Thesis paper guidelines
Jun 7, 2018
II. Formatting Guidelines
All copies of a thesis or dissertation must have the following uniform margins throughout the entire document:
- Left: 1″ (or 1 1/4" to ensure sufficient room for binding the work if desired)
- Right: 1″
- Bottom: 1″ (with allowances for page numbers; see section on Pagination)
- Top: 1″
Exceptions: The first page of each chapter (including the introduction, if any) begins 2″ from the top of the page. Also, the headings on the title page, abstract, first page of the dedication/ acknowledgements/preface (if any), and first page of the table of contents begin 2″ from the top of the page.
Non-traditional theses or dissertations such as whole works comprised of digital, artistic, video, or performance materials (i.e., no written text, chapters, or articles) are acceptable if approved by your committee and graduate program. A PDF document with a title page, copyright page, and abstract at minimum are required to be submitted along with any relevant supplemental files.
Font Type and Size
To ensure clear and legible text for all copies, choose a TrueType font recommended by ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. A list of recommended fonts can be found on ProQuest's site.
Fonts must be 10, 11, or 12 points in size. Superscripts and subscripts (e.g., formulas, or footnote or endnote numbers) should be no more than 2 points smaller than the font size used for the body of the text.
Spacing and Indentation
Space and indent your thesis or dissertation following these guidelines:
- The text must appear in a single column on each page and be double-spaced throughout the document. Do not arrange chapter text in multiple columns.
- New paragraphs must be indicated by a consistent tab indentation throughout the entire document.
- The document text must be left-justified, not centered or right-justified.
- For blocked quotations, indent the entire text of the quotation consistently from the left margin.
- Ensure headings are not left hanging alone on the bottom of a prior page. The text following should be moved up or the heading should be moved down. This is something to check near the end of formatting, as other adjustments to text and spacing may change where headings appear on the page.
Exceptions: Blocked quotations, notes, captions, legends, and long headings must be single-spaced throughout the document and double-spaced between items.
Paginate your thesis or dissertation following these guidelines:
- Use lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.) on all pages preceding the first page of chapter one. The title page counts as page i, but the number does not appear. Therefore, the first page showing a number will be the copyright page with ii at the bottom.
- Arabic numerals (beginning with 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) start at chapter one or the introduction, if applicable. Arabic numbers must be included on all pages of the text, illustrations, notes, and any other materials that follow. Thus, the first page of chapter one will show an Arabic numeral 1, and numbering of all subsequent pages will follow in order.
- Do not use page numbers accompanied by letters, hyphens, periods, or parentheses (e.g., 1., 1-2, -1-, (1), or 1a).
- Center all page numbers at the bottom of the page, 1/2″ from the bottom edge.
- Pages must not contain running headers or footers, aside from page numbers.
- If your document contains landscape pages (pages in which the top of the page is the long side of a sheet of paper), make sure that your page numbers still appear in the same position and direction as they do on pages with standard portrait orientation for consistency. This likely means the page number will be centered on the short side of the paper and the number will be sideways relative to the landscape page text. See this site for assistance with landscape pages in Microsoft Word.
Format footnotes for your thesis or dissertation following these guidelines:
- Footnotes must be placed at the bottom of the page separated from the text by a solid line one to two inches long.
- Begin at the left page margin, directly below the solid line.
- Single-space footnotes that are more than one line long.
- Include one double-spaced line between each note.
- Most software packages automatically space footnotes at the bottom of the page depending on their length. It is acceptable if the note breaks within a sentence and carries the remainder into the footnote area of the next page. Do not indicate the continuation of a footnote.
- Number all footnotes with Arabic numerals. You may number notes consecutively within each chapter starting over with number 1 for the first note in each chapter, or you may number notes consecutively throughout the entire document.
- Footnote numbers must precede the note and be placed slightly above the line (superscripted). Leave no space between the number and the note.
- While footnotes should be located at the bottom of the page, do not place footnotes in a running page footer, as they must remain within the page margins.
Endnotes are an acceptable alternative to footnotes. Format endnotes for your thesis or dissertation following these guidelines:
- Always begin endnotes on a separate page either immediately following the end of each chapter, or at the end of your entire document. If you place all endnotes at the end of the entire document, they must appear after the appendices and before the references.
- Include the heading “ENDNOTES” in all capital letters, and center it 1″ below the top of the first page of your endnotes section(s).
- Single-space endnotes that are more than one line long.
- Include one double-spaced line between each note.
- Number all endnotes with Arabic numerals. You may number notes consecutively within each chapter starting over with number 1 for the first note in each chapter, or you may number notes consecutively throughout the entire document.
- Endnote numbers must precede the note and be placed slightly above the line (superscripted). Leave no space between the number and the note.
Tables, Figures, and Illustrations
Tables, figures, and illustrations vary widely by discipline. Therefore, formatting of these components is largely at the discretion of the author.
For example, headings and captions may appear above or below each of these components.
These components may each be placed within the main text of the document or grouped together in a separate section.
Space permitting, headings and captions for the associated table, figure, or illustration must be on the same page.
The use of color is permitted as long as it is consistently applied as part of the finished component (e.g., a color-coded pie chart) and not extraneous or unprofessional (e.g., highlighting intended solely to draw a reader's attention to a key phrase). The use of color should be reserved primarily for tables, figures, illustrations, and active website or document links throughout your thesis or dissertation.
The format you choose for these components must be consistent throughout the thesis or dissertation.
Ensure each component complies with margin and pagination requirements.
Refer to the List of Tables, Figures, and Illustrations section for additional information.
If your thesis or dissertation has appendices, they must be prepared following these guidelines:
- Appendices must appear at the end of the document (before references) and not the chapter to which they pertain.
- When there is more than one appendix, assign each appendix a number or a letter heading (e.g., “APPENDIX 1” or “APPENDIX A”) and a descriptive title. You may number consecutively throughout the entire work (e.g., 1, 2 or A, B), or you may assign a two-part Arabic numeral with the first number designating the chapter in which it appears, separated by a period, followed by a second number or letter to indicate its consecutive placement (e.g., “APPENDIX 3.2” is the second appendix referred to in Chapter Three).
- Include the chosen headings in all capital letters, and center them 1″ below the top of the page.
- All appendix headings and titles must be included in the table of contents.
- Page numbering must continue throughout your appendix or appendices. Ensure each appendix complies with margin and pagination requirements.
You are required to list all the references you consulted. For specific details on formatting your references, consult and follow a style manual or professional journal that is used for formatting publications and citations in your discipline.
Your reference pages must be prepared following these guidelines:
- Always begin references on a separate page either immediately following the end of each chapter or at the end of your entire document.
- If you place references after each chapter, the references for the last chapter must be placed immediately following the chapter and before the appendices.
- If you place all references at the end of the thesis or dissertation, they must appear after the appendices as the final component in the document.
- Select an appropriate heading for this section based on the style manual you are using (e.g., “REFERENCES”, “BIBLIOGRAPHY”, or “WORKS CITED”).
- Include the chosen heading in all capital letters, and center it 1″ below the top of the page.
- References must be single-spaced within each entry.
- Include one double-spaced line between each reference.
- Page numbering must continue throughout your references section. Ensure references comply with margin and pagination requirements.
Formatting Previously Published Work
In some cases, students gain approval from their academic program to include in their thesis or dissertation previously published (or submitted, in press, or under review) journal articles or similar materials that they have authored. For more information about including previously published works in your thesis or dissertation, see the section on Use of Your Own Previously Published Materials and the section on Copyrighting.
If your academic program has approved inclusion of such materials, please note that these materials must match the formatting guidelines set forth in this Guide regardless of how the material was formatted for publication.
Some specific formatting guidelines to consider include:
- Fonts, margins, chapter headings, citations, and references must all match the formatting and placement used within the rest of the thesis or dissertation.
- If appropriate, published articles can be included as separate individual chapters within the thesis or dissertation.
- A separate abstract to each chapter should not be included.
- The citation for previously published work must be included as the first footnote (or endnote) on the first page of the chapter.
- Do not include typesetting notations often used when submitting manuscripts to a publisher (i.e., insert table x here).
- The date on the title page should be the year in which your committee approves the thesis or dissertation, regardless of the date of completion or publication of individual chapters.
- If you would like to include additional details about the previously published work, this information can be included in the preface for the thesis or dissertation.
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