Minimum Formatting Requirements

Click HERE for a printed copy of the minimum formatting requirements and accompanying illustrations.

To create your preliminary pages, click HERE to download a Microsoft Word document of all preliminary pages properly formatted. Just replace the yellow highlighted text with your own information. Please see the sample pages listed under prelimary pages at the end of this section for explicit formatting instructions.

Consistency & Professional Appearance
  • All formatting choices throughout the manuscript must be used consistently and be professional in appearance.
Manuscript Construction
  • Before you start, understanding how to use six basic Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat tools we highlight will save countless hours when it comes to formatting your page numbers, table of contents, combining the use of Roman and Arabic numerals in the same document, etc.
Font Guidelines
  • 8 pt font is the smallest size that may be used.
  • 10-12 pt font may be used for the body of the manuscript.
  • 12 pt font may be used for major headings. To ensure professional appearance, greater than 12 pt font should be used sparingly, if at all.
  • A range of font styles may be used.
  • Font sizes and styles should be professional in appearance.
  • Italics, bold, or underlining used as part of your headings or subheadings should not transfer to the table of contents.
  • Example
Margin Guidelines
  • Manuscript margins must be at least one inch (1") on all sides, but may also be greater than one inch (1").
  • The same margin setting must be used for the entire body of the manuscript text.
  • Preliminary pages margins are preset for you in the templates below.
  • Examples: 1, 2,
Page Numbers
  • Manuscript text page numbers may be located in the upper or lower right-hand corner or the bottom center.
  • Manuscript text page numbers must be Arabic numerals.
  • Preliminary pages page numbers are located in the bottom center.
  • Preliminary pages page numbers must be Roman numerals.
  • Examples: 1, 2, 3
  • PhD and Masters students are required to submit a scientific/scholarly abstract. DMA and MFA students are exempt from this requirement.
  • All students are required to submit a public abstract.
  • The scientific/scholarly abstract, is an executive summary of your work, and is to be submitted as a page in the manuscript and in the registration form for ProQuest.
  • The public abstract is translational and an "elevator pitch" for your work. It is to be submitted as a page in the manuscript and via this webform for the Graduate College.
Notes and Footnotes
  • Notes or footnotes may be placed at the bottom of the page, grouped at the end of major divisions, or placed together in a section immediately before the bibliography/references.
  • Notes may be be singled spaced with double-spacing between entries.
  • Examples: 1, 2, 3
  • Appendices are comprised of information that is helpful to the reader, but too long for inclusion in footnotes or the manuscript text, e.g., original documents such as letters, laws, questionnaires, original data, or computer programs.
  • Appendices normally precede the bibliography; however, appendix material devoid of citations may be placed after the bibliography.
  • Follow the formatting guidelines for pagination, margins, and headings for the appendices.
Line spacing
  • Thesis text may be 1.5 to double spaced.
  • Spacing must be consistent throughout main body and text of the manuscript.
  • Single-spacing within the main text is allowed for titles, headings, footnotes, endnotes, references, lengthy quotations, bulleted or numbered lists, figure or table captions, or material in an appendix.
  • The first paragraph in each chapter should not be indented.
  • The start of all other paragraphs should be indented unless you use an extra space between paragraphs to set them apart.
  • A single space between paragraphs is allowed when used consistently.
  • Examples: 1, 2
  • All major division headings and subheadings must be consistent and professional in appearance.
  • Example
Table of Contents
  • The Graduate College strongly encourages students to keep the TOC as simple as possible. The purpose of the TOC is to be a quick, useful reference for the reader, not to outline the argument of the thesis in detail.
  • Use Microsoft Word to generate your TOC (see the "how-to" in the manuscript construction guide)
  • Be sure to format your TOC in a manner consistent with the rest of your document (e.g., font style and size)
  • Your TOC must include a minimum of major headings and page numbers as well as the list of tables and/or figures, if used.
  • Examples: 1, 2
Tables, Figures, Captions
  • Tables and figures may be located above, below or adjacent to the manuscript text.
  • Table captions must not extend beyond the width of the table.
  • A descriptive title for the tables and figures must be included in the list of tables and list of figures, e.g., Figure 1, Table 2, are not sufficient titles.
  • Gaps around tables and figures are allowed if the table or figure is larger than half page.
  • Examples: 1, 2, 3
Reference Pages
  • May be single or double spaced.
  • May be placed at the end of each chapter or the end of the manuscript.
  • Example
Preliminary Pages
    • Use lower-case Roman numerals centered one-half inch (1/2") from the bottom of the page starting with "ii" on the page that follows the Certificate of Approval.
    • The table of contents is included in the preliminary pages. Headings from within chapters (subheads) are not required in the table of contents, but the table of contents must include the list of tables and list of figures, if used.
    • To create your preliminary pages, click HERE to download a Microsoft Word document of all preliminary pages properly formatted. Just replace the yellow highlighted text with your own information. The samples below show further formatting details for each page.
    • Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Quick Links