Thesis Proofreading Checklist: Start Right Away

The importance of thesis proofreading

Submitting your final thesis can be a very nervous time for any student but that can be reduced if you are sure that your thesis is going to be free of errors. The bulk of rejections by the reviewing panels are not due to what has been written but because of errors within the writing. Many theses are returned every year as needing minor alterations. This can take many months and will seriously delay your graduation which can be devastation if you have a job to go to. Simple proofreading can avoid this issue if it is done well. You must ensure that your thesis is put through very careful proofreading before submission.

Editing and proofreading checklist

While editing and proofreading are two very different tasks we will amalgamate some of the aspects of editing within our proofreading tips and hints below. Thesis editing takes a far wider view of your thesis and will look at your choices of words and sentence and paragraph structure while essay proofreading very much concentrates on eliminating errors such as spelling mistakes and grammatical issues. The following tips will help you to ensure that your thesis is going to be free of errors;

Our thesis proofreading checklist and tips

  • Don’t proofread your own work. Even if you cannot afford to use a proofreading service do you have an alternative? Can you buddy up with a fellow student and proofread each other’s papers?
  • If you have to proofread your own work leave time between writing and proofreading; due to the size of the document that you are writing it is often possible to come back to a section weeks after it was written allowing you to have a better view of the section when proofreading. Never try to proofread as you write.
  • Use but don’t rely on your software. Most word processing packages have good spelling and grammar checking facilities and there are many other packages and sites that you can use. They are however not fool proof and will often miss words that are misspelled as another or not see the difference between words such as its and it’s. You also have to think about the difference between UK and US English. There is a nice discussion about using computers for proofreading
  • Always start with the big picture; is your thesis structured correctly? do you have every section? Does your introduction introduce and your conclusion conclude? Etc.
  • Proofread using a different format to that in which you wrote the paper; print your thesis out and proofread a hard copy if you typed directly into your computer.
  • Slow down your reading; Increase font size, use a pencil to go from word to word, read backwards through your thesis, use a ruler to hide adjacent sentences, and any other method you can think of to ensure that you concentrate your attention.
  • Read the thesis aloud; reading out loud and playing back what you have read will help you to identify grammatical errors, poorly constructed sentences, misused words and a host of other issues that you may otherwise miss.

Getting thesis proofreading right

Never rush thesis proofreading if you want to get your thesis accepted on the first submission. It is not enough to just have a quick read through what you have written within your thesis as you may do with a high school essay. A thesis that contains sloppy writing errors indicates a sloppy approach to your research and it will be returned. Follow the tips above and get your thesis proofreading done right.