Proofreading a Thesis

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Proofreading a Thesis

Examiners always expect the thesis to be free of grammatical errors. It takes a lot of hard work to conduct the research for writing a thesis. It is only natural that the student should put in the same amount of effort for writing it. If the material is filled with silly mistakes and unnecessary punctuation errors it shows the carelessness of the student. This would definitely not impress the examining committee. That is why once they are done with writing the report many students give it to a professional proof reader for going through it and rectifying any mistakes that they might have made.

Many people confuse proofreading and editing as meaning the same thing and use them interchangeably. They are not. They both demand careful reading but the methods used are different. While editing involves making changes to the material including ways in which the subject matter has been written, the prime focus of proofreading is on grammar and punctuation. This is usually the final stage in the preparation of a thesis. Many people casually read through the document hoping to catch some errors along the way. But this is not the right way to go about it. A dissertation contains many pages and it is easy for some mistakes to be missed, especially by the writer himself.

It is vital that one does not rely too much on spell check applications. They can be useful, but they do have their limitations. One of the most common mistakes made by spell checkers is that they fail to catch language mistakes like your and you’re. Both are proper words in the English language, but only a human would know the difference that it makes to the sentence. It is important to read very slowly and go through each sentence carefully. Many proofreaders tend to focus on one activity at a time. For instance, they tend to look at grammar and once they have finished checking for grammar they focus on punctuation.

There are a few differences in the way that English is used in the UK and in the US. This is not something that a student of science or commerce would know. It is only something that a student of language has knowledge of. That is why having someone from a language background look over a thesis can enhance the quality and accuracy of the report. Proper proofreading is essential for making a dissertation look professional and well written.


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