As dissertation submission deadlines are rapidly approaching, many students will be constructing their essays and going over them repeatedly in order to try and produce the perfect document. To save you a bit of time (and stress), we thought it would be a good idea to outline a dissertation checklist – a quick overview of how to get the main structure and essential elements just right.

A chance to shine
Writing a dissertation is an opportunity to showcase your skills. It is your chance to address an important issue, so be prepared to be different! It is ok to use prejudice or humour if it can help to support your argument – in fact strong viewpoints will make your essay stand out.

To avoid pressure and stress building up, create a weekly timetable of dissertation goals, and then make sure you stick to them. This will ensure that you have sufficient time to concentrate on the crucial elements of the document structure.

Dissertation Checklist

The main check when proofreading text is not really for typos (although be sure to fix those you will see), but rather for clarity.

You should have:
• A general introduction, and general conclusion
• An introduction, and conclusion of each chapter
• Summary/abstract – is one included? (Sometimes they are written in a 10 minute haze, in which case it’s worth checking over)
• Acknowledgments

Figures/Tables and Captions

• Check if figures/tables have captions
• Check if the figure/table numbers are correct
• Do the figures/tables match the captions?

Margins and Page numbers

• Are your pages numbered?
• Check if the page numbers continue if the document is divided into different sections.

Headings, Titles, and Subheadings

Check that correct heading styles are applied to chapters, sections, and subsections:
• Heading 1 (level 1) headers are for chapter titles
• Heading 2 (level 2) headers are for major subdivisions of a chapter
• Heading 3 (Level 3) headers are for subsections within level 2 sections

Consult your university style guide. Are you using the correct referencing format? Make sure that any referenced names, books, or papers use the correct spelling!

Have you included any interview questions/questionnaires and data-sets in the appendices?

• What is the required word count for the dissertation?
• Where and when should you submit the document?

By following these tips, the dissertation will soon be looking much more professional and your argument will have a stronger foundation. Small details have a great deal of importance when it comes to achieving good grades, so do not leave anything to chance.

Lastly, allocate plenty of time to edit and proofread your essay, and also have others look over it too. If the stress is reaching the breaking point and you need a helping hand to submit your document on time, take a look at our dissertation services. Our experienced team will be glad to help you make the deadline!