The most disappointing thing about your dissertation would be to discover typos, errors, style violations or even your thesis statement that has shifted from the main research focus right before the submission date. That would be a disaster, a broken stair on your academic ladder. Whatever you call it, that’s awful.
This is why checking your dissertation is so vital for the peace of your mind and, of course, for the cherished degree.
So, with this soothing thought in mind, let’s do the last gasp in your dissertation writing – proofreading. Below there are some tips on how to make this process more effective and less stressful.
- Read the entire dissertation through
Starting from the title, move on reading your whole dissertation carefully keeping in mind your central question. This first proofreading is called to spot content deviations from the paper topic. If you’ve noticed that the plot of your dissertation shifts from its primary focus, don’t panic. You may change your title a bit for it to match dissertation content.
- Proofread your dissertation chapter by chapter
Take a chapter and read it over. Do so with every chapter that you have in your dissertation. Make sure that chapter title corresponds to what is actually written in the chapter. If this is an introduction, for example, cross out any descriptions, mind-correct formulation of the thesis statement or hypothesis. In brief, each section should tell its own story which still serves to provide an answer to the main research question.
- Check up each paragraph
Any chapter of your dissertation is a separate meaningful unit that consists of paragraphs. Every paragraph in its turns also conveys particular ideas. For example, the first passage usually introduces the main idea of the chapter while the last one contains a short summary of the section.
So, when you start proofreading dissertation paragraphs, mind the consistency of ideas. In plain words, make sure that paragraphs are built logically, and it’s easy for the reader to trace the development of your thoughts.
- Read each sentence and word through
The further you move in your proofreading the more accurate you should be. When you get down to checking each sentence you will have to look for grammar mistakes, punctuation, spelling and other minor but no less important language aspects.
You may scan each sentence with grammar checker and plagiarism-detection programs. They will make the process easier.
- Proofread the list of references
Checking reference page is a time-consuming piece of work that demands much attention. That’s why it shouldn’t be left for the last or done when you are tired or in haste. Take a day from any duties and distractions and spend it proofreading your dissertation bibliography. If, when composing your list of references you used a particular style, it will simply the process greatly. If not, then you will have to turn to your supervisor to clarify the way your page of references should be organized.
And the final tip: don’t leave too little time for proofreading because it may turn out much bulkier work than you expect.