Todd Jefferson

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Have you finally finished your scepticism? Great! There's just one essential thing left to perfect it: check it! It makes a big difference if you read it over (several times) so you can spot any gaps and fill them in. It's important to check both the content and the form before you finally sit back and enjoy your holiday. Even if you don't know exactly what to check, use this list!


From a content point of view, ticking all the items on the list below will give you peace of mind that your essay is in order:

  • Did you really write about the title?
  • Have you met the objectives you stated?
  • Have you used sources relevant to your topic? Have you used all you wanted to?
  • Have you cited them, one by one, precisely?
  • Did you include your figures and pictures?
  • Did you promise and use what you promised in the text?
  • Are the necessary structural units in order and included? (Table of contents, Introduction, Body of material: secondary and primary research, Summary, Bibliography, Appendices: list of figures, draft questionnaire, draft interview, interview transcript)
  • Does the introduction and summary really frame your work?
  • Are there references back to your hypothesis?
  • Have you indicated further areas of research?
  • Are there no contradictions in your thesis?
  • Is everything clear and not too complicated?
  • Have you kept your promise to come back to it later and explain it?
  • Do the figures fit the text? Do you only include what is really important?
  • You didn't leave out the abstract, did you?

Have you got it so far? Great, now all that's left is a bit of style and formatting:


From a stylistic point of view, these should be what your sakdog needs:

  • word repetitions avoided?
  • Do you use jargon regularly and correctly?
  • Is grammatical correct? (Feel free to turn that spelling dictionary over and ask an outsider to read it over, so they can spot mistakes, misspellings, meaningless and overlong sentences that you might miss or that the spell checker doesn't throw out.)
  • Does the table of contents include all chapters and subchapters?
  • Are the page numbers correct?
  • And in the table of figures?
  • Are punctuation marks correct, subjects correct (singular-plus-syllable match)?
  • Is the use of E/1 verbs avoided?


  • compliant: font, size, colour, paragraph indentation, line spacing, margins?
  • Page and character count met?
  • Are subheadings and headings consistent in colour, size, indentation?
  • are images, figures in order, not sliding, not misplaced (not leaving undue blank space), included in the list of figures?
  • bibliography: is everyone included according to the formal requirements (italics, year, publisher, alphabetical order...)?
  • are page numbers indicated?
  • margins set to take account of spacing?
  • title page in order: institution, department, teacher, my name, year of publication, place of publication, address?

If all the criteria on your list are preceded by a tick, congratulations! You have finished your degree! Now hurry up so you don't have to queue for hours to knit! And one more thing: save it as a PDF and print it out before printing, so your pages won't slip on a foreign computer.

More information:

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