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Dissertation Editing: Simple Tips on Complicated Matter

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After you complete the last page of your dissertation, open champagne, and do your victory dance, it’s still too early to bind your masterpiece. There’s one more important thing between you and the end of your thesis marathon. It is dissertation editing.

Dissertation Editing: Check the Structure

Stop right now and don’t start editing your dissertation until you check its structure:

Dissertation Editing: Check the Structure

Are you sure you’ve included everything? Ok, then you may roll up your sleeves to start editing and proofreading.

Dissertation Editing: Word Choice Puzzles Made Easy

One of the most common stumbling blocks in dissertation writing is the troublesome pairs of easily confused words. Here we tried to make them easy for you:

Affect – effect

Affect is usually used as a verb, whereas effect is usually used as a noun.
Affect means ‘to have influence on something’: “Boy’s behavior affected his grade”.
Effect usually means a result: “His words had a magic effect on me.”

Beside – besides

Beside is a preposition, which means ‘close’ or ‘next to’: “I was standing beside him but he never looked at me.” Besides is an adverb, which means ‘also’: “Besides, I must confess that it was my fault.”

Concurrent – consecutive

Concurrent means ‘simultaneous’, whereas consecutive means ‘following’ and ‘next’. “The concurrent protests in different parts of the country scared the government.” “Clients receive a discount on their consecutive orders.”

Economic – economical

Economic is everything that is somehow connected with economy, whereas economical is something that is not wasteful. “The tempos of the economic development of the country were unbelievable.” “The new engine was very economical.”

Historic – historical

Historic characterizes historically significant objects or phenomena, whereas historical can denote anything that is somehow related to history. E.g. “The historic meeting of the state leaders lasted up to 1 hour.” “A historical debate was over.”

Dissertation Editing: Avoid 5 Fatal Errors

5 more pitfalls that are too common to be ignored are the following:

  1. The data word. Always use it as plural, because the singular for this word is datum.
  2. The royal We. Ask your instructor as to this important aspect, because different institutions have different requirements.
  3. Numbers. Spell out all numerals that are less than or equal to nine.
  4. Punctuation in quotes. Always put punctuation before a closing quotation mark.
  5. Ampersand. Use this contracted form of the word and (&) only in the reference list and brackets after a parenthetical quotation.

Dissertation Editing: Eliminate Typos

One more important part in editing a dissertation is carefully checking it for typos. For example:

  • Its (a possessive pronoun) – it’s (a contraction for it is).
  • Their (a possessive pronoun) – there (an adverb).
  • a lot (‘many’) – allot (‘assign’).
  • your (a possessive pronoun) – you’re (a contraction for you are).
  • whose (a possessive pronoun) – who’s (a contraction for who is).

So, avoid the common pitfalls, make your dissertation perfect, and, finally, do your victory dance! Congrats!

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