You and Your Doctoral or Thesis Writing Team: Part 11

Understand who could and should be involved with your thesis or dissertation.


I’ve borrowed some thoughts from a university to their students. The sections in []  are my additions. This combination can vary from university to university, but the point still is that there are many official university appointed people involved. And one academic editor who should in no way be directly involved with the university. Helps keep some of objectivity in what is an intensely emotional process at times.

Levels of Help

“During the dissertation review, you will benefit from perspectives and recommendations from 8 levels of review:

  1. 3 committee members[: an advisor and 2 committee members is often the combination]
  2. 1 academic reviewer
  3. 2 IRB reviewers [the AR and IRB combination varies from school to school]
  4. the APA editor [often a statistician can also be included here]
  5. the dean’s review

The purpose of these reviews is not punitive, but is intended to increase your scholarly writing abilities and to ensure that the dissertations produced by students … are scholarly in form and style.”

Out of the 8 people supposedly involved with an edit, 7 are from the university. That means only the academic editor isn’t. Each one has a clearly defined role within your studies. And the definition of what an editor must do is very clear in the use of the above example of an APA editor: language, punctuation, academic style, school’s style (if provided), and APA formatting. Essentially this is what I call an academic copy edit. The term “copy” is terminology from the publishing world and means your paper.

So now you know what to expect and from whom 😎 .

Next up is how to use that help wisely.