The hard work is over. Congratulations. You’ve spent the last three or four months, or two to three weeks depending on just how well planned the whole process has been, beavering away to produce a dissertation you can be proud of. Now, it’s just a case of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts before you kick back and enjoy a hard-earned break.

However, before you hand in the final version of your work, it’s essential you conduct a few checks to prevent you from falling at the final hurdle.

We asked Oxbridge Essays, a professional essay writing service, for their two cents’ on the ultimate dissertation hand-in checklist. Here’s what they had to say.

The Abstract

To produce a truly succinct, descriptive and representative abstract, it is usually best to write it once the dissertation is finished. The abstract is simply a highly condensed summary of the entire dissertation. It might be difficult to pick the bare bones out of a piece of worked you have been consumed by for the last few months, but it’s essential you get it right. Here are some abstract writing tips from the University of Plymouth.


The chances are you’ve probably been a bit of a miserable beast for the past couple of weeks, so now you’ve finished the main body of your work, this a good chance to take stock and think of all those people who have helped you along the way. It’s not essential that you include a page of acknowledgements, but if someone has given you some much needed guidance, it’s a lovely way to say thank you.

Appendix and bibliography

Before you start writing up your appendix or bibliography, you should a couple of minutes to consult your university handbook to get the format right. At this stage you do not want to be writing the same information more than once, so check the university’s formatting preferences first.

The bibliography should detail every source and material you have used throughout the dissertation. Each entry should be placed on its own line, with commas separating each detail and a full stop at the end. The entries should be arranged in alphabetical order using the author’s surname.

The appendix should be the final page of your dissertation, after the bibliography, and should include any research materials you have not cited in the main body of your text, but which provide additional information relevant to your argument. Appendices can include questionnaires, graphs and tables of data.

Table of contents and page numbering

Once everything has been thoroughly proofread and the dissertation has been checked for the consistency of the formatting throughout, it’s now time to get your pages numbered and to draw up your table of contents. There are no tricks with the table of contents, simply space the page out well and be sure to include both the chapter and page numbers.


Nothing says “I’m at university, look at me now”, quite like a binding machine, because unless you plan to take your studies further, this is probably the only time you will ever use one. You might have been asked to use a hard or cardboard cover, so check that first. Then, simply step back and kiss your dissertation goodbye!

This article was written by J.Gibbons

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