Top Tips for Checking your Dissertation
Updated: May 26
Writing your dissertation is stressful. You’ve meticulously researched the topic, thoughtfully set out your argument, carefully referenced your sources and just when you think you’re done...the dreaded proofread has arrived. As the last hurdle in a seemingly never-ending race, proofreading through 10,000+ words may seem daunting, but should never be overlooked.
Checking your spelling, punctuation and grammar is as important as the argument itself. Not only are these considered in most marking criteria, but well-written copy also helps the reader understand your carefully crafted argument.
Without good grammar, your sentences can be misleading. It might make sense in your head; you’ve likely read those paragraphs over and over again! But consider that somebody else will be reading this for the first time, and it’s surprising how the same words on a page can be interpreted so differently.
The bottom-line is don’t be tempted to skip the proofread. It can be time-consuming, but luckily there are ways you can make it easier for yourself. Here are some quick checks you can do as you go to help save some time:
I can bet that there are plenty of acronyms scattered throughout your work, and these can often cause unwanted problems. Acronyms won’t be caught on spellcheck, and it can be easy to get them wrong or the letters mixed up. Make sure you triple check your acronyms as you’re writing and use a search function (ctrl + f) to uncover any pesky typos.
Referring to tables or illustrations in your text? As you work, the names of these can change, and it can be easy to get caught out and accidentally refer to the wrong table or an illustration that doesn’t exist! Create a new document and keep it updated, so when you’re done writing a section, you can go back and fill in the correct names.
Read aloud. You’ve probably heard this a million times and thought, ‘no way am I going to sit at home or in the library reading my dissertation to myself!’. But honestly, this works – try reading each chapter or paragraph out loud once you’ve finished them. You’re far more likely to realise that something doesn’t sound right if you’re actually hearing it.
Need some help? Check out my Dissertation Proofreading Services. I’ll support you to polish your dissertation, ready for submission.