It’s dissertation season, and if you’ve typed ‘What are some last-minute things I need to look for in my dissertation?’ into Google, odds are your thesis submission is lurking right around the corner.

We’ve all heard those myths and legends of people who complete their dissertation well ahead of time and merely revise and glance over their work before submission day arrives. We’ve also heard of those who achieve this feat in only a few days, feverishly thumbing through their work as the D-day arrives.

This eleventh-hour dissertation checklist is for both groups, and if you tick everything off this list, there’s nothing stopping you from a perfect A+!

Except maybe a grumpy examiner on a bad day.

Taking the positive route, however, here are a few tips you’ll find handy a day before your dissertation submission!


A cursory but crucial content check

This involves rechecking the literal skeleton of your entire thesis to see if all content flows well and is coherent to the reviewer. 

It’s all about asking the right questions and not reworking the content entirely. Have you really answered your research questions? Does your abstract convey the gist of your thesis satisfactorily? Have you thoroughly and accurately spelled out the contribution your thesis will make to the industry in your conclusion?

Remember, this is a last-minute dissertation checklist, and any thoughts of improving the content of your dissertation should already have happened already! It’s possible that you’ll find vast scope for improvement everywhere you look, but force yourself to reign in the editing hand and trust your original instincts. 


Acknowledgments and references

As per traditional dissertation requirements, the acknowledgments are usually at the very beginning of your dissertation. Although sometimes, they may be right at the end with your references. (If this is the case, it will depend on what your university prescribes. It’s best you have a copy of their guidelines with you at all times.)

The reference section should always be cross-checked since it’s crucial to give credit where it’s due. Make sure each in-text citation has a corresponding entry in the reference lists. It also adds a personal touch and reinforces your integrity and credibility as an honest researcher. This is a very, very important part of your last-minute dissertation checklist!

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to note what edition of the prescribed style guide you should refer to!


Graphics and Co.

Check and recheck all things graphics! Tables, data charts, images must all be checked for position, labeling, and links to the table of contents and the appendix. This will usually call for monitoring the format adjustments, so keep an eye out for that.

Make sure the graphic content you include (charts, tables, photographs, etc.) are of the highest quality. This will ensure that your images aren’t shabby when you’ve printed the dissertation out. 


Have you proofread?

Should I even elaborate? Go over your dissertation for formatting (it may have gotten messed up when you were checking the images!), typos, factual errors, and anything else you may have missed out on. Ensure your document is within the required word count, and – do this all before printing!

If you think you need help with this bit, you can always avail PaperTrue’s quick turnarounds and have a perfected and polished dissertation before submission arrives!


Bonus Tip: Don’t Keep Calm and Celebrate!

You’ve worked hard on your thesis, and harder to defend it. Those bags under your eyes, piling dishes in the sink and countless mugs of coffee are testament to the same. Now that’s it all been submitted and done, you deserve a treat. So congratulations, now go crazy!

Oh, before we leave, you might want to check this out: Our wonderfully talented editors have curated a detailed checklist that you can use after finishing your thesis. Download our checklist, peruse it (and use it too!) and let us know in the comments if you liked it!