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Formatting Your Dissertation (or Thesis): Checking for Consistency and Coherence

Reviewing to improving the consistency and coherence of your final thesis draft

  1. Read the Entire Thesis: Start by reading your entire thesis from beginning to end. This will give you an overall sense of the flow and coherence of your ideas.

  2. Check for Consistent Formatting: Review your formatting, such as headings, font styles, margins, and spacing, to ensure consistency throughout the document. Inconsistencies in formatting can be distracting for readers.

  3. Review the Introduction and Conclusion: Your introduction should provide a clear overview of your thesis and its objectives, while the conclusion should summarize your main findings and reinforce your thesis statement. Check that these sections align with each other and effectively frame your research.

  4. Evaluate Paragraph Transitions: Examine the transitions between paragraphs and ensure they are smooth and logical. Each paragraph should flow naturally into the next, building a cohesive argument. Consider using transitional phrases or sentences to guide readers through your ideas.

  5. Check Topic Sentences: Verify that each paragraph begins with a clear topic sentence that presents the main idea of the paragraph. Topic sentences help guide readers and maintain coherence within the text.

  6. Review Sentence Structure: Evaluate the structure of your sentences to ensure clarity and coherence. Avoid overly complex or convoluted sentences that may confuse readers. Vary sentence lengths and structures to maintain reader engagement.

  7. Assess the Use of Evidence and Examples: Verify that your evidence and examples support your main points effectively. Ensure that they are relevant, properly cited, and logically connected to your arguments.

  8. Analyze the Flow of Arguments: Examine the sequence and arrangement of your arguments and supporting evidence. Check that the progression is logical and that each point builds upon the previous one, leading to a cohesive and persuasive thesis.

  9. Use Transition Words and Phrases: Incorporate appropriate transition words and phrases to guide readers through your arguments. These include words like "however," "moreover," "in contrast," and "therefore," which help establish relationships between ideas and improve the coherence of your writing.