Wow, what a week.
Commercial proofreading is expensive, the cheapest quote was £1100 for a 50k thesis and that wasn’t in a timescale that I could consider.
Luckily I had two willing (mostly) volunteers. One of them worked through it page by page, chapter by chapter and made comments, suggestions and corrections on pretty well every page. I made these corrections, reprinted and then passed to my second proofreader. We had allocated three days to do this work, I would make corrections on the fly.
In fact, and even with a couple of breaks to take in the sun on a glorious weekend, we completed this a lot quicker than we thought. By late Saturday afternoon I was therefore sitting on a complete, double-proof read, fully referenced and formatted thesis as a pdf file.
In the end I slept on it (not literally, though it’s thick enough to act as a pillow), and submitted to the administrator early Sunday morning. Would another read through have benefitted? Possibly, but I was also aware that I had to ‘let it go’ at some point.
Again, above and beyond the call of duty she contacted me immediately about how to get it printed remotely, which I did. Examiners are arranged, and just need to confirm a date now. I have a fellow Cohort member who has a viva scheduled for early July, and it would be incredible if we could have our defences on the same day.
Lots of people have asked me what I intend to do now that I’ve submitted. In reality it’s still there, I will re-read, check the key papers, create mind maps for each chapter based on the headings and subheadings. But there will be a gap. I’m looking forward to socialising again, spending more time with friends and family. I do have a diploma in creative writing, which I may well go back to.
And how do I feel? Relieved, anxious still, a little like having a tooth removed, I’m becoming aware of a gap. Last night I spent a whole evening watching crap telly (though this was after a full days teaching too, when in reality I probably wouldn’t have had an evening working on PhD anyhow).
I’ll keep you updated on progress, and key dates.