Editing is a more complex process than simple proofreading. Thesis proofreading and editing requires greater understanding of academic requirements and greater skill by the proofreader/editor than is needed to proofread and edit an essay. Learning how to write a logical essay with correct punctuation and syntax is an essential building block to writing a thesis. That is why it is better to get expert help and advice during the early years of academic studies. Too many students dive in to writing research projects and theses without having fully grasped the need for precision in basic presentation. They fail to use the computer’s spell check facility which is really strange as incorrectly spelt words are automatically underlined in red!
As an example, there is a delibrate misspelling in this sentence. I actually had to work hard to include the misspelt word. Not only is “delibrate” underlined in red but my software system (Pages as I operate with a Mac computer) kept trying to replace my mistake with the correct spelling, obviously “deliberate”. Mind you, if I had used “deliberaate” as my wrong spelling I would not have got the autocorrection. However, I still get the underlining in red so there are really no excuses.
The question could fairly be asked that if a spell check will highlight proofreading errors why engage a professional. Here is an example of a sentence which would not fall foul of the spell check even though more than half the words in it are incorrect for the sense required,
Ah spell cheque is know ewes a loan yew must proof reed two.
This sentence contains only four correctly used and correctly spelt words. These errors would not be detected by a computer spell check. The corrected version is two sentences which read as follows:
A spell check is no use alone. You must proof read too.
The incorrect sentence also demonstrates another issue that can be faced in academic work. Some institutions in Ireland and, of course, the UK, require that all academic work should be presented in Irish/British English. In the United States there is an obvious expectation that spelling complies with US standards, the word “cheque” is an example that would make no sense in the US as their spelling for that financial instrument is “check”. The most common differences in spelling are the use of the letter “s” or the letter ”z” for words such as civilisation (Irish/British) or civilization (US).
These are examples off obvious errors. If they are included in your work you can give the impression of carelessness and laziness.
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