Handing in

writing your thesis

So Friday is the big day – taking my soft-bound document to Durham to hand it in.  I thought I would share a few things that I have learnt at this stage of the process:

  1. Mirrored margins are really clever!  If you didn’t already know there’s a function in Word that knows you need a wider margin on the left hand side of odd numbered pages and on the right hand side of even numbered pages for double sides printing.  I haven’t yet worked out how to make page numbers move around but I’m sure there must be a way.  In the meantime, the best solution was centred page numbers.
  2. I can’t for the life of me get the formatting of tables of tables and tables of figures right.  So I have given up.  My mantra has become “Is this issue big enough for them to fail me?” and if the answer was “unlikely” – I left it.
  3. Ensuring all the sections were numbered correctly was also a nightmare and seemed to take on a life of its own.  It got to the point where I dreaded reopening the document for fear of what havoc Word had wreaked on it whilst I wasn’t looking.  It seems that as long as you confine changes to your numbered list whilst at the first numbered item you’ll be ok.  If you make any other changes further on you’ll be in trouble.
  4. Page breaks are a nightmare.  For added interest in Word, if you put a page break too close to where it might come naturally, it appears to move between when it is in the normal view of the document and where it actually ends up in the printed version.   I was trying to get all my chapters to start on odd numbered pages.  Three binned printouts taught me to move the artificially inserted page breaks further away from the natural ones.
  5. Beware of the Endnote travelling library function.  You think you have corrected a reference, but the wrong version keeps appearing in your document?  Most likely there is a travelling library causing the problem.  Thank goodness for Google and chatroom help – I had to delete all my travelling library references and then the problem was corrected.
  6. Binding feels like a big deal but really it’s the printing out that takes the time.  Your heart is racing, your body is acting like it’s about to jump out of an aeroplane or something – the computer and the software all feel like they are at the limit of their capacities…Make sure your printer is full of paper, full of ink and the waste toner cartridge is not about to say it’s full up…

All I need to do on Friday is get to the right place to hand it in with the appropriately completed forms and the requisite number of softbound copies…

And the small matter of the Viva.