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  • Dissertation Binding and Printing | Options, Tips, & Comparison

Dissertation Binding and Printing | Options, Tips, & Comparison

Published on September 9, 2022 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Congratulations, you’ve finally finished your dissertation . It’s been professionally proofread and checked by a solid plagiarism checker .

The final step is printing your dissertation, which means choosing between:

  • Types of binding
  • Color vs. black & white

Single vs. double-sided

  • Paper thickness

There are a few printing and binding services to choose from as well. This article presents a few options that can help you make the right decisions.

Printing service options

Table of contents

Types of dissertation binding, dissertation printing options, production and delivery times, last checks before printing, overview of printing and binding services, other interesting articles.

Binding keeps the pages of your dissertation together, and comes in a variety of price points. Spiral binding is cheaper, a hardcover book binding is much pricier.

The type of binding you choose can depend on:

  • Guidelines from your university or department
  • The version (draft vs. final)
  • The type of work you’re submitting ( PhD vs. master’s thesis vs. undergraduate thesis )

Spiral binding (± $7)

Spiral bound

  • Professional appearance
  • Opens flat, so browsing through the pages is easy
  • Fairly inexpensive

Comb binding (± $5)

Comb bound

  • Pages are easy to browse
  • Binding can be opened and closed
  • Can be cheap-looking

Fastback binding (± $8)

fastback bound

  • Professional, book-like appearance
  • Available in different colors
  • Individual sheets can come loose with time

Paperback binding ($10–20)

paperback bound

This type of binding makes your dissertation more durable and professional. In most cases, it’s possible to add front and spine lettering.

  • Durable and professional
  • Book-like appearance
  • Opening and browsing is less smooth than with spiral or comb binding

Hardback binding ($20–50)

hardback bound

  • Customizable cover
  • Quality comes at a price

Color vs. Black & White

Check your university’s guidelines to see if there is guidance about whether to print your dissertation in color or black & white. Note that printing in color is on average two to four times more expensive.

In general, a color-printed dissertation looks more professional, but it is often not required.

Printing double-sided is often cheaper than printing single-sided, due to the paper savings — it makes your dissertation half as thick. However, some universities require you to print your dissertation single-sided. Be sure to check the guidelines.

When printing your dissertation double-sided, pay attention to the following points:

  • New chapters should start on the front side of the paper. You will need to take this into account and insert “blank pages” when preparing to print.
  • Add a blank page after the title page so that the acknowledgments and abstract are not printed on the back of your title page.
  • The page numbering is often placed in the bottom right on the right side of the page and bottom left on the left side. You can easily set this in Word by choosing “outside alignment”.
  • Check your style guide to make sure there aren’t any rules for printing.

Paper weight

The thickness of the paper (measured in gsm or grams) is something most students don’t think about, but it does have a significant impact on the look and feel of your printed thesis or dissertation.

Standard printing paper has a weight of 75–90 gsm. For a bachelor’s or master’s dissertation, this is likely fine. If you want the paper to look and feel more professional and durable, a paper weight of 100–130 gsm is better. This is often used for PhD dissertations.

Number of copies

It is common to print three to five copies of your dissertation. Depending on your university’s guidelines, you might need to submit one to three copies to your supervisor and department. In addition, you might want to have a copy for yourself or your family.

The production time for printing and binding takes on average two days, and delivery takes at least another day. For an additional charge (ranging from +20 to +80%), the production and delivery time can be shortened.

Have a looming deadline? Your local print shop is likely able to print and bind your dissertation faster, and it eliminates delivery time. However, keep in mind that this is often a little more expensive.

Before sending your dissertation to a print shop, there are three things you should do:

  • Save your file as a PDF By saving your file as a PDF, the formatting will be consistent on every computer. This way you prevent any unpleasant surprises, such as offset pages, when receiving your printed product.
  • Check for language mistakes There’s nothing worse than finding a language mistake in your printed version. Make sure to proofread your dissertation or make use of a professional proofreading service .
  • Update the contents page Before saving your dissertation as a PDF, don’t forget to update the table of contents and cross-check the page numbers listed there with the actual page numbers.

The table below provides an overview of two popular dissertation printing and binding shops, including information on delivery costs and review score.

*Prices are based on a spiral-bound dissertation of 40 pages , printed single-sided , in black , on 80-90gsm  paper, including a clear outer front and back cover .

**Prices are based on a hardback-bound dissertation of 200 pages , printed single-sided , in black , on 90-100gsm  paper.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Streefkerk, R. (2023, July 18). Dissertation Binding and Printing | Options, Tips, & Comparison. Scribbr. Retrieved November 6, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/binding-and-printing/

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  • Thesis Printing

You can now order your thesis printing & binding online with our new site:  printservices.mit.edu  

You put a great deal of work into your thesis. Now we can help you package your efforts with professional polish and style. From choosing the right paper stock to cover options and binding, we will walk you through the MIT thesis specifications to present your work with the high-quality look and feel it deserves. 

MIT Copytech uses MIT-required thesis paper for all thesis print orders. Approved thesis paper is also available for purchase by the ream (500 sheets). We have an Athena thesis printer in our 11-004 location.

We provide hard-cover bookbinding for thesis printing. You can choose from an array of color choices as well as gold lettering print options on the cover and spine. Economical soft-cover binding choices are also available. Thesis covers and binding clips (required for thesis submission) can also be obtained through MIT Copytech.

Thesis supplies

Hard-cover book binding.

dissertation print on demand

(Please note that the binding colors on screen may appear slightly different than in person.)

 Soft-cover binding

Soft-cover accessories, print & copy services.

  • Printing & Copying
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COMMENTS

  1. Thesis & Dissertation Binding

    Using HF Group's Thesis On Demand service, you can order thesis and dissertation printing directly, online. Thesis On Demand offers a range of cover and printing options. and you can use our online calculator to get an estimate of your costs before placing your order. A list of FAQs are present on the TOD site to help answer many of your questions.

  2. Thesis on Demand

    Your Thesis or Dissertation – Printed and Bound ON DEMAND Simply Upload Your PDF and We Print, Bind & Ship Your Order Directly To You!

  3. Stanford

    Please Note: Current turn times are approximately 4 weeks for standard cloth orders and 6 weeks for leather. *PDF Files Only. A new file will need to be uploaded for each product added to your cart. You must start your order using a computer or tablet.

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    Print on Demand Print on Demand makes the impossible possible. There's no need to keep an inventory or stock of a particular item; print only what you need when you need it, or even set up a storefront to offer your products. Learn more » Variable Data

  5. Thesis Printing

    Thesis Printing | MIT Copytech You can now order your thesis printing & binding online with our new site: printservices.mit.edu You put a great deal of work into your thesis. Now we can help you package your efforts with professional polish and style.