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9 Advices for a First-Time Dissertation Writer from an Editor

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Completing your dissertation with minimum errors can be a challenging task for any student, particularly for a first-time writer. The final dissertation, when submitted to your review committee, must reflect the quality of your research work, rather than distract the reviewers with editing errors that could have been easily avoided.

As an editor, here are some 9 expert advices that can help you submit a quality dissertation:

  1. Do not edit when writing.

When writing your dissertation, just write, and do not edit. Focus on preparing your first draft without any edits. It is fine to correct misspelled words or restart any sentence, but do not delete or edit written content for now.

  1. Prepare the dissertation outline or structure before writing.

Your dissertation structure must be finalized before you start writing. Your editing time should not include cutting out unnecessary content or sections from your outline.

  1. Take regular breaks in your writing schedule.

For this to happen, you need to budget sufficient time for your dissertation work. You do not have to complete your dissertation in a day. Take regular breaks when writing and also before editing your dissertation.

  1. Aim to reduce your dissertation words by 10%.

A common problem is that most first-time writers overwrite their dissertation. Aim to reduce your dissertation size by 10% by checking for repeated information, redundant words, and extra-long sentences.

  1. Don’t rely on spelling checker tool.

Your spelling checker tool can catch most spelling mistakes, but not all. Ensure that you read through your content to catch all errors.

  1. Check your in-text citations.

Errors are commonly found in in-text citations. Check if your bibliography and citations are properly structured and use proper quotations. You can refer dissertation samples for accurate formatting of source materials in your dissertation.

  1. Proof-read your written dissertation.

It is difficult to proof-read your own document. One tip is to read your dissertation manual slowly or to read a printed copy. Another viable solution is to get it proof-read by an expert.

  1. Add commas where necessary.

Another common mistake is the lack of commas in your dissertation. Read about comma rules on websites. Read aloud your dissertation paper to detect pauses, where you can insert a comma.

  1. Do not over-edit.

Finally, remember to not spend too much time editing your dissertation. Every published research document always contains a few mistakes. Submitting your dissertation on time is more important than striving for perfection.

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