Skip to Main Content

Thesis / Dissertation Formatting Manual (2024)

Email this link:

Length and binding

UCI places no limit to the length of a thesis or dissertation.

However, for manuscripts submitted on paper, the Library's binding process limits thickness to 2.25" maximum. If your manuscript exceeds that thickness, divide it into two volumes of roughly equivalent thickness; make the split between two chapters. For identification purposes, make one exact copy of your title page and table of contents on 100% cotton paper to include in the second volume. Remember that your manuscript can be printed only on one side of each manuscript page.

Paper quality

For manuscripts submitted on paper, you must use 8.5" x 11", 20-24 pound, white, 100% cotton bond paper for the final version of the thesis/dissertation. Please consult with the University Archives prior to printing your manuscript to ensure that you are using the appropriate paper.

Oversized materials

For paper submissions, If your material does not lend itself to reduction, or if reduction to an 8.5" x 11" page necessitates more than a 50% reduction in the image size of the text, you may use 11" x 17" paper. The maximum dimensions of pages which may be bound into the manuscript are 17" by 22" (width by length). If only one dimension of a chart or similar material is oversized, the other dimension must conform to the size of a regular typewritten page (8.5" x 11").

If you use oversized pages, they must be folded to the 8.5" x 11" manuscript size with pleat-like folds. In order to avoid its being bound into the spine of the book and therefore not able to be unfolded by the reader, no fold should fall closer than .5" to the left edge of the manuscript.

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.


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.

Electronic appendices in paper submissions

Electronic or audiovisual data may be included as appendices in paper submissions. Your committee should agree that the information contained in the appendices is of such a character that a medium other than text is necessary. For paper submissions, electronic or audiovisual data should be submitted as follows. The following media may be utilized:

  • Audiovisual material, such as, slides, videotape, videodisk, compact disk, cassette tape, or audiotape
  • Electronic files, such as floppy disk or compact disk

When including such media as part of your manuscript, when submitting your manuscript on paper, you must submit two copies, each in its own cover or case.

For electronic files, you must also provide sufficient information to enable a reader to select the proper equipment on which to access your data. Instructions must be included in your thesis/dissertation in the section discussing the data and how to use it, and must include the following information:

  • The minimum hardware on which the file will run
  • Software requirements
  • Operating system
  • Amount of memory required
  • Any required or recommended peripherals

Include the electronic or audiovisual appendix in your table of contents. For identification purposes, the label affixed to the media covers or cases must include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Thesis/dissertation title
  • Degree title, followed by the year earned
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Section/chapter of manuscript (e.g. Appendix I)