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Dissertation Editing:
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Dissertation Editing

Dissertation editing consists of re-reading, revising, correcting, and proofreading the first draft of a dissertation manuscript. Dissertation editing is normally done after the student has written a complete dissertation draft, but it can also be done in stages during the dissertation writing process.

There are several levels of dissertation editing which a student can engage in. These levels of dissertation editing can be done simultaneously or as a series of passes through the manuscript during the dissertation editing process. The most drastic form of dissertation editing is known as substantive editing. Substantive editing includes making major changes to the content of the dissertation. If a student locates additional research to include in the literature review, or decides to remove one article from the discussion in the literature review and replace it with another, this would be an example of substantive dissertation editing. Substantive editing, if needed, should be completed first, so that the student does not waste time editing sections of the manuscript only to remove them later.

The second level of dissertation editing is known as line editing. In line editing, the student checks the manuscript line by line to make sure that the word choices and sentence structures are the most effective they can be. This level of dissertation editing is also known as polishing a manuscript. During a line edit, the student should also consider which each statement made is properly backed up by the literature or the student's own research, and that any a assertions made based on sources are properly cited.

A third level of dissertation editing is copy editing. In copy editing, the editor is not concerned with the content and word choice of the dissertation as much as with proper word usage, proper grammar, consistent use of acronyms or abbreviations, and other more mechanical considerations. Copy editing is similar to proofreading, the final level of editing, in which the editor or proofreader examines every word checking for typos, misspellings, improper punctuation, and other mistakes.

For any dissertation, it is helpful to have an editor other than the student who wrote the dissertation. Another pair of eyes may spot errors or issues that the student would miss. Dissertation editing is available from a variety of firms who offer academic writing and editing services. Students can also find local freelance writers and editors to approach for help with their dissertation editing needs.