Editing tragedies

This week I foolishly accepted money to edit a PhD thesis. Oh dear. Now I sincerely regret ever saying yes to this. The thesis itself will not be accepted, as the substantiating evidence is so weak. The abstract is appalling, the introduction has no statement of the research question, no methodology, no limitations of the study: in short, it will not be accepted. My feeling, after going through the first forty turgid pages, is that it will be dismissed out of hand. It is not good work. I am appalled for the poor person, whose understanding of academic writing is nil, whose advice from various people has been terrible, and whose whole writing style, logic and basis for the argument is non existent. Oh dear, what a tragedy. And I have to edit it. I feel like writing to the poor fellow and saying to him that he has absolutely no chance of getting this through. Why oh why did I say yes to this?

Oh. That’s right. Money.

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