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What are the Best Tips for Editing a Thesis?

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  • Written By: Victoria Blackburn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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Completing a thesis is a complex task that includes research, writing and editing before the thesis will be ready for submission. A finished thesis should result in a professional package of information that is both informative and well-written. The process of editing a thesis requires a keen eye and the following tips should ensure that the best paper is the result.

Ensure that all of the essential components exist in the thesis. A title, headings, subheadings, thesis statement and a clear logical order to the information are essential elements in any thesis. Preparing an outline in the beginning of the project and then comparing the outline to the final paper while editing a thesis can ensure that all of the necessary elements are present and that the paper flows in a logical sequence.

Check to be sure that the topic is defined clearly by re-reading the paper in the final draft. A thesis should start with a well-defined topic that allows readers to understand the point of the research. Definitions throughout the paper help to highlight the necessary terms that are crucial to this understanding. While editing a thesis, ensure that the topic and points are clearly defined and explained. Sometimes, putting the paper away for a day or two before the final review is helpful so it can be looked at with fresh eyes.

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Organization is key to helping readers understand the point being made. Check to ensure that the necessary elements for each section are under the proper headings and the thesis is structured so the information being presented makes logical sense. The information should flow in a manner that lends support to the thesis statement. It may be necessary to change the order of some of the information or re-organize sections so the paper flows from beginning to end. A final re-read before submission will ensure that the writing is organized and readable.

The proper use of language, grammar and punctuation is essential in any professional work. Regardless of how well researched a paper is, poor grammar is sure to result in a lower grade. When editing a thesis, it can be difficult to proofread personal work, especially after months of preparing the material, so some choose to consult with a professor or hire professional proofreaders to assist with this task.

One method for proofreading personal work is to read the paper backward. By doing this, each word is looked at individually without taking into consideration the meaning of the word or sentence. This is best done for spelling, as it is difficult to check grammar or punctuation without understanding the meaning of the phrase.

Avoid plagiarism by double-checking references and citations. Properly reference the work of other people by crediting them as the source any time material is used that is not ones’ own. Checking references for accuracy and proper citation is essential before the final submission. Plagiarism in academia can result in a failing grade, penalties or even suspension.

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