how to proofread professionally

How to proofread your thesis

Here is the step-by-step guide to proofread thesis

  • Look for repetitive words or sentences.
  • Proofread with Chrome add-ons.
  • Passive voice not more than 30% of a thesis.
  • Check for relevancy of titles and its text.
  • Take a look at redundant words.
  • Validate all the punctuation marks.
  • Use the key terms properly.

Check for Repetition of same words while proofreading

It is a highly common mistake that you repeat most of the words while writing your thesis. It could be an adjective like “good.”

Try to avoid such usage. Make a point to use different words instead of “good.”  Like for example, you can use “nice.”

This way you will bring uniqueness to your dissertation. Also, you must not use paragraphs that convey the same meaning but with different wording structure.

This is also not a good thing to practice in your thesis. There may be some problems lying with the number of words to write.

This must not tempt you to beat the thesis around the same bush with different words. This is the common mistake that many PhD scholars do make.

They are indeed not able to write thesis patiently. Patience plays a key role while writing your dissertation. So charge yourself with an attitude to writing your thesis in a way that is conducive to read.

While reading your thesis, one must feel the difference and uniqueness with good creative sentences. Only then your PhD thesis is quite acceptable.

Use Google Chrome Browser add-on

There are many add-on plugins that are available to add to your browser. For example “Grammarly.”

This type of plugins will do all the work for you. They will analyze your words and mistakes as you type.

Otherwise, we have Microsoft word which shows many mistakes by giving you a red mark if spelling errors are found.

It can also correct the uncommon spaces in a sentence. So try to use this plugins and apps to benefits more and more while writing your thesis.

There may be some difficulty in the beginning while trying to use those plugins but eventually, you will get into it with lots of ease. I suggest you use only popular plugins.

Do not go with plugins which will not help you much.  Here are my best suggestions about which plugins to use as an add-on to your Chrome browser.

Grammar and Spelling Checker by Ginger

Grammarly for Chrome

After the deadline add-on

Spell Checker for Chrome

Grammar Base-Web Grammar Checker

Use Passive Voice limited

While writing your thesis, we make a very readable mistake to use passive voice throughout.

This way you damage the readability and user-friendly atmosphere to your thesis. Make a limit not to use passive voice about not more than 30% of your actual thesis.

This does not mean that you have to use “I” and “We” in your paragraphs. This is not allowed in a thesis. Use the word “It” to convey a sentence and make it appropriate accordingly.

It is all about readability and getting a smooth understanding while someone reads your thesis. Here are my recommendations to check passive voice problems in your thesis.

Passive Voice Sentence Checker

Style Writer

Passive Voice Detector

Give the best relevant information in paragraphs

Check all the paragraphs whether are there any irrelevant information passing through.

It is always a concern if you mislead the reader with irrelevancy. So make it a point to give more relevant information in the best way possible.

Do not deviate from the topic sentence.  A topic sentence is a backbone for the paragraph. When you deviate from the main idea of the paragraph, it will affect readability.

So make sure to write with the exact information for which that paragraph requires.

Once you are able to do this with every paragraph then you can easily make your whole thesis a good and presentable one.

Use visible and proper diagrams in the thesis

I suggest you use proper diagrams just because they speak every part of the meaning.

They are the representations of your paragraph ahead. The diagrams will give us an easy understanding of what is going on exactly in your thesis.

If you do not know how to present and draw a diagram in your thesis, you are a failure.

These are the common problems that I see in most of the thesis.

  1. Invisible diagrams.
  2. Small and Micro diagrams.
  3. Misinterpreting diagrams.

Also, I suggest you not to show pointers wrongly in a diagram. You have to mention correctly what is what within a diagram.

If you do not do it properly, you are conveying wrong information. And make them visible to the eyes.

Nowadays most PhD examiner wear spectacles. They indeed need bigger and clear diagrams. You cannot impress them drawing micro one.

Eliminate redundant words in the thesis

A redundant word in a paragraph means that you use words that are not fit to the meaning and outside the topic. Check from here how to remove superfluous words and improve readability

When you are done writing a paragraph, make sure to check it again to see if there are any words you are using are written twice or such words are unnecessary there.

This way you can eliminate easily without any actual skills in English.

Transition words are important

Transition words are quite important in a thesis to bring certain interest and flow while someone reads your thesis.

If you do not use transition words, you cannot bring a good structure to your thesis. These are some of the transitional words that you can use in your thesis.

When you use transitional words, they bring a better outlook in your thesis. They will give all the good structure to your dissertation.

Proofreading your dissertation means not just correcting grammar but also using some words that are highly professional.

So use also variations in using these words. You cannot always use the same type of words in every paragraph.

There are different transitional words which convey the same meaning.

So I personally recommend you who are reading this to take utmost care about transitional words that will fetch a better thesis.

Proofreading punctuation marks

We think most of the time that when we write a thesis that the punctuation marks are well given.

But the sad truth is that however you are careful with punctuation marks, you will have to make errors as a matter of human nature.

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And these will become the basic blunders if you do not have a check through. Mostly be careful to use “Comma.”

This punctuation mark plays a vital role throughout your thesis or dissertation to convey meanings properly among the sentences.

Not inserting comma means not conveying meaning properly. Another common mistake is the way you use your capital letters.

Do you use caps for unnecessary words?  Reduce them and use them appropriately.

There are many other proofreading techniques when it comes to correction punctuation.  You can correct punctuation errors even with some online sources like

Proofread key-terms in your thesis

There are some concepts in your selected area of research. These concepts and headings are called key terms.

I have seen some PhD scholars writing key terms differently in each chapter. They are using abbreviations in some chapters and using the full word in some chapters.

This is a wrong way of presenting a key term. Use them in the same way throughout all the chapters. If you use them in the same way, then the meaning is understood properly.

Do not create confusion using the same words in different spelling. This proofreading technique does not require actual skills.

Anybody can proofread with some common sense effort.

Use online services at your own risk

This is what happens when you depend entirely paying for someone to proofread your thesis.

They will charge more money and moreover, your thesis is in their hands to manipulate your three years of hard work.

So never give thesis to proofread by others. They can do anything. They can sell that thesis to others.

They can copy some of the chapters for their own benefit. Later after 3 months when you are ready to submit your thesis to your PhD supervisor, you will be not able to justify with plagiarism.

Your chapter is already published online. So I tell you to use online service with a good amount of care and credibility.

Check for Plagiarism with the best proofreading software

Do not rely only on one software to check your thesis for plagiarism. I noticed that there are differences how these applications catch plagiarized sentences in a thesis.

Never go with one. Check your thesis on one or two. This will confirm that your thesis is unique and belongs only to you exclusively.

Also be careful not to use free apps to check for plagiarism. Always buy it for your own usage.

What happens when you use online free plagiarism software is that they may have back-end application to grab your paragraphs and store on their database.

Use the right format as per university guidelines

There are many formats of writing a PhD thesis. Ask your university about which style that you need to follow to write a thesis.

If you do not know this, you cannot proofread whatsoever the effort that you put in to.

So make sure you know this beforehand or else you will have to proofread from scratch to reformat the whole thesis.

These are the commonly used styles while writing a thesis. You university will suggest one of these styles according to the subject that you have taken.

  1. MLA
  2. APA

    Always proofread your thesis on computer

You need to proofread your thesis on your laptop rather than taking it as a printout.

I suggest this method just because you cannot do proofreading without online help or without some apps that are available on the computer.

You will delay it and waste a lot bunch of time doing manually. Avoid such unnecessary method to proofread your thesis.

Do it online with the help of certain resources. This can make your proofreading faster and you can finish doing it in no time than you imagine to be doing manually with a printout.

Make a list of Proofreading areas

When you start proofreading, there are chances that you may forget to rectify some of the errors.

So it is prudence to make a list of what concepts that you are trying to proofread.

I have mentioned above in the beginning. You take a list and verify each area whether have you proofread or not.

Make a list with all the possible areas that you are going to proofread. So that you will have no need to come back again and again for a forgotten area.

Do once that hard work which takes your thesis to perfection forever.

Take enough time to proofread your thesis

I find that many types of research are quite hasty while doing this. Never makes such a mistake.

Take an ample amount of time to do it perfectly. If not for one month, take two months of proofreading.

When you are hasty enough to do this, you will miss many things in the middle.

Take a break and relax

After spending some amount of time doing proofreading, take some rest around.

Go for a movie or watch some documentaries of your interest. This will refresh your mind for yet another session of proofreading.

This type of proofreading technique is something very much related with mind. If it is not fresh, you will not be able to do proofreading effectively.

Narrow down proofreading with a timetable

Do not do proofreading here and there that you like most within your thesis. This is not a good practice.

Make a time-table chapter wise or topic wise and completely narrow it down. Set time for each chapter and topic to proofreading.

This set of clear time-table can enhance every possibility of finishing it in time without any confusion or to think about which one that you had finished doing proofreading.

Approach your English Professors for help

Also, you can meet your English teaching faculty who can help you out. Do not take all the way, the whole thesis and put in front of them. Do it respectfully.

Take one chapter and ask your professor to proofread it and do not forget to mention that you have had already put some effort into proofreading.

If there are 5 professors, give them one each chapter. So that you do not overburden your English professors.

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Do not be shy while doing this. Your professors will feel good to help you out. If you do not know them personally, you can go too.

There is not a problem in meeting new professors whom you have not met them before. They can guide you without any prior acquaintances.

Dissertation proofreading cost

If you want to approach online help under some exceptions, the cost of thesis proofreading would be around 70 to 90 US dollars per hour.

This is a costly affair. If you have enough money, you can go.  But if you need cheaper ones, there are some services who can do for 15 US dollars per hour.

But quality matters a lot between these both services. You can also bargain with them.

These are my top 7 paid thesis proofreading recommendations. You can also check the cost.

  1. Paper True
  2. Proofers
  3. Elite my English
  4. Ninja Essays
  5. Edusson
  6. Papers Owl
  7. Best Essay Tips

    Cost of dissertation editing services the UK

Dissertation editing services UK

These rates are taken from UK based proofreading service called

We prefer the UK, just because they are qualitative and good. They have original skills to proofread any type of dissertation.

Cambridge Proof Reading

This is another highest quality service which can help your thesis’ proofreading.  They claim that 24000 students have approached them for thesis writing. Here is the link to Cambridge Proof Reading

Never reveal your thesis

Do not reveal your thesis to your friends for the sake of proofreading or for the sake of show up in front of them.

This is not a good idea. Instead of proofreading they will simply copy and duplicate those texts. Usually, PhD colleagues are quite jealous of other scholars’ growth. This attitude may hamper your own growth.

You can give to university professors only after seeing their past and credibility and how others speak about that professor in terms of trustworthiness.

There are instances when professors of the university manipulating students’ thesis. Proofreading is the only way to do that.

So you need to take thoughtful choice over your thesis. How far can you go and with whom?

Proofread yourself for better understanding

It is a good practice if you proofread first before giving to others. Even if you are not an expert doing this, you can always get a better idea about what is taking place within your thesis.

So do start from your side. Then the second stage is to give others.

This method will also help you to analyze your mistakes given or prompted by another expert. I suggest you do at least once a month and three times in 3 months.

Use the latest technology to proofread

Do not use outdated old crap software to edit your dissertation. Always go for established software that is not less than 3 years old.

Also, see how often are they updating the app. There are lots of bugs which will affect your dissertation. You need to struggle if anything goes wrong.

Keep at least 2 proofreading copies

Always edit in such a way you have 2 copies of the same edit. Once you finish editing the dissertation for that day, you need to copy the same to the other document.

This will help you in such a way if you lose one edit due to wrong dealing, you can easily get the same from the other stored copy.

Use Google Drive to store your proofread documents

Google drive will store your dissertation safely without any deletions. Back up options are also available.

Google drive is genuine and very powerful. You can trust google for confidential documents rather than from outer sources.

It may take some time to learn how to edit your dissertation in google drive but at a later stage, it is very comfortable to do.

So try to learn what are all the options available in google drive and how to use google drive to edit thesis.

Use Mendeley for proofread bibliography

To manage all your references, Mendeley can play a great role. It will arrange all references without any confusion and also it can make your editing easier than you ever expected to be.

This is the software that many uses. Though there are many paid version over there, I suggest you use this as this is the most used software for editing all bibliography, references, and citations closely.

Read some books on how to proofread

There are some books on Amazon to learn how to proofread. I know one book which is very helpful called ” Editing and Proofreading made easy.”

This book could be helpful. It is available on Amazon. There are many books on Amazon but this one suits better and of less cost compared to other of same quality information.

You can also read from your university library who can give you a bunch of collection on the topic. So read and get one idea before you proceed to edit your dissertation.

Divide the importance of editing concepts

Which concept to edit first and which one last is important. For example, if you want to edit quotations on first hand instead of punctuation, it may lead you the wrong way.

First importance must be given to punctuation over other areas. So you must divide all the concepts of editing according to the importance of each one.

In this way, you do not end up with confusion while doing lots of editing over and again to your dissertation.

How much time will it take to proofread

Any thesis will take around 2 weeks if you sit for 5 hours a day to proofread perfectly. If you opt for online services, you can easily finish it in no time.

Money plays its role if you want to take professional services. If you pay more money, your dissertation will be edited and corrected within one day.

Usually, if your thesis contains 200+ pages to do. One each page for one day will take 200 days. It is quite long.

So you have to divide according to the time and space that you can go in to. You know it very than myself to suggest how much time it will take to proofread the entire dissertation.

Hello, My name is Syam, Asst. Professor of English and Mentor for Ph.D. students worldwide. I have worked years to give you these amazing tips to complete your Ph.D. successfully. Having put a lot of efforts means to make your Ph.D. journey easier. Thank you for visiting my Ph.D. blog.