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Five Essential Tips for Proofreading a Dissertation

The process of writing a long and often complex paper like a dissertation can be a very difficult undertaking. However, when you have finally finished researching and writing such a paper, make sure you proofread it very carefully. Even extremely smart students make simple mistakes that can adversely affect the overall quality of their written work. So, prior to submitting your dissertation, do everything you can to proofread it on your own or ask for a little help from your tutor or course instructor. It is likely you will have to spend a lot of time on proofreading using different methods or aids such as referring to books and/or a dictionary, or running the spellchecker on your computer. The process of proofreading a dissertation can be very time-consuming, and a lot of students can become deadlocked when engaged in such an activity. Therefore, we would like to help by providing some expert advice on how to proofread this important paper:   

Top Tips for Proofreading:

  1. The first thing you should do is try and take a little time to rest – preferably a few days – in order to be able to proofread your dissertation with fresh eyes. Bear in mind that the proofreading process involves checking spelling, punctuation, style and grammar. You can use your word processer’s tools to help with checking spelling, punctuation and grammar. This should pick up the majority of obvious mistakes. However, you should be prepared to do a manual check yourself.
  2.  Next, you will need to check the stylistic elements. It is imperative that a paper of this magnitude is written in appropriate English language. Avoid using any slang or dialect that will confuse UK and USA readers. Divide your paper into short paragraphs until it looks well organized and logical.
  3. The next step is checking that your dissertation is correctly formatted. Check that your title page looks good, that you have added page numbers, and that all sources are accurately cited. Every table, diagram and illustration also needs to be checked while you are proofreading. You also need to ensure your content is informative and fulfils all requirements. Double-check that your paper has a contents list, an introduction, a literature review, a methodology section, appendices, and a bibliography. Almost every university has its own specific requirements for a dissertation so you should try and meet these in the prescribed order.
  4. You should now consider reading your paper aloud to family and friends. This will allow you to see if your text sounds sensible. It will help you decide if something should be included or removed. To proofread a dissertation in the most effective way possible, print out a copy of it and read it again. Certain mistakes you missed before might become obvious in the printed version. Apart from anything else, this will show you how the final version looks.
  5. When you are done proofreading, print out a copy for your tutor or professor. Do not be surprised if they return your paper for revision. Try and ensure your dissertation meets all your professor’s requirements. Should you succeed in doing everything in good time, you will be glad to eventually get some rest!      
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