The importance of editing dissertations

Writing a dissertation is the start of the final phase of graduation. For a student, it marks the transition from being a graduate to a research scholar. Writing a dissertation is a self-directed process, making it an interesting yet challenging task. It is the culmination of years of hard work and study.

However, writing a dissertation is only the first, albeit most important, part in a series of necessary actions that contributes to the final form of a dissertation. After the draft is complete, it is critical to submit it to a professional service provider for a thorough proofreading and editing process to ensure that the text reaches its final, refined, and presentable form.

An apposite editing of a dissertation involves several important steps. Although there is a temptation in this digital age to take recourse to an automated editing process by means of many available software, it is far more reliable to go in for a manual or physical editing service. A professional editor rectifies all inappropriate or incorrect usages with an astute eye on the spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting aspects of the dissertation. From this standpoint, a professional dissertation editing service is a crucial step before submitting the dissertation. In the process, there will be plenty of indicators on the quality of the dissertation and its chances of being accepted or rejected.

Here are some essential guidelines for refining your dissertation:

Don’t edit while writing the paper.
Editing the text while writing will not only break the flow of thoughts and words of the text, but it will also break your concentration in detecting any mistakes made. It is better to leave the editing of the text to the post-writing phase.

Self-evaluate your dissertation carefully. Contrary to popular belief, a quick reading of the whole dissertation does not suffice. Conversely, a thorough check on your part will help iron out many basic errors in the dissertation and can serve as the primary stage of editing your paper. This will help the professional editor to better understand your text and improve it further.

Edit your dissertation in sections. Breaking the whole text into sections and sub-sections is a great idea for the self-editing purpose. Editing chunks of the text with proper and timely breaks is more effective than continuously working on the dissertation.

Seek a peer-review. Family and friends, who constitute the most crucial system in your research journey, can be good reviewers of your paper. Sharing your text for a thorough reading might help detect many loopholes.

Hire a professional editor/editing service. A professional editor carries out a careful review of the dissertation to ensure that the thesis is clearly stated and is in accordance with the university guidelines. They would also check the consistency of sentences and flow between paragraphs. This brings greater clarity of the ideas in the text from a reader’s point of view. Often, a professional reader is able to identity many loopholes that a self-assessment or a peer review might miss.

How to resurrect a rejected manuscript?

Rejection of your research paper by a journal does not necessarily imply that your research is fundamentally unsuitable for publication. This is because rejection depends on several factors that might not be solely linked to the main thrust of your research. Besides, the reviewers who evaluate your paper are not familiar with your credentials and therefore might not emphasize the positive factors in your paper. Therefore, it is important that you do not get disheartened or overly disappointed. With certain modifications and perseverance, it is definitely possible to resurrect your research and see it through to publication.

In fact, there are several positive takeaways from a rejection. The well-known chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie carried out a systematic study of the rejection procedure and concluded that most manuscripts do not go through large-scale modifications on their way from a rejection to eventual publication. Therefore, a rejection does not signify that your paper is beyond redemption. In fact, there is every chance that the paper will ultimately find its destined forum for publication.

On the other hand, a study by Vincent Calcagno, ecologist at the French Institute for Agricultural Research in Sophia-Antipolis, has concluded that a research paper goes through several iterations and modifications from the time of its first submission until its final acceptance. These changes contribute significantly to the improvement of the research. The study also observed that research papers that have gone through one or more rejections before publication tend to be cited more than those that have been published following their first submission. This trend is evident after about three to six years following publication.

Calcagno argues that the influence of peer reviews and the inputs from referees and editors makes papers better and each rejection improves the quality of the manuscript from the last attempt. There is also a theory among certain editors to “reject more, because more rejections improve quality.”

Therefore, instead of giving in to despair, it is important to patiently evaluate the reasons for rejection and the associated comments, and to act on them in future submissions of the paper. You can also take recourse to professional editing services to refine your manuscript and help in the submission of the paper to other journals.

The following are some guidelines for first-time writers in making their papers more acceptable:

  • Select an innovative and interesting research topic.
  • Ensure that your writing is well-organized and lucid as it flows from its aim to the conclusion through the methodology, results, and discussion sections.
  • Stay away from plagiarized text and ensure that your research is original and unpublished.
  • Select the most suitable journal that has a good scope for your research topic.
  • Follow the reviewer’s suggestions on your paper in case of a rejection, so that it is in better shape for the next submission.

In case the reviewers cite the reason of unsuitability of your research for the target journal, it is important to prepare and resubmit it to another more suitable journal. If it gets rejected again, keep working on your paper and make repeated attempts at submission until it gets accepted. After all, patience and perseverance are two important virtues of any writer. As the well-known 19th-century American writer Elbert Hubbard said, “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

Why journal articles face rejection?

When a manuscript is submitted to a journal, it undergoes a thorough quality check under the peer review process before being sent to the chief editor. Most articles face rejection during this process. There are several reasons for this.

1. The article is beyond the scope of the journal

Your article can be immediately rejected if it is not appropriate for the journal’s readership and does not meet the journal’s aims and scope. Besides, it is also likely to be rejected by the editorial board if it does not match the specified journal format. For example, if a review article is submitted to a journal that does not have the scope for publication of such articles, the editorial board is likely to reject the paper summarily.

2. The paper lacks key elements

The paper is unlikely to be approved if it is incomplete and lacks any important information, such as author’s affiliations, e-mail address, keywords, figures and tables, in-text citation of figures and tables, references, a proper structure, etc.

Lack of novelty and originality in the paper or suspicion of plagiarized information can also lead to an almost instantaneous rejection. Incomprehensible articles that show poor language skills of the author are also not acceptable.

3. The paper failed the technical screening process

If you have submitted your paper to more than one journal simultaneously, a particular journal might consider it unethical. Consequently, the paper is likely to fail the technical screening process. Even papers that do not meet the technical standards of the preferred journals are also rejected in the screening process. For example, a paper might be rejected for non-compliance with certain points in the submission checklist.

4. The paper is conceptually weak

While conceptualizing the paper, the author might fail to resolve certain fundamental problems that could result in unoriginal or impractical results. These problems include flaws in the study design, incomplete data analysis, use of an inappropriate method for statistical analysis or a poorly formulated research question. These basic defects might lead to rejection of the paper.

5. The paper is not well prepared for the journal

A paper is liable to be rejected if it is not formatted according to the journal guidelines. Disregarding such guidelines might result in excessive use of jargons, deviation from the focus of the journal, improper formatting of figures and tables, poor organization of contents, inadequate description of the methodology, poor writing standards, complex and convoluted sentences, and frequent grammatical errors. These factors will have a negative impact on the reviewers and will probably contribute to a rejection.

6. The journal is overloaded with submissions

Sometimes, a journal receives a flood of submissions within a short period. This restricts the available space to include papers in several forthcoming issues. Consequently, rejection is inevitable for many submissions, including some high-quality manuscripts. Conversely, a journal might receive several papers on the same or related topic. In such a situation, the journal will be forced to cherry pick and might return some well-conceptualized papers in the process.

7. Journals have their decision-making policy

Rejection of the paper also depends on a journal’s decision-making policy, which varies from journal to journal. Some journals forward the paper for a second screening if they are unsure about the quality of the manuscript. On the other hand, editors of certain journals aim to publish papers that are related to current research topics and their acceptance rate is directly proportional to the number of articles received in this genre.

As evident, there is a gamut of reasons for the rejection of a paper and the author needs to take cognizance of these facts for a better understanding of the rejection process. The author needs to keep in mind that the quality of a paper is not the sole reason for rejection; several other reasons can also contribute to the rejection of a submitted paper.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

A fundamental requisite of a publication in any reputed journal is the need to provide readers with unbiased and unambiguous research. Toward this objective, a published article should disclose whether the author or authors had any competing interest or conflict of interest while preparing the article. Consequently, the onus is on the journal to publish such disclosures in the paper so that readers, who include researchers, professionals, practitioners and scholars, are aware of them while evaluating the paper.

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), there is a case of “competing interest” or “conflict of interest” when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Such conflict is likely to affect the credibility of the journal as well as that of the author(s).

Conflict of interest may arise from potential relationships or allegiances, or from hostilities against particular groups or organizations. It may occur when a specific factor influences one’s judgments or actions significantly. In such situations, personal gain has an ascendancy over scholarly output.

Today, most journals publish papers that are not only based on the output of the authors, but also largely impacted by the inputs of peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of the journals. All such participants, who play a critical role in the process of finalizing a paper for publication, also need to seek any disclosure from the authors that could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest.

The general format of the conflict of interest form includes:

  • Author and co-authors’ conflict of interest.
  • Statements declaring whether the supporting sources are involved in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Explanation regarding the authors’ access to the study data, including the nature and extent of the authors’ access and validity.

Declaration of any conflict of interest is an ethical requirement for researchers at the time of submitting their manuscripts for publication. Being upfront about any potential conflict of interest is likely to increase the trust of the readers in the publication and places them in a position to make an honest evaluation of any likely bias in the research findings.

Writing Headings

Whether or not an audience will read the whole piece of content often relies on the effectiveness of its heading. Thus, for almost every kind of content, the heading is the most vital part. Due to this, every writer tries his best to write a heading that is, not only attractive and appealing, but also impressive. Although there is no particular method for creating an efficient title, there are definite principles that you can pursue to come about with headings that grasp attention. The present article on “Writing Headings” provides some basic tips that should lead you toward that success.

Tips for Writing Headings

Target the Benefits

Normally, readers choose to read such articles, which directly benefit them. In other words, they are concerned with the articles that educate them something new, attempt to solve their difficulties, or provide something that is significant to them. Due to this, effectual headings are often the ones that expose the advantages of the content to the proposed reader. However, the heading does not necessarily need to directly state the benefits of the content. It only needs to offer at least a clue that there is something in the content that might be valuable to the readers. To be brief, the heading should be a tease of the advantages that expect the viewers.

Make It Exceptional

Several copywriters and marketers have a relentless idea of what type of title works for the readers. Due to this, they likely settle for the headings, which are weary and basically unproductive. You must realise that such headings do not attract readers any longer and, in fact, annoys them most of the time. Therefore, stay away from unoriginal headings and instead create your own original ones. The titles do not inevitably need to be revolutionary. However, you must attempt to play around with words and come up with a heading that is unusual and remarkable.

Be Particular

A good heading attracts a specific group of people. It consists of phrases or words that instantly impact the audience for whom the content or copy is written. Specificity is important as readers, particularly those on the Internet, are extremely perceptive. They are eager to know immediately whether or not the content is meant for them. If they get no appropriate information from the heading, they simply overlook the article in general and move on to another website. Therefore, always make it a point to think about your readers while writing headings. Try to include words and phrases that are reasonable and interesting to them.

Don’t Compromise

While writing for an online business, one may be enticed to add keywords to his heading. After all, this will help in increasing the web traffic. However, as much as this helps your SEO, adding keywords to the heading can actually hamper its quality. While in the desire for crafting the most SEO-friendly heading, one may of course compromise the other elements that should be present in the heading. Thus, one must be concerned about the more essential aspects of writing headings before focusing on SEO. However, wherever possible, one can always add in some appropriate keywords while retaining the effectiveness of the heading, following the above mentioned tips.

Writing headings is not as difficult as it may seem in the beginning. By following the above mentioned tips, you will soon understand why writing headings can be actually unproblematic. However, it will just take some gradual practice to perfect it.

SEO Content Writing

Search engine optimisation or SEO content writing is not just an application to be used for the website, but it can be used for various other benefits as well. In a broad sense, SEO tools can be used in many different ways in order to promote websites, businesses, and products and services. In fact, one will be completely astonished at all the ways in which these services can be useful.

The present article on “SEO content writing” gives the fundamental ways to use SEO content writing and SEO tools. It also provides detailed information on why to use the services of SEO content writing.

Ways to use SEO Content Writing

Firstly, SEO content writing can be definitely used for websites. Organic search engine optimisation (Organic SEO) is significant for getting in the search engine records at a high position and compelling visitors to the website. Simultaneously, it is necessary for the content to be appealing, fascinating and instructive for the readers. Consequently, the visitors will be tempted to hang on to your website long enough to possibly buy services and/or products, or at least ask for some extra information. Hence, SEO content writing can be certainly used for improving the content of a website.

Secondly, SEO content writing can also be used for blogs for similar reasons as discussed above. Blogs are a great way to endorse businesses, develop brand appreciation and representation, as well as increase visitors to the main website. For this purpose, we have to use the same SEO procedures for our blogs that we would have used for the main website. Ensure that the blogs are mostly instructive in nature. Besides, they must be connected to your main website as a source for extra information, useful products or services.

Thirdly, SEO content writing can be employed for internet marketing purposes. One expects that anything he/she posts on the internet utilises organic SEO so that they have as many positive connections to their website as possible, and as a result receive plenty of hits in the search engines on different websites and advertising methods. The most general manner by which these services can be used for internet marketing is through article marketing. Instructive articles are written about products, services, company, and/or industry. Then, these articles are posted into article listings, where they get arranged in the search engines. The articles have a link connecting them back to the main website in order to increase visitors. Meanwhile, people come across the content and get to know about the company/brand in a positive light, thus increasing business.

On the whole, there are several other ways in which SEO content writing can assist in our dealings. The only limitation is our own imagination. Gradually, you will realise that the more SEO content you put on the website, the more successful your company will develop into. Therefore, utilise these services as much as possible, and be surprised at the outcomes you will accomplish.

Writing an Appendix

Writing an appendix is a useful option when you need to present non-essential information in your paper. An appendix is the last section of a paper, which contains detailed information about the research and provides additional scope for better understanding of the study. It contains extensive resources that can be further investigated by the reader. It also helps to analyze and validate the results and conclusions. It is placed at the end of the paper as it may disrupt the flow of thought in the main text, which can be quite distracting for the readers. It can include graphs, maps, tables, questionnaires, forms, calculations, bibliography, etc. Including an appendix in your paper is optional. Any type of writing can include an appendix such as essays, thesis, reports, research papers, etc. Formatting an appendix section is generally done as per certain guidelines like APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc. Apart from that, there are several general guidelines that need to be followed when writing an appendix.

 Tips for Writing an Appendix

  • First analyze whether writing an appendix for your paper will be beneficial for the target readers. If yes, include it in your paper.
  • There can be a single appendix in a paper or more than that depending upon the requirement. If there is a single one, label it as Appendix. If there is more than one, label as Appendices; under that, label it as Appendix 1, 2, Appendix I, II, or Appendix A, B depending upon the style.
  • The title of the appendix should be descriptive to the reader.
  • The appendix/appendices should be cited in the main text of your paper.
  • Each appendix must always begin on a new page.
  • It should be well-structured so that the readers can easily understand it.
  • The appendix is not included in the word count of a paper. So, you can make it lengthy or brief as per your requirements.
  • For the section headings, tables and figures, follow the same style that you have followed in your main text.
  • If a paper has an appendix, it should be listed in the Table of Contents.

These guidelines provide an outline idea about writing an appendix. Nowadays, many journals have facilitated to provide this supplementary information to online readers only so as to reduce the printing costs. So, in case you have to include an appendix in your paper, but bothered about the cost factor, you can go for the “online only” option.

Common MLA Style Mistakes

Students usually make some common MLA style mistakes while writing research or academic papers. However, these errors are not always allowable. Some of these common MLA style mistakes made by the students while writing MLA papers are the main reason behind their unimpressive grades and poor quality of papers.

Writing or formatting papers in MLA style is a very elusive work. This needs a lot of learning and practice. In order to avoid committing common MLA style mistakes in your research or academic paper, the present article shows some valuable instructions on how to avoid these common MLA style mistakes while writing your own paper.

Common MLA Style Mistakes While Writing Papers

Wrong Organisation

MLA referencing style generally has specific writing procedures. These procedures should be followed by the students without any excuse. Employing wrong structure in the MLA paper is frequently regarded as a failure to give notice to details. These errors often annoy the readers. By failing to follow the instructions, students basically reject themselves of a chance to excel. Thus, always check and ensure to structure your paper according to the MLA referencing style guidelines.

Performing the Opposite

MLA writing guidelines generally provide step-by-step instructions on how to do things. Always refer to these guidelines while writing your MLA paper. Make sure that before starting to write your paper, you have clearly understood the MLA style guide. Academic papers written without proper use of the writing regulations will only diminish your grades. Thus, always make sure that you clearly understand and follow the stated academic writing guidelines.

Misunderstand the Instructions

Majority of students, who submit MLA style papers, usually fail to match their teachers’ expectations. The reason behind this failure is a number of mistakes. These mistakes include misunderstanding particular writing guidelines. In order to avoid this mistake, students should carefully read and thoroughly understand each and every instruction. In case they fail to understand any instruction, they should immediately ask for clarifications.

Improper Referencing Style

In-text referencing should not be treated as just a requirement. Adequate attention should always be paid to in-text citations. Along with making mistakes and omissions, many students submit MLA papers that have reference style mistakes. Ensure that all the in-text citations are done in line with the specific formats. Always make proper use of the MLA referencing style guides to avoid making hasty errors.

Inappropriate Reference List

References should not be merely added in the MLA papers for the sake of it. References section should be formatted flawlessly and precisely. Many MLA papers submitted by students have mistakes in the references list. In order to avoid committing such types of mistakes, always refer to the MLA style guides for learning the proper way to format a perfect reference list for your MLA paper.

Poor content

Writing an MLA paper is considered to be difficult as students typically have too many factors to put into contemplation during the writing course. Along with the failure in studying the MLA style guide properly before writing, some students also fail to select an appropriate content. Ensure to express your ideas and notions in an understandable and comprehensive manner. Make sure to analyse the research findings in order to avoid submitting inadequately researched MLA papers.

The above discussed points offer guidance to avoid the most common MLA style mistakes while writing a research or academic paper. Following these guidelines methodically can be a little tricky at first. However, regular practice will ultimately make you more well-known and better acquainted with the basic rules of MLA style.

Formatting Quotations in MLA Style

MLA style of formatting is one of the most commonly used styles for writing and formatting papers. The present article on ‘Formatting Quotations in MLA Style’ presents some effective tips to help you learn the ways and techniques essential for formatting quotations in MLA style.

Some useful tips for formatting quotations in MLA style are discussed below.

Tips for Formatting Quotations in MLA Style

Short Quotations

  • Quotations that are shorter than three or four lines should be placed in double quotation marks (“ ”) and included in the text of the document.
  • Give the parenthetical citation right away after the quotation.
  • Every punctuation mark, except question (?) and exclamation marks (!), should be inserted after the parenthetical citation.
  • Question and exclamation marks, which appear in the original source, should be placed inside the quotation marks.

Long Quotations

  • Quotations that are longer than four lines should be typed in block quotations.
  • These quotations should be indented one inch from the margin, double-spaced, and devoid of any quotation marks.
  • Block quotations are usually initiated by a colon.
  • Insert the parenthetical citation following the final punctuation mark of the quotation.

Poetry Quotes

  • While quoting a single line of verse, ensure to put it in quotation marks and fit it into the text.
  • While quoting two or three lines of verse, ensure to separate each line with a forward slash [/]. Insert the passage in quotation marks and include it in the text.
  • While using slashes for separating lines of quoted verse, ensure to put a space before and after the slash.
  • Add a parenthetical citation to the author and to the line number(s) of the poem.
  • While quoting more than three lines of verse, ensure to type them in block quotations. Indent them one inch from the left margin.
  • Block quotations of poetry must precisely reproduce the line breaks, spacing and punctuation as set up in the original text.
  • Avoid using quotation marks for block quotations unless they appear in the original.
  • The parenthetical citation should appear at the end of the last line of poetry.
  • In case, the parenthetical citation does not fit into the last line of poetry, insert it in the subsequent line, flushing it with the right margin of the essay.

Drama Quotes

  • For quoting the words of a particular character in a prose play, follow the procedure for a standard prose quotation.
  • For quoting the words of a particular character in a verse play, follow the guidelines of MLA-style for quoting poetry.
  • For quoting a dialogue between two or more characters, type the passage into a block quotation.
  • Name of characters should be in capital letters followed by a period and then the text as it appears in the original text.
  • Succeeding lines of the dialogue of the characters should be indented an additional three spaces.
  • When a dialogue changes to another character, start it in a new line, which should be indented one inch from the left margin.

Inserting or Changing Words in Quotations

  • While adding or changing words in a quotation, ensure to indicate this by inserting square brackets around the words, which are not part of the original text.

Excluding Words in Quotations

  • While excluding or omitting words from a quotation, ensure to indicate this by employing ellipsis marks, i.e., three spaced periods.
  • Ellipses should be used every time you leave out some material from a quotation that appears to be a sentence or a series of sentences.

By following the given tips you can learn the basic techniques for formatting quotations in MLA style without any major error or fault. The above mentioned strategies will help you to learn and get familiar with formatting quotations in MLA style in the most proper way.

Writing an MLA Style Outline

Modern Language Association, which is commonly known as MLA, is one of the most widely used styles for writing. MLA-style manual for writing and referencing is regularly used by students studying languages and/or humanities. MLA style guide needs periods, quotation marks and commas in particular places while writing a paper, inserting quotes or organising a bibliography. For writing an MLA style outline, you need to put in references into the manuscript and also write an MLA-structured bibliography.

The present article on ‘Writing an MLA Style Outline’ will guide you in preparing an MLA style outline for your writing. Some useful tips for writing an MLA style outline are discussed below.

Tips for Writing an MLA Style Outline

  • Create a title for your outline. Arrange the title in the middle of the page header.
  • Insert page numbers consecutively at the top right-hand corner.
  • Avoid underlining or typing in bold the title of the outline.
  • Ensure to keep one inch margins on all sides of the manuscript.
  • Introduce quotations in your outline by inserting brackets following the quote. The brackets should include the author’s last name and the page number(s) by which the quote can be found.
  • If a reader wants to know more about any particular quotation, he/she can refer to the bibliography.
  • Ensure to keep a blank space between the author’s last name and the page number. The period should be put after the bracket close.
  • Compose your outline. Cite direct quotes and paraphrases. You only require MLA formatting for quotations, references, paraphrasing and bibliography.
  • Bibliography formatting should be started by entitling the section ‘Bibliography’. After inserting the title, strike ‘Enter’ twice prior to starting your first bibliographic entry.
  • Each new entry should start on the left-hand side. In case, the entry is longer than one line, the second, as well as the succeeding lines in the same entry should be indented with at least five spaces. This is known as the hanging indentation.
  • Insert the author’s last name first and the first name last. Separate the names by a comma in the bibliography. Insert a period after the first name and write the name of the book. Underline it and finish with a period. The book’s name should be followed by the place of publication, a colon, the publisher’s name, a comma and the year of publication. End with a period.
  • In case the book has more than one author, begin the reference with one of the authors’ last names. The author’s last name should come first, followed by a comma and then the first name. Insert a comma to illustrate that more authors are present and merely write the full name of the second author. Conclude the reference with the same formatting style as discussed in the earlier step.
  • In case there are no authors to be cited, begin with the name of the publication or the work itself. Name the organisation or institution, e.g., a university, if it is the chief publisher.
  • Underline the title of the work and insert a period. Write the place of publication followed by a colon, the publisher’s name, followed by a comma, and the year of publication, followed by a period.
  • Ensure that your outline is double-spaced throughout, as this is a part of correct MLA style formatting.
  • Ensure that the bibliography is alphabetised by the authors’ last names. In case there are no authors present, use the name of the work as the reference for alphabetising.

By following the given tips you can learn the basic technique for writing an MLA style outline. The above mentioned strategies will help you to learn and also guide you in writing an MLA style outline for your future use.