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Editing Your Dissertation

Editing Your Dissertation


editing-dissertationBy Sandra Miller
Online Learning Tips, Guest Contributor

Now that you’re through writing your dissertation, the next step is editing your paper. As opposed to proofreading, editing is the process of checking whether the paper is organized and backed up by sufficient evidence and ensuring that the transitions between paragraphs are smooth and coherent. Editing covers the content, overall structure of the paragraphs, style and whether all the sentences and ideas are clearly conveyed to the readers.

In editing your dissertation, the following must be reviewed:

The Dissertation as a Whole

Reviewing your work as a whole is very important. In doing so, you should be able to check on the following:

  • Whether the flow of the paper is written according to your outline
  • Whether your thesis statement is backed up by clear and convincing evidence and arguments
  • Whether the content of your paper matches the title of your dissertation
  • Whether the terms and concepts are clearly defined
  • Whether there is unity and coherence in the paper

Keep in mind that you are writing for other people while imagining that they know nothing about your topic. The goal is to make the readers understand your claim, as if your thesis is the solution to their unanswered questions.


When reviewing every section in your dissertation, make sure that everything written on it belongs to that particular section. For instance, the methodology should only contain nothing else but the processes you conducted in order to back up your claim. The significance of the study should show only the importance of your paper and nothing else. Otherwise, remove the irrelevant content and place it in the appropriate section.

In other words, all the details must be relevant to a specific section in your thesis. You should be able to convey clearly why certain statements were made and included in that component and how it will help address your inquiry.


Each of the paragraphs should contain only one idea. At the same time, make sure that the beginning of the paragraph introduces an idea and will be able to relay to the readers the importance of such a paragraph in answering or addressing your claim. The subsequent sentences in each paragraph should indicate an explanation in relation to the idea or point you’re making, an example, or a reference that will support such an idea. Words such as “furthermore,” “however,” “on the other hand,” and “in relation to” can help clarify the relationship among the paragraphs and sentences.


It is common to commit mistakes when writing sentences. Since dissertation is a large document, it is important to check every sentence made to ensure that no typographical, grammatical and spelling errors are committed.

Ideally, a sentence should contain no more than 20 words. However, there are instances where it may be difficult to limit the words in each sentence so make sure that it does not go beyond three lines. Apart from the word count, ensure that proper punctuation marks are used in each sentence. Homophone errors such as their and there are also often committed so make sure to correct any mistakes.

Also, there is a tendency to repeat ideas and words that have the same meaning. Eliminate those that are unnecessary. Lastly, check the spelling. Use capital letters when needed and make sure that all words, particularly theories and key personalities, are spelled out correctly.

About the Author:

Sandra Miller is a Loyola Law School graduate. Now she is a freelance writer and shes uses professional editing services to make her writing perfect. She enjoys creating tips for writers and students and lives happily with her husband in Brooklyn.



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