Become an Editing Guru and Polish Your Thesis to a Dot
When it comes to writing a thesis paper or even a complicated research paper, your work is divided into three stages:
- Research and analysis. You gather information, compare and contrast it, choose the most relevant one and form a list of references you would like to use to back up your ideas and final solutions. At this stage, it is important to be picky and not trust the first source you see. It is tempting to use the first two pages of google search, but you should dig much deeper than that. More of it, remember that you should use the most up-to-date data you can find, as your professor will pay attention to it.
- Writing. Most of the students think it is the primary part, but it takes no more than 40% of both time and value. Writing you summarize everything you’ve come up with at the previous stage, which means you don’t waste much time looking for information, you process it and choose the most relevant and impressive one.
- Editing. If you fail to do this part, anything you did previously will be gone in vain. Proofreading and editing make your paper polished and professional, they make it complete, not raw. From what we know, slightly less than 50% of students neglect this stage, which means if you pay attention to it, you will be already in the better position than half of your classmates. It is not an easy part, and we are here to help you with it.
Don’t neglect any of these stages and you will come up with a stellar result.
How to Edit a Thesis Paper Professionally
Ernest Hemingway said that he writes drunk and edits sober, and it is the key to his success. We don’t recommend the first part, of course, but there is a great message in the second part. You can write almost in any state, but you should edit only when you are concentrated and resourceful. Let’s start.
- Be your worst censurer. It’s not a time to like yourself or praise your writing talent. Imagine someone really wicked sitting on your shoulder and reading your paper with you. Would he comment on this weak structure? Would he laugh at squinting modifiers here and there? Follow his strident voice and get rid of these “minor” mistakes and omissions.
- Keep your thesis in suit with conclusion. It might be a surprise to you, but it is a common practice among professors to check this first. They read your thesis and some sentences around it, then they go directly to your conclusion and check if you don’t lose your key idea while writing a paper. Your conclusion should not be about something else, it should be fully related to your topic. Imagine that the only copy of your paper got burnt except these two parts. WIll it be possible to match them? Will it be enough to understand what you’ve meant?
- Review and delete. When you just start writing, you are obsessed with the number of words and pages. Later, as you gather more background, words come out naturally, and you don’t even notice how you exceed the limit. There is no harm in writing more, but if you can say something more briefly, you should do it. Decrease wordiness and try not to repeat one thought twice in the consequent sentences and abstracts.
- Check each abstract for its meaning. Professors often complain about students “pouring water” to their texts. Of course, it helps to increase volume, but it reduces the quality of your research paper or thesis too noticeably. Reading each abstract, you should be able to find its core sentence, core idea, which is logically developed in the next abstract. If you read it for the third time, and can’t formulate one sentence to describe the key idea, this abstract should be either edited or removed. First, try removing it completely, and see if something is lacking. If the logic of narration is not broken, you are fine, if abstracts don’t rapport with each other, you need to add some sentences in between.
You should also check grammar, and style, and punctuation, and many other critical points, but it is covered more by proofreading. While editing, it is important to have a clear perspective and make sure everything matches it.