Finishers’ Wisdom: Tip #10 – Hire a Professional Proofreader

Recent doctoral thesis finishers Emma Kelly and Wendy Moore got together at the latest AUT Postgraduate Writers’ Retreat to collate their 10 top tips for working on a PhD thesis. ThesisLink is publishing their insights over two weeks in our latest blogging event: Finishers’ Wisdom! Enjoy.

Tip #10: Hire a Professional Proofreader

No matter how good you think you are at the English language, no matter how well you have ensured that full stops go in the right place and sentences actually make sense, you have to acknowledge that by the end of the final draft (before submitting), you are just too close to your writing to see the small mistakes. Hiring a professional proofreader takes the stress out of having to make lots of editing changes at the end of your journey, when the examiners send it back to you to fix up.

The more eyes on your work, the better. (But maybe get a human first.)

Yes, it cost a little money but if you have had access to postgrad funding this is one of the things I would highly recommend using it for! Even if you fund it yourself (as I did), you will then have the peace-of-mind to know that your work is as polished as you can get it. Hiring a professional lessens the stress levels and definitely makes your thesis a better read as examiners don’t get hooked up on all the grammatical or editing errors. Just be sure to follow the university’s guidelines around the use of editors and proofreaders.

The tip: make it easy on yourself, hire a professional to proofread your last draft before submitting!

– Wendy Moore

About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink and leads the Researcher Education and Development team at Auckland University of Technology. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. These days she works with researchers at all levels to improve their research skills, and the most obscure of her own research skills is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

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