the Manuscript of an ETD
All manuscripts should be written in
English, but a foreign language may be used where it is appropriate
to your major and approved by your committee. All abstracts, however,
must be in English.
Your manuscript’s general style and
the form of its footnotes, citations, and bibliography should conform
to a standard style manual appropriate to your major field of study.
The latest edition must be used. Only one style guide
should be used for the whole of the document; do not "mix and
match" different style guides for different sections. In some cases,
the style used in major research publications is appropriate for theses
and dissertations; written approval for the alternate style must be obtained
from your committee prior to preparation of the manuscript. It is
the committee's responsibility to ensure that the style chosen is
appropriate to the field of study and properly addresses all of the
principle elements listed in the table below under the section Style
The following style guides are the
recommended “A list” to be used:
- Publication Manual of the American
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers, Theses and Dissertations.
- Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for
Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
- The Chicago Manual of Style.
conform to the instructions in the approved style manual, unless
they conflict with this manual, in which case the Graduate School
guidelines take precedence.
Alternative Style Guides
In some cases, the style used in major research publications
is more appropriate and using such material is permitted, however the
student’s committee and department head must give formal approval before
starting work on the manuscript. If the alternate style used does not properly
address all of the principal elements listed in the table below under Style Guide Matters
then that style is NOT appropriate and cannot be used.
Using Other Dissertations
Under no circumstances should students use other theses and dissertations
as guides for style and format. The existence of a particular style
or usage in a previously approved thesis or dissertation does not establish
a precedent; there may be a variety of reasons why a format was allowed
under special appeal and which were relevant only to that particular
Style Guide Matters
The approved relevant style guide determines such matters as
acceptable reference sources and citation, acceptable abbreviations
and their use, use of italics and boldface type, and use of font attributes
in figure captions and table titles. The Graduate School’s guide determines
such matters as page margins, line spacing and indention, page numbering,
and the required portions of the document. The following table gives
a partial list of items determined by the style guide.
Item in text
Question for style guide
- Can abbreviations for elements, chemicals, or procedures
be used without spelling out the term first?
- Is there a list of standard abbreviations that are
not spelled out?
- Are abbreviations, upper- or lowercase, allowed
at the beginning of a sentence?
- How are
the title and caption capitalized and indented?
- Is italic
or boldface type used?
- How are
figures referred to in the text?
- If “Fig.#”
is used in parentheses, is “Figure” spelled out in the
about at the beginning of a sentence?
Are any particular elements,
such as gene names, Latin words, or letters used as
variables, always represented in italic, underlined,
or boldface type?
Are common prefixes such
as pre-, post-, anti-, multi-, and non- hyphenated when
they precede a word? When they precede a numeral? What
about doubled vowels, as in reentry or re-entry?
Are combined numeral-and-measurement
modifiers hyphenated when they precede a noun (e.g.
a l-h incubation, a five-minute rest period)?
How are equations numbered?
If an equation falls at
the end of a sentence, is it followed by a period or
other end punctuation?
Are commas used after equations
when grammatically appropriate?
How are equations referred
to in the text (e.g., Eq. 2, Equation 2, equation2,
Are spaces used around operation
symbols (e.g., x=y or x = y)? Around other symbol-and-numeral
Is italic or boldface type
used for certain elements, such as Latin letters used
as variables? What about capitalization?
Numbers and numerals
When is it correct to spell
out numbers and when should numerals be used?
Are particular elements
(e.g., measurements of time) always expressed in numerals?
Can a numeral be used to
begin a sentence?
Is a comma used with four-placeholder
numerals (e.g., 4000 or 4,000)?
Is the list ordered by numbers,
alphabet, or both?
Are unpublished references
In multiple citations, how
are the individual entries ordered in the text? In the
What is included in each
entry? What order does it come in? How is it punctuated?
Is it appropriate to use
“et al.” in the text? In the reference list?
Are journal titles abbreviated
in the list?
How is the title capitalized?
Is italic or boldface type used?
How are notes formatted?
How are tables referred
to in the text?
Are decimal points aligned
in the columns?
Article Style Dissertations
In 2002 the Graduate Council passed a resolution allowing the
option of article-style dissertations for doctoral students whose final,
completed dissertation will consist of a number of journal-style manuscripts
or articles. This is not to be confused with the use of a published
journal style for formatting and preparing a manuscript.
This option is only granted to students in certain fields, a complete
list of these fields is available from the Graduate School. It is
only available for dissertations, not for theses.
Where this option is used, all parts of the dissertation must still
conform to the provisions set forth above and in “A Student Guide To
Preparing Theses And Dissertations”. The dissertation must contain introductory
material to describe the studies, show how they are related, and explain
their significance. There will be connecting language to bridge each
study to the next, as well as a summary making clear the importance
of the studies, integrating the major findings, and discussing the implications
for the overall topic. The manuscript will contain one each of the set
of tables, figures, and reference lists for the document as a whole.
See more information on
All theses and dissertations should
adhere to the following formatting guidelines. These are Graduate
School specific and override the requirements in your chosen style guide.
- Use standard double spacing for
the body of the manuscript, with the following exceptions:
- Long tables and quotations,
footnotes, multi-line captions, and bibliographical entries
must be single spaced.
- Reference Lists - follow your style guide regarding composition and content of each reference. Single-space in between lines within each reference, double-space in between references (see sample in Templates).
- All chapter, section, and
table headings and subheadings of more than one line must be
- M.F.A. candidates writing
a thesis in poetry may single space if they obtain prior approval
from the chair of the English department.
- Use not less than a 12-point serif font. Script
fonts are unacceptable, as is the use of multiple typefaces.
- Use a one inch margin
on all sides of all pages.
- Leave a two-inch margin on the
top of the first page of every major subdivision (such as a new
chapter or the bibliography) and on the first page of each section
of the preliminary pages. Begin the first line of all other pages
one inch from the top.
- Start a new chapter or major
section on a fresh page.
- Number every page of the manuscript
except the copyright page. Lower-case Roman numerals are used to
number preliminary pages; Arabic numerals are used to number the
pages throughout the dissertation, including the pages containing
the reference and appendices.
- Place all page numbers centered on the bottom of the page.
- Do not divide words at the bottom
of a page and carry them over to the next page.
- A sentence ending a paragraph
must not end as a partial line at the top of the page.
- Titles of tables should not be
repeated on continuous pages.
- All landscape pages are simply
included in the pdf version as they are created.
- Do not use running heads.
- When descriptions of figures are
too long to fit on page with figure, reduction is recommended so
that the figure and description can appear on the same page.
Where this does not work, figure description can be included on
a separate page.
- All reference lists must follow
the chosen style guide.
Deadlines for the submission
of manuscripts are published for each semester in the Graduate School
office and are included in the
Graduate School Calendar.
These dates are determined in order to
ensure that sufficient time is available for review and correction and
it is imperative that they are observed.