Notes to Students Producing Dissertations
- Read and fully understand the regulations governing your dissertation. When you have read them, read them again.
- Give particular attention to your title page. Every book produced has a title page, be it fiction or non-fiction. Many students do not provide a title page, which means that the bookbinder cannot check the spelling of the title, or the initials and given name of the student – and also the degree and year of submission – to ensure correct lettering in gold. Many people confuse the title page with the outside front board of your hard binding. Double check the information required on both.
- Most mistakes occur in the pages preceding the actual chapters, e.g. contents pages, bibliography, acknowledgements.
- Production of Copies: Common practice nowadays is to print out from disk via a computer. If more than one copy is required, it is usually more economical, quicker and easier to have the document professionally printed. When printing your document please use good quality paper no less than 80gsm and no greater then 100gsm. Please use the same paper all the way through the volume, mixing paper types and weights causes problems in the binding process and detracts from the quality of the finished product. If it’s worth binding it's worth printing well!
We know of many clients who try to print 200 page plus documents on a domestic printer bought from PC World. It can take days to print your document this way. If you are printing on a more commercial printer (for example, one at your place of work) make sure that your computer and printer are compatible. Very often, if you use a computer at home to write your dissertation and then try to print it out using a different computer elsewhere you may find conflicts with pagination, indexing and change of page breaks which readily occur through using different versions of Microsoft Word. The use of PDF files at this point becomes very useful (see section 6).
Some clients may wish to photocopy any additional copies that may be required. Whichever of the above methods is used, i.e. print-out or photocopy, it is crucial to check every page in each volume before giving it to the bookbinder for processing.
In our experience this is an area likely to cause problems for most clients and they greatly underestimate the time required for the production of the thesis/dissertation at this point.
- Margins are very important, particularly the left-hand binding margin. Again, check your regulations for actual sizes of margins required. We recommend margins no smaller than 25mm for the spine and 20mm on all others
- There are a number of methods by which the bookbinder can receive your work. If using electronic methods we strongly suggest you convert your document into a PDF file. Once converted, the PDF is un-editable and will not vary from one PC to another. You can then send the PDF via this website, via email, or if needs be via a CD through post. If you require the bookbinder to receive your dissertation via the Royal Mail please make sure you only use the Guaranteed Next Day system, as any cheaper method could result in your dissertation not arriving in time to be completed for your submission date. This system is fully traceable via the web and is usually very reliable.
- When you have finished checking your work, very nicely ask a third party to check it again on your behalf. When you are mentally and physically tired it is very easy to miss what at other times would be obvious mistakes, a fresh pair of eyes is always best at this stage. Remember, four eyes are always better than two.
- Finally may I wish you the best of luck in finishing your document and I hope that all your hard work is fruitful.
Terry Walker C.G.L.I.
T Walker & Company