Effective Doctoral Dissertation Writing: Editing Tips

An important part of writing your doctoral dissertation is the editing process. This final step should not be skimped on. Editing should be emphasized and done by an expert if possible. If not possible, you can learn to effectively edit your own doctoral dissertation.

When a dissertation has been edited well it really shows a higher level of professionalism. Nobody enjoys reading text full of errors, and a paper at the doctorate level should always be completely void of errors as much as possible.

Editing tips:

  • Hire an expert to edit your dissertation

  • Edit your own dissertation if you must, but it should take several steps to do it effectively

  • Read your dissertation out loud to see how it sounds to your ears. If possible, have a friend read pages of it out loud to you and see if you can catch some errors.

  • Read each page backwards from the bottom to the top of the page so you are only seeing one word at a time. That really helps with catching mistakes.

  • Put an electronic copy of your dissertation through some high quality editing software that is able to catch more than just the spell checker on your computer.

  • Edit one page at a time first and then later go through the entire document and make sure it reads well from beginning to end.

  • Take a little break from your editing and go back later to read it again so you’re seeing it with a pair of fresh eyes. It gives you a new perspective.

Being able to do good editing is something that’s learned through a lot of practice. When your dissertation is professionally edited it improves your chance of success for the presentation and acceptance of your dissertation. This determines the success of your entire academic career. With that much importance, you can see why editing is emphasized as being essential.

A good editor will also be able to pick up on faults in the logic. It goes far beyond just correcting spelling errors. Your dissertation should be complete in its development. Whatever your purpose was in writing it and doing the research, it should be obvious to the reader that you fulfilled that purpose. Teaching yourself to be a good editor for your own documents isn’t impossible; it just takes some training and some practice. If you are going to be editing most of your own academic papers, the tips above can help you get started.