Drafting and Re-Drafting Your Thesis
To start with, your thesis will be very much a "work in progress". It is important to remember this in the early stages of your writing - you are working on a draft, not the finished thesis. Keep writing even if you know that you can do better - leave the improvements until you come to write the next draft. This will give you time to reflect and think more carefully about anything that you might need to change.
In re-drafting your work you need to make sure that each new draft represents a step forward rather than simply revising something that was fine anyway or revising something to no good effect. Instead of re-drafting as you go, why not look to make drafting a process with formal stages with different aspects to be addressed at each stage:
First Re-Draft - Back to the Plan
The purpose of your first re-draft is to iron out any issues that you might identify and give you something that is broadly sound in terms of content and structure - it is where you compare what you have written against your original thesis plan. If you have been regularly monitoring and reviewing your writing, you should have a good idea of whether your draft is likely to broadly follow the structure and content you had planned. However, your first re-draft is a good opportunity to think about whether your work has a clear argument. You should also look in more detail at the content to make sure that each section will work on its own and as part of the whole and to identify anything that you wanted to include but have missed or have not sufficiently emphasised.
Remember that your first re-draft is the most important - it is where you address the big issues of content and structure. Doing this as early as possible and spending time on this to get it right will save you a lot of effort later on - these issues are much better addressed in a full re-draft rather than through a number of smaller unconnected revisions. Once you have completed your first re-draft, seek feedback from your supervisor and discuss whether your work is heading in the right direction.
Second Re-Draft - Making it Clearer
Your second re-draft is a good opportunity to think about your writing style and, in particular, whether your writing communicates your ideas effectively to the reader. Your second re-draft should help you check that you are developing your writing and look at how you have presented your arguments. Think about whether there is anything you can do to make your arguments clearer to the reader and revise any sections where the writing style is unclear. More fundamentally, think about how you have presented your evidence to make sure you have used diagrams, tables, and charts appropriately and the evidence that they contain supports your findings.
It is also a good point to look at your referencing - making sure that sources are acknowledged correctly and follow the standard format for your discipline and that your bibliography is complete.
Third Re-Draft - The Finer Points
Your third re-draft should be the most straightforward. By this point, you should be happy with the content and structure and be confident that your writing makes your ideas as clear as possible to the reader. This is your opportunity to think about some of the finer points of your thesis - for example, making sure that your chapter numbers and labels for diagrams, tables, and charts are all correct and that headings and titles are used consistently throughout.
By the end of your third re-draft you should have something that is very close to what will go into your finished thesis.
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