What do you need to proofread your thesis?

Brilliant minds do not always fall in-step with academia. Albert Einstein, for example, dropped out of school at 15 because he could not stand the “rote” aspect of learning ‘by the book’.

His failings as a student further played out when he failed the entrance exam for his choice of alternate school (he eventually got in a year later). After barely graduating, and following periods of unemployment, much time passed until he found fame at the age of 26 for his Theory of Relativity. Quite unbelievable from someone who didn’t learn to walk until they were two years old. The point is that you may know your ideas are worth something valuable to your peers, and you may know that you have spent the time learning your topic and developing new ideas that you truly believe in, but if your thesis is, well, unreadable, the chances of getting noticed (or even of graduating) become vanishingly small. See this website for a thesis proofreading and editing service.

Now, let’s look at some tips on how to proofread your thesis, because we weren’t all born to be Shakespeare, but we can all make efforts to tidy up our written work such that presentability and readability are brought up to the expected standard.

Fresh eyes (with time on your side)

One of the first proofreading tips most people already know about is leaving the work to one side for a day or two and coming back once the sentiment of the piece has left your mind. Whereas leaving only an hour between finishing a section of your thesis and coming back to proofread it can mean that you glance over mistakes as your mind buzzes with ideas, leaving a full 24-48 hours between finishing writing and revisiting the piece will mean that you are more likely to spot any errors or issues with flow.

Fresh eyes (against the clock)

If you are really short on time, another tip here is to change your font from a serif to a sans serif (or vice versa as the case may be), and alter the font size. This will make the text appear differently to your eyes, which may help in forcing you to comb over the ‘new’ looking text instead of skipping over potential errors as your brain recalls what you meant the sentence to say rather than paying attention to what you can actually see.

Remember… all written work requires a methodology. Do you have a point to make? Is your argument convincing and well researched? Is your conclusion valid based on the evidence? Go over your methodology in sections. Where your next section is not properly supported by a coherent examination of the facts in the previous section, you may have work to do.