Writing a dissertation is a long arduous process, and without proper proofreading, your effort can go to waste. Proofreading helps your work that final polish which makes it an intelligent and comprehensible piece of academic writing. Here are the most effective ways for graduate students to proofread their own academic writing.
The overall structure of your work should have a consistent flow that is not all comprehensible but also enjoyable to read. It needs an introduction which gives a quick glimpse of what you have done. This is followed by a logical progression through different chapters or sections of the dissertation. And then to sum it up you would add a discussion section followed by a bibliography.
Make sure that your headings and subheadings are styled in a uniform manner. Whether you are using sentence case or title case, just stick to that format throughout. Make sure to number different sections in a systematic manner. Be observant of the captioning of figures and tables. The caption should accurately reflect what the table or figure is all about. Additionally, use the correct numbering for the figures and table in the body content of your dissertation.
Make sure that you are consistent in the use of capitals and hyphenation. Choose to write in either using British English or American English and stick to either one throughout the dissertation. Make sure to follow any convention pertaining to your file. For instance, in science, academic writing italics must be used for nomenclature.
Spelling, punctuation, and grammar
Using a spelling and grammar checker software to proof edit your software is not good enough. Such software does not catch the incorrect usage of words such as if you use specific instead of Pacific. They also don’t discern between homophones (words that sound the same but have different spelling and meaning). For instance, you may be meaning to write sight but spelled it on the site. They are some effective techniques that can help you proofread better such as such as printing out the writing on paper or changing to a bigger font or reading it out louder.
Acronyms and abbreviations
If you are using abbreviations or acronym in your dissertation writing, make sure to write them out in full for their first use and use the acronym after that. The normal practice is to use a list of acronyms at the front of your thesis if there are a lot of them.