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How To Proofread Your Doctoral Dissertation


For many doctoral students, the idea of proofreading a dissertation sounds about as pleasant as having teeth pulled with the help of an anesthetic. After spending weeks, months, and even years working on a dissertation, the idea of combing through the details looking for any minuscule error seems nearly impossible. Doctoral students know their dissertations inside and out, so they actually have a very difficult time looking at it with fresh eyes and seeing any flaws at all. So, if you are a doctoral student, how to you proofread your dissertation?

There are actually a few ways to get unfortunate job finished:

  1. Hire someone else to do it. There are plenty of people who enjoy editing and would be happy to read through your ideas and find any mistakes that are still remaining. These people can be found online at freelance writing websites. You might even be able to find people in local classified ads through your college or university, too. You will have to pay for this service.

  2. Ask your friends or family members to do it. If you have any friends, colleagues, or family members who are good writers and readers, they might be willing to proofread your paper for you. You might not have to pay them, but you should reward them with a gift card, free babysitting, or something valuable to them in exchange.

  3. Do it yourself. This might be the most challenging, but it is the least expensive. If you do decide to do this, you should read it from the end to the beginning. This way, you will look at it with fresher eyes that if you read it the right way. You simply read sentence by sentence, starting with the last one first. As you go through the paper, you will find mistakes because you are reading it in a different way.

  4. Read it aloud. Many writing experts recommend reading your own papers aloud. They recommend using what is called a one-foot voice so no one outside of one foot away from you can hear you. The act of moving your lips and saying each word will help you recognize if you missed any words, need to fix tenses, or repair any other issues.