We encourage you to speak with your advisor about your program's thesis requirements. Every program's thesis requirements vary. Some programs have a research project option instead of a thesis. Advanced planning is key to your success.
Thesis At a Glance
1. Title Page:
A title page must be included in the thesis. The student's full legal name is required on the title page. The format illustrated must be precisely followed. Note that title is presented in inverted pyramid style and no page number appears, though it is page i of the thesis. Sample Title Page
2. Signature Page:
The signature page must be part of the thesis and should bear the signatures of all your committee members, however only the committee chair and second committee members are required. If you have a signature line for all three committee members then all three committee members must sign. A blank line on the signature page will not be accepted. Place committee members' names underneath the signature lines. Committee members should sign only when they are satisfied that the thesis meets the standards of the university. The format illustrated must be followed precisely or it will be redone. This page MUST have original signatures. Sample Signature Page
3. Abstract (optional):
An abstract should be no more than 350 words or less. The abstract is a condensed summary of the paper and includes, within the 350-word limit, a description of the research and significant results. Sample Abstract Page
4. Acknowledgements/Introduction (optional):
There are no length requirements or restrictions. This page is optional. Please remember that the purpose of this page is to recognize those who most contributed to the research and writing of the document. The language used in the acknowledgment should be consistent with that used in acknowledgments in journal articles in your field. The manuscript is an academic document. This is not the appropriate place to thank friends, relatives, or companion animals that had nothing to do with the content or research. Sample Acknowledgements Page
5. Table of Contents (optional):
The table of contents lists chapters and other main divisions (first-order subheadings, references/end notes, and appendixes). The title of each entry and chapter numbering method must correspond exactly to that within the main body of thesis. Page numbers must be specified for all the listings. Do not list "Table of Contents" in the body of the Table of Contents. Also, do not list the first three preliminary pages in the Table of Contents. The first item listed in the Table of Contents is the abstract (if included), then the acknowledgments page (which is optional), etc. Any List of Tables and/or a List of Figures should be included in the Table of Contents. Sample Table of Contents Page
6. List of Tables/Figures (optional):
Although a list of tables and/or figures are not required in all theses, they must be included if you have more than two tables and/or two figures.
7. Main Content:
The final content, academic quality, and correct style and formatting rests with you and your graduate committee. Sample Main Content Page
Formatting of references and citations should follow your style guide. References cited in the text must appear in the references list (including personal communications); conversely, each entry in the reference list must be cited in the text. Do not include works in the reference list that you have not cited in the text. Regardless of style selected, direct quotes cited in the text must include page citations.
9. Appendixes as needed:
Your Vita is required. Sample Vita
Regulations on Style and Format
- Title Page : no page number
- Signature Page : number as page ii
- Abstract (optional) : number with lowercase roman numerals
- Acknowledgements (optional) : number with lowercase roman numerals
- Introduction (optional) : number with lowercase roman numerals
- Table of Contents : number with lowercase roman numerals
- List of Table (required if more than two figures) : number with lowercase roman numerals
- Main Content : number with Arabic numerals beginning with page 1 (but do not include a number on the first page)
- References : number with Arabic numerals
- Appendixes (as needed) : number with Arabic numerals
- Vita : number with Arabic numerals
Quality and Writing Style:
Styles differ considerably between disciplines, and may also vary within a discipline. Therefore, in consultation with your graduate committee chair, you need to select a style appropriate to your discipline as exemplified by a style manual or a published journal. Once a style has been selected, you should be consistent in its use throughout the thesis. Any inconsistencies and errors in grammar, style, or format may result in the thesis not being approved. Helpful style manuals and writing guides are available in the bookstore, and professional journals are available in the periodicals section of the JFK Library.
The thesis must be written in English. All members of the thesis committee, including the outside or third member, must be able to read and critically review the manuscript. Other students in the same discipline should be able, when appropriate, to read it and cite it in their thesis projects.
- Any easily readable standard type font is acceptable. Script, is not considered standard type. Fonts should be at least 10- 13.5 points and consistent throughout the document.
- The use of different typefaces, such as bolding and italics, is strictly limited.
- The justify key should be turned off so that spacing is consistent.
- The text must be double-‐spaced; however, block quotations, footnotes, figure captions, table titles and notes, and individual citations in the references may be single spaced. If single spacing of reference citations is chosen, then double space between each citation.
- Periods and commas should always be placed inside quotation marks.
- Em dashes are typed as two hyphens with no spaces before or after, or use alternate character dash key.
- When ellipsis points are used to indicate omitted material within a quotation, they are typed with three spaced periods (a space before and after each period). When four points are used to indicate omission between two sentences, the first point is typed as a period, without a preceding space, followed by three spaced periods.
- Paragraph indentation should be consistent (0.5 inch according to most style manuals).
- Capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, and abbreviations should be consistent throughout.
- Handwritten material should not be included in the thesis.
- Tables should be uniformly titled and numbered at the top and figures are captioned at the bottom. Tables and figures should be inserted as soon as possible following their first mention in the text, but no later than the page immediately following the mention.
Left hand margins must be one and one-half inches. Top, bottom, and right margins should be one inch. This is particularly important if your department requires a bound copy, margin widths must be carefully observed to provide for adequate binding space.
Students who will be binding will be asked to reprint if margins are not correct. See page 21 of this guide for information and for exact details on binding and printing.
Most simple errors found in thesis copies are in page numbering, especially in the preliminary pages.
Instructions for pagination (Word directions):
To number your first section:
- Double click top of the page to get into the header/footer settings.
- Then click the "Page Number" button on the left side of the screen and this will bring a drop-down menu up.
- Mouse over the "Top of Page" button and then select the page numbering on the right side of the top of the page. This will put a page number on all of your thesis pages.
- Highlight the page number and right-click.
- Select the "Format Page Numbers" option in the drop-down menu.
- Click the arrow next to "Number Format" and find lower case roman numerals (i, ii, iii... as the format. Then click the "OK" button.
- Before exiting the header/footer settings, in the design tab check the box next to "Different First Page" in the Options section of the tab. This will remove the numbering from your first page. If the numbering on the first page does not go away automatically, you can delete it and the numbering on the other pages will remain the same.
To add a second section to your paper:
- Go to the last page before the start of the body of your thesis, click at the end of the last bit of typing on the page before the body of your thesis begins.
- Then go to the "Page Layout" tab.
- Click the button that says "Breaks" in the "Page Setup" portion of the tab.
- Under the "Section Breaks" heading select "Next Page" this will make the next page of your document the beginning of a new section which means that you are able to begin numbering the next page at 1 in a different style.
- If a blank page pops up before your thesis begins go to the top of the blank page and hit the delete key until the text from the next page comes onto the blank page.
To number your second section:
- Follow the directions from "To number your first section" above. This time selecting the standard numerals format (i.e. 1, 2, 3.... Again you will want to make sure that the "Different First Page" box is checked as you will NOT want the number to show up on the first page of the body of your thesis.
- If the "Link to Previous" (located in the "Navigation" portion of the design tab) is selected you can leave it selected. This will automatically delete the numbering from your first page. ("Link to Previous" tells word that you want everything but the numbering style to be the same.)
- Your thesis will only have 2 sections. Your Vita will be the last page of your thesis and your numbering will end there.
Section headings must correspond to the table of contents; heading type or print and location on the page should be consistent and parallel throughout the thesis.
Captions and Illustrations
Captions should match the type or print style used in the main text. Locate captions according to the standard of the publication style that is being used for the thesis. Any variation of the quality of paper, page size, or reproductive process to accommodate illustrations and supplementary materials should have the approval of your committee chair. If photographs or other non-printed illustrative materials are to be included, they should be permanently mounted.
Manuscripts must be free of typographical, spelling, and serious grammatical errors. Please follow the suggestions listed below to reduce editing time after the final comprehensive exam.
- Typographical errors: Spell check will not catch many common typographical errors. For example, some errors result in an acceptable English word, but not the correct one in the context of the subject matter, as in on-no, read-reed, site-cite, etc.
- Spelling: Pay particular attention when adding such endings as -ed, -ly, and -ing to common words. Also, be very careful with homonyms like here-hear, your-you're, their-they're-there. Check words containing ei or ie. Please note spelling of Acknowledgments and Appendixes.
- Grammar: The most common grammatical mistakes occur in mixing tense, number, or gender in a sentence. As a general rule, revise long sentences into short ones.
- Citations/references: Citations and references usually cause more problems than any other aspect of the manuscript. There must be a reference for every citation in the text; and the footnote or endnote of the author's name and the publication year must match the bibliographic reference. Multiple citations, between parentheses, must be in either chronological or alphabetical order. Be consistent in citation and reference style throughout the manuscript.
- Proofreading: Check the thesis to see that all the pages are included and numbered correctly. Check for heading type, proper spacing, and location on the page. Check every citation against the corresponding entry in the reference section. Committee members may assist with proofreading, but the accuracy and completion of the thesis is ultimately your responsibility. Your manuscript must be proofread even after doing a spell check. One method is to read the document from the last page to the first page. This way the meaning is taken out of context and the reader can focus on sentence level errors. It may also be helpful to have one or more readers who are unfamiliar with the research look at the document for errors.
- Warning: When you convert the thesis/project document to a PDF file for electronic thesis submission, conversion to PDF may shrink your document by 4%, enough to change margins and pagination throughout. Always check the conversion to make sure your formatting did not change.
Printing & Binding Your Thesis
Individual departments may require students to provide a bound copy of their thesis. Please check with your department to find out if you will be required to have a copy of your thesis bound. Also, check to see if this cost is covered by student or department.
You have the option of submitting a copy or copies for yourself to be bound regardless if your department has required a copy or not. Each copy will be $30.00.
Please note: your binding fee can be paid at Sutton Hall in Student Services with cash, check, or electronic check only. To pay your binding fee with a debit or credit card, use the link below:
If you are required to and/or have decided to have a copy bound you will need to follow the style guidelines below required for binding. It is your responsibly to follow the requirements below or you will have to reprint your thesis.
Binding Style Guideline Requirements:
Left-hand margins must be one and one-half inches to provide for binding. Top, bottom, and right margins should be one inch. If your margins are not correct you will be required to REPRINT.
Use only 8 1/2 x 11 inch, white, "thesis bond," 100% cotton bond paper. This is required of your department copy. The thesis bond paper ensures greater longevity of the document. If you have difficulty obtaining this paper, it is available at the EWU bookstore. Your copy or copies may be on the paper of your choice.
Use the same style of type or print throughout the manuscript. Bold face, italicize, or underline words where appropriate. Script is not acceptable for the body of the text. Use 10-13.5 point font size, with 18-24 points between lines. Indented quotes may, however, be single-spaced.
o Print on only one side of the page.
o Printers must produce a manuscript in at least a near-letter-quality mode. The thesis bond paper does not work in some printers. If you run your hand across your printed page and the words smear off you will need to reprint on a different printer.
o You will submit the hard copy or copies of your thesis to Graduate Studies in 206 Showalter Hall before the last day of the term.
o Final copies will need to be submitted in an envelope or a box to protect the document from damage.
o Do not staple, 3-hole punch, or otherwise mark the final copy of the thesis.
o Your original Signature Page will be included in your bound copy.
o Please provide a copy of your receipt from Student Financial Services of your payment.
o Graduate Studies will check your thesis for quality and formatting. Please follow all formatting directions to avoid having to reprint (the thesis bond paper is expensive).
Graduate Studies will send the theses copies off-campus to a bindery company at the end of each quarter (semester students will have their copies sent off with the quarter students). Bound copies are returned to the Graduate Studies Office 4-6 weeks after the close of the quarter. The Graduate Studies Office will send the bound thesis to the academic department (if required) and/or to the student (if have been requested).
Please Note: Graduate Studies will only be shipping theses to the binder twice a year.
- Summer & Fall theses will be shipped out in December and returned to us in January.
- Winter & Spring theses will be shipped out in June and returned to us in July.
Submitting Your Thesis
Beginning fall 2016, the Graduate Studies and JFK Library require all theses to be electronically submitted to Graduate Studies at email@example.com. Graduate Studies will no longer require final hard copies for binding and paper copies will not be stored at the JFK Library. However some departments may require you to submit a hard copy to be bound. Please check with your department to see if this is a requirement for you. The process for final electronic thesis submission is below. For help with this process, please call the Graduate Studies office at 509-359-2491 or visit us in Showalter Hall, room 206 for assistance.
1. Before a thesis can be submitted electronically Graduate Studies must have on file the original signed Comprehensive Examination Form stating that your thesis has been approved.
Comprehensive Examination Forms are issued to your oral exam committee when your TRA (Terminal Research Approval) Form is received by Graduate Studies.
2. After a successful defense, submit the following to Graduate Studies within 10 working days following the oral defense or by the last day of the quarter, whichever comes first:
a. One electronic copy of your thesis in a single Adobe PDF (Computer Science students may submit LaTex version of thesis) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your thesis has been submitted to Graduate Studies no changes can be made.
b. One hard copy of your original signed Signature Page (page ii of your thesis) delivered to the Graduate Studies office in 206 Showalter Hall.
c. One hard copy of your signed Graduate Electronic Thesis Submission Form delivered to the Graduate Studies office in 206 Showalter Hall. This form will be retained permanently by the JFK Library.
3. Once Graduate Studies receives your signed Graduate Electronic Thesis Submission Form, your signed Signature Page, and PDF (*.pdf) version of your thesis you will get a confirmation stating when all your documents have been approved.
4. When all your documents have been approved, Graduate Studies will submit your thesis to the JFK Library to become of part of the EWU Digital Commons Institutional Repository.
5. In case of rejection due to incorrect formatting (See here for formatting and style guidelines), you and your committee chair will be notified by Graduate Studies of any changes or corrections that need to be made before your degree will be awarded.
6. *Please Note - Some departments may require you to provide bound copy for the department. If your department requires a copy of your thesis to be bound or if you would like a copy to be bound for yourself please carefully follow the instructions in Printing and Binding Instructions.
Human Subjects Approval Process
The University has policies and procedures in place to ensure that individuals conducting research, including graduate students, comply with applicable federal regulations and/or state laws governing the use of human subjects, the care and use of animals, significant financial interest disclosure, scientific misconduct, intellectual property and copyrights. If your research is affected by any of the above, you must obtain University approval prior to initiating the research by submitting an Application for IRB Review. Further information and application materials for institutional review and research are available from the Office of Grants and Research Development, Showalter Hall 210B. The office can also be reached by phone at 509.359.6567 or by email at email@example.com. An approved IRB must be on file with Graduate Studies before you can begin your research. A lack of an IRB can invalidate research.
For more information, visit Grant and Research Development.