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        Thesis Editing | Definition, Scope & Standard Rates

        • calenderJul 06, 2023
        • calender 5 min read

        Writing a thesis is hard work. As editors and proofreaders who review theses every day, we are aware of the effort researchers put into their work. We’re sure your work is stellar already, but there’s just one more step on the path of an immaculate project: thesis editing. 

        The truth is, you can’t hang your boots right after you finish writing. If you want your work to be the best version of itself, then you must invest some time in editing your thesis. You can do this by yourself or let a professional thesis editing service take over. 

        In this article, we will guide you on everything you need to know about academic thesis editing. Let’s start off with the basics: What actually is thesis editing? 

        What is thesis editing?

        Thesis editing is the process of making changes to the structure and content of your thesis for better clarity, coherence, and overall readability. It includes the processes of restructuring content for better flow, eliminating redundancies, correctly formatting information as per specific guidelines, and finally, proofreading. 

        Thesis editing is a fairly intensive and time-consuming process that ranges from fixing minor issues like spelling and grammar to correcting major structural errors. Although complicated, thorough editing is the key to a flawless thesis that will help you achieve the top grade.  

        Why is thesis editing important? 

        Regardless of how careful you are about your writing process, a round of editing is vital. Whether you’ve written it in haste or meticulously, editing your thesis helps you refine your writing and eliminate language errors. 

        Once you’ve done your cursory review, it’s also a good idea to hire a professional to go over your work. As specialized experts, a thesis editor can provide you with in-depth feedback on the flow, coherence, and writing style of your thesis. 

        They also have the necessary knowledge to format and proofread your work according to university standards. In essence, the editing process allows you to take a step back and thoroughly review your thesis. 

        A thesis editor ensures:

        • Clarity and coherence in writing
        • Appropriate use of technical terminology
        • Correct use of citation and referencing styles
        • Consistency in structure and formatting

        In this way, an thesis editing produces a skillfully-written document that can create an impact in your field of research and get you a high grade.

        The scope of thesis editing 

        Thesis editing addresses everything from the minor aspects of writing to larger, organizational aspects of your work. Professional editors go through your thesis to correct small scale errors in spelling and grammar as well as large-scale errors in structure and formatting. The editing and proofreading process covers the following aspects:

        1. Structure

        Apart from language and writing style, a thesis editor also reviews your thesis from a broader perspective. They adopt a bird’s-eye view and correct any structural errors and inconsistencies. 

        A thesis editor will help you refine the coherence, flow, and consistency of your thesis. They will also ensure that you have structured the thesis in the right order.

        2. Coherence and clarity

        All the hard work you’ve put into your thesis will come to light when the final report is coherent and clear about its purpose, scope, and findings. An editor can help you ensure ‌your thesis makes sense to whoever reads it. 

        As language experts, they can not only point out places where your writing or arguments are unclear but also provide you with constructive alternatives and solutions. They provide guidance on making your thesis more accessible to your evaluator and the research community.

        3. Writing style

        Since it’s a specialized form of writing, academic writing comes with a specific set of conventions that are adopted by universities. An editor will ensure that your thesis follows this set of rules or conventions . 

        They also ensure that your writing is up to the mark. For example, they may help you refine your writing style by making it more formal. This includes making suggestions for the removal of contractions, slang, and so on.

        4. Formatting 

        An important component of academic writing is adhering to and maintaining specific formatting guidelines. Your university has prescribed a specific style guide that you need to follow, such as APA, MLA, or the Chicago Manual of Style

        A thesis editor is usually knowledgeable in various style sheets and will ensure your thesis adheres to this style. There are several expert proofreaders who are subject matter experts in various fields of study. 

        They are well versed with the terminology used as well as the formatting guidelines of a particular subject. Proofreading firms employ multiple such professionals who are equipped to handle editing and proofreading theses of various disciplines. 

        5. Language 

        A thesis editor does a line-by-line review of your document, focusing on the mechanics and technical aspects of language. This includes grammar, syntax, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. 

        The significance of this step is to make sure your work is error-free and easy to read. This is the last step of the editing process which takes place after your work is formatted and typeset.

        What should you look for in a thesis editor? 

        There is a significant difference between your friend reviewing your thesis and a professional going over it. Professionals have the relevant expertise, experience, and skills to make your thesis shine. 

        But what other qualities do you need to look out for while working with an editor? 

        Let’s take a look!

        1. Subject matter knowledge

        While most academic editors are equipped to edit documents across a variety of subjects, it’s best to work with someone who has knowledge of your discipline. They should also have enough experience working with theses in your niche and their editing profile should match yours. There are several advantages to this: 

        • Subject matter experts understand the jargon you use.
        • They are likely to have notes on how you can make vocabulary and concepts more accessible.
        • They also have in-depth knowledge of the style guide you’ve been told to follow.

        Within academic editing, there are editors who specialize in editing styles suited for specific disciplines. For example, a psychology thesis editor will have more in-depth knowledge of APA citation styles as compared to a statistics editor. But, the latter will be more well-versed in formatting equations and graphs.

        2. Knowledge of style guides 

        Editors are usually familiar with common citation styles. If they regularly work on multiple disciplines, they will also know how to adapt to new styles. 

        As language experts, they also keep up with the latest news about academic style guides. Your ideal thesis editor should be someone who works quickly and efficiently and is also well-versed in your citation style.

        3. Knowledge of academic writing

        Many first-time researchers often struggle with adhering to the formal nature of academic writing. It’s easy to slip into casual writing when you’re not used to the rigidity of language generally seen in research papers. 

        You may also struggle with figuring out how to structure your writing so your arguments are clear. A thesis editor will help you counter all these challenges and improve your overall writing style.

        4. Proof of experience

        Before selecting a thesis editor, ensure that they have the necessary caliber, certifications, and qualifications.  You can do this by asking for their portfolio if they have one. 

        You can also look for reviews of their services, either on online platforms or through recommendations from other students.  

        How to choose a professional thesis editor? 

        Finding a professional suited to your requirements is not an easy task. There is an array of professional editing and proofreading companies to choose from. 

        However, not all of these companies will cater to your needs. These factors can help you determine what’s the right pick for you.

        1. Pricing and rates 

        If thesis editing seems expensive, it’s only because your editors will look at all the aspects of editing that we’ve listed above. If you know you have to work on a thesis for your degree, start setting aside some money for editing. 

        If you’re short on funds, you can also pick the levels of editing you need for your thesis. Different professionals also have different metrics for calculating your thesis. For instance, some editors charge by the page, others by the word, and yet others by the hour. It’s a good idea to select an option that works best for you.

        2. Turnaround time

        As an exhausted final-year student, you’re probably writing the thesis in a rush. With all that rushing, you’re probably working on a pretty tight deadline too. So make sure you pick an editor who can do the job thoroughly while also returning the thesis on time. 

        Professionals usually offer turnaround times between a day and a week (some even take two weeks). Based on your budget and how much time you have, pick a turnaround time that will allow your editor to review your thesis.

        3. Reviews and testimonials

        Given how important a document your thesis is, you should vet editors before working with them. If you’re going with a professional editing company, look up testimonials on review platforms. 

        Do a thorough inquiry about their service offerings and confidentiality policy. If you know anyone who’s availed of their services, find out more about their experience.

        4. Sample edits

        Once you’ve shortlisted a few potential editors, it’s a good idea to test out their skills and form an opinion before making a decision. Several professionals provide an option for a free sample edit upon which you can base your judgment. 

        It will not only give you a preview of the editor’s skill but will also give a gist of what it’s like to work with them. You can also gauge if the professional is well-versed in your particular niche or field of study.

        What are the thesis editing rates?

        The thesis editing rates can range from $28 to $80 per 1,000 words. There are several factors and metrics that can influence these rates. Working with a freelance professional is typically less pricey as compared to consulting an editing firm. However, working with a reputed firm usually requires less research and effort.

        The turnaround time, the length, and the complexity of the document are very important factors that determine the thesis editing rates. Other factors such as the density of errors, and the skill of the professional also make a significant difference in the cost.

        To guide you further we’ve compiled the standard rates for the leading editing firms you can work with.


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        Nandita Linkedin

        Nandita is a budding writer with a background in Psychology. She adores mysterious movies with unusual plots, cozy coffee houses, and any conversation involving Agatha Christie!

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