English Proficiency & Formatting check

In addition to meeting the expectations of your advisor and the committee, GMBA also cares about the Academic and English quality of the document. You are advised to make your amendment and get the approval as soon as possible, and upload the approved thesis to the system again within 2 weeks after your defense. Thus,

  1. After your revision is approved by your advisor, please upload your thesis here for an English Proficiency and Academic Formatting check: Quality Check Form

  2. You will receive a response from English Proficiency Examiner in 1-5 working days. If the submission was already flawless, you will receive a signed checklist form. If amendments are needed, you will receive a checklist highlighting areas that need amendment. The checklist covers:

    1. Academic Formatting following APA or MLA style. A template is provided here. (other styles are also welcome as long as they are applied consistently).

    2. Academic Honesty

    3. English Proficiency

  3. Please revise your thesis according to the checklist. The revisions may take time so please ensure that you have enough time to go through the graduation process.

  4. After approval, your Oral defense documents will proceed to the Director of GMBA for final signature.  After signing, you will receive a copy of the “Oral Defense Certificate” (1 page, PDF format). This document is to be inserted into your thesis.

Academic English

In addition to Academic formatting, the Dissertation should also display English proficiency. GMBA recommends using one of the following tools:

Microsoft Editor
Microsoft has a built-in grammar-checking and style-checking tool in Microsoft Office. However, many of the style-checking features are turned off by default. Follow these instructions to turn them back on:

  1. Go to File -- Options -- Proofing Options. Under Grammar and Refinements, you will see a list of grammar and spelling refinement options, most of which are turned off by default.
  2. Ensure that you have the English version of Microsoft Office Installed
    1. You can also download English support for Office from here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/download-office-language-interface-packs-lip-5ca3dbbe-9294-0757-1c65-b7f9f99b4da5
    2. However, there is no guarantee this will activate the right settings. It is instead strongly recommended you install the English version of MS Office.
  1. Select all the checkboxes except for Oxford Comma (which is optional).

If you have Office 365, you will see significantly more options including options on tone formality and advanced quality, grammar, and academic editing tools.

Grammarly.com is another recommended tool. The free version offers basic grammar and spelling suggestions, which are especially useful to deal with repetitive, common grammar issues. The paid version is much like Microsoft Office 365 Editor and offers advanced stylistic options that improve vocabulary use and academic tone.


To explore the free version,

  • Go to www.grammarly.com;
  • Create an account and log in;
  • Create a new file and paste your content;
  • You will see recommended changes on the right and also a score. In general, any score below 85 suggests there is a significant opportunity for grammar and stylistic improvements


Peer Review and Class Resources
No tool, however, is more powerful than a trained human proofreader with a good command of Academic English. You are strongly recommended to approach your classmates, friends, or trained proofreaders with good English ability to help peer-review your submission.

You may also find it useful to join a writing-focused course or Thesis Writing workshop. The Business Communication class, while focused on Business English, discusses several language principles equally relevant to Academic English. Similarly, the Quantitative Research Methods for Thesis Research class covers common formatting issues. The planned Thesis Workshop also offers a brief discussion on formatting and editing issues.
Academic Formatting
Aside from the included library pages, GMBA also requires that Dissertations follow a consistent Academic Formatting. There are several different styles commonly employed by education institutions, two such systems are APA 7 and MLA. See here:
Regardless of what style you apply, you must remain consistent throughout your document. GMBA provides an APA Template for reference.