A Practical Guide to Thesis Printing

So imagine you’ve written this amazing paper, the product of months of thesis writing. It’s 200 pages long, the fruits of all your labors. Hours of research, sweat, blood, your heart and soul went into this essay, and you want to see it in black and white, in your hands, to affirm that it wasn’t all just a hallucination. Unfortunately, thesis printing seems a daunting task.

You’d really rather not have to print it yourself. That would be time-consuming, expensive, and draining. You’d have to stand there, stacking and re-ordering the papers while your printer spits them out one by one.

What can you do?

First, get thee to Kinko’s (or some variant thereof). Print shops specialize in printing people’s massive papers and putting them into neat little packages to store away from later use. While this option can run expensive, most of the time it won’t cost you very much money at all.

If you have color in your paper for some reason, take those pages out and print them separately. Color pages can be ten times more expensive than their black-and-white counterparts, and printing black-and-white pages in color is a needless waste of funds. Instead, make sure that your pages are carefully and accurately labeled before separating them and running them through those copy machines.

This is recommended for people who don’t ever intend to look at their thesis again.

If Kinko’s is not sufficient, there are a lot of other options available for thesis printing.  Many other businesses specialize in printing dissertations and theses. In fact, some even include binding in hard-copy format. Nothing says “professionalism” like a solid, hard-cover copy of your dissertation.

If you choose this option, make sure to compare price against quality. There is no shame in considering time, cost, and final product. It’s your dissertation. They’re printing it. You want to be informed.

If they have a phone number, call the company and ask them about their services. If nothing else, it will give you a clearer picture of just what you’re getting for your money. If you know someone who’s had their dissertation printed (by someone other than Kinko’s), then you should ask them about their experiences.

Rush shipping can be either a curse or a boon.  Depending on how much more you pay for it, the process might be either shoddier (you are, after all, demanding it as fast as possible) or, perhaps, more thorough (in exchange for a ridiculous amount of money). Again, seeking testimonials is a perfectly legitimate way of getting a good deal.

The last option for thesis printing is to combine the two above tactics into a cost efficient but stylish thesis binding. While this takes a little bit more work, and is not necessarily the best option for creating more than one copy of your thesis, combining this two option can be good in a (financial) pinch. You too can create your own custom-bound thesis book by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to Kinko’s. Print the appropriate pages in color or black and white.

  2. Get a hold of some book-making materials. Hunting through craft stores shouldn’t take particularly long, and coming up with cloth and cardboard isn’t very difficult.

  3. Make a cover.

  4. Sew thesis spine together. This part can be complicated. There are lots of books on book making.

  5. Assemble.

This method is recommended for art students.

If you’re not an art student, maybe you should pony up the $50+ many professional thesis printing companies demand.

Good luck.

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