Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide

Preliminary Information

Committee Composition

Ph.D. Committee:
  • A minimum of four members.
  • The chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty.
  • One committee member, chosen in consultation with the program director, from outside the program.
Master's Committee:
  • A minimum of three members or associate members from the graduate faculty.
Before you begin
  • Ask your advisor for the preferred style guide (APA, MLA, etc.) for the discipline. If there is no guide, consult the leading journal in the field for models to follow. The precise form of all matters of style should be consistent throughout and conform to generally accepted practice in the discipline.
When you submit your ETD for Review
  • Your thesis or dissertation will not be reviewed until you submit all your paperwork as per the checklist appropriate to you. 
  • Your thesis or dissertation must be converted to a PDF file and then submitted online via Proquest. Please make sure your uploaded title page does not include signatures - it must be unsigned. Further instructions on how and where to submit are found in your checklist.

General Specifications


Choose an easy-to-read type. Use one typeface throughout; script or italic typefaces are not acceptable for the main text (10–12 points).


 Page Format:

  • Double-space preliminary pages, appendices, and all text.
  • Single-space all footnotes, endnotes, references, and bibliographic material.
  • Quotations of four or more lines of prose should be single-spaced and indented five spaces from the left margin. Do not indent the right margin.
  • Verse quotations of two or more lines should be single-spaced and centered.
  • Footnotes and endnotes should be single-spaced.
  • Left margins must be 1.5 inches.
  • Top, right, and bottom margins must be 1 inch.
  • Preliminary pages: lowercase Roman numerals, centered 1/2 inch from the bottom of the page.  Begin with the number (ii) on the first page of abstract (no pagination on title page).
  • Text: Arabic numerals, upper right-hand corner, exactly 1 inch from the right-hand edge of the page and 1/2 inch from the top. Begin with the number one (1) on the first page of text and number consecutively.

Outline & Formatting Rules

Ordering of sections:

(After reviewing please scroll down to see details about each section)

Preliminary pages:

Copyright Page (optional)

Title Page (Doctorate and Master's  Sample)

Abstract (page numbers start with small roman numeral ii centered at the bottom)

Acknowledgement/Dedication (optional)

Table of contents

List of tables (if applicable)

List of illustrations (if applicable)

Body of the document:

(Page numbers start with Arabic numerals upper right hand corner, starting with 1)



Appendices (optional)


Detailed Section Information

Preliminary Pages


Formal headings must be used on the sections marked with asterisks* Some dissertations will not have: copyright page, preface, acknowledgements and/or dedication, list of tables, list of illustrations, appendices. Starting with the Copyright page (which is optional) all the way to the Bibliography (a required section) the following sections are the order which must be followed in every dissertation/thesis. Do not include a running header. Do not include a C.V.

I. Copyright page:
II. Title page: 
  • Please refer to the appropriate sample page for specific formatting directions:
  • Title should be a brief but meaningful and accurate description of the content of your research.
  • Avoid oblique references; substitute words for formulae, symbols, superscripts, Greek letters, etc.
  • Your full, legal name, as it appears on the registrar's records, must be on the title page.
  • Insert your Thesis advisor's name only - do not use any formal title (Ph.D., Dr., etc.).
  • Provide the appropriate number of lines needed for the approval signatures. 
  • Center and double-space all text and lines.
  • The month and year entered at the foot of the page must be October, January, or May—the year the degree is to be conferred, not the date of the defenseThe title page is not numbered.
 III. Abstract:
  • Please refer to the Abstract sample page for specific formatting directions.
  • Provides a succinct summary of the dissertation, summarizing clearly the problem or problems examined, the methods employed, and the major findings.
IV. Acknowledgement and/or Dedication
V. Table of contents (with page reference):
  • Includes all preliminary and concluding sections.
VI. List of tables (with titles and page references)
VII. List of illustrations (with titles and page references)


I. Introduction
II. Main body:
  • Divided into chapters or sections, each having a title and each beginning on a new page. As needed, chapters or sections are further divided into one or more series of subsections, each preceded by a subtitle.
  • Graphs, figures, tables, charts, maps, and photographs must be suitably sharp and clear for reproduction on microfilm and must be suitable for binding.

Footnotes and Endnotes, Citations, and Bibliography

I. Appendices
II. Footnotes and Endnotes:
  • Footnotes at the bottom of the page, endnotes at the ends of chapters or at the end of the manuscript. Number notes consecutively. When notes are at the end of chapters, each chapter's notes should begin with the number one (1). Be consistent throughout and conform to generally accepted practice in the discipline.
III. Acknowledgment of Previous Publications
  • It is a universal tenet in publishing that previously published work, or work pending publication elsewhere, be acknowledged. Academic fields vary in the degree to which they countenance reuse of material that has also appeared, or will appear, elsewhere. In those fields in which such practices are accepted, the following guidelines should be adhered to:
  1. Without exception, previous and pending publications must be acknowledged in the thesis or dissertation. There are several ways in which this may be done.
  2. If a thesis or dissertation is composed in part or in full of whole chapters or independent articles or reports already published, the preface or acknowledgments page must indicate this and give citations to the earlier publications. Even if the portions of previous publications are more partial, such acknowledgment in the front matter is recommended.
  3. It is presumed that the previously published material used in the thesis or dissertation represents the original work of the student. In the event that that is not the case, it has no place in the thesis or dissertation. In those fields in which the student typically works alone on the research and writing of the thesis or dissertation, it is expected that the writing will be his or her own. In those fields in which it is conventionally the case that work is done in close collaboration with others this may not be the case, but material written by others as part of a joint project should be referenced as such. In the case of coauthored material, comparable acknowledgment must be supplemented by a clear indication of the contribution of the author of the thesis or dissertation. In all cases, the major substance of the thesis or dissertation must be the original work of the student submitting it.
  4. In the case of shorter passages written by others, they may be quoted with proper attribution and any necessary permissions.
IV. Bibliography/References
  1. The very last section of your work is the Bibliography section. The term References may also be used for this section.