After a week, I finally got the dissertation editor’s feedback on my document. This is a standard part of the process. They want to make sure that my document meets their criteria before they publish it online.

I have worked very hard to minimize the number of errors in my document, carefully going through all of the items on the checklist they provide. At first blush it looked like it paid off. The raw count of changes requested was low. But then I found out that one of my mistakes was that my paragraphs had added an additional .25 inches to the margin. Correcting this might not have been so much trouble, except that it was applied to all sorts of different styles in the document. Headers, bulleted lists, even figures I had scaled according to the text, all of this it turned out was now wrong. Furthermore, in fixing it I had to destroy the indentation scheme that indented every paragraph but the first paragraph of each section, so I had to go through each paragraph and fix that, too.

Not only did I have to go through all 120 pages of my document to fix these issues, they interact with each other in subtle ways. For one thing, the fonts are supposed to all be Times New Roman, but I have repeatedly gotten in trouble when Word would mysteriously change random sections of text into Calibri or Cambria instead without my noticing. I caught it a few times this time, too.

Fortunately, the vague, threatening description of what will happen if you don’t make all the corrections perfectly the first time has now been clarified. They’ll just point out what you missed. I have made the changes requested and emailed to ask about some unclear changes (such as some black text highlighted with the comment “all text must be black”), so I should get feedback on that Monday. It’s still possible that if they don’t like something about my document and take long enough to get back to me that I can’t get it fixed by April 11, I won’t graduate on time.

When this is done, I’ll really be feeling celebratory.


3 thoughts on “Copyediting”

  1. I think, when they focus in on nit picking stuff like this it’s because they’re unable to find a thing wrong with your actual work. Cause for celebration!. Love, Grandma

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