Once you have completed writing your dissertation, you are not actually finished with it. You might feel like you have a huge weight taken off of your shoulders, but you still need to have your dissertation edited. Students often find someone else to take care of the editing for them, but they usually have to pay the editor. If you are able to edit your own, you can save a lot of money and a lot of time. You might even be able to turn in the dissertation earlier than you originally planned. Students can edit their own dissertations, if they know what basic rules to follow.
Look for subject-verb agreement: Since this is an advanced paper, you do not want to have any errors with something simple like subject-verb agreement. These errors tend to happen when students write complex subjects. Identify the actual subject of the sentence and check the verb. You can do this by highlighting the subject and verb and making sure they sound natural when paired.
Analyze your sentence variety: As a dissertation writer, you want to be sure that you used an advanced style. You do not want all of your sentences to begin with “the” and you do not want your sentences to be simple all the way through the project. Circle the first words of each sentence. If you find that you have too many sentences with the same beginnings, then you should change the way you structured your sentences.
Look for anything the computer highlighted: Instructors will never understand why students do not notice words and phrases that word processing programs highlight. The apps highlight things because they are spelled wrong, are grammatically incorrect, or are used incorrectly in another way. So many students ignore what the computer finds and it weakens their writing. Students should not immediately change everything that a computer notices, but they should at least check to see what it is and make corrections if needed.
Double-check your in-text documentation: This is the trickiest part of any dissertation, so you should always edit the documentation of your direct quotes and paraphrased information. Instructors will look for punctuation errors and page number formatting errors, so be sure you have all of those items correct before you submit your paper for a grade. Yes, these are minute details, but they all count when it comes to dissertation writing.
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