Why You Should Hire an Editor for Your Dissertation

Hiring professional editors to look over dissertations before submission can help students reach their full potentials as they wrap up their graduate or doctoral studies. On her blog, “Get a Life, PhD,” Tanya Maria Golash-Boza writes, “Sometimes, you have to ask yourself: ‘What is the cost of not hiring an editor?’”

Getting professional advice and editing from someone who has experience in your academic field will help to narrow the focus of your final project, see and read your own words more clearly, gain a better understanding of what you need to do to make your writing appear more clear and professional, and ultimately produce a successful and publishable project.

There is no question that outside readers find far more mistakes in your writing than you do. Your mind knows exactly what the document should say and, as a result, your eyes see what the brain wants them to see. While asking friends, family, and classmates may certainly help you to discover small mistakes, professional editors have experience in the specific fields you may be targeting or pulling information from in your project. Finding someone who is familiar with your topic of study will largely benefit the final draft of your dissertation.


Hired editors offer a variety of expert insights. Editors are not just used for poets, memoirists, and other creative writers; there are also those who have doctorate degrees in various scientific, mathematic, legal fields, and more, with the necessary proficiency needed to transform a student’s dissertation draft into publishable material.

Different editors are familiar with different styles and formats; if a student’s professor expects final dissertations to be written in MLA, APA, CMS, Turabian, AMA, or another style, it is certainly possible to hire someone who has a solid understanding of the essential elements of a specific style. Editors with degrees in science or mathematics will likely have a better understanding of how tables, figures, and graphs should be formatted than friends and family would.

Not only are hired editors convenient for dissertations written in specific styles and formats, but they are also helpful when it comes to constructive feedback and critiquing. They have years of experience editing works (especially academic writing) by other people. They can give additional feedback to help students with the structure and flow of their dissertations. Students sometimes struggle trying to plan and organize their ideas all on their own; getting outside perspectives can help. Some editors specialize in working with clients who are non-native English speakers.

They are paid to meet strict deadlines that will provide some relief to students with tough time constraints between school, work, and family responsibilities. While it’s certainly cheaper to edit your dissertation yourself (or have it edited by another student/ friend), that will not be enough for a project that could eventually become an important addition to your résumé.

A well-written and well-researched dissertation has a better chance of being published in a scholarly magazine or website. A published dissertation looks an impressive detail on a job application. As Edit 911 says on their website, “Completion of the dissertation or research projects and conferral of the degree are often required to achieve advancement with one’s current employer or to obtain a position with a different employer. Delays in final acceptance and frustration with the system may even be sufficient to cause some candidates to abandon their goals of working in academia, even if they do complete degree requirements successfully. Dissertations often are the first major publications for these professionals.”


While hiring an editor may seem like asking for outside help, it is encouraged by most schools and will ultimately create a more publishable product. “Professional editors have the skills and expertise to complete these jobs satisfactorily and guarantee the quality of their work.  Reputable editors will also provide a sample edit to show the kind of revisions they can do and to ensure they understand the candidate’s exact needs in the editing process” (Edit 911). Getting your work read by an outside perspective will help you reach your highest potential as a student who has an intelligent idea to offer the world after years of taking college classes. Remember, “Sometimes, you have to ask yourself: ‘What is the cost of not hiring an editor?’”

After a hired editor provides the helpful feedback all students need to create a perfect or near-perfect finished product, the student’s professor will in turn focus his or her critiques/ grading more on the student’s work and research rather than the quality of writing, because the quality of writing will be good enough to ignore once it has gone through a hired editor.


–Audrey Conklin


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