editing often serves as the rescue to above-mentioned situations. By proofreading one checks for the quality of the content; whether it meets the objectives laid down for the thesis or dissertation and if the flow of the information content is accurate. Editing ensures that no important piece of information on dissertation or thesis subject is missed out and at the same time, there is no irrelevant content in the document. The content of each paragraph and the transition from one paragraph is also cross-checked during proofreading to ensure smooth and logical flow of the information. Another very important aspect of proofreading and editing is to cross-check the information critically i.e. if the writer has critically analyzed the findings of primary research as well as the literature gathered under secondary research. Apart from these, a proofreader also checks for correct referencing style as per the university standards.

Why should you proofread your paper before submission?

While the scope of proofreading and editing has already been explained in previous section, it is ideally not the final step to submission. The terms ‘editing’ and ‘proofreading’ are often used interchangeably; but in reality they differ. It is the proofreading that confirms the paper is ready for submission. Though editing ensures that the writer has included the desired content in proper flow, it doesn’t looks after the spellings, grammar, word usage, formatting, typography and punctuation style. Often while writing in a flow, these things are missed out. While editing the document, there are so many things to be checked and corrected that these mistakes are usually neglected. But it is important to understand that even a small mistake in spelling or usage of wrong tense or a wrong word; or simply a mistake in punctuation may change the complete meaning of a statement. For example- use of ‘there’ instead of ‘their’ or using a ‘question mark’ instead of ‘comma’ will change the entire meaning of the content. Moreover, even if there is a small mistake like inserting double space instead of single at any place, this will spoil the presentation of the paper. Thus, proofreading and editing is done to ensure that the document is perfect in all these aspects.