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Thesis/Dissertation Writing

Many departments have theses/dissertations formatted in both a traditional style and a journal article style. Please check with your adviser to determine which style you should write.

Traditional Format

If you are using a traditional format, you can either use a pre-formatted template or format your own document.

APA Style

MLA Style

If you plan to create your own document, consult the Guidelines for Formatting Your Own Document.

Journal Format

  • Use the either the thesis/dissertation template for APA style or thesis/dissertation template for MLA style for the general structure of the document.
  • To create your own document, consult the Guidelines for Formatting Your Own Document.
  • Each journal article will be its own chapter.
  • An optional introductory first chapter and/or summary chapter may be included.
  • Each journal article chapter may be formatted as required by the journal you plan to submit to, including headings, tables, figures, and bibliography. Each chapter may be formatted differently.
  • When delivered to the Examiner for the format check of the thesis or dissertation, include a copy of the Instructions to Authors from each relevant journal publisher and a sample journal article that illustrates tables, figures, section designations, bibliography format, etc.

Style Manual/Handbook/Guide

  • Your committee will generally provide you with precise guidance on the content and style for your thesis/dissertation.
  • Before you begin to write, check the list of styles (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago) selected by your department/school. If you have several choices, find out from your committee which style manual to follow.
  • If you discover a conflict between the instructions in your style manual and the University requirements, check with the Graduate School immediately.

Employing an Editor

  • Most graduate students edit and type their own theses/dissertations.
  • The Graduate School does not endorse or recommend any specific editors or typists.
  • Employing an editor or typist does not guarantee that the document will meet the University’s requirements.
  • If you hire an editor or typist, it is your responsibility to meet all requirements and deadlines.

Download the Thesis/Dissertation Planner to stay on track with deadlines.

Fill out the online binding request form to request bound copies of your thesis/dissertation from Milner Library.