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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.

Captions and Numbering

Place table numbers and titles above each table, and figure numbers and legends below each figure; if you choose a different pattern, be consistent throughout the manuscript. If space is not available within the margins of your figures/tables page for your caption or title, place it on the page preceding the illustrative material. Include both pages in your consecutive pagination and list the page containing the caption in the list of figures or list of tables.

Number all figures and tables sequentially, either by chapter or throughout the entire manuscript. You may use letter suffixes to identify figures or tables (e.g., Table 3a or Figure 12d), but such use should reflect some relational quality among the figures/tables so numbered. Do not add a suffix simply because you add a figure/table at the last moment if its data bears little or no relationship to the figure/table that precedes it.

Photographs and Other Illustrations

For electronic submissions, photographs and other illustrations included in your manuscript can be either in black and white or in color. Those images must fit within the standard page size of 8 ½” x 11” and must fit within the 1” margins as stated in Section 2.6.



For paper submissions:

Photographs used as pages of the manuscript must conform to the established page size and margin requirements. Light-weight photographic papers are strongly recommended; medium-weight photographic paper may be used if no alternative is available.

Alternatively, photographs printed on photographic paper (no heavier than medium weight) may be mounted with 3M Positional Mounting Tissue/Adhesive or a spray mount (3M Photo Mount or "Perma Mount"), available from photography stores. Mount photographs on the same 100% cotton paper used for the rest of your manuscript. Material may not be attached by using paper clips, staples, adhesive tape (single- or double-sided), or ordinary glue.

Computer-generated photographic pages or photocopied photographic pages produced with a high-quality, high-contrast copy machine (in either black-and-white or color) are acceptable alternatives to photographs. Use the same 100% cotton paper used for the rest of your manuscript, if possible.

For doctoral dissertations, high-contrast black-and-white photographs are recommended, as they produce the best results on microfilm. While color photographs may be used, they will be microfilmed in black and white and are likely to have insufficient contrast to be fully legible on microfilm.

Handwritten Marks

Use only black, permanent, non-smearing ink for handwritten symbols or formulas, drawings, diacritical marks, etc. Black ink images reproduce the best. Blue inks vary widely in their reproducibility, from intense to nonexistent.