Thesis Editing

Thesis Editing

What is a thesis?

A thesis or dissertation is a lengthy academic article or treatise that details a piece of research that has been conducted in a specific academic discipline.

It often includes an introduction or abstract, a literature review, research questions, the author’s hypotheses and arguments, findings, and limitations.

The length of a dissertation or a thesis varies from one academic discipline to another and from one university to another – it could range from 6,000 words up to 100,000 words – or even more.

When the final version of a thesis is submitted to the university where the student is pursuing their MA or PhD degree, it is expected to be written in proper academic English.

Why editing?

For starters, there is no perfect writer. Even the best academic authors need someone to check their work, at least for language use. This is for a simple reason: we are often naturally blind to our own errors and faults in writing.

This is all the more so if the academic student or writer is a non-native speaker of the language in which they are writing their thesis.

For instance, an Arabic or a Chinese native speaker drafting a dissertation in English would without doubt need their paper to be edited and proofread for language use.

What is editing?

Editing is a process where a language specialist goes through the written text in detail and very thoroughly, not only to correct any mistakes related to grammar, punctuation and spelling, but also to identify areas of weakness in the language used in the dissertation manuscript and make the necessary adjustments and improvements accordingly.

·      A sentence may be grammatically correct but its structure is sloppy or awkward

·      A sentence may be grammatically correct but extremely long, which makes the meaning unclear and vague

·      A paragraph may be nicely drafted but overly long or extremely short

·      The meaning of a sentence may not be clear to the reader, or indeed there may be a repetition of the same terminology over and over again

These are just some of the issues where the editor steps in to resolve.

The editor may – for instance – cut the long sentence into two or three sentences, without affecting the original intended meaning. The editor may clarify the unclear sentence or leave a comment for the author to review it, would shorten or lengthen the paragraph as needed, would remove repetition and ensure conciseness, and would diversify the terminology and vocabulary used.

A note: some may confuse the word proofreading with editing or use them interchangeably - but overall, proofreading involves a limited intervention focused on grammar, punctuation and spelling, but editing or copy-editing involves a closer look at the text and hence more changes and adjustments.

If you are writing your thesis, whether you are a native or non-native speaker of English, we provide a bespoke thesis editing service that can give you a helping hand and ensure your paper shines through.