Many postgraduate students think that proofreading and editing are the same things. However, there are a lot of differences in terms of what editing and proofreading cover. These are what students need to know when editing their thesis.
When you are editing, you review what you have just written in depth. There are several things you need to review and revise such as:
For your content, you’d need to check whether your facts are correct and accurate. You also need to make sure whether your claims have been supported by evidence and legitimate sources. Most importantly, you need to make sure that your argument is consistent and that it always links back to your thesis.
When you’re writing a thesis, you need to make sure your points are organized. Every paragraph contains points that are used to support your thesis statement. Your paragraphs should also be organized in a logical sequence. You can do this by making sure there are linking sentences to transition between your paragraphs.
Structure within paragraphs
Make sure that each paragraph has a topic sentence and evidence to support your claim. Each paragraph should stick to one idea to make sure the reader does not get confused and more importantly so that your argument is coherent.
To make sure your argument is clear, you’d need to check the definitions and terms that you use are clear and concise. It would also be helpful if you read each sentence aloud as this is one way you could see whether your sentences are clear. Some students like to use big, bombastic words in their thesis. It’s fine if the usage is correct, however, you need to make sure that you do not misuse it.
When writing your thesis, please make sure that your writing style reflects academic writing. For instance, the language must not be biased, must be respectful, and claims made should not be extreme. Avoid writing in passive voice, and instead, write in active voice as it is clearer who the “doer” is. Vary your sentences to make sure that they are not too similar. If you find yourself repeating the same words too often, use a thesaurus.
Proofreading is the last stage that you’d do when you are revising your thesis. You’d need to check the following:
- Grammatical mistakes
- Spelling errors
- Sentence structure
- Consistent language and formatting
- Perfects and already good writing
How do you proofread your own article?
- One way to do it is by reading your thesis aloud.
- You could use Grammarly to help you check spelling errors. However, Grammarly has its limitations. It does not check coherence and whether your paragraphs transition well. Therefore, do not rely on this 100%.
- Don’t proofread and edit at the very last minute.
- Take time to proofread your thesis – you should not be doing this when you are stressed or rushed. Why? Because when you are tense, your mind can’t process what you’ve written.
If you have trouble proofreading your own thesis because you don’t have time or you’re too overwhelmed, feel free to contact me as I can help you edit or proofread your thesis 🙂