Dissertation Writing

Writing a dissertation is no easy task. This site is devoted to solving the mystery of writing a perfect dissertation.

Dissertation Editing

Have already written your dissertation? Learn how to polish it up using simple, though valuable tips and tricks.

Dissertation Writing Problems

Dissertation resources

How to proofread a PhD dissertation

The average dissertation is between one hundred and three hundred pages in length, not including appendices. This typically includes multiple chapters, a title page and abstract, a reference list of twenty to fifty pages, and numerous appendices with tables, figures, and scanned documents. It is incredibly difficult to get all this material formatted and edited to the appropriate level of academic quality.

In order to be approved by a graduate committee and a university’s printing department, a dissertation must be perfectly laid out, with the correct margins, spacing, pagination, chapter headings, subheadings, chapter lists, appendices, and reference pages. A single glaring error can prevent the university from approving the document, and can seriously delay a student’s graduation date. Thankfully, you can avoid this fate by throughly, meticulously editing your dissertation. Just follow these suggestions.

Edit Aloud

When you are reviewing the main next of your dissertation, it is recommended that you read the material aloud. Research demonstrates that reading aloud causes a person to slow down and pay more attention to the sentence structure and flow of language. Reading aloud may also help you discover typographical errors, spelling errors, homophonic errors, and missing words that your text editor’s spellcheck function might have missed. It can also help you make larger, more structural edits. If a paragraph doesn’t ‘sound’ right, it probably needs a serious edit.

Print Out the Dissertation

Make sure to review a hard copy of your dissertation as well as the electronic document. It is much easier to catch spelling and wording errors when reading from paper. It is also far more likely that you will discover formatting inconsistencies or flaws if you review the actual hard copy of your paper. Take a long look at each page of your dissertation and use a pen to make any changes. Then edit the electronic document.

Measure Your Margins, Tables, Headers, and Page Numbers

If you would like to have your dissertation printed professionally, it must be formatted in a manner amenable to binding. This means having a wide left margin and a deep header, as well as plenty of space for page numbers. The best way to test your dissertation’s formatting is to review a hard copy, and use a ruler. Measure the actual margins as they appear on paper. You should have a left hand margin of one and a half inches, at minimum, and a header of at least an inch. Review your school’s formatting guidelines for specific details.