How to Do a Copy Edit of Your Thesis

Categories: thesis, Writing

Does your writing stick to the point? Have you presented material in a clear and logical order? Haven’t you made any silly typos? The art of editing will help you answer all these questions with ease!

Editing is all about making it easy to read your work. It ensures the good use of grammar and consistency in your writing style, helps to get rid of the spelling mistakes and improper formatting. Don’t underestimate the importance of editing – it is essential for producing a high-quality thesis.

And here is how to do a good job of refining your work.

Check the Structure

You need to pay special attention to all parts of your thesis. Make sure that the introduction defines the topic, states the purpose of your work and outlines the argument. Then proceed to the chapters. They have to be ordered consistently, divided into logical parts; material in each chapter should be ordered properly. The argument needs to flow smoothly between the paragraphs and all details and explanations have to be adequately developed. The conclusion of your thesis has to sum up the argument presented in your introduction. Also make sure that your conclusion and introduction are linked.

Your bibliography has to be formatted in a style recommended for your discipline. All sources have to be fully referenced and acknowledged appropriately. Appendixes have to be complete and relevant, acknowledgments need to be included. Also check the lists of contents, figures, abbreviations, etc., they have to be accurate and complete.

Mind Your Language and Style

Make sure you use formal and academic style. Your thesis should also follow the regulations of your specific university. While checking the work for language and style, ensure that it doesn’t contain the common problems:

  • spelling errors;
  • faulty abbreviations;
  • singular and plural mixed up;
  • missing apostrophes;
  • duplication of words;
  • inappropriate use of tenses;
  • inaccurate cross-referencing of pages;
  • too much space between the words.

While editing such a large document, it is easy to overlook the simple mistakes. That’s why be very attentive and check each sentence, one by one, to make sure that it is grammatically correct and logically connected.

Examine the Consistency of Layout

While checking the layout, pay special attention to the following things:

  1. Title page – The title of your thesis should be prominent and the subtitle has to be less prominent. If the title is long and takes more than one line, make sure it is divided into logical parts.
  2. Headings and subheadings – They have to be accurate and formatted consistently (font size, type, spacing). Headings should also be accurately reflected in the contents listing.
  3. Spacing – Before and after headings, paragraphs, figures, etc.
  4. Numbering of pages, chapters, tables, notes should be accurate and consistent.
  5. Quotations – Short quotes (up to 4 lines) have to be included within the paragraph with the help of quote marks and longer quotes have to be separated and indented consistently.
  6. Captions – Keep captions on the same page as the figure they relate to and check that the wording is appropriate.
  7. Figures – Make sure you don’t leave the large white space gaps around figures.

Check the Text Accuracy

Fist of all, make sure that the text follows the basics: all sentences start with a capital letter and end with a full stop. Then proceed to the more specific features:

  • Ensure that spelling is accurate and consistent throughout the work.
  • Check that all opening quote marks have a corresponding closing quote mark.
  • Abbreviations should be spelled out in full when they are used for the first time.
  • Be consistent in use of italics for foreign words, book titles, ships, etc.
  • Check that all opening brackets have closing brackets.

The editing process requires focused efforts and much attention to details. This is a stage of preparing your thesis that can’t be ignored. That’s why take the time to examine your work carefully to make sure that you are going to submit a perfectly crafted writing piece!

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