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:

  1. Read Your Work on Multiple Levels
  2. 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.

  3. Keep a Thesaurus Nearby
  4. 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.

  5. Keep a Grammar Guide at the Ready
  6. 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.

  7. Vary Your Sentence Length
  8. 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.

  9. Keep Things Clear and Simple
  10. 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.

  11. Reread Your Thesis Over Several Days
  12. 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.

  13. Look through Similar Academic Works
  14. 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.

  15. Consider Your Reading Audience
  16. 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.

  17. Ask a Friend or Colleague to Read it
  18. 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.

  19. If You Have Doubts Go Simple
  20. 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.