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Polishing Your Work: Tips for Editing Your Dissertation


A dissertation is a paper that candidates are required to work on to be able to get a degree such as a Master's degree. Editing a dissertation is usually done by a professional editor who knows how to correct dissertations in the most effective way possible. Editing a dissertation has so many benefits and can be very useful if done by professionals. 

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What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is a final academic paper that is written by candidates or students who wish to be holders of a degree that usually answers a specific question they have chosen themselves. The dissertation is presented to members of the jury. It aims at testing the research skills that the candidates and students have already acquired during their academic journey.

The dissertation can be in all fields, such as translation, languages, literature, business, psychology, biology, chemistry, engineering, law, IT, history, medicine, economics, and more.

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How do I write a dissertation?

There are a few basic steps that help you write a good dissertation, they are:

  • Choose the topic: The candidates/students are required to choose a topic they like to work on that is related to their field of study and answer the questions they should be working on.

  • Check requirements: The candidates/students check all that is required of them to make sure they don’t skip a detail.

  • Set a goal: The candidates/students are called to set a goal and organize their work per day and hour. It is also advised that they divide the topic into subcategories that will make their writing journey clearer and easier.

  • Begin writing: The candidates/students begin writing the dissertation and are aware of the research they have to conduct along the way, and should respect the plan and outline they have worked on before starting to write.

  • Always improve: As they start to write, they should continue to question everything and add categories and parts as they write. This helps improve the quality of the dissertation.

  • Correcting/editing the dissertation: This is the most important part of the process of writing a dissertation. This helps candidates/students make sure that the quality of their dissertation is up to scratch, and that it isn’t missing anything.

Even if it comes last, editing the dissertation is the most important part. Handing over and presenting a dissertation that hasn’t been edited makes it weak and might contain minor or even major errors mistakes.

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How do you correct a dissertation?

Correcting a dissertation can be done by the candidates/students themselves or it can be simply done by professionals and experts. Correcting a dissertation should be done on 2 levels: Editing and proofreading.

While editing means the correction of the content such as making sure the information is correct and the topic is well handled and all sections and paragraphs are present, proofreading means the correction of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, alongside formatting aspects. 

In both cases, these are the steps that should be followed to ensure good correction that is based on editing and proofreading of the dissertation:

  • Review and read the whole dissertation first, while keeping the plan you have set before starting to write, in front of you. This is to make sure the work as a whole is correct and that you are proceeding in the right way.

  • Review and go over each section. Each dissertation is divided into sections. While correcting and editing the dissertation, make sure you go over all sections. Read the content of the sections and pay attention to details related to the information you want to have in the sections.

  • Review and carefully read each paragraph to make sure you have tackled all the ideas you have in the outline.

  • Correct all grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

  • Check the formatting because it’s as important as the content of the dissertation.

  • Check the consistency of the whole content and of the ideas and how they are integrated with the dissertation.

  • Check the plagiarism because it can negatively affect the final grade and can make you lose your credibility.

  • Always take breaks. Correcting, editing, and proofreading your dissertation takes a lot of concentration, and it is important to take breaks even if you feel that you don’t need to. This boosts your concentration and you will pay more attention to minor errors.

  • Make use of Microsoft Office Word functions, these will make sure you haven’t skipped grammar or spelling mistakes.

  • Read it one last time after having finished all previous steps to make sure that you haven’t missed out on any minor details. It is highly advised to read it out loud so you can identify sentence structure mistakes that can’t be identified unless you can hear them.

How long does it take to proofread a dissertation?

The time it takes to proofread a dissertation depends on the length of the dissertation. Proofreaders don’t all follow the same pace, and some might be faster than others. However, on average, if the proofreader is familiar with the topic and the field, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to proofread 1000 words.

Nevertheless, considering that the dissertation is usually long and can contain up to 80,000 words, it is advised that you have it proofread at least one month before the deadline. This allows proofreaders to have their dissertation proofread in a good way, not work under pressure, and make sure they finish on time.

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How do I find a dissertation editor?

Finding a dissertation editor depends on many factors such as the field of the dissertation, the length, the deadline, and the qualifications of the editors themselves. However, it is advised that you find a dissertation editor that has basic knowledge of the topic or field of your major, and the dissertation editing process as a whole. Having a professional background related to the field of your dissertation is a plus. 

At first, you might look for editing services in the university you’re registered in since many of them have specialized editors to make it easier for their students. However, if your university doesn’t have the dissertation editor you want, you can then refer to the internet. There are many dissertation editors on the internet that can edit your dissertation. 

Online editors can provide you with editing services no matter the field and topic, due to their high number and the diversified backgrounds they have, and the degrees they hold. They can be professional companies or freelancers who usually have the required experience and you can easily read the reviews of their services where you can find answers related to quality, reliability, reputation, pricing, and their ability to meet deadlines. 

To know which to choose, you will need to conduct your research based on the field of your dissertation. It is advised that you choose editors who have previous experience in the field since you can make sure they handle editing and even proofreading in the right way.

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How much does dissertation editing cost?

The charges of editing a dissertation differ based on the editor you chose to hire. Some editors charge for the whole dissertation, while others set their prices based on the number of pages or the number of words. This also depends on the stages of your writing, so if you are still in the beginning, it is pricier since the editor will be guiding you and helping you, and he/she will be working as your advisor. 

Not to mention that some editors might charge lower prices if the dissertation is long, so they will lower the prices they usually set per word or per page. This is where it is better for you to have the final draft edited once and for all, rather than editing each paragraph separately.

Some editors might charge around $760 for the editing of 40,000 words. Nevertheless, based on the editor you have chosen, you can expect to pay for copy editing around $10 per 1000 words, proofreading around $5 per 1000 words, and content editing around $12 for 1000 words.

However, some might charge per hour of work, and this can vary between $50 and $80 an hour, based on the editor’s experience, knowledge, expertise, degrees, and qualifications.

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Do dissertation editors have a degree?

There is no major in dissertation editing. In fact, there is no major related to editing in the first place. An editor, whether it be a dissertation editor or anything else, needs to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree that makes him/her eligible to become working as a dissertation editor. This means that it takes at least 4 years to become one (to earn a bachelor's degree at least).

However, there are certifications and editing degrees one can earn to be a professional editor that takes around 2 years to be completed and earn.

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How to become a professional dissertation editor?

When it comes to being a professional dissertation editor, or to choosing a qualified dissertation editor, you should take into consideration a few factors. To be a professional dissertation editor, or if you are choosing one, you/they should have the below criteria:

Academic criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree in literature in the language you/they are editing in. This helps with identifying all mistakes that are related to grammar, spelling, typos, punctuation, and sentence structure. or
  • Bachelor's degree in translation that includes the languages you/they work in. A translator is a linguist who studies everything related to correct writing and can ensure a professional outcome.
  • Higher education or a degree in the field you work in/ you are working on is a plus. This helps with understanding the field and the topic.
  • Academic experience related to dissertation editing is a plus. This helps customers/you know that these services are reliable and that the work will be nicely done.
  • Dissertation editors should be familiar with the different styles and formats that are used when writing a dissertation.

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  • A dissertation editor should be fast and should have patience.
  • Good time management skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Flexible and open to change.
  • Responsive.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Eager to learn more and improve.

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Benefits of dissertation editing services

When it comes to the benefits of editing services, you can find a lot. This is because these services help candidates a lot when it comes to raising their final grades. The candidates can benefit from these services on a personal level, as well as they can positively affect their work.

The benefits of dissertation services include the following:

A- For candidates’ well-being:

  • Reduce stress: If you don’t worry about editing your dissertation, you might be more comfortable writing it. Because you are sure that a professional will take care of all the details once you are done.
  • Time efficiency: As a student, you will have more time to finish other tasks. Plus, if you let professionals take care of editing it, you know that they will take less time than you. So the dissertation is completed and submitted on time.
  • High grade: You can be sure that these services will raise your final grade.

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B- For the quality of the dissertation:

  • Error-free: The editors ensure an error-free dissertation that has no grammar, spelling, typo, or punctuation errors. They even make sure that the formatting aspects are correct.
  • Well-organized: Dissertation editors make sure that your dissertation is well-organized and that it has all the sections and paragraphs written in the right way.
  • Professional: The dissertation will look professional and no minor mistakes can be found.

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Is it required to have a professional edit the dissertation?

If you have the required knowledge to complete such a task, then you don’t need a professional dissertation editor. You can edit your dissertation by yourself if you can make sure to remove all minor mistakes related to grammar, spelling, typos, punctuation, sentence structure, and formatting. Also, you can review everything related to the content such as sections and paragraphs.

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