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While your thesis/dissertation should be a completed work prior to your defense, plan enough time for any necessary minor revisions to your thesis/dissertation after your oral defense. Do not assume that you will be able to submit the thesis/dissertation immediately afterward.
The thesis/dissertation should be double-spaced except for tables, headings, footnotes, quotations, and title pages. The first sentence of a paragraph should be indented ten spaces. Use Times New Roman font; be consistent throughout the main text. A 14-pt. font size should be used for all major headings (Introduction, Methodology, etc.), and 12-pt. for the remainder of the document. Do not use bold, italics or underlining in the Table of Contents. In the actual text, you may use bold, italics and underline, except in chapter heading.
The title of the work, the author’s full name and the degree to be awarded must appear exactly the same on the title page, signatory page, and abstract. In other words, this information must be identically worded and punctuated in all three places. The title must appear in all capitals in all three locations.
Make certain that ALL MARGINS, including those for figures and tables, are a minimum of 1 ¼” on the LEFT and RIGHT, and 1” on the TOP and BOTTOM. Nothing is to protrude beyond any margin of any page of the thesis/dissertation (page numbers may be within the 1-in. bottom margin, but must be centered on the page). This applies to subject matter, reference numbers and equation numbers, any part of a graph or diagram, photographs, or anything else contained in the thesis/dissertation.
Two exceptions to the rule: CHAPTER HEADINGS - text must start two inches from top. TITLE PAGE - top margin may be greater than 1 inch. The goal in spacing should be to make the page layout pleasing to the eye, without crowding the text onto the page. More white space makes reading easier. Be consistent!
For the preliminary pages (Abstract Title Page, Abstract, Acknowledgment, Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Illustrations), small Roman numerals are used centered at the bottom of the pages. The numbering should begin with iv, on the first page of the Abstract. The abstract title page is not numbered. For the remainder of the thesis/dissertation, Arabic numerals are used. Each page must be numbered. Do not use letter suffixes such as 10a, 10b, etc. The Arabic numbering should begin with 1 on the first page of the Introduction and run consecutively to the end of the thesis/dissertation and be centered on the bottom of the page.
Tables and Figures
Follow the style for tables and figures that is standard for your discipline. The format and styles must remain consistent throughout your thesis or dissertation.
Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively and consistently in Roman or Arabic numerals. The numbering system must be consistent with what is listed in your List of Tables or List of Figures. The table number should be centered and underlined. Margins for Tables and Figures must be the same as for the rest of the manuscript.
Tables and figures that are too wide for the page may be placed on their sides on a portrait-oriented page. The title should be at the top of the page, and the page number must remain centered on the bottom of the page. No landscape-oriented pages are allowed.
Headings and Subheadings
All major headings (Introduction, Methodology, etc.) and their Roman numeral designations should be capitalized, centered from left to right on the page, and underlined. Each major section should start a new page.
Chapter headings and subheadings must be identical, including words you choose to capitalize, in the Table of Contents and in the text.
All equations should be numbered consecutively by means of Arabic numerals placed within parentheses at the right margin.
Footnotes and Quotations
Both footnotes and quotations should be single-spaced, using side margins 5 spaces narrower than those used in the regular text. Footnotes which appear at the bottom of the page should be referenced by a superscript small letter. Footnotes are inserted by double spacing after the last line of page type, moving five spaces in from the left margin, then single-spaced below this for the beginning of the footnote. There may NOT be any running headers or footers in a thesis or dissertation. Use of footnotes (rather than endnotes) is acceptable, if approved by your program.
The bibliography should be single-spaced with double-spacing between entries. Follow the standard citation format for major journals in your field and the style manual recommended by your department.
Pages should not contain “widows” or “orphans,” which are single lines of text at the beginning or end of a page. At least two lines are required before the next paragraph or division break. Set the widow/orphan control in WORD to avoid this problem.
Do not justify the right hand margin of the page, because almost all word processors achieve this justification by creating irregular spaces between words. This irregular spacing is not acceptable.
Do not split references in your bibliography from one page to another. Complete each entry on a single page. Similarly, do not split captions in lists of tables/figures/illustrations from one page to another. Captions for tables and figures must be on the same page whenever possible.
HELPFUL HINTS TO FORMAT YOUR DOCUMENT
These hints are designed to help you avoid common mistakes that will take you the most time to correct. In particular, any mistakes that affect pagination can be time-consuming to fix because then you will have to redo your Table of Contents as well. So make sure you follow the margin instructions exactly. Please use the following tips to help you format your document.
1) Make sure you use Times New Roman 12 point font. If you use the wrong font, your page numbers will change when you correct this, and your Table of Contents will have to be redone.
2) Check your margins. They should be LEFT 1 1/4”, RIGHT 1 1/4”, TOP: 1”, BOTTOM: 1”. The left and right margins must be 1.25” because any printed copies of your document need room for binding and a too tight side margin will cause you to lose important data. This is a common mistake. If you need to correct margins after submission, all the page numbers will change and you will need to create a new Table of Contents.
3) Page numbers should be positioned at least 0.5” from the bottom of the page (measured from the bottom of the page number to the bottom of the page) and be within the 1” bottom margin.
4) The title of each chapter must be 2” from the top of the page, and you should hit return a few times to create some space between the title and the beginning of the text. Use the same spacing between the chapter title and the text in every chapter.
5) Use the orphan/widow control found in most versions of Word. No page can begin or end with a single line of text.
6) Page numbering - Page numbering begins with roman numerals on the Abstract page, which should be page iv. There should be no page numbers on the title page, copyright page or signature page. Continue roman numerals until the first page of your thesis or dissertation, which should be Arabic numeral 1.
7) Placement of Tables, Illustrations, and Charts can be tricky. If the table, illustration or chart fills more than half the page, then it can remain alone on the page. If you have sequential small tables, illustrations, and charts that can fit two to a page, then do so. No landscape pages are allowed. They will not fit when the document is bound into an 8.5 x 11 volume. You may place a table or figure on its side on a portrait-oriented page to make it fit. You may also shrink it to make it fit. But the title must be at the top of the portrait-oriented page, and the page number must be at the bottom of the portrait-oriented page.
8) Lists of Figures and Tables - for titles in the Lists, use only the text up to the first period of the title as the title, even if the title on the table/figure is longer than that. Make sure the text you use for your title in the List is identical, word for word, including the words you choose to capitalize, in the text and in the List.
9) All subheadings in the Table of Contents must be identical, word for word, including the words you choose to capitalize, to the subheadings in the text.
10) References - don’t split references. Keep the entire citation on the same page.
11) Subheadings - this is a common area of difficulty for students and can be time-consuming to correct. This is how it should work. The first time the reader sees a subheading in chapter 1, that is the first level subheading. However, you format that first level subheading in chapter 1 is how you must format every first level subheading in the entire document. So for example, if the first level subheading in chapter 1 is bold, centered, the first level subheadings in all chapters must be bold, centered. Also, in the Table of Contents, the first level subheading is indented once. For second level subheadings, these must be formatted differently from the first level subheadings, and every second level subheading must be formatted the same way in very chapter. So for example, if the second level subheading in chapter 1 is flush left, italics, then the second level subheading in every chapter must be flush left, italics. The second level subheadings are indented twice in the Table of Contents. For subsequent levels, format each level (3rd, 4th, etc.) in a unique way and use that format in every chapter as you did for the first and second level subheadings above. Then indent the subheading one more time per level in the Table of Contents. So the third level subheading is indented three times, the fourth level subheading is indented four times, and so forth. This can be confusing, but it has to be done this way. One way to keep track is by listing Ch 1, first level subheading, second level, etc., and the format of each one on a separate piece of paper. Then when you do chapter 2 and all other chapters, refer to that list to keep them straight.
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