Sloppy PhD Thesis? You Have Definitely Missed Proofreading

You wouldn’t want your thesis to be rejected because of minute mistakes after years of hard work in it, or would you? Before submitting the thesis to your assigned supervisor or the doctoral committee, it needs a last chance to be revised. You might be thinking to invest most of your time in writing and editing the thesis while keeping the task of proofreading aside to follow it up at the last minute. Nevertheless, you are mistaken! Proofreading demands much more time than you think since you never know what errors might come before you just at the time of final submission.

Proofreading- A Grammar Check!

Proofreading involves checking grammar, spelling, punctuation marks, or transitions. But it must be tedious to read and re-read the same research and writing over and over again. Because it is tough to spot all the errors in the first attempt, you must proofread it twice before finalizing it. It is advised to give a break between the writing, editing, and proofreading process of your thesis.

Can I become a proofreader for my thesis?

Yes, you can! In fact, it is advised that you become a proofreader yourself for your thesis because you know what all you have written and meant. As a proofreader, you should keep a checklist of the mistakes you often make while writing and inspect them in every sentence. Read every sentence of the thesis carefully and aloud to spot the mistakes since reading loudly helps you notice the error with a check on the transition of the sentences. When you read aloud, you speak with the flow you want your sentence to be in, hence, checking the structure of the sentence. The checklist should include the language issues or problems in writing, such as nouns, verbs, pronouns, spellings, etc. You should check if they are rightly used, or if they are required somewhere.

Is that all?

Make sure that you stick on to the spellings you use, either British or US. Keep a check on the use of the punctuation such as full stops, commas, question and exclamation marks. No sentence should end without a period or should abruptly end without any transition in it. Each sentence should be complete and have a meaning when read alone. The facts, figures, or names should be cited and should be exact. You wouldn’t like it if your committee acclaims you of citing the wrong figures or facts in the thesis. Nobody would! Proofreading is just not about checking the text; you should also track the used vocabulary, punctuation, citations, and format of the thesis.

Is it that important?

The task of proofreading your thesis is important than editing it because even a slight punctuation mistake may mislead the reader. For instance, the use of a comma instead of the full stop could change the whole meaning of that sentence. Moreover, how would you feel after toiling hard with the research for years to prove the argument or hypothesis you stated, and still failing to lead the readers in the right direction? Not so nice! That would be heartbreaking, wouldn’t it be? So, scrutinise your thesis after thoroughly editing it and don’t forget to let some days pass before you begin to proofread it rigorously.

Peer-Based Thesis Writing

Thesis writing often considered a lonely process can be very collaborative too. Hence it would be wise to spend some time and effort on building a peer group. When you write with your peer group you can have them review your writing. Your writing may seem lucid and comprehensible to you, but your peers on reading them may be able to point out the loopholes. Have a peer review of your dissertation is the most effective way of making your writing more engaging for the readers. Peer to peer collaboration is key in helping you prepare for a presentation before your lab mates for department colleagues or your thesis committee meeting. It is always advised that your review your work, but it is also beneficial to have a fresh set of eyes review your work as well.

Writing a dissertation is a complex, enduring process which takes a lot of investment of your resources. Abate the compounding effect of this stress by collaborating with the right group of peers. You can use your peers as a soundboard to discuss different strategies for quick and thorough writing. As you stay on track of your thesis writing, you feel motivated and energized to perform even better. Peer review will result in constructive criticism which will help you analyze your own writing. Is your writing too verbose? Are there too much alliteration? Does your sentence have a convoluted construction that makes it incoherent? When you are alerted about the flaws in your writing you begin to realize the expectations from your audience. And you are sprucing up the grammar and style while you are religiously following the structure and format of an academic discourse.

In today’s day and age, technology has come to our rescue. There is no need to meet at the same library or at the same coffee shop to discuss your peer review. It is now possible to connect with your peers remotely. Among the most popular are Skype video calls and Google Hangout. You can meet your peers at any time of the day when it is convenient for all of you. The collaboration will give rise to multiple points of view which will make your thesis sharper and well-rounded. It is best not to be defensive about feedbacks. As you refer to the comments while reading your thesis, you get a better understanding of how to write your thesis effectively.