What did you do right at the very end?


I have about four weeks to go to submission date, and still have most of my conclusion to write, lots of editing and rewriting to do. I just wondered, what most people's experience of the last four weeks of their thesis was. What took the most time for you? Were there things that you weren't expecting to take lots of time that did?
Did anyone still have a lot of writing to do in the last four weeks?


The revising and editing took up the most time. I didn’t do much writing from scratch in the last four week—more rewriting of existing text. There is a point of diminishing returns for how much tinkering you can do with the thesis. Just ensure that your arguments are sound and people can understand what you did, how you did it and why.
Formatting wasn’t much of an issue as I knew most of the tricks and traps of Word. As long as you use page and section breaks and have a rudimentary knowledge of styles, you should be fine. There are always knowledgeable people around who can help you with that at a pinch.


The final four weeks were quite a frantic time for me. I still had the conclusion chapter to do, and at the same time I was waiting for my sv's comments on the fourth chapter. I had to check and re-check the bibliography, check the spelling and grammar, table of contents, etc.
I submitted the thesis online a few days before the final date. I was in a hurry to submit due to some reasons, so I didn't actually show the final version to my sv. Later he sounded kind of upset as I didn't show him the final version.
I remembered celebrating the final submission date with a lunch with my husband. Looking back, I think I expected to have a much bigger celebration but couldn't have one as I was still unemployed !


I've 2.5 weeks to go, am juggling it with a part-time job and have to:

* re-draft the conclusion
* improve the methods sections of two chapters
* do some more trivial corrections to the intro
* dump separate chapters into a handy pre-formatted thesis template

* get it bound, etc.

So we're probably in a similar position!


Yeah I did wonder about that Barramack - I have rewritten my main chapters quite a lot already, so they're pretty much ready to go I think. I don't think I can bear to rewrite them much more, and I think your advice about 'Just ensure that your arguments are sound and people can understand what you did, how you did it and why'' is spot on. I'm fine with Word, so that should all work ok :)

Peppa - yes, that's where I'm at, still with conclusion to do. My conclusion is long too (10,000 - argh!) and I'm only 1,000 words in. But if I wrote solidly for a week I reckon I could get a good draft together. Problem is I also have three jobs at the moment (oops! didn't plan this well then, did I!). But I'm trying to prioritise writing over everything else. Fortunately I stocked up the freezer with a few home made dinners and my son is back at school :D I haven't thought about a celebration at all, but I guess it's a very big deal so I should have one. Any excuse ;)

Ogriv - yep, I reckon we are, I have more writing to do but a bit more time. Good luck, good luck! I shall be thinking of you! My full list is this:

* rewrite poorly written intro
* update main 3 chapters following supervisor's (very light) comments
* write 9,000 words of a conclusion
* have a good look at bibliography and references, which might be a bit higgeldy piggeldy
* proofread (I've got someone lined up to do this for me too)
* print and bind

I've actually only got 3 weeks until I want to get it as finished as I can, to give my proofreader some time, but I'm not sure that's realistic because I'm working too... so it may be more like four. So... I'd better go get on with it then!
Target for today is another 1,000 words of the conclusion


From what I remember, in my final four weeks
I wrote my introduction (took about a week),
Wrote my discussion (~2 days),
Tidied up 1 or 2 chapters following light comments from supervisors.
Put everything into one document
Made contents page, acknowlegements, list of Tables and Figures
Put together my Appendices
Checked all references cos Endnote was being a pain (at the time there was a bug where anything published that year was coming up with no date!),
Re inputted all the graphs as one of the Postdocs made an off hand comment that they'd look better without a border!
Just about proof read it (I was left with an average of one typo per page in the submitted version!)
Printed and bound it.

In the end the intro and discussion took a lot less time to write than I anticipated. Also Word coped much better than I was expecting when I combined all my chapters. I was expecting it to crash/ endnote to struggle, but that all worked well.
Things like graphs, endnote, appendices I did not my laptop watching TV in the evening.

My final day I handed in by lunch time. I then spent the afternoon Wordle - ing my thesis whilst waiting for anyone to come and get drunk with me!

Good luck with submission. I seems like a lot to do, but everything kinda came together.


That is so encouraging!! Thank you :)

The end feels like it might finally be in sight and I've had a pretty good day's writing today. Got to keep going...


Hi Boakster! I'm at a similar stage, I frantically redrafted everything (and drafted from scratch a discussion) in the weeks before starting a job. I am 2 weeks into my job and have just received comments back from sups that need about a days work, I still have to do appendices, table of contents and abstract (plus one of my sups said to do an abstract for every data chapter...does anyone else do this?). Which I think I achieve this weekend if I wasn't so exhausted from my new job! But it's amazing what you can achieve under pressure!

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Quote From catalinbond:

My final day I handed in by lunch time. I then spent the afternoon Wordle - ing my thesis whilst waiting for anyone to come and get drunk with me!

Classic! ...hope you did! ;)