Your work isn’t finished when you’ve written your thesis and had it proofread. There is still a surprising amount of administrative work to do prior to submission. Don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take to turn your finished text into a final bound copy.

Here we present a checklist to follow in the run up to submission. It is designed both to allow you to make sure you’ve done everything possible, but also to see, in advance, how much work is required.
We have also written a PhD writing template to make sure you’ve got everything included in the text that should be. You might want to read it to make sure every part of your thesis does what it is meant to.

Click the image below to download a pre-submission checklist.


  1. Write an abstract. We’ve written a guide to help you write an abstract that stands out from the rest. You can also refer to our PhD Writing Template
  2. Write your acknowledgements. Our PhD Writing Template will also help here.
  3. Proofread your thesis. Have an expert do it. You’ve spent years – and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars – getting to this stage. Pay a professional to make sure you aren’t about to undermine it all by handing something in that contains errors and mistakes. Doing so will minimise your chances of corrections. Read our ten reasons why you need a proofreader for your PhD.
  4. Make sure you have a list of abbreviations, figures and tables clearly presented at the beginning of the thesis.
  5. Make sure you have a table of contents that is accurate and sufficiently comprehensive. Can you understand the main argument running through the thesis and through particular chapters just by reading chapter headings and sub-headings?



  1. Make sure you have found and read your university’s requirements for formatting and submission procedure.
  2. Format your thesis, including all tables, figures, charts and appendixes. Each university has different requirements and this can be very, very fiddly work.
  3. Format the references. Make sure they are using your university’s style and that all information is included. Make sure that every reference in the text is included in the bibliography and that every reference in the bibliography is included in the text.


Final checks

  1. Prepare all the necessary paperwork.
  2. Contact your submission office in time. Each university is different. Mine required three months notice that I was going to submit. Check yours well in advance.
  3. Get your thesis printed and bound. Check how many copies your university requires and what their requirements are for layout and binding.
  4. Get a signed receipt when you submit your thesis.
  5. Breathe out and celebrate!



If you’re at the submission stage that means you’re coming to the end of a long, difficult journey. Take time to reflect on how far you have come and how you overcame the obstacles in your way. Everyone’s PhD journey is different, but no less impressive. Congratulations.

Hello, Doctor…

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Be able to call yourself Doctor sooner with our five-star rated How to Write A PhD email-course. Learn everything your supervisor should have taught you about planning and completing a PhD.

Now half price. Join hundreds of other students and become a better thesis writer, or your money back.