Editing Term Papers

Editing Term Papers-61
Secondly, you need to ensure that you have provided a well-supported and clear thread of logical reasoning throughout your thesis.

This Study Guide addresses the process of editing an extended document such as a dissertation or a thesis.

Related Study Guides are: Writing a dissertation; Using paragraphs; and Writing for science.

He or she will not appreciate reading material that has clearly not been thoroughly edited.

If the reader’s main response is irritation at a poorly edited thesis, this will make it less likely that he or she will develop a positive impression of the content of your writing.

Brookes and Marshall (2004 p213) suggest it is usually more helpful to produce something imperfect, then revise it, than to waste time trying to produce something that is perfect first time round.

The following table describes how writing can be a relatively free and expansive process; while editing can take care of the critical attention and refinement that will ensure your writing reaches the required standard.Firstly, on a broad level, it can be very helpful to ask these two deceptively simple questions: You may not need to prove that you did everything that you intended to, but you do need to show that you are clear about what you intended to do, and that you are fully aware of how your eventual research related to your initial plans, and why there may be some discrepancies.Addressing this question closely and thoroughly will take you through a review of the rationale for your research; the methods chosen; how they were employed; and a critique of how things went.If you can read your own work with a provocative and questioning attitude, it will help you to identify the places where you need to provide more evidence for your statements and interpretations.Some parts of your writing may be true, interesting, and well-written but, if they do not strictly form part of the main thread or ‘story’ of the writing, it is better to remove them.For some, editing can feel like a negative experience, after the relatively creative and positive process of writing: One way of separating the processes of writing and editing is to do them in different places.Print out your writing, so that you can do the editing work on hard copy, away from the computer e.g.: on the train or bus; in a café; on a park seat; somewhere else well away from the work environment; or at your desk if you prefer.Some people do choose to edit while sitting at a computer, but it is still important to print the work out at some point in the editing process, as only then will you see the reality of “the density of the ink, the sharpness of the printing …Fonts, size of type, headings, spaces and blocks of text all may look different when you are holding a piece of paper in your hands rather than staring at a screen” (Brookes and Marshall 2004 p219).When you start to produce a piece of written work, you are likely to be aware of various targets and standards that you need to work to, such as: However, if you become too concerned at this stage about the required standard of the end product, you may feel reluctant to begin writing at all.This is why making a clear separation between the processes of ‘writing’ and ‘editing’ can be helpful.


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