The process of editing a dissertation is similar to proofreading it whereas the later one is not even close to the function of the former one. While editing deals with the content, structure, and flow of the document; proofreading is word-by-word correction of spellings, punctuation, and grammar. Succeeding the process of writing and editing your dissertation, comes the practice of proofreading it. It is preferred to keep the edited version aside for a few days before beginning to proofread it to bring a fresh look to the written document and see those minor mistakes with a clear mind. You should give enough time to yourself before working back to proofread a dissertation as you may think to frame the sentences in a different way.
As you begin to proofread the dissertation, you should start from the first page of the dissertation. You might have checked the font and style of the title when you were editing it, but it doesn’t harm to recheck it while proofreading the document. The index should be numbered properly with the correct title of the chapter. Since you must have looked at the overall structure of the work already, it is required to look at the progression of the chapter and to check that it doesn’t affect the flow of the whole dissertation. The candidate should also focus on formatting the academic document and check with the style and case (lower case or upper case) of the title of the chapters.
The candidate must check if the numbering of the section is proper or not. A dissertation tends to be complex, a contains complicated data and the compilation of that data can be even more complicated. Since you collect, arrange and write the collected data you might lose the track of the correct order of it. While proofreading the whole document, you can check the minor details such as the numbering and the title of the sections. Formatting also require the candidate to verify the labels of the figures and illustrations in the dissertation. One must also check the source of the image and cite the correct reference, if it is external
You are also expected to provide reference to each used quotation, and to check the consistency of the quotation marks throughout the dissertation. The candidate must use a single type of quotation mark, either single or double and must check if it is properly closed.
Make sure you use the correct format to cite the reference, as your institution requires. Each candidates should check the guidelines given by his institution for the dissertation as it is mandatory for one to use the prescribed format. Many a time, institutions do not provide a set of guidelines so it is advised that you should check them up with your supervisor.
Unacknowledged data in the dissertation of any kind, such as content or figures makes the dissertation plagiarized. Plagiarism is clearly an offense. Taking the data from the internet or the other’s work without crediting the author for his work can let the committee reject your whole document.
For the ease of work, you can use a methodological approach to proofread your dissertation and divide the process in several passes. For instance, you can check the spellings first, and grammar in the next run. Picking out these minor mistakes in a single go is not easy and it would confuse you as you check the whole document.
While checking the spellings or grammar, you can take the help of the software or tool readily available on the web but do not solely rely on them. As many of such software are not sensitive to the literal meaning or context in which you use the words, spellings or grammar etc., and consider them the errors. For example, the spell-checker would not be able to differentiate between bear and bare or site and sight. Also, if you have written empathize instead of emphasize, it wouldn’t correct it for you. You have to check spellings by yourself too. In context to punctuation and grammar as well, you have to check in each paragraph that each sentence is properly closed with a period and with the correct use of grammar.
If you use any acronym or abbreviation, it is required to give the full form first in the annotations section or introduce them as soon as you can and then use the abbreviated form. If there are a number acronyms used then you should make a detailed sheet of each abbreviation used. You can even define the abbreviated words in a footnote for the ease of the reader. It is sensible to proofread the academic document as a hard copy than gluing your eyes to the screen. A printed form is comfortable to proofread than a word document. The candidate must check on the use of double space in his dissertation and any minor mistakes like these.
Proofreading your dissertation a several times before submitting it, polishes the entire document and refines it. As you refine your document, you get a perfectly written and flawless dissertation for the reviewer to review your academic document.