The Form and Style Review is conducted by Walden University’s dissertation editors, and is one of the 7 Stages of Approval during the capstone process. Each dissertation, doctoral study, and project study (capstone) at Walden University will go through this process. The Form and Style Review occurs once the committee has approved the final document and the URR passes it on to our Center.
Dissertation editors will provide a student with a review of their document. The review will be focused on APA Style (including writing style, citations, references, and tables and figures), scholarly tone, voice, and Walden and Proquest document formatting requirements. Using MS Word Track Changes, we begin by completing a line edit of the first chapter or section of the capstone. We then conduct a review of 10-15 pages of each remaining chapter or section. Following that, we line edit the first few pages of the references as well as check the formatting and information contained in the appendices. We will also format tables and figures according to APA Style.
When we return the document, we will include a cover letter where we explain the general types of changes that we have implemented, as well as general comments for improvement going forward. We also include a Form and Style Checklist to help the student with any other changes that may need to be made.
The Form and Style Review is an official step in the doctoral capstone approval process. After the committee approves the completed doctoral capstone study, the URR will release it for review by the editors in the Walden Writing Center. The editors read through a large portion of the study for formatting and style, offering suggestions for revision to improve the writing and make sure that the document conforms to both APA and Walden specifications.
Spending 6-10 hours, editors will conduct a line-by-line edit of Chapter 1 or the introductory portions of Section 1, and then the first several pages of subsequent chapters or sections. In addition to direct edits and suggestions, editors will also highlight patterns of required revisions so that students may make similar revisions throughout the narrative. Students will receive an edited version of their manuscript with track changes and in-text comments, along with a query letter and checklist for revisions.
Although editors typically review a manuscript only a single time before the oral defense, on occasion editors will engage the student and committee for a second time. If the manuscript requires such formatting revisions that an edit of the narrative is prohibited, the manuscript will be returned with specific instructions for formatting. If an editor identifies an academic integrity violation, the manuscript will be returned with instructions for revising the narrative.
As of August 4, 2020, the Editor Office Hours service is temporarily on hold. An unusually high number of doctoral students are now at the form and style review stage, so all of our available editor staff time is currently required to ensure students can receive those reviews in a timely manner. We hope to make Editor Office Hours available again soon.
Please see our Office Hours Policy for details on what types of questions we can answer.