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Thesis Editing


Thesis editing is a very important part of producing a good thesis, because it is the stage in which one smoothes out all the rough spots. Since the length of the paper will demand a fairly large amount of editing time, the student should allow at least a few days for thesis editing.

Ideally, thesis editing occurs in two stages. In the first stage, one reads the paper for logical errors, for structural problems, and for overall flow. This is the stage in which one may decide to rearrange chapters, reword the thesis statement to better reflect what the paper discusses, add evidence to meager points, or subtract material from parts that have become too lengthy.

In the second stage, one reads a thesis very carefully and slowly, proofreading it for all grammatical errors. The student may find it helpful to work from a hard copy on which he or she can mark. If the student has scheduled enough time for this stage, he or she may find it extremely beneficial to reread the paper again backwards, which will help in recognition of spelling errors. When one becomes used to reading a sentence, one's eyes often skip the spelling errors out of habit, but reading a paper backwards reduces this phenomenon.

If students feel incompetent to edit their own theses, editing help may come through the major professor, the department's writing lab, or through professional services. In the first stage of thesis editing, classmates or professors in the department may provide more useful feedback, because they will know the subject well enough to recognize fallacies or weak points. However, in the stage of proofreading theses, editing help only needs to have a keen knowledge of English grammar; therefore, one may easily hire an English major or a professional proofreader to work through the paper.

Thesis editing can dramatically improve the strength of the project, because it will show the readers that the writer cared enough about the project to invest a little extra effort at the end. Any thesis editing is well worth the time and energy.


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