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Electronic Theses & Dissertations

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What You Need To Do

Bound Copies



Forms to Complete

PDF Files

Submitting ETDs


Thesis/Dissertation Guide

Publishing/Copyright Charges


Article-style Dissertations


ProQuest Submission

Video-ETD at UA

ETDs at UA Libraries Site

Editing Your Manuscript

The responsibility for editing UA theses and dissertations resides solely with the student. Because members of your committee read your manuscript carefully, sometimes numerous times, you may feel that it automatically will be sufficiently edited. Keep in mind, however, that the focus of your committee is on contentnot style and grammar.

Professional Editors and Proofreaders

Editing involves reading carefully with the very specific aim of correcting inadvertent errors (e.g., grammar, punctuation, inconsistency in style) that may detract from the coherence and professional appearance of your work.  

We recommend that you use an editor or proofer and that you consult with the chair of your thesis or dissertation committee to help identify one.  Many departmental offices also have a list of editors and proofers with experience in editing in your particular discipline. 

Editing ETDs vs. Paper-based Manuscripts

There are some important differences in how you prepare and edit your ETD, compared with the way a paper-based thesis or dissertation was edited and submitted in the past.  The top 10 differences are listed under the heading ETD vs. Paper Formatting

Consult with your committee and your editor to discuss the level of editing you expect and to determine the time and costs involved. Professional editing can be time-consuming and sometimes costly; however, the result is a high-quality manuscript that typically meets the accepted standards of academic and professional publications.

Unless you specifically request other arrangements, the editor will assume that he or she will do the following, but again, final editing responsibility belongs to the student.  Editors typically will...

  • Check for errors in mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Check for adherence to UA format requirements.
  • Check for agreement of page numbers for headings and subheadings in the text and in the Table of Contents.
  • Check the list pages to ensure that page numbers, titles, and captions are consistent.
  • Check that all levels of headings and subheadings are consistent in style throughout the document and are consistent with those listed in the Table of Contents.
  • Make suggestions for correcting any unclear or convoluted sentences that detract in any way from the professional quality of the text (e.g., misplaced or unclear modifiers, missing or unclear pronoun antecedents, distracting shifts in tense).
  • Check for adherence to the requirements of your own style guide (i.e., style manual or journal) and correct any errors, such as inconsistencies in citations and references. You will need to give the editor a copy of your style guide (or a recent journal if your committee requires you to follow the style of a professional journal), and you will need to refer the editor to the Graduate School's publication titled, A Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
  • Cross-check citations in the text against your reference list to ensure that all citations are listed in the references and that all entries in the reference list occur in the text.
  • Check for correct and consistent use of terms, abbreviations, and hyphenation.
  • Use spell-checker software, but you still will have to check spelling carefully yourself.  As an example, some spell checkers may not red-flag any word in the following sentence:

“Dew knot trussed yore spell chequer two fined awl yore mistakes.”

  • Likewise, a typical grammar-checker will not identify any grammatical problems in the following:

“Marketing are bad for brand big and small.  You Know What I am Saying?  It is no wondering that advertisings are bad for company in America, Chicago, and Germany.”



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