Bachelor’s thesis, Master’s thesis, doctoral thesis: Finding the right cover and paper at the right price

Whether being an undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral student, it all ends with writing a dissertation or thesis paper that is graded and marks the end of one’s study program. Universities lay down many specific requirements for the preparation of academic paperwork. These requirements do not only concern the writing itself but also the handing in of the dissertation or thesis. Once the writing of a paperwork is finished, it needs to be printed and, finally, bound according to the requirements of the particular higher education institution, before it will be presented for final evaluation. How the final material will be bound is an essential part as it will make the overall material look much more professional. Although there are no universal binding instructions, the most common methods boil down to case binding and perfect binding. Furthermore, depending on how much a student is willing to spend on dissertation or thesis binding, these two types can be made of different materials, ranging from leather or cardstock to glue and plastic spiral. Within the process of binding, there are a few other things that will need to be taken into consideration, such as paper weight, cover, and, most importantly, the price of everything. This article will focus on outlining the key aspects of dissertation and thesis binding and providing tips on how to choose the right type.

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The different types of binding at a glance
The best way to start off is to provide an overview of the most common types of binding offered by printing services websites. Understanding the differences between each method of binding will facilitate the process of choosing the best one, provided that the particular higher education institution offers several options or does not have any specific requirements at all. Although there are many different methods of binding out there, the most commonly used ones for dissertation or thesis break down into the three main categories discussed below. If it is to be bound professionally, the best way to do so is through case binding, also known as hardcover binding, which is also the most expensive one out on the printing market. For students who are looking for a rather cost-effective and less time-consuming version, softcover binding and thermal binding seem to be the ideal choices. Below we will provide detailed descriptions of both types of binding as well as the materials used in each process. 

•    Case binding – here the pages are sewn and glued to the highest standard, and bound with professional quality library buckram that adds a rigid finish to the document. Case binding is also the most expensive method as it involves quality materials and a more complex technique of binding. The latter starts with the pages being arranged in order and sewn together with yarn and later on affixed with glue to hard binding boards made out of fabric or leather and available in a range of thicknesses. Through sewing pages, the overall product will remain strong and durable as one entity, furthermore the dissertation or thesis will be quite flexible and stay open easily. The finishing touches such as name and logo of the university, the student’s degree and year lettered on the front cover and the spine in silver or gold add an elegant and chic appearance. Those who wish to use hardcover binding for their work will need to have in mind that such type requires a minimum number of 50 pages because of the spine thickness. As any other thing, case binding too carries along some disadvantages as well, aside from the expensive cost. For instance, since the pages are sewn in sections, it is not really practical to make drastic changes to the page count once the overall material has been bound. In addition, the overall process might take longer to be completed in comparison to the softcover binding.

•    Softcover binding – also known as perfect binding, is the much more cost-effective binding type that will also ensure a rather professional look to one’s dissertation or thesis document. The term perfect refers to the sharp and trimming of the pages that creates a clean overall look of the document. The perfect binding method includes a soft cover that is usually made out of clear plastic, heavy paper or high-quality card for both the front and back. The pages are usually attached to the spine with PUR adhesion or through a plastic comb. The price is significantly lower than the one of case binding, however it could vary since here several different materials such as PVC cover, comb metal or plastic spiral can be combined for the production of the final version of the bound document. For instance, a soft bound cloth thesis is a bit more pleasant looking as despite the soft covers the pages can be still sewn and glued to the spine, whereby the latter can be also embossed with gold or silver letters. Having this in mind, this softcover binding method would be eventually a bit more expensive in comparison to the comb-binding method where fewer, cheaper materials are used. This method is widely spread and is perfect for students who wish their work to be visually appealing yet affordable price-wise. However, the disadvantage here is that the overall quality is less sustainable than the one in case binding.

•    Thermal binding – is probably the most popular type of binding amongst students as it is perfect for all sorts of academic work such as term and seminar papers, assignments and all types of dissertations and theses. It is very similar to softcover binding as it consists of a transparent front film and slide binders that can also come in different colors and are visible on the front cover. Thermal binding can be also done with a special one-piece cover and a linen-textured back that has a strip of glue in the spine area. The process of thermal binding works on the principle of tightening and gluing the pages together through merging them with the front and back cover. A special machine is, however, needed as the glue needs to be heated first so it can bind to the paper and cover. What makes this method so popular is the affordable price, short production time and lightweight feeling once the document is bound. One of the downsides of thermal binding is that unlike perfect and case binding, here embossing is not an option unfortunately due to the clear cover. In addition, the final product is relatively unprotected from external factors and can be easily creased. 

These are the most used types of binding when it comes to Bachelor’s, Master’s or doctoral theses. Regardless of the wide choice that exists on top of these three methods, students must first and foremost make their decisions based on the requirements of their higher educational institution. Below we will provide a detailed overview of the different types of cover and paper and their purpose within the binding process.

Choosing the right cover
Once students have made up their minds on the type of binding they are going to be using, there are other important factors that need to be considered. One of these aspects is the cover. This section will aim at outlining the importance of an academic paperwork’s cover and the way to choose the right one. 
Choosing the right cover not only affects the overall appearance of the academic paper but also its durability. In the case of hardcover binding it is ensured that the dissertation or thesis will be long-lasting and protected from water spills, stains and creasing. Depending on the range of cover textures available at a particular printing company, students can further on choose between several different materials and fabrics for their cover such as leather, plastic, cloth or others. The overall visual appearance is determined also by the title stamped on the front. Having the title, name and university in gold or silver lettering will make every dissertation or thesis cover stand out with a sophisticated finish look that will capture the beholder’s attention at first sight. In addition, the university’s seal or emblem can be also added.
People often assume that when it comes to a more formal text students are quite limited in their choice, as they only get to include the name of their university and the title of their dissertation or thesis. However, this is not entirely true as in fact a cover of a dissertation or thesis can also have a particular design that is in accordance with the university requirements. What is even better are thematic covers, as they get to express their creativity in terms of finding the perfect visual representation of their written work. To do so, photos, graphs, figures or all sorts of abstract ideas can be used. The way to design such cover is usually through the usage of an illustration software such as Photoshop or InDesign. Students who find this process too difficult can always refer to a professional who will assist them with the design of the perfect cover.
Here at thesis.me we are working towards providing our users with simplified services executed only with high-quality materials. Students who wish to use our services can easily navigate on our website and choose the ideal design  for their dissertation or thesis. Currently we are offering the two main types of cover, i.e. soft and hard in several different colors. In addition, users will also be able to use our template with custom design options if they wish to create a cover sheet themselves.

Choosing the right paper
Finding the right paper for a dissertation or thesis is equally important as as it will add up to the overall quality of the academic work. There are several different types of paper that can be used in dissertation or thesis printing. Although students often neglect the matter of paper weight, it is probably the most important factor when choosing the right paper as it highly impacts the overall readability and appearance of the written content. The quality of the paper is mostly determined by its thickness that is usually measured in grams per square meter. The lower the number, the cheaper the quality will be, which is what students should look for when deciding on what paper their academic work will be printed on. Some of the most common paper thicknesses that are also offered on thesis.me are 80, 90 and 100 g/m², with the latter being the most common choice for a doctoral dissertation, whereas the majority of Bachelor’s and Master’s theses are printed on 80 g/m² or 90 g/m² paper. Another aspect that students should take into consideration when choosing the ideal paper weight is whether their paperwork should be printed one-sided or double-sided. A paper type with a lower index of thickness tends to be much more transparent and therefore unable to handle the amount of ink that a double-sided printing will generate. It is recommendable for students who want to print their work on both sides of the paper to go for a 100 g/m² paper type, especially if the overall content includes images or colors. One-sided dissertations, on the other hand, can be easily printed out on either 80 g/m² or 90 g/m² paper types. What students should consider here too is that heavier paper will contribute to the overall professional appearance of the academic text, as it adds an upscale feeling when touched. 
Another detail that requires attention when talking about choosing the right paper type is the coating and paper brightness. Although all paper is white, there are actually various degrees of brightness that will determine the appearance of the text. For instance, the brighter the paper is, the crisper and better looking will the overall content be. In addition, students can also choose between coated or uncoated paper. Clay or chalk coating allows letters and images to appear brighter, while the ink remains sealed and unable to get absorbed by the paper. The coating can be done with a matte, glossy or semi-gloss finish, of which matte is the most common choice when printing out a dissertation or thesis. Uncoated paper, too, is not necessarily a bad choice as it is easier to read since it hardly reflects any light.  

How are cover and paper related with the price of binding?
The final aspect that will probably affect the most people’s choice of cover, paper or binding types is the price. Some students might be looking for a cheaper alternative, whereas others might spend a fortune as long as their academic work looks as sophisticated as possible. Although the printing industry has a wide range of materials and machines to ensure that every student’s requirements and needs when it comes to binding are met, there is often the case that students are not quite sure how this process ends up to be so expensive. As explained above, binding a dissertation or thesis and involves several components that can be chosen either based on their quality or on their price. Case binding, hard covers and heavier paper, for instance, will be much more expensive as they require high-quality materials such as leather for the covers, cotton for the paper, or PUR glue for the binding to be made. In contrast, an 80 g/m² paper type with no coating, a PVC clear cover or a metal comb spiral will decrease the costs of the overall production significantly as in general such materials are cheaper than the abovementioned alternatives. In any case, a student’s decision should be first and foremost guided by their university’s requirements since otherwise their dissertation or thesis might not be even accepted or graded at a lower level. Here at thesis.me we strive at providing services at the upmost quality and at reasonable prices.
On thesis.me we offer quality binding services that will meet every university’s specifications. All our users need to do is to create an account that will grant them access to the Order page . The latter will display a form that allows students to choose the type of binding, type of cover along with the desired color, paper weight, and printing format. In addition, users can also benefit from three additional services, namely data checking, formatting, and a plagiarism check.

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