Science Works! (Prothman, 2020).

The final stage of your dissertation is proofreading it to ensure that you submit an error free piece of work. In this blog post we’ll share some of our ideas about good proofreading. 

Firstly, it’s important to say that at the University of Leeds you are expected to be the sole author of your work. In practice this means that aside from the work of others that you have referenced, all the work that you submit should be your own. You should not therefore ask anyone else to proofread your work. You can find out more about the University’s policies on this on the For Students website.  

Remember that proofreading is about looking in detail for things like spelling mistakes, punctuation problems, font size etc. What you shouldn’t be doing at this stage is significantly changing your text, as any big alterations should already have been undertaken. 

You might want to use a checklist to help you to proofread and do several sweeps of your work to check for different issues. Skills@Library have put together a useful Revising, editing and proofreading pdf that you can use to help you proofread effectively. 

By the end of working on your dissertation you probably know each section and even each sentence very well indeed! For this reason, it’s a good idea to leave some time between completing your writing and proofreading it; even a day away from your work would be helpful. Why take a break? Without it you may find that you skip over mistakes without spotting them.   

Another way to tackle proofreading is to read the paragraphs out of their usual order to distract you from getting absorbed in the meaning of what you have written. If you get sucked into your arguments and narrative, you’re less likely to be able to proofread effectively.  

Technology can help you to proofread but beware of accepting all of the amendments that Word, Pages etc suggest, as they aren’t always accurate and may inadvertently change the meaning of what you are trying to say. 

Because proofreading is an important process, we’ve created a video full of tips and advice on doing it well, (this video also includes information on revising and editing your work) https://youtu.be/gQ3spqIKUcw

Good luck with your dissertation! 

Reference

Prothman, H. 2020. Science Works! [Online]. [Accessed 25 March 2020]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com