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    Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

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        Final Submission Checklist | Dissertation & Thesis

        • calenderJul 28, 2022
        • calender 5 min read

        Writing a dissertation is a lengthy process that often takes months or even years. Over time, your thesis is likely to have taken a lot of unexpected turns which see changes in the way you write, the arguments you’re putting forward, and even the direction of your research! To wrap all of this up in a professional and coherent manner, it’s a good idea to go through a comprehensive checklist before submitting the final dissertation to your university. Here’s a last-minute dissertation checklist that will get your draft in order. 

        Why do you need a dissertation checklist?

        There are some researchers who rush through the dissertation writing process and others who take weeks and months to perfect the final report. A final checklist is crucial for both groups because there are numerous aspects of the dissertation to review: everything from the title to the final entry in the reference list.

        Having a handy checklist when you’re revising the dissertation will help you streamline the editing process. It will help you identify precise goals and focus on them in each stage. For example, you will want to dedicate specific rounds for content checks, formatting, tables and images, the reference list, grammar and language, and so on. The goal is to ensure that you give each of these aspects enough time and effort during the final check. 

        After writing, it’s best to keep the dissertation aside for a few days and then jump into this. Let’s explore a few things you will be paying attention to while crossing off items in the final dissertation checklist. 

        What’s in the last-minute dissertation checklist? 

        Content check 

        The actual contents of your dissertation is undoubtedly the most important of the whole piece. This round of checking involves you reviewing the body of your entire dissertation, from the abstract to the conclusion or recommendations section. Your aim here is to see if the content flows well and is coherent to anyone who reads it. 

        At this point, you’re checking to see that you’ve answered all the questions you’ve asked and tied up other loose ends. This is NOT when you’re reworking the arguments of your dissertation. This is simply a cursory check, so if you’re having last-minute jitters and want to change the direction of your thesis, don’t give in to it! Trust that you’ve already put your best foot forward. Now it’s just about fine-tuning minor kinks. 

        Here are some guiding questions for this stage: 

        • Have I answered my research question(s) adequately? 
        • Do my title and abstract accurately convey the purpose and aims of my research? 
        • Have you been clear about the impact of your research and the contribution it will make to the field?

        Citations and references 

        Citing sources and adding detailed (and impeccably formatted) references are two of the most tedious processes in academic writing. It gets to the best of us, especially in times of stress. But it has to be done. If your citations and references are not properly done, you could easily get a lower grade on an otherwise well-done research project. So dedicate ample amount of time to checking your citations and references so you don’t lose marks for silly mechanical errors. 

        Citations and references also allow you to clarify which parts of your dissertation document your findings and which paraphrase, quote, or reference someone else’s work. It will also clarify that your work has not been plagiarized. 

        If you’re struggling to do this round of editing on your own and you have some cash to spare, consider taking a professional editor’s help to perfect your dissertation’s in-text citations and references. 

        Pro-tip: Don’t forget to note the edition of the style guide you’re working with! 

        Tables, figures, and visual elements 

        Pay close attention to the non-text elements of your dissertation. If you have images, figures, appendices, and other things that are slightly disjointed from the text, consider reviewing them separately. In this round, you are likely to check for things like alignment, accuracy, proper formatting, readability and coherence, labeling, etc. Recheck of each element accompanies the text it’s supposed to and corresponds with the table of contents (if necessary).

        Language and grammar 

        Last but not least, proofread your dissertation before you submit it. In the larger scheme of things, a typo or two may not seem to matter. But your grades are on the line — and silly language errors are a gateway to bad grades. You must absolutely do a round of proofreading to rectify misspelled words, grammar errors, misplaced punctuation, incomplete sentences, etc. 

        Head over to this guide to know more about how you can self-edit your dissertation

        Just to summarize + the FINAL dissertation checklist 

        This is quite a lengthy process with many rounds. Here’s a checklist that will make things a bit easier: 

        If you’re interested in an extensive chapter-by-chapter last-minute dissertation checklist, click here.

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        Chetna Linkedin

        Chetna is a child of the internet. A writer and aspiring educator, she loves exploring digital media to create resources that are informative and engaging. Away from the writing desk, she enjoys cinema, coffee, and old books.

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