5 ideas that will help you improve your dissertation editing skills


Writing a dissertation is an exercise in patience, organization, and endurance. Once the actual process of writing the dissertation is completed, writers are ready to put the paper to bed. However, the editing step needs to happen before anything else can be done with the paper. After spending months and possibly even years writing a dissertation, the idea of editing the paper can be just as overwhelming as the idea of writing another dissertation might be. Fortunately, there are a few ideas that can help you improve your editing skills and make the process less intimidating.

Hire someone to edit your paper: If you simply cannot spend one more minute looking at your paper, hire someone. There are editors all over the world who would love to take a look at your paper and help you find the errors to make your paper better. Many online editors are extremely affordable and will get the job done rather quickly.

Read your paper backwards: This is one of the most effective ways to edit a paper because it gives you fresh eyes. Start at the end and work your way to the beginning so you can find anything that looks unusual.

Read your paper out loud. When you read your paper out loud, you should be able to hear errors that you may have missed while reading. Reading in a “one-foot voice” is a useful technique. You simply read in a voice that no one sitting more than a foot away would be able to hear. Just by moving your mouth you will notice more than you did when you were reading with your eyes.

Pick one aspect to edit. Some writers get overwhelmed trying to find everything in one editing session. If you can narrow down what you are editing, then you will have an easier time finding those errors. For example, you could look for parallel structure errors, then you can read for pronoun and antecedent agreement.

Use an online editor. There are several free online editing apps that will find a wide variety of errors. When you are ready to use an online editor, be sure to have the editor read your paper at your academic level so it can properly evaluate your work. It will look for word choice, grammar and mechanical errors, and anything else that the programmers have included.