How To Improve Thesis Editing Skills

Proofreading and editing are an important part of polishing up any transcript or paper, from essay to thesis to dissertation. It’s the same thing for magazine articles and books. If the writer has left errors in their written work, it will be picked apart by critics. Your thesis needs to have immaculate editing.

8 strategies for better editing

All written text benefits from a second person proofreading or copy-editing to find the errors. That’s because writers rarely see their own mistakes. In some cases however, you have to do the proofreading of your own written papers. Use these tips for better editing:

  1. Make sure your text editor on your computer is set to the country you live in. for example, if you live in the U.K. don’t set your dictionary and spellchecker to English (AUS).
  2. Using the wrong form of a word can result in confusion and reduce the effectiveness of your document. Some examples of commonly misused words are “their, they’re and there”, “it’s and its”, “your and you’re”, “than and then”. Keep a dictionary close by so you can use it as a reference to ensure you are using the correct word in your written work.
  3. Correct usage of capital letters. Be consistent and precise.
  4. If you are using abbreviations in your thesis, make sure you spell out the word or phrase in its entirety the first time. The reader needs to be told what the abbreviation stands for. Here’s an example of how it’s done: Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).
  5. Be consistent in the way you write numbers. Usually the numbers one to ten are spelled out as a word and the numbers greater than that are written in numerical form such as 17 and 153.
  6. Check formatting and be sure it adheres to whatever style guide you’re using. For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) style has rules for margin sizes and header and footer size.
  7. You should read through your thesis several times over with a space of time in between each so you can look at it with a fresh perspective each time. The final reading should be done backwards from the end to the beginning so you can concentrate on each individual word rather than whole sentences.
  8. Read your thesis out loud. Sometimes hearing your sentences will help you pick out some errors that need to be corrected.