theses ~ dissertations ~ essays ~ assignments ~ presentations ~ reports

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Ensuring students' work is free from errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling can remove unnecessary obstacles to it being understood and appreciated for the quality of its subject matter. Clarity of content and strengths of arguments can be unintentionally reduced through such errors, and which can risk having a negative impact on the assessment of that work.

Wimbledon Proofreading has extensive experience in amending students' work, in particular PhD theses and Master's dissertations written by those who have English as a second language.

As students’ work is formally assessed there are issues over what assistance can and cannot be given to students by a third party, whether it is a friend, a fellow student or a professional proofreader. Whilst this is an ethical and moral issue, it is also something which educational institutions often address through their regulations and guidelines, for example relating to 'collusion' with third parties as well as the wider issue of plagiarism.

It is the responsibility of students to check what is allowed, and is something that students may wish to discuss with their supervisor and/or other staff at their institution. Students will need to provide a copy of any regulations or guidelines that their institution has issued, or refer to a website that contains them which is available for the public to view. Where an institution's regulations or guidelines differ from the general approach applied by Wimbledon Proofreading, then that institution's requirements will take precedence.

Institutions are likely to expect the student to actively participate in the process by carefully considering each of the suggested amendments and deciding which of them to accept or decline. Students are strongly advised to take this approach so as to ensure those amendments are appropriate for that specific piece of work. It also provides an important learning opportunity for those who have English as a second language to improve their proficiency at written English.

Lecture hall

The general approach to amending students' work

An educational institutions' regulations or guidelines on the amendment of students' work will take precedence.
Wimbledon Proofreading's normal proofreading criteria will be applied, unless they differ in respect of the following:
Individual sentences may be reconstructed where incorrect grammar, for example, has been used.
General advice may be given on where the text would benefit from substantial rewriting to improve clarity in the use of English, but it would be for the student to undertake that rewriting.
Other than to amend incorrect grammar or vocabulary, etc, no opinion will be given on the suitability or accuracy of the information, messages and arguments made, as these should remain as the views expressed by the student.
Whilst sentences that are particularly long may be shortened, the word count will not be reduced (or expanded) for the specific purpose of ensuring it conforms to the assessment criteria. However, general advice may be given on how the word count may be so amended.
The structure of the document will not be changed, for example by a repositioning of paragraphs or sections, but general advice may be given on how the material could be restructured.
The reference or bibliography section will be checked for consistency with the required style (e.g. Harvard), but such a section will not be written from scratch.
Potentially incorrect grammar, spelling or punctuation within quotes will be identified for the student to then check.
References will not be checked for their accuracy with the original source material.

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