10 Must-Know Tips For Effective Thesis Editing
Writing a thesis in college or graduate school can be a daunting task that even the most organized students have trouble completing. One of the more difficult stages is the editing stage, when you’ve worked on your paper for several months but have to be diligent in improving your work by being focused and critical. Here are 10 must-know tips for effective editing you should certainly know:
- Read Your Work on Multiple Levels
- Keep a Thesaurus Nearby
- Keep a Grammar Guide at the Ready
- Vary Your Sentence Length
- Keep Things Clear and Simple
- Reread Your Thesis Over Several Days
- Look through Similar Academic Works
- Consider Your Reading Audience
- Ask a Friend or Colleague to Read it
- If You Have Doubts Go Simple
Don’t do a quick re-read of your thesis when you start to edit. Be sure to read at three levels: the project, paragraph and sentence level to ensure you edit more effectively.
It’s a good idea to have a thesaurus handy not to choose the more academic sounding word but to choose a word that more appropriately and accurately expresses your ideas.
Be sure to have a grammar guide nearby to help you sort out any of a number of mistakes that commonly show up in writing, especially in projects of this length.
Sentence variety is an excellent way of keeping your audience interested in your thesis. Break up monotonous paragraphs and entire sections by varying sentence length.
In your own reading experiences, you’ve probably noticed that it’s easier to follow along and enjoy content that is clear and simple. A great tip to keep in mind is that your project should be no different.
Don’t take on the editing phase of composing a thesis over just a few hours. Break up your tasks so that you work on it over several days. This will lead to more effective editing overall.
If you are still having some concerns about what your project should look like after edits, it might be a good idea to have a look at some published works within your discipline.
Always keep your reading audience in mind. Your thesis will likely be read by a few more people than just your professor, so be sure you write in a way that others, perhaps less experienced students, would understand.
A highly effective tip for editing is showing your paper to a friend that isn’t experienced in your topic. If he or she generally understands your content then you have done a great job of making it accessible to people outside your field.
Whenever you are in doubt about a sentence or word you have used, it’s generally a better idea to go with the simplest option.