Proofreading of a Doctoral Dissertation

Proofreading of a Doctoral Dissertation


This client was an experienced researcher in her field and approached us while she was finalizing her doctoral dissertation. It was a extensive study of the evolution of a specific field in the Swiss educational landscape, and it covered a wide range of topics plus different methodologies. Her wish was to submit a thesis that would underscore her expertise and reputation in her field and meet high standards, so she needed it to be well-written and complete. She also said that she didn’t want the text to be amended unnecessarily. In other words, she wanted to have it proofread, i.e. bulletproof regarding language, consistency, and cohesion. Plus, she wanted the dissertation to be formatted by us.


The dissertation was written in standard academic German. Academic German has a preference for long sentences, and long sentences are always prone to mistakes – even more so in German, in which sentence parts are often divided and removed from each other. In addition, the dissertation was on a highly country-specific topic and included numerous terms that are common in Swiss politics and Swiss education, so familiarity with the vocabulary was required. Academic proofreading includes different aspects: apart from the language, it also includes the revision of the presentation of data, references, and visualizations.


In general, academic proofreading requires not only a keen eye for typos, but truly a mind that is able to scan a text for unfinished, ungrammatical, or imprecise sentences. It also must ensure that all the stylistic conventions are met consistently, which concerns spelling, formatting, as well as references. Italics, for example, have their own meaning in academic texts. We divided the job into three steps: The first revision was the most complete one with a focus on the consistency and quality of the text as well as on its cohesion, i.e. the argumentation line. It also checked the references and whether all the graphs had the correct caption and were explicitly and correctly mentioned in the text. Given that such an extensive review sometimes misses a typo or two, the second revision focused on the language only. The third and last step then consisted of formatting the text after proofreading in order to place all the graphs in the right place. The author was relieved and delighted when she received the revisions!

You'll find more information here: Writing a Successful Thesis

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