Thesis preparation checklist

Please note: Procedures may vary depending on the academic unit and discipline. Not all these steps will necessarily be done in this sequence or at all, and the checklist may not be comprehensive for your particular discipline. Always check with your thesis supervisor and academic unit.

  1. Make sure you are aware of University rules about thesis preparation, including:
    • registration requirements and thesis time limits
    • research ethics board and other approvals required
    • regulations regarding academic fraud and plagiarism.
  2. Choose a topic and a supervisor.
  3. Obtain all ethics and other required approvals.
  4. Have preliminary meetings with the supervisor to discuss, for example, expectations and requirements.
  5. Consult authoritative sources and do independent research on how to research and write a thesis.
  6. Prepare a detailed work plan which includes milestone/deadline dates.
  7. Prepare a thesis proposal in consultation with your thesis supervisor.
  8. Submit your thesis proposal.
  9. Check to make sure the thesis supervisor gets all the necessary topic approvals from the academic unit.
  10. Check to make sure the thesis topic has been approved by the deadline.
  11. Have regular meetings with your thesis supervisor throughout the research and writing phases.
  12. Prepare thoroughly for these meetings.
  13. Modify and update your work plan as required.
  14. Seek copyright permissions as required.
  15. Keep in mind the parts of a thesis as you work. These parts include the:
    • title page
    • table of contents
    • list of tables and list of figures
    • legend
    • abstract
    • acknowledgements/preface
    • introduction
    • chapters of the thesis
    • conclusion
    • footnotes or endnotes
    • appendices
    • bibliography
  16. Back up all electronic files.
  17. Submit carefully prepared, publication-ready drafts for review by your thesis supervisor.
  18. Submit to the thesis supervisor for evaluation all raw data gathered.
  19. Make any changes and corrections required as a result of feedback. Use your thesis committee as a resource.
  20. Prepare a progress report at the specified intervals. If required, prepare for and lead your thesis seminar.
  21. Prepare and send the list of examiners one month prior to the submission of the thesis.
  22. Prepare the manuscript in accordance with the required technical standards related to:
    • margins
    • type size
    • font
    • line spacing
    • page numbering
    • conversion of units of measure to metric system as appropriate
    • paper dimensions and quality
    • illustrations
    • printing quality
    • number of copies.
  23. Have all copyright permissions in order
  24. Submit the thesis for evaluation in as many copies as are required. Check the submission deadlines for each term. Include a completed Statement of the Thesis Supervisor. 
  25. Be prepared to do revisions and to register once again prior to defence if necessary.
  26. Prepare for and do your oral thesis defence.
  27. Within one month after your defence, submit the final version of the thesis for approval by the supervisor.
  28. Once the final version is approved by the thesis supervisor, complete the request for diploma form or register online for the convocation 
  29. Make sure all debts to the university are paid. Otherwise, the degree will be withheld.
  30. Submit your thesis electronically to the University of Ottawa Library in uO Research (ruor). 
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