Nearing completion

Thesis editing

Editing your thesis

When you are nearing completion of your thesis, you may want to consider, in consultation with your supervisor, the need to employ editing services, to add a final degree of polish to the presentation of your work for examination. This may entail:

  • Proof reading: ensuring spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct; fixing up issues with footnoting and the bibliography; consistency in fonts and text size and so on
  • Copy editing: clarifying the expression; making sure word usage is correct; breaking up overly long sentences while retaining meaning and so on.

Such a process should not change your argument, address shortcomings in your logic or evidence, or introduce new ideas (or delete existing ideas) into the thesis, and so on. They are not to be creative contributors to the thesis. Professional editors should adhere to The Institute of Professional Editors Guidelines for editing research theses.

Two things to keep in mind:

  • Using a professional editor is not cheap. However, it will improve the quality of the final product considerably. Using a professional editor, as distinct from a friend for example, also provides some assurance that they will adhere to the professional code of conduct for editing thesis.
  • If you use an editor, it is your responsibility to acknowledge the use of the service, and whether they adhere to the IPEd’s Australian standards for editing practice.

Any decision to use a professional editor must be made in consultation with your supervisor. It is not a good use of the supervisor’s time and expertise to expect him/her to do this for you.

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