“Quick, tell me what date is it?”

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 ensure that your final dissertation submission has been checked for these factors – 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!


1) Cursory but Crucial Content Check

This involves rechecking the literal skeleton of your entire thesis, but remember to keep it cursory!

It’s all about asking the right questions to avoid redoing and 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 – so check like you have only a minute to do so, and edit just enough for it to make sense in those very sixty seconds! 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!


2) 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.

This section should always be cross-verified, since it’s crucial to give credit where it’s due. 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!


3) Graphics and Co.

Check and recheck all things graphics! Tables, data charts, images must all be checked for position, labelling 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.

Always be sure to download images and charts for your dissertation in the highest quality possible for better printing.


4) Practice and Practice More!

If this is your PhD thesis, or you are in one of those institutions that mandate a jury for your dissertation – your presentation skills have to be on point (literally!).

Don’t meander from your topic and don’t end up narrating nursery tales when asked about yourself. The best approach is to volunteer information that isn’t immediately available in your dissertation, or redirect their attention to crucial parts of your research.

They need to believe you’ve done something important, so keep practising till you have yourself convinced!


5) 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. 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!