So my PhD thesis (humanities) submission deadline is tomorrow. I'm not as stressed as I thought I would be and that's started to worry me. Basically, I've done all the corrections my supervisor suggested, written the abstract, changed the title, got two friends (post-PhD, in the same discipline) to proofread it and suggest edits, proofread it myself (on hardcopy), checked the bibliography is all well and good, checked my footnotes and citations, and re-did the contents page (because my sup and I agreed to take one chapter out and this has actually made me feel much less stressed about the thesis). But now I'm worried that I'm not as stressed as the other PhDs around me. Everyone is super stressed and seems to be rushing around to get things done. So now I'm wondering if there is anything I've left out. Any advice on what else I should be doing right now?
You are stressed about not being stressed! Must be a good feeling to have. I think you are feeling like what i use to feel in situation which are supposed to be terribly sad or stressful: Start reflecting about my feelings instead of actually feeling them. I think you have done all you could do. Just sit back and keep yourself relaxed.
All the hard work you put into your thesis can be undermined by a single typo. Proofreading is an essential part of the thesis editing process, which is why it is surprising that so many students just glance through their papers before hitting print and turning in their work. As a result, there are students who lose points on their dissertation, points which they could easily have retained with some simple proofreading.
Relying on the spellchecker and grammar checker in your word processing software is a mistake, as we all know. There have been countless times where something has slipped through the cracks, resulting in a preventable error. Instead, start by reading your dissertation out loud. This might feel strange at first, but when you read out loud you catch awkward phrasing and typos that your eyes skip right over when you read silently.
There is a big difference between the odd typo and typos every few sentences. There isn’t any excuse for the latter. It is the responsibility of the student to have their thesis proof-read it prior to submission. You will find that while typos by themselves won’t get you an R &R or a fail, there is a chance that a less benevolent examiner could become frustrated enough to recommend an R&R over major corrections for instance.
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