Submitting drafts

Some supervisors want to see a completed first draft. Others want to read and comment on each chapter as it is drafted. The student should discuss this in advance with the supervisor.

Students should always make sure they submit a clean, publication-ready draft so that the supervisor can focus on the substance of the work rather than being distracted by typographical errors or incomplete referencing.

This means that before handing in work, the student should:

  • Number the pages
  • Run a spell check
  • Carefully proofread the draft for any other errors
  • Check that the final printed pages are in order
  • Make sure all notes and references cited are complete and not missing parts of titles, page numbers, publishers or dates of publication, for example.
  • In general, submit only work that is “publication ready,” which means the draft does not need editing. This is good practice for preparing the final version.


Supervisors should always inform students if they require more than the usual amount of time to provide feedback.

Make the most of the access to knowledge and experience that having a thesis supervisor provides. A good working relationship between a thesis supervisor and student can be a crucial element in a student’s successful thesis preparation and defence.

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