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Dissertation Proofreading Tips: How To Make Your Paper Shine


A dissertation is a serious academic project, and it is very important that you proofread it thoroughly before submission. Of course, you may hire a professional editor who will do the job qualitatively and quickly. However, students are often tight on their budgets and cannot afford such expenses. If it so, don’t worry! You can proofread your paper yourself, and the following tips will come in handy:

  • Use your word processor to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • As a rule, the basic mistakes are underlined by your word processor. Pay attention to them. Most of these errors are really true. However, it often happens that there is no need in correction. You are responsible for proofreading, and you are the one to decide to ignore these suggestions or not.

  • Pay attention to the style of your paper.
  • Your dissertation should be written in an official academic tone. No casual language or dialects are accepted. The language of your work should be simple and clear.

  • Refer to the corresponding style guide.
  • Get a copy of a needed manual and format your project according to the requirements. Pay particular attention to how your title page, references, and tables should be formatted. Cite the sources correctly.

  • Meet the requirements of your university.
  • The specific requirements to formatting dissertations may be elaborated in your institution as well. Follow them.

  • Proofread a hard copy of your work.
  • If you print your dissertation out, it will be easier to look at it with fresh eyes and see some mistakes that remained unnoticed on the computer screen.

  • Try proofreading in a reverse order.
  • Check the last paragraph first and go on reading up and up. This trick will help assess your paper more objectively.

  • Allow enough time to check the reference section.
  • It takes much time to work with this section, so don’t leave it for the last. Ask your advisor to check several of your references, and then go on proofreading in the same way.

  • Check if all in-text references comply with the data in the reference section.
  • Print the reference section out and mark off all the references that you come across in the process of reading your dissertation. In such a way, you will avoid omitting particular points in your reference list.

  • Use appropriate online proofreading tools.
  • Your advisor may prompt which apps are the best for checking your project. Don’t rely only on them though.

  • Ask someone else to read your paper.
  • A fresh opinion from outside is always the best final step that will make your dissertation shine.

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