Preparing Theses and Dissertations
FORMATTING THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
The document must be typed / printed. Laser printing is acceptable, but dot-matrix printing is not.
- Watermarked, 100 percent cotton bond paper of 20 or 24 lbs., 8-1/2 inches by 11 inch sheets.
- I.U. Bond is not 100% cotton and not acceptable.
- The unbound version and the first of the bound copies must be on paper of this quality.
- The second bound copy of your Ph.D. dissertation goes to your department and may not need to be on the cotton paper - check your departmental requirements.
Script fonts (ex. Monotype Corsica) and italicizing large sections of text are not allowed for the main body of your text, although italics may be used appropriately.
- The material should be double-spaced.
- Long quotations within the text should be typed single-spaced and with wider margins.
If photographs or detailed graphics are part of the work, make sure they are crisp and clear when printed. It is okay to use special laser or photo paper for the page of the dissertation that contains images to achieve the best possible quality.
- Margins should be at least 1-1/2 inches on the left and 1 inch on the top, right and bottom. 1 inch margins on all sides is acceptable for electronic submissions.
- Tip: Make sure that when photocopied or printed, your documents have this much actual white space - it is crucial for proper binding. Binderies sew along the left-hand margin and then trim the other sides. Inadequate margins can result in part of your material being lost after the combination of copying and binding; even if all the material remains, insufficient margins can certainly affect the readability and the appearance of your work.
NOTE: These margin requirements apply to all materials included in the thesis or dissertation, including figures, tables, maps, plates, etc. and any preliminary material you choose to include.
Ordinarily, the text and any other materials will appear on the right-hand page only. If, however, you and your committee agree that it is absolutely necessary to include facing material on the left-hand page as well, be sure to leave 1-1/2 inches on the right-hand side of the facing page.
- Page numbers must be clear, consecutive and printed on every page including appendixes, tables, figures, maps, charts, photographs, etc. EXCEPT for the Title page and Vita page.
- Lowercase Roman numerals (ie., i, ii, iii) are used for the front matter.
- Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3) should be used in the body of the work, the bibliography, and any appendices.
- The Title page counts as page i, but does not bear a number.
- Begin the actual numbering with the acceptance page as page ii, and continue with lowercase Roman numerals until the start of the actual body of the dissertation. That page, whether part of your full introduction or of your first chapter, should be numbered using the Arabic numeral 1, and every page thereafter should be numbered consecutively until you reach the Vita page.
- Ordinarily, page numbers should be centered at the top or bottom of the page, entered midway between the edge of paper and the text to prevent their loss during the binding process.
- Tip: Before you turn in your copies for binding, make sure that all of the pages are in correct numerical order and that they are right-side up.
Theses and dissertations should be written in English unless you and your department/committee have decided otherwise.
References, citations, bibliography, footnotes
Check with your department -- this format depends largely on your particular field or topic. For example, footnotes can appear either on the page where the annotation occurs, the end of each chapter, or the end of the dissertation -- be sure to follow the conventions of your department and discipline.
- Before you have the copies bound, check with your department about whether or not it prefers to bind the abstract with the rest of the text.
- The University Graduate School accepts only binding which uses the oversewn method. Velo binding available from some photocopying businesses is not acceptable.
- Ask the bindery to put the dissertation title and your full name on the front covers and the title and your last name on the spines of the bound copies. Keep in mind that this title needs to fit along the spine of the bound thesis or dissertation.
- Tip: if you are not in town, call one of the binderies we?ve listed and ask what the normal specs are for an IU dissertation, then relay that information to a bindery near you.
- You may arrange for the bindery to send the finished book directly to the University Graduate School.
Indiana University Graduate School
Attn: Dana Ruddick (Ph.D.)
Attn: Matthew Boots (Master's)
Kirkwood Hall 111
130 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7104
Some Recommended Style Manuals
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers
- Modern Language Association (MLA) style sheet
- American Psychological Association (APA) style sheet (especially for works in the social sciences)
Some Recommended Dictionaries for Spelling and Usage
- Webster's Third International Dictionary
- Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary