My Student Proofreading Toolkit includes 17 handy Word find/replace strings and wildcard searches that will help you tidy up your PhD thesis or Master’s dissertation before you hand it over to a third-party professional proofreader or submit it to your university’s assessors.
The toolkit includes:
These DIY tips are designed to complement, not replace, a rigorous proofread. You can polish your document at any stage, but, for the sake of efficiency, I recommend carrying out the tasks after you've finished writing your thesis or dissertation and reviewed its purpose, content and structure.
No advanced technical knowledge is required – even the novice Word user will be able to implement these tasks by following the step-by-step instructions (and associated screenshots). You can even select and copy some of the longer find/replace and wildcard search strings from the PDF.
A word of caution – always save a backup copy of your file first, just in case you implement changes incorrectly. It's easier to revert to a fallback document than to repair a damaged one. I always test complex find/replace and wildcard search strings beforehand.
The self-editing tips I’ve chosen are some of my personal favourites. I hope you find them as useful as I do!
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
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I am an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society. Visit the SfEP website for more information.
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