Must Do Checklist Before You Submit Your Thesis or Dissertation
1. Proof Reading
Proof Read your thesis at least one day before submitting it to the binding company. We know it's a pain, however spelling and grammar errors will lose you valuable marks. If you have a willing participant (or victim...!) who will actually proof read your thesis it and not just tell you how wonderful it is, e.g., a classmate or relative, this would be a great help. Alternatively, it is down to you, so... don’t leave it until late in the evening when you are tired. You are more likely to miss something important.
Consider this: if your thesis has just one mistake per page and you have 150 pages, which amounts to 150 mistakes overall it will certainly keep you out of a first class honours grade. Do not rely only on your computer’s 'Spelling and Grammar' check. Usually, it will not pick up the difference between “advise” and “advice” and it may be defaulted to US spelling, which just isn’t the same. You also need to be extra vigilant in the proof reading of your citations and references. This is very tedious but you need to check each reference for consistency in punctuation, these include: commas, use of brackets, colons, semi-colons, capital and lower case letters, authors’ names spelled correctly, dates of publication. (See our Blog on Plagiarism).
2. Acknowledgements Page
This is usually located at the beginning of your work, but is quite likely to be the last page you write. Do write it! Begin by thanking your supervisor (we recommend very generous praise without going completely over the top!) and certainly include your parents, other family members, perhaps people in your course who helped you stay sane as you worked through the various stages of your thesis, any college staff who were particularly helpful e.g., tutors, librarians. It is acceptable to single out someone who supported you emotionally, financially or academically but try not to write a gushing Oscar acceptance speech. Ensure all names are spelled correctly, especially your supervisor’s name and title.
Check that any references you made to appendices are accurate as these may have changed during the editing of your work. A common mistake is to refer to an Appendix which is incorrectly titled, incorrectly numbered or not there at all!
4. Paragraph Titles
This is easy and one of the last parts of your checking task before saving your work for submission to the binding company. Make sure that headings are not located in isolation at the bottom of a page with the corresponding text on the next page. That is just sloppy and unsightly. It is also easily fixed by simply entering a page break above the relevant heading.
5. Page Numbering
Ensure that your page numbers are located in the middle of the bottom line or on the extreme right of each page. This makes it easier for your examiners to locate pages. Also, most universities specify particular formatting for page, chapter and paragraph numbering so check your Style Guide to ensure you are complying with the standards set.
6. Contents Page(s)
After you have ensured you have the page numbering correct, make any changes you need to make to the Contents Page, List of Tables and Illustrations etc. You should also check that your Appendix page numbers are synchronised with the Contents page.
If you have been using the Word template to generate your Table of Contents, you MUST remember to press the 'Update Table' button after every change you make. If you fail to do so, serious print errors can occur in your Table of Contents for which ThesisDirect cannot accept responsibility. So please be careful!
7. Sign the Disclaimer
When your thesis is ready for submission, enjoy the moment, but remember to sign the Disclaimer which usually is an acknowledgement that all the work in your beautifully bound thesis is your own.
8. And Finally……
Ensure you know where the Submissions Office is! This may sound obvious but you need to allow time to get there without stress and pack your thesis carefully so that you don’t damage it on your journey. Enjoy the moment you hand it over. It is a lifetime achievement and worth celebrating!
This advice, which we hope you found useful, is brought to you by thesisdirect.ie Please feel free to share it with others on your course who may be finishing their thesis in the next few days. Good luck!