Graduate Studies

Suggested Writing Style


The student's thesis/dissertationcommittee is responsible for judging the acceptability of the thesis/dissertation from all standpoints, including writing quality, neatness, mechanical considerations, and technical and professional competency. Committee members attest to acceptability when they sign the Approval Form.

Each department has an acceptable style or styles for theses and dissertations prepared by its graduate students. Students should become thoroughly familiar with their department's acceptable style before they begin preparing their thesis/dissertation.

Department and Style

Biology - Council of Biological Editors
Communication - APA
Communication Sciences and Disorders - APA
Computer Science - APA
Counseling - APA
Educational and Interdiscipinary Studies - APA
Educational Leadership - APA
Engineering Technology - APA
English - MLA
Geography - Chicago
History - Chicago
Instructional Design and Technology - APA
Kinesiology - APA
Law Enforcement and Justice Administration - APA
Mathematics - APA; LaTeX Processor
Political Science - APSA
Psychology - APA
Recreation, Park & Tourism Admininstration - APA

(APA: American Psychological Association Publication Manual; APSA: American Political Science Association ; MLA: Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers)

Students not given special directions by their departments regarding style are referred to the following publications:

  • Campbell, William Giles and Stephen Vaughan Ballou, Form and Style-Theses, Reports, Term Papers. 8th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990.
  • Turabian, Kate L., A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.


  Formatting Guidelines

(DO NOT USE COPIES OF THESES AND DISSERTATIONS IN THE LIBRARY FOR FORMAT SINCE POLICIES CHANGE)

Formatting at a Glance

1. Font = Times New Roman or equivalent
2. Font size = 10 or 12 point
3. Spacing = double space
4. Margins = 1 ½" left; 1" right, top and bottom
5. Page numbering - style and location = See page 6
6. Abstract - 350 words or less
7. Composition = 3 main parts (preliminaries, text and references).
8. Writing style = Follow style suggest by department
9. Approval/signature page
10. Submit thesis/dissertation to www.etdadmin.com/wnill

A. Go to www.etdadmin.com/wnill for additional information.
B. Embed all fonts
C. Submit in PDF format
D. Copies (once paper is submitted to ProQuest, additional copies may be requested from another vendor, if desired.) Here are some helpful suggestions:

i. Keep your flashplayer up-to-date.
ii. Turn off RGB unless color print is desired. Go to “Font-print black only”.
iii. If there is a problem uploading your document, try a different browser (Firefox, Safari or Explorer.

Font
Type should be Times New Roman, or a typeface that approximates it, and either 10 or 12 point size.

Spacing
The body of the document must be double spaced. Extended direct quotations should be presented consistently with the style manual selected.

Margins
Leave a 1 1/2 inch margin on the left side and a 1 inch margin on the right side, the top, and the bottom. These margins are needed to allow for margin loss in the binding process.

Numbering of Pages
Number each page, except the copyright, title and abstract pages. Preliminary pages are numbered with small Roman numerals and centered at the bottom of each page 1 inch from the edge. In the text and reference topics sections, place the number in the upper right-hand corner, 1/2 inch below the top edge and 1 inch from the right side edge. The first page of each chapter/section should be numbered at the bottom, center of the page, 1 inch edge.

Preparation of Abstract
The major purpose of the abstract is to give information which will enable the scholar to decide whether to read the complete work. The following information is generally included:

  • A brief description of the problem
  • A description of the methods, techniques, and data used
  • The major finding of the study

The abstract should not exceed 350 words. The word "ABSTRACT" should appear centered 1 inch from the top edge of the page followed gy three spaces before the beginning of the abstract text.

Composition
A thesis or dissertation is usually composed of three main parts: preliminaries, text, and references. Preliminaries are paginated with small Roman numerals. Text and references are paginated with Arabic numerals.

Preliminaries (Thesis samples) (Dissertation samples)

Thesis

  • Title page of abstract
  • Abstract page - not numbered
  • Approval page - not numbered
  • Title page - not numbered (assumed to be "i")
  • Acknowledgments - small Roman numeral (assumed to be "ii")
  • Table of Contents (including appendixes) with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals
  • List of Tables with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals
  • List of Figures with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals

Dissertation

  • Title page - not numbered
  • Copyright
  • Approval page - not numbered (assumed to be "ii")
  • Abstract - not numbered (assumed to be "iii")
  • Dedication- small Roman numeral
  • Acknowledgments - small Roman numeral
  • Table of Contents (including appendixes) with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals
  • List of Tables with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals
  • List of Figures with page references - paging follows consecutively in small Roman numerals

Text

  • Introduction (start with page 1)
  • Main body, with large divisions and more important minor divisions indicated by suitable headings (use consecutive Arabic page numbers)

Reference Topics

  • Bibliography of Literature cited (continue with Arabic pagination)
  • Appendixes (continue with Arabic pagination)

Additional resources and guidelines for submitting a thesis or dissertation electronically can be found at www.etdadmin.com/wnill. Fees must be paid to ProQuest at time of submission.