You may seek editorial assistance for the preparation of your thesis for examination.
Writing is considered an important part of a higher degree by research and supervisors will assist you with developing your writing style and proficiency. You can read more about the specific editing responsibilities of your supervisors in Section 9 of the Graduate Research Training Policy.
You may also seek editorial assistance for your thesis from others outside of your supervisory team. You may wish to seek feedback from members of your research group, other students, or friends and family. You can use the text matching software, Turnitin. You can also pay a professional editor to edit your thesis in preparation for submission for examination.
As your thesis should express your voice and reflect your ability to write and argue with clarity, there are limits to the extent and nature of the editing support you can receive.
According to the UWA Policy of the Use of Editorial Assistance by Students, if you are enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research you:
- may accept editorial assistance in the preparation of their theses for examination
- need to seek permission from your Coordinating Supervisor if you would like to accept editorial assistance for your thesis
- need to restrict editorial assistance to Standard D (language and illustrations) and Standard E (completeness and consistency) of the Australian Standards for Editing Practice
- cannot seek editorial assistance for coursework assignments if you are enrolled in coursework units
- can seek paid or unpaid editorial assistance
Turnitin is software that compares your text with a bank of other text, providing you with an indication of how closely your text matches other sources. The results provided by Turnitin can help you avoid plagiarism and improve your writing.
To access Turnitin, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this email include your name and student number and copy your coordinating or principal supervisor into this email as an indication of their your tacit approval of your access to the software. You will then be able to access Turnitin from your LMS page.
Before uploading text to Turnitin, you will need to consider if your text should remain private. It may not be appropriate to share your text if it includes sensitive, confidential and/or commercial-in-confidence information. Before sharing your text with any third party, you should always discuss the protection of your text with your supervisors. Only upload text that can be safely shared.
If you are looking for support for UWA offers a number of Text Matching support tools including UWA StudySmarter’s Plagiarism Portal and UWA Library’s Plagiarism Awareness Guide. The library and StudySmarter also offer support for referencing, note-taking and paraphrasing the GRS provide academic writing workshops that will support you to develop your academic writing skills. Enhancing Postgraduate Awareness has also produced an informative YouTube video about the Use of Turnitin by postgraduate research students and supervisors. It provides advice on interpreting similarity indexes, filtering and excluding previously submitted versions of a draft.
If you seek advice from a professional editor in preparing your thesis, you should discuss this with your supervisors first.
Once your supervisors have approved the use of an editor, you should provide the editor with a copy of the UWA Policy of the Use of Editorial Assistance by Students before they commence editing your thesis. The thesis sections you submit for editing should be submitted in hard copy to ensure you consider carefully all editorial suggestions.
The name of the editor and a brief description of the service rendered, in terms of Australian Standards for Editing Practice, should be included in your acknowledgements in the front pages of your thesis. If the editor's current or former area of academic specialisation is similar to your research area, this should also be stated in your acknowledgements.
Finding a Professional Editor
The Graduate Research School are frequently contacted by professional editors advertising their businesses. We do not recommend any one editor but suggest you consider whether editors have experience in editing higher degree by research theses in your area of academic specialisation. As the cost and quality of editing services varies significantly, you may consider asking the editor to work on a sample of your work and provide an estimate of the overall costs of editing your thesis.
The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) can help you find a professional editor. You may find the list of available editors in Australia useful as you are not limited to working with an editor in WA. The IPEd webpage also has links to information about editing research theses and how to brief an editor.
The Graduate Education Officers have collated the information provided by professional editors to the Graduate Research School. These advertisements and additional information about professional editing is provided in the booklet below: