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Editing the final draft

You and your supervisors are responsible for checking the final version of the thesis.

A useful reference during this process is Chapter 15 of Anderson and Poole’s book, Assignment and Thesis Writing covering editing and evaluation of the final draft of the thesis. It includes checklists for evaluating empirical/experimental research studies and for evaluating analytical/literary research studies.

Using professional editors

You can use a professional editor in preparing your thesis for submission, but this should be discussed with your Principal Supervisor.

If you chose an editor you should provide them with a copy of the Guidelines for editing research theses developed by the Council of Deans and Directors of Graduate Research (DDoGs), in collaboration with the Council of Australian Societies of Editors.

You should also become familiar with these guidelines as they provide important information for editors, supervisors and candidates.

Roles of the supervisors and editors

Academic supervisors of research students also need to be clear about the role of the professional editor as well as their own editorial role.

It‘s expected that your academic supervisors will provide you with editorial advice. . This type of advice is covered in Standards C, D and E of the Australian Standards for Editing Practice:

  • Standard C: Substance and Structure
  • Standard D: Language and Illustrations
  • Standard E: Completeness and Consistency

Professional editors need to be clear about the extent and nature of help they offer in the editing of research students’ theses and dissertations.

Professional editorial intervention should be restricted to Standards D and E.  Where a professional editor provides advice on matters of structure (Standard C), exemplars only should be given.

Accepting editorial changes

Material for editing or proofreading should be submitted in hard copy. In electronic copy it is too easy for you to accept editorial suggestions without thinking about their implications. If electronic mark-up is used by the editor, this should be returned as a PDF so that the suggestions cannot be automatically accepted.

Acknowledging editors

If you’ve used an editor, their name and a brief description of the service provided, should be included in the acknowledgements section or other prefatory matter. The service should be described using the Australian Standards for Editing Practice.

If the professional editor’s current or former area of academic specialisation is similar to yours, this should also be stated.

Editing guidelines

Guidelines for editing research theses are available on the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd) website.

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