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Gary Bortolotti, Biology Faculty

Thesis Editing

What is your stance on having grad students having their theses professionally edited?

[Graduate students having their thesis profesionally edited] is a really tough problem. Different professors have different philosophies. Some people say, "It's your thesis, so if it goes to the exam and it's crap. It's crap." I'm not thrilled about that approach because it reflects poorly on me and the department. We have to help people, but some people you can, sort of, fix their work and fix their work and fix their work and it never ever ever gets done properly. I've had to edit way, way, way too much on some people's theses. It was either that, or there wasn't going to be a thesis. And, you know, I don't know. It's hard. I really find it hard to imagine how anybody can be terribly successful without writing well, or, put it this way: being able to write well is such an asset that it'll show through then [in the student's career, later], I think.