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Weekly Wisdom #83 by Paul Gray and David E. Drew

EDITING YOUR OWN MATERIAL. As you write your dissertation or a paper it is natural to make changes and major revisions. You are, in effect, editing your own material. That’s good and bad. It is good because you add intellectual capital, you clarify, and you consider the knowledge (or lack thereof) of your readers.  It is bad if, like most of us, you become infatuated with the sound of your own words.  It is difficult, if not impossible; to change language or ideas you labored over long and hard. Just like job application letters, have at least one (preferably more) people read what you wrote and suggest improvements. If a word, a paragraph, or a section is unclear to them it is likely to be unclear to others. Better to receive critiques and suggested improvements from your peers than from referees or decision makers.

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