Dissertation & Thesis Handbook
The Handbook – Graduate School Draft Review
Reviews of drafts and final copies are limited to oversight of formatting to ensure that all dissertations and theses meet standards generally expected in an academic manuscript of such magnitude. An appointment can be scheduled with Christa Viola, Coordinator of Graduate Student Services, at 215-204-6924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manuscript review by the Graduate School focuses on the items identified below. While meeting these criteria cannot guarantee approval, disregarding them strongly predicts that revision will be required.
- 1.5” left margin and 1” margins at right, top, and bottom
- Page numbers
- No closer than 1” to any edge of page
- Small Roman numeral page numbers on all front matter
- Arabic numbers beginning with page 1 on Chapter 1
- Double-spaced text overall, except where single spacing is more appropriate (e.g., block quotes)
- E-Title Page
- Diploma date is month and year: month can be only January, May, or August.
- At bottom left, major advisor, then committee members, and their affiliations are listed.
Order of sections
- E-Title Page bearing names and affiliations of examining committee members
- Table of Contents
- Lists of Tables, Figures, and/or Illustrations: separate, in that order, and with a column of page numbers on the right-hand side indicating where each item appears in the manuscript
- Bibliography/References Cited
- Minimal front matter components are Abstract and Table of Contents.
- Tables, figures, illustrations, and chapters are uniquely numbered and identified in the front matter and in text.
Each new chapter starts on a new page.
- Subsections within a chapter are merged in a consistent fashion.
- Subsections can have a different pattern from sub-subsections but not from each other.
- Comprehensive list of sources must be titled either:
- References Cited
In-text citations, source citations, references, and notes may be ONE of the following:
- Parenthetical author-date
- Superscripted or bracketed numbers
- Classic footnotes at the bottom of the page
- Endnotes at the end of each chapter
- Endnotes at the end of the entire work
- Ordering within the list of sources varies by discipline:
- Works in education, the humanities, and the social sciences are alphabetically ordered by author's family name, which begins each entry.
- Works in the hard sciences are usually ordered numerically.
As a final step before bringing your manuscript to the Graduate School for review, look at your dissertation/thesis as a whole. Can you detect any discernible difference between the part that constituted your proposal a few years back and the conclusion you wrote this morning? Remember that this is a single work broken into major sections.