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Any mistakes discovered in your graduate thesis after binding it? Practical tips and advice

A thesis or dissertation submission day is something long-awaited by every student. Future graduates are both happy to be finally done with their biggest assignment but at the same time, they are nervous about the result too. Sometimes, because of all the stress and worries around the thesis submission, students happen to overlook some very important details of their document. It might happen that just one or two days before the submission deadline, after months of sleepless nights and hard work, after the project is finally printed and bound, one finds out that there is a spelling mistake on the title page. Or maybe one of the pages is missing. No matter what, the mistake just has to be corrected as soon as possible. The present article will introduce to students all the different binding methods that allow for changes to be done after binding. By reading the article, students will be more prepared to choose the most appropriate binding method for their thesis or dissertation and will know how to easily manage if any mistakes are found in their academic paper after binding.

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What might get wrong with your thesis

Nowadays, universities require the dissertation or thesis to be submitted both electronically, as a soft copy, and as a hard copy. Soft and hard copy are equally important. However, the first impression of the thesis examiner and all the committee members will be shaped completely by the way the document’s hard copy looks like. In some cases, the appearance may even have an impact on the final grade that the student will receive. After all, a thesis/dissertation is something that is done just once in a lifetime and it is essential to be done the right way. Now, what if after months or even years of research, lots of effort and stress, one happens to notice that in the perfectly bound thesis or dissertation one single but a very important page is missing? Or what if there is a spelling error made by accident in the title or elsewhere in the text? And maybe one did not use the right font that was required. This is definitively not the best thing that can happen to a future graduate right before the submission deadline, but it is certainly not the end of the world either. Because there is a solution to this problem. 


Making corrections to your thesis or dissertation after binding is possible

Presenting a messy and unprofessional hard-copy version of a thesis that has errors is like attending a job interview wearing gym clothes – it is extremely inappropriate. However, the good news is that there is hope in that finding mistakes in the already bound thesis/dissertation might not be as scary as it sounds. Depending on the binding method one has used for the thesis/dissertation, it can still be possible to make the correction needed without having to print and bind the whole project all over again. Listed below are the six binding methods that allow changes to be made after the thesis/dissertation is bound.

  • Plastic comb binding

Comb binding has been around for over forty years and it is considered the most common binding method used in schools, higher education institutions, and offices. What makes this binding method so popular is that the plastic binding allows the printed document to open flat, which makes it pretty easy for certain or all pages to be copied. Moreover, it is a very economical type of binding students like to use. Of course, what also makes the comb binding method very famous among students is that is pretty easy to make changes in a document after binding. The only thing that students need to do is to carefully use their fingers or a ring opener to re-open the plastic combs after binding, remove the erroneous page or insert the missing one respectively, and close the ring again. The changes will take almost no time and in the end, it will not be visible at all that any changes were done to the thesis. Future graduates will have a professional-looking thesis/dissertation copy that can still be edited very quickly in case something else occurs. 

  •  ZipBind binding

ZipBind is actually a brand for spines created by the General Binding Corporation and looks similar to twin-loop wire spines. ZipBind spines are designed in a way that allows the document to lie completely flat after binding while the pages can rotate a full 360 degrees. The spines are usually available in two sizes – 3/8’’ and 1/2’’ – with the first size allowing to bind up to 55 pages and the second – up to 85 pages. ZipBind spines definitely provide a thesis or a dissertation with an upscale look and are considered a commonly preferred binding method among students around the world. Although ZipBind spines look very similar to wire spines, the main purpose of the former is that they can be easily re-opened, which is something that cannot be done when using wire binding method. There is a special tool that can be used to pop the spine open in case some changes need to be done. Pages can easily be added or removed, depending on the case. The best thing about binding with ZipBind spines is that no machine is actually required for the process of binding or unbinding, but it can be done manually.

  • ProClick binding 

In 2004, the General Binding Corporation announced a new, revolutionary binding method called ProClick. With a 110-sheet capacity and a 5/8" diameter, ProClick spine is the ideal choice for most academic documents. ProCklick spines are considered similar to ZipBind spines. This binding method is specially designed to allow users to easily edit documents that are already bound in case of need. The sturdy binding spine simply zips open and closed. Students can use either the special ProClick tool or just an ordinary pencil to open it – simple as that. There is no need to use a heavy binding machine. Proclick is made to be used along with a 3:1 pitch hole pattern making it compatible with many similar twin loop wire binding machines. 

  • Fastback binding

Fastback binding method is very popular because of how easy and convenient it is to bind a document, requiring no paper punching or hassle. In addition, documents bound using the fastback method look very simple but professional and that is why it is a very common type of binding chosen for dissertations and theses. However, it is not possible to bind or unbind a document without equipment. Fastback binding method includes several different models of professional fastback binding machines. Like the other three binding methods, the fastback one also allows for changes to be done after the document was bound. However, the only problem is that one can only add or remove two pages at a time but not more, which makes it not the most convenient binding method if there are many changes to be done after binding.

  • Thermal binding

Thermal binding, as the name implies, uses heat in the process of binding documents to the cover. In fact, it is the most common binding method for books but is also the perfect choice for binding any other type of documents, including academic reports and theses. Ph.D. dissertations will also look flawless when thermal-bound. Thermal binding is a very easy and quick way of binding because it is used as a one-step process and not a multistep process. It requires almost no effort to bind an academic paper but in the end, it will give the project the professional finish needed. The thermal binding method is maybe the easiest method but at the same time, it is also considered very durable because the glue is heated within the cover so that it binds to the paper one has inserted. However, thermal binding cannot be done manually but only with the help of a binding machine. It is also a binding method that can be a little more expensive than other methods. Depending on the type of thermal binding machine used, different amounts of pages can be bound. After a student has used a thermal binding machine to bind the thesis or the dissertation, they can easily insert or delete pages to make a quick change to the project even if it is at the last minute. One just needs to place the bound thesis/dissertation back on the machine and the glue will heat up enough so that several pages can be removed, replaced or added without damaging the document. However, the catch is that it is possible to make changes after thermal binding only once or twice at maximum. Otherwise, the glue in the spine will not be able to hold on to any more pages, leaving the future graduate with a ruined thesis hard copy.


Thesis & Me is here to help!

Finding mistakes in a finalized thesis hard copy right before the submission is definitely not a pleasant moment for future graduates. While the research and writing part may come with its own set of difficulties, finding mistakes in one’s own text and on time, before the document is printed and bound, might be a difficult task because one usually tends to overlook the most obvious flaws. Due to the proximity to one’s own text, it can easily happen that one misses something like a typo or grammar mistake. Moreover, students tend to underestimate the formatting or the printing of their academic projects, which is very important for the final version of the document and if the formatting is wrong, there will be a need for corrections again. Even if it is still possible to edit a thesis that has been already bound, wouldn’t it be better if this could be all just avoided? 
On Thesis & Me students can use the help of professionals who will proofread, edit and format the document exactly as it is supposed to be, and avoid any hassle in terms of editing their documents at the worst-possible time. Future graduates can take a deep breath, relax and leave it all to the professionals of Thesis & Me. We will take care of everything – from data integrity checks of the electronic file through proofreading and formatting the whole text, to the last steps of printing and binding the academic paper in a way that impresses from the first sight.

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