Thesis submission tips

The research is done, you’ve written a fantastic piece of work, your formatting and referencing is on point, and your supervisors have approved your final copy. Without a doubt, the process of writing your thesis has been a challenging and rewarding experience. Although the hard yards are over, submitting your thesis can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared. To ensure a stress-free, enjoyable thesis submission, follow these tips:

1. Get to know your University requirements: Thesis requirements vary across Universities, so it’s important to obtain a current copy of your University’s official requirements or guidelines for theses. Requirements will also vary depending on your department or faculty, so ensure you find out what their specific requirements are. Check carefully for things like formatting, word limit, order of sections, paper size, number of copies, and types of binding. Check whether you need to include any additional forms such as a digital version declaration or a library consent form.

Finally, find out what the actual process of submission is and whether you need to include paper and/or digital copies. If you can, it’s useful to get hold of a recently submitted thesis in your department to use as a benchmark.

2. Check your writing: Checking for minor errors in your writing can make a big difference to your work. Little things like spelling, typos, lack of consistency, and incorrect tense can make your writing appear unprofessional. The ‘Find and Replace’ function in Word can be really useful for fixing multiple errors such as accidental American English, and ensuring consistency with capitalisation, abbreviations, formatting of references, quotes, and captions. If deadlines allow, having a fresh pair of eyes look over your document can pick up on some sneaky errors you may have missed.

3. Printing never goes to plan: Printers can detect your impending deadline and will purposefully chop off page numbers, print crookedly, jam paper, run out of toner etc. If you’re doing your own printing, ensure you have extra reams of paper, toner, and the number of your friendly IT person on hand.

If you’re using a printing service rather than DIY, then it’s best to send them a PDF version of your thesis rather than a Microsoft Word document – this helps prevent any formatting changes that may occur when printing. The process of creating a PDF can occasionally change formatting aspects of your document, so ensure you double-check the file.

Always check that pages have been printed out correctly. It’s worth it for peace of mind to quickly scan each page to ensure pages are in the correct order, and that each page has printed properly – it takes less time than you think!

4. Get to know your binder: If you’re submitting bound copies, touch base early with the binding company you are using. Check how long they need to complete the work, whether you are within the page limits for the type of binding you want, what information they require from you etc. Also find out how much it will cost – if you’re getting hardbound copies it can be quite costly. You want your thesis to look great, so when it comes time for binding, be prepared to answer questions about the colour of the cover, the font, colour, placement of the title, your name, and other details, and whether you want any embellishments. The binder should be able to show you samples of each of these things to help you make these important decisions.

5. Remain calm and enjoy yourself: With looming deadlines, it’s inevitable that this final stage is going to be stressful. It’s important to remain calm. Ensure you surround yourself with supportive people who will give you space or a helping hand when you need it. Look after yourself to ensure you are alert enough to pay attention to the quality of your work – try your best to get enough sleep, eat well, and go outside for a walk and some fresh air. Most importantly, do not leave things until the last minute, allow yourself a few weeks (at least) to format, proofread, print, and bind your thesis.

Finally, enjoy the last moments with your thesis. It has been a huge part of your life for the last few years, there have been ups and downs, but you have made it to the end with an amazing, original piece of work. Invite family and friends along with you to the final hand-in, and make sure you celebrate this massive achievement.

If the final stage of submitting your thesis becomes a little overwhelming, Academic Consulting is here to help! Our staff have had mountains of experience dealing with thesis submissions, and can help you with formatting, proofreading, and referencing of your thesis. Contact us for more information.