The Essentials Of Effective Dissertation Proofreading

Your dissertation will likely be the most challenging academic work you will ever attempt. It will take you months to complete, involving hard and long hours spent in libraries pouring over resources to find content that will make your dissertation the best piece of writing you can piece together. In all of this time, however, there is a great chance that you will make more than a couple dozen tiny mistakes that can take your hard work and diminish it to a point that you don’t get the recognition you deserve. Here are the essentials of effective proofreading for your graduate school dissertation project:

Give yourself a short break

This piece of advice rarely makes a list of essentials, but it’s extremely important and can go a long way in accurate proofreading. Give yourself a break! Don’t jump right into trying to find errors in your dissertation without taking a few days off in between. Reviewing your work with fresh eyes is vital.

Proofread off a hard copy

It’s a lot easier to find errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation off of a hard copy than it is to find these mistakes off of a computer screen. Print out your work and use a pen or highlighter to mark up each correction. This will save you lots of time and prevent stress.

Look for a single type of problem

You’re not going to proofread very effectively if you attempt to tackle this step all at once. Using your printed copy make a list of the most common problems and look for each one separately. This may seem tedious but you can’t afford to risk your hard work on a single mistake you may have missed.

Double-check your facts

Many consider this to fall outside of the realm of proper proofreading but it’s still important enough that you should treat it as though it fits right in. Double-check all of your facts, figures, tables or any other piece of information that is included in your project.

Use your computer’s tools

Don’t forget to use your computer’s revision tools to get some extra help. But don’t rely solely on these tools as a means to avoid doing the essentials listed above. Use the grammar and spell checker and be sure to verify each highlighted “error” with the use of a grammar guide or dictionary. Remember that you have the final decision, make it the right one.