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Dissertation Proofreading

Dissertation Proofreading

Proofreading any academic paper is an absolute must before submission. And this definitely holds good for your dissertation as well. Here are some tips to follow while you are engaged in dissertation proofreading.


Punctuation among the modern writers seems to be an archaic art that does not appear relevant at all. Let me show you some illustrative examples of missing and/or incorrect punctuation:

Example 1: Hunters please use caution when hunting pedestrians use the trails

Edited version: Hunters, please use caution when hunting. Pedestrians use the trails.

Example 2: The famous chef finds inspiration in cooking her dog and her family

Edited version: The famous chef finds inspiration in cooking, her dog, and her family.

Example 3: Slow kids at play

Edited version: Slow! Kids at play!

Like the above examples, the absence of appropriate punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. You cannot afford to have data in your dissertation that are misinterpreted due to poor punctuation. Here are some tips:

  • Don't forget the period, question mark, or exclamation mark

  • Don't forget to put close quotes when you have opened them earlier

  • Don't forget to close brackets that you have opened earlier

  • Think again whether that place in the sentence should have a semi-colon or comma and use correctly

  • Do not use stylized punctuations such as combining question marks and exclamations for modern-day emphasis!


Spelling errors can reflect very badly on your writing skills. Spelling errors will make your work look unprofessional and childish. The reader will think that you have no idea about what you are writing about. While inbuilt spell-checks will help, it might make sense to go beyond them and use a dictionary for added accuracy and perfection. Here are some reasons why checking the accuracy of spelling is so important in your college paper:

  • Getting the correct spelling will limit the chances of being misunderstood. You will be able to get across the message correctly

  • A document free of spelling errors improves your credibility

  • A document that is completely free from all spelling errors will let the reader know that you care about how you communicate with them

Sentence Structure

Ensure that your sentence structure flows smoothly and that your arguments are clearly explained with clarity. Most of your professors will expect you to employ all forms of sentence structures to make your reading interesting and absorbing. Here is a small list of various sentence structures that will help you write better:

  • A complex sentence will help you show one kind of information in relation to another

  • A compound sentence will help you enhance parallelism and balance in your writing

  • A short crisp sentence will catch your reader's attention

  • A loosely framed sentence will help the reader to understand how to interpret your data

  • A periodic sentence will help you keep the suspense element till the end

  • A declarative sentence will ensure that are absolutely no emotional impacts on the reader

  • An exclamatory sentence will jolt your reader's attention. However, it is prudent to use exclamatory sentence sparingly or not all in a dissertation

  • An interrogative sentence will compel your reader to put his or her mind to the question you have raised

  • An imperative sentence will tell your reader that action is needed immediately

Some common sentence errors that can come up in your writing

Sentence fragments - A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence but punctuated like a complete sentence. Sentence fragments should not appear in your dissertation. Here are some basic examples of sentence fragments:

Example 1: He is a good friend. Someone I admire and trust.

Proofread and edited version: He is a good friend, someone whom I admire and trust

Example 2: In the writing workshop, we learned about the importance of practice. Also how to make notes correctly.

Proofread and edited version: In the writing workshop, we learned about the importance and how to make notes correctly.

Dangling or misplaced modifiers – These are phrases or words or clauses that are not clearly connected to the word that they are meant to modify. It is good to keep the modifier closer to the word it is meant to modify.

Example 1: The birdwatchers watched the eagles diving and swooping with binoculars.

Edited version: With binoculars, the birdwatchers watched the eagles diving and swooping.

Example 2: Nixon announced that he will quit politics after he was defeated in the 1962 gubernatorial race.

Edited version: After he was defeated in the 1962 gubernatorial race, Nixon announced that he will quit politics.

Final Notes

Here are some tips on how to become a better proofreader:

  • Familiarize yourself with the mistakes that you are commonly prone to making. For this, keep reading your own work and make notes as you find errors.

  • Read your written work out loudly. Many times, listening to the sentence will illuminate those errors that your eyes missed.

  • Read your sentences in the reverse order. This will take the focus off from the logical content flow and enhance the focus of proofreading.

  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses as much as you can.

At Prescott Papers, our team of excellent and highly professional writers and editors will help you with all your dissertation queries. Browse through our dissertation editing services and call us for any help. Contact us for custom essays, projects, assignments, and all other academic writing services as well.

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