For university students, whether they’re completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or a PhD, it usually all culminates in a dissertation or thesis - a piece of work that heavily influences what result they come out with.

Read more: What Are The Different Types Of Binding

With a document of such importance that will often take literally hundreds of hours to complete, it’s no surprise that universities will usually have very specific instructions on how it should be presented. And that will nearly always include binding covers of some sort.

We’ve put together some tips for students and binders (those who bind, in case you were wondering) for binding dissertations and theses.

Dissertation & Thesis Binding Tips For Students

So you’ve spent who knows how many coffee-fuelled late nights researching, writing and re-writing your dissertation, and it’s finally ready to be handed in. Well, it needs to be handed in; whether it’s ready or not is a different matter.

Either way, you need to make sure it’s presented and bound properly.

Read your uni’s binding instructions properly

There are no universal binding instructions across all universities, so it’s essential you find out exactly what’s expected of you. Perhaps you didn’t even know you had to actually have it bound!

Does it need to be a certain type of binding? For example, they might insist on it being thermal bound and won’t accept any other type. Do you need to have any specific text or wording displayed on the front/back?

Read more: Thermal Binding vs Other Types of Binding

You need to know all of this so you can communicate it to the person doing your binding. If the university have their own on-site binder then they will have a good idea of what’s needed, but you still need to be as specific as possible so no mistakes are made.

Don’t leave it to the last minute

Whilst many students may be used to leaving their essay writing to the last minute, don’t do the same with your dissertation or thesis. Not only will you end up stressed, but you need to leave time for the finishing touches, such as getting it bound.

And don’t leave the binding until the last minute either. Binders and print shops will be inundated with requests from students, so don’t assume they’ll be able to fit you in at a moment’s notice. It may take a few days to get your dissertation bound, so allow for plenty of time.

Get a couple of copies made

Get at least two copies of your thesis or dissertation bound. One reason for this is that, should the worst happen and you lose or damage your original, you still have a spare. Also, it may just be nice to have a copy to keep for yourself!

Dissertation & Thesis Binding Tips For Binders

If you’re an already-established binder or print shop, then you probably already know what you’re doing. In which case, head straight over to our great selection of binding supplies and get buying!

However, for those new to the binding game…

Understand universities’ conventions

Whilst it is the job of the student to know exactly what they want and need, it really does pay to have some knowledge of what the unis in your area prefer. That way you can advise the students and provide a much more comprehensive service.

It also means you know what equipment and supplies you’re going to need in advance so you can stock up.

Offer a wide range of binding

As mentioned above, different universities have different requirements for how material is bound, so make sure you offer a wide range of binding to accommodate everyone. You may find that students want work aside from their dissertation or thesis bound, and in which case, they may want other types of binding.

Read more: What Is Thermal Binding?

Thermal binding is likely to be a popular request from universities as it looks very professional, so it will definitely be worth investing in a thermal binding machine.

Offer more ways for students to send work to you

Once upon a time, the only way to get something bound was to physically walk into a print shop and hand over your documents. While that’s still an incredibly important service to offer, as it gives that personal touch, it’s important to broaden your horizons and offer more ways for students to submit their work.

Set up an email address or submission form on your website through which students can submit their work. So much is done online now that you need to move with the times.

Check, check and check again

Ensure you follow the student’s instructions to the letter. If you think they’ve made a mistake, then double check with them. If they assure you they’re right, then go with it.

If you make a mistake, such as using the wrong type of binding, missing a page out, etc, then it could lead to the work not being accepted by the university. Of course, this does not look good for you and could impact future business. Put a stringent checking process in place.

If the student makes a mistake and you follow their instructions, then that’s their fault.

Be patient with students

You may well encounter some very stressed out students who don’t know the first thing about binding and what they need doing. You’re the expert, so be patient with them.

If you need any help with your binding supplies and equipment, please get in touch.