The Work of Editing a Thesis
You’ve been writing your thesis for years now, so you already know what I’m about to tell you: the work of the academic is, to a large extent, the work of the editor. Everything needs editing: data sets need massaging and trimming and managing with the same frequency as hairstyles; ideas need revising monthly every time you expose them to your supervisor or come across some obstinate monograph from ten years before that happens to be about exactly the same thing as your thesis. The process of writing is often the process of editing. Sections and chapters need moving around and recombining, concepts need revising, references to the literature need adding, and every single word of 60,000 needs dragging into its right place.
It takes a long time to write a thesis, and a longer time to research one. The whole process is iterative, and by the end the first thoughts that were exciting enough to anchor your research proposal will be worn down with overuse, overlaid, messed with, reimagined. Early drafts, fragments of chapters from your first term, notes you scribbled down at 2 a.m. in the library one time, will seem alien, naïve, desperately unrevised.
There are some problems with this process of near-ceaseless revision. It can be draining and mentally exhausting. It can be confusing and bewildering. And it can become more and more ineffective. By the end of the process, writing and researching and thinking fall away, and all that’s left to do is edit and reedit and draft and redraft and format and proofread and chase up references. It’s a rabbit hole and every student is forced to fall down it and it’s easy to get lost and easier to get dazed. Eventually everyone experiences the same fatigue: an inability to parse the words properly as your eyes blankly bounce across them, and a glum acceptance of those parts of your writing that don’t quite yet make sense, or that don’t quite express what you want them to express, because familiarity has made their knottiness seem like how they always will be. On the thirtieth redraft, it’s hard to have the same enthusiasm for clarity.
This is where thesis editing comes into its own. As anyone who has seen the usefulness of substitutes in the latter stages of World Cup matches in sweltering Brazilian heat will know, sometimes it can be good to give tired players a rest. This is what thesis editing does: it makes the more minor, and more infuriating, tweaks and corrections. It pays attention to the size and heading style of every sub-heading, and to the clarity and concision of every phrase. It notices that last weary misspelling, that acronym that needs expanding, that missing apostrophe. It finds those sentences where your language, so clear in your head, is struggle to express itself on the page, and it finds what you were trying to say.
The work of the academic is largely the work of the editor, and the work of the editor is tiring. Tiredness causes error, sometimes active errors, but mostly passive oversights. Thesis editing refreshes. New eyes aren’t as tired; new minds aren’t as wearily familiar with the words on the page. The work of the editor is, in retrospect, almost invisible. A good editor tidies without revealing his presence. A good editor provides that extra pair of eyes that sees what you’ve missed, that extra sensitivity to language that improves what you’ve written and that extra expertise and reinforces your own.
Our thesis editing service is comprehensive and thorough. Our professional editors themselves hold PhDs from elite institutions, meaning that they are well-qualified to assess your work and that they understand the challenges involved in writing a thesis. This understanding is important: you want the fresh eyes that look over your work to see from the same perspective you do. In this way they can be a true substitute; it is only in this way that they can do the work of the editor.