As Charles R Swindoll said, “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” Writing a thesis or dissertation is for students the most important part of their education, where they are required to create a comparatively long academic document. Years of study, research and lots of effort are all put in this one piece of work in the end. However, when it comes to academic writing, having brilliant ideas and methodical knowledge is not enough. It is the small details that always matter, too. Not only does the first impression matter, the last impression is even more important, because it will probably remain forever. This article highlight the necessary steps one should take before submitting a paper or a thesis in order to ensure that it is impressive down to the smallest detail.
Proper arrangement of the content, correct spelling, proper formatting, as well as a sound printing actually make a huge difference. Students need to take the time they need to double or even triple-check everything concerning their thesis or dissertation before submitting it because several aspects and details are important in order for the thesis/dissertation examiner to be impressed. This includes several steps, namely editing, doing a plagiarism check, formatting and, proofreading and finally, the printing and binding of the thesis.
Editing is the process in which either the writer/the student or a professional editor makes changes or to improve the content-related quality of their academic text, as well as to ensure that that all the required criteria of the thesis or the dissertation are met. Clarity, consistency and precision are important aspects of any academic text, especially when it is about a thesis or dissertation. Going through the whole thesis or dissertation one more time and check if the individual parts actually fit together, if they are well-structured, and factually correct is a must-do. A clear, concise, and conclusive text is what every writer should aim for when writing a thesis or dissertation, especially since every author that is working on a text over an extended period of time is prone to making mistakes.
Plagiarism is something that should not be underestimated and can actually lead to some serious consequences. While a minor case of plagiarism may just lead to an uncomfortable and unpleasant conversation with one’s thesis advisor, a major case the can even lead to the expulsion from the university, among other things. Plagiarism stands for directly copying, paraphrasing, or even translating content material from physical books or e-books, websites or other data carriers without including a citation or a reference to the original source. In fact, if one forgets to cite the actual source, this will automatically be considered an act of plagiarism, which is actually a crime. After a student finishes writing the thesis, they have to make sure that there is no existing plagiarism in the text and all citations used are included. However, identifying all that can be considered some sort of plagiarism might not be easy. If students still feel a little insecure about what can be actually considered plagiarism, they should use the professional help provided on thesis.me. There, students can upload their academic documents as a .pdf file once it is officially done and the online plagiarism checker will do the rest in order to make sure that the thesis or the dissertation is original. On Thesis & Me, documents are reviewed in detail and the final result will tell exactly which part or parts of the text need to be rephrased or in some cases entirely rewritten, and which ones need citation.
The exact formatting a thesis or dissertation is supposed to have may vary from university to university and from one faculty to another. But knowing the exact requirements is essential when one is preparing to submit his or her work soon. Some crucial questions concerning the formatting are: what font should be used, what margin size, line spacing, and typeface are required? It is better to sort out everything at an earlier stage in order to decrease the stress level and minimize the chance for a potential reformatting crisis to occur. If it occurs that students are still not sure if the formatting is exactly as it is supposed to be according to the requirements, they have the opportunity to receive additional formatting help on Thesis & Me. Writers can upload their document and the formatting will be double-checked and corrected by professionals as per the exact requirements given. Thanks to this option, students can save some valuable time and instead of checking the formatting of their academic document, they can focus on another important aspect.
Before submitting a thesis or dissertation, students need to make sure that they will deliver a fine piece of writing. Spelling and grammar errors can actually cost the writer some valuable points. Both correct grammar and punctuation are indispensable parts of any well-written thesis. Those little things like spelling, typographic mistakes, inconsistent use of acronyms, and incorrect tense can actually make the whole thesis look very unprofessional. They can create a bad impression and it is highly possible to even turn off the reader. That is why prospective graduates should take as much time as they need to go through every single word and sentence in their thesis or dissertation and try to eliminate all errors. When one has worked very hard for a long period of time to develop and present his or her ideas, the last thing that a writer would like is careless errors distracting the readers from what one has to say or even affect the overall result. It is important for the writer to pay attention to all the details that will help him make an excellent impression. No matter how carefully one has checked the whole thesis, there will certainly still be some small errors that can be found there. Proofreading everything from cover to cover is the only way to detect them. However, the proofread should not be done at the last minute because when under stress and pressure students are far more likely to miss important things or errors. It is better for the proofread of the thesis to be done several days before printing and binding it.
Here are some useful tips that can actually help students deal easily with the proofreading of their academic paper:
Even though this is not the first thing that comes into mind when going through the text, redundancy can actually affect negatively the value of the academic paper and the final grade which the student will receive. When proofreading their thesis/dissertation, students need to watch out for repeating expressions, phrases or content used multiple times.
It is highly essential that the writer of the thesis or the dissertation has actually included page numbers that correspond to the Table of Contents. Through the Table of Contents, the reader will be able to see how the thesis and the content are generally organized and if needed, to skip down to a particular section.
Dissertations and theses often include tables, charts, and images. One benefit of using them is that they allow different types of data to be presented in a clear and concise way in order to additionally illustrate a lengthy explanation. Proofreading the text can often involve changes in the layout of some graphics, images or tables used in the academic paper. It must be checked whether all illustrations are correctly positioned, labeled, and linked to the corresponding information in the List of Tables and/or List of Figures, depending on the case. Another important aspect students need to keep in mind when using images is to always make sure that the included images are displayed in the highest quality possible and the correct size so that they are clearly visible in the printed version of the document, too.
Students are supposed to add the references they use in their thesis as they write and work on it. Therefore, double-checking all the references at the end is a must, too. First, every statement in the document which actually requires a reference should be identified. After that, writers need to make sure that the references are in the right place within the text and in the required format as well. There are several citation styles that are most commonly used, including APA (author/date) style, Harvard referencing style, Vancouver, Chicago, and Turabian referencing style. Which one to use depends on the preferences of the particular higher education institution or faculty. What is important in this context is that students always use one style consistently and never mix-and-match them. Every single reference used in the text has to be included in the reference list at the end of the thesis. If a student has made some changes while going through the document, he/she has to then ensure that there are no references in the reference list which are no longer used in the text. It must be double-checked whether the in-text references match those in the reference list, and whether the reference list follows an alphabetical order.
In general, a good and detailed proofread needs to be methodical. Instead of trying to catch any type of mistake at once, a better idea might be to do several passes instead and focus on a different aspect of the thesis in each pass, e.g. formatting citations, grammar and spelling, etc.
When one aims to spot every single mistake in a text while going through it for the last time, it is then a must to be one hundred percent concentrated. No distractions, no interruptions, no cell phones, television, radio or social media have a place when the submission day is almost here.
When a student has been working on a thesis or dissertation for a long period of time, a pair of fresh eyes and a fresh mind can actually catch mistakes that the writer cannot just because when one is overly familiar with the text, some small errors most certainly slip through. It is always a good idea for someone else than the writer that is competent and reliable enough to proofread the academic document. For two heads are always better than just one. This someone could be a close friend, a relative or a fellow student or a professional proofreader, for example.
After a thesis or a dissertation is edited, checked for plagiarism, formatted and proofread, the next step concerns the printing and binding of the document. Usually, the supervisor’s first impression is shaped by the way a student has printed and bound the thesis or the dissertation. In theory, this part of the process should be the easiest after all the work has been done. However, there is a lot to be considered when it comes to printing and binding options. Should it be black&white or in color, single or double-sided, thick or heavier paper, fastback or spiral binding? Since there are no universal binding and printing requirements – they strictly depend on the university or the faculty –, the first thing a student has to do is to find out the exact binding and printing requirements of the university. The next step is to decide whether they are going to use professional printing or they will do the whole work themselves instead. After putting so much effort, time, care and even stress into creating one fine piece of work, the last thing a student wants to deal with is the printing or binding of the document. That is why many students prefer to use the professional online printing services offered on Thesis & Me, where every student can easily upload the .pdf version of the thesis or the dissertation and receive the printed hard-copy version within a particular timeframe.
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