Proofreading A Dissertation: A Step-By-Step Guide


Your dissertation needs to go through several proofreading and editing sessions before you consider submitting it for review. There are several ways to proofread any type of paper; they work just as well for a short essay as they do for a long dissertation. The key to successful proofreading is making sure that you are able to read the paper as if you did not write. Here is a guide to successful proofreading:

  1. Reading it aloud. The best way to find mistakes that you made is to read your paper aloud. When you do this, you will hear the mistakes that you tend to overlook. You will find the spots where you accidentally missed words and you will even see the spots where you used the wrong word. It is easy to find parallel structure errors and verb choice mistakes, too. When you read your paper aloud, you do not need to use a loud voice; a quiet voice will suffice.

  2. Read it from the end to the beginning. Another way to find mistakes is to read the paper in an unconventional way. You can successfully proofread if you read the paper from the end to the beginning, one sentence at a time. This will help you find more mistakes, especially content and logic errors.

  3. Hire someone to read it for you. Hiring a person to proofread is a guaranteed way to find someone who can look at your project with “fresh eyes.” Since you have seen this paper numerous times, it is difficult to look at it without prejudice. A hired editor will find mistakes that you will never see. If you can find someone who specializes in editing dissertations, that person will be able to offer suggestions that will make your paper better. The fee you have to pay is well spent on an editor.

  4. Use the “Find” button. You can easily see if you have overused any words or phrases with the “Find” button on your word processing app. You can also type in the errors that you have found to be sure you have not made more of them that you have not found. You can check for puncutation and spacing mistakes with the “Find” key, too. This should be a regular part of your proofreading and editing toolbox because it will help you find what you have done correctly and what you have done incorrectly.