Your thesis/dissertation is often the culmination of several years of work and research. Not to mention its use as the entrance into your professional career. As the dissertation expresses your professional viewpoint, it is essential to use every resource available to you to ensure your work is ready for submission. Here are some dissertation editor’s tips.

Thankfully, with the advent of the Internet, getting help with your dissertation has never been easier. No longer must you rely solely on the spell and grammar checks on your publishing program.

Today there are many online resources to assist you with the formatting of your dissertation as well. You can get help from websites such as MLA ( if your school requires MLA formatting for your paper.

An excellent resource for APA style, the most common style guide required for dissertations, can be found at Purdue’s online writing lab (

Dissertation Editor’s Tips on Google

If you conclude that the style-guide-specific websites are too hard or too droll to navigate, even search engines such as Google and Bing are often of assistance when you have a question and don’t know where to turn. You will find that simply by submitting the questions, “In APA style, do I capitalize the name of a theory?” or “How does APA style require you to write numbers?” you will have multiple web pages at your fingertips with the answers, all in a matter of seconds.

Simple answers to questions about grammar and punctuation can even be found in blogs and on message boards.

A tip from this professional dissertation editor. If you’re unsure as to the quality of the source you are viewing, compare a few (note that wiki-anything is not considered a reliable source). The more sources you find that say the same thing, the more chance there is that the answer you’ve found is correct.

A Dissertation Editor’s Tips for Self-Editing

Sometimes, after having worked on something for months, if not years, you develop a form of tunnel vision towards viewing your work. You begin to see the writing and the formatting as you believe it should be, not as it is.

At this point, as both a writer and an editor, I cannot stress enough how helpful outside resources are to your work. No one person knows it all, and it is best to have a second set of eyes review your work. I often employ this method. Sometimes it is just because I’m tired of looking at the same thing over and over again!

At this point, when the burnout sets in, it is best to call for help. A professional dissertation editor, such as those employed by, can assist you in polishing your work to perfection.

Completing a thesis is no small feat. Months of toiling over the material and trying to find the way to convey a multitude of important points can leave you feeling exhausted.

However, completing your preliminary writing does not mean that you’ve finished your dissertation.

Most doctoral programs require that a professional dissertation editor read and edit your work before submission to prepare it for publishing. However, not all programs require this.

This dissertation editor would like to pass along a few dissertation editor’s tips on how to help ensure the proper editing of your dissertation.

While it is best to enlist the services of a professional dissertation editor, the computer offers an unlimited supply of help to allow you to clean up your work.

A Dissertation Editor’s Tip: use a Computer

It isn’t just the Internet. Newer versions of Microsoft Word and Works offer not only spell-check but grammar checks as well. They are incredible at picking up things that commonly go unnoticed, such as split infinitives, for example, a naturally overlooked error (e.g., “I am often helping Mom in the kitchen,” should be “I often am helping Mom in the kitchen.”) is easily remedied. The grammar/spell-check features will alert you to this problem.

Please note that the spell-check will not pick up when a word is spelled correctly but used incorrectly. For example, “Dad and I are looking for a book to reed.” This sentence should be, “Dad and I are looking for a book to read,” but regular spell-check would recognize that reed is also a word and spelled correctly.

Thus, it is important to run both a grammar and spell-check if your software is capable.

The Internet offers plenty of resources to help you get your dissertation ready, and you should utilize them.

What style guide governs your paper? MLA? APA? Turabian? Numerous colleges and universities have synthesized these style guides for their students’ use.

Simply Google your style guide. You will come up with several lists of websites that offer cheat sheets on your dissertation’s formatting and style. A great tip from this insider is to do an Internet search of your style with the questions you have. You can get an instant answer!

For example, if you are working in MLA style, and you have a question as to the style of citation for a book with one author, you can search for, “MLA book one author.”  The answer is just a click away!

Help Editing Your Dissertation

Because of the numerous resources available, it can be hard to weed through them, and also to view your work with the fresh pair of eyes necessary to get the job done.

A final review by a dissertation editor is the safest bet. It ensures a polished, professional finished product. Let the dissertation editors on staff with FirstEditing allay your dissertation anxiety and assist you in getting your manuscript publication ready.

Originally posted 9/4/2010 and happily updated 10/28/2017. Thanks for reading!

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