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Thesis / Dissertation Formatting Manual

This guide contains information about the formatting and submission of your graduate thesis or dissertation research project.

Formatting Assistance Offered

The UCI Libraries offers the following forms of assistance to graduate students in formatting their thesis or dissertation:

  • Workshops: Available several times per quarter. See here for dates and locations.
  • Pre-submission Critiques: Critiques are available up to 7 days prior to the filing deadline. Please note that most consultations are conducted via email through
  • Formatting Review in Proquest: Theses submitted to Proquest up to 48 hours before the filing deadline will be reviewed for formatting errors by a library staff member.

Preparing Your Manuscript

Please keep in mind that your thesis/dissertation is part of your individual permanent academic record. It is also part of the permanent record of scholarship and research undertaken by all graduate student graduates of UCI, and it will be permanently accessible to the worldwide community of scholars.


***PLEASE NOTE: The burden of properly formatting the manuscript is entirely the responsibility of the student.

All Submissions

Your manuscript must be neat, clean, legible, and error-free when it is submitted to your committee, as well as to the UCI Libraries, whether in paper or electronically (ETD).

The manuscript that the UCI Libraries approves is considered final; any errors you may discover after the Libraries accepts it cannot be corrected.

Spell-check and manually proofread your text prior to submission.

Electronic (ETD) Submissions

Electronic submissions must follow the basic formatting requirements specified on the ProQuest ETD submission web site and in this manual.

Paper Submissions

Paper submissions must follow the basic formatting requirements specified in this manual. 

Pages must exhibit no visible corrections, strike-overs, crossed-out words or letters, interlineations, or additions inside or outside of the margins. Use of "Liquid Paper" other correction fluids, and type-over correction tape is not allowed. Pages must be free of lines, smudges, spots, glitches, or shaded backgrounds. The print should be letter quality with dark black characters that are consistently clear and dense.

Manuscript Sections

Manuscripts are normally composed of three sections: preliminary pages, text, and references. Consult with your committee about the internal arrangement within the text and reference sections.