The Argument For Editing A Dissertation
College professors wear many hats. One is as a mentor of graduate students seeking newly-minted terminal degrees, shepherding candidates successfully through the process.
A large part of that shepherding involves seeing students through the process of researching, writing, and editing their dissertations. Carol M. Roberts estimates that 40% to 50% of all U.S. doctoral students end up “ABD,” or all but dissertation. In other words, these students have completed all the required coursework, but the dissertation remains unfinished.
Why so many ABDs?
No doubt there are a variety of reasons why these students careen to a stop before crossing the finish line. The most frequent excuse is that tackling the actual planning, organizing and writing of the dissertation is so daunting.
Intimidation in the face of this task is understandable. Completing a dissertation, after all, will likely be a huge step forward in the student’s chosen career. It doesn’t matter that the student has years of academic writing experience because some of the most educated people struggle with organization, English grammar, and other elements of writing. Then there is the record number of international students seeking degrees in the U.S. whose English writing skills do not match their verbal skills.
The dissertation’s intended audience is technical or academic, and so it must be clear and free of distractions such as incorrect punctuation, comma splices, subject-verb disagreement, and run-on sentences, to say nothing of typos and spelling errors. International students often misuse American colloquialisms, idioms and jargon, or translate directly from their native language into English. These are only some of the writing obstacles students fear.
Help for the ABDs
Since academic writing differs greatly from creative, journalistic, technical or business writing, the student should seek out an editor who can ensure that the writing meets the dissertation committee’s required standards and focuses on style, mechanics and grammar.
The people at 2 Red Pens have years of experience assisting with the writing and editing of dissertations for both native English speakers and international students in a variety of disciplines.
We would like to encourage dissertation advisors and committee members to point their post-graduate students to the 2 Red Pens website where they can contact us for help in completing the final step in their academic career.
Anna Edmonds, The Author
Anna is an experienced editor with with expertise in a variety of editing styles. Read about her experiences, how 2 Red Pens can help you, and a other research and editing-related topics. Please comment and share! We love hearing from our readers!