Dissertation & Thesis Handbook


Writing a dissertation or thesis is a time-consuming but rewarding experience. To guide you through manuscript preparation and to help you create a uniform and visually clear document, the Graduate School has developed the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook. It is a guide to Temple University's specific style requirements, providing examples of what is required to receive approval from the Graduate School.

Do not wait to review the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook until the semester you anticipate graduating or when you have already scheduled a defense date. Visit the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook early and often during the writing process. It is not recommended that you print a copy as the information herein is subject to change without notice.

If questions arise while you are working on your dissertation or thesis that are not answered in the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook, contact Christa Viola, Coordinator of Graduate Student Services, in the Graduate School at 215-204-6924 or cviola@temple.edu.

What You Need to Know at the Outset

Important Note

Temple University requires that your research be made accessible to the academic community at large. This is effected by publishing your dissertation/thesis through ProQuest and making it available through both ProQuest and Paley Library. Further, your dissertation/thesis may be accessed via various internet search engines, such as Google.

Making your research accessible to the academic community at large is a condition of Temple University's awarding research doctorates and master's degrees to those completing a degree that requires a dissertation/thesis as a culminating experience. Upon request, the Graduate School can embargo your dissertation for one year. A one-year embargo is typically granted to:

  • Delay disclosure of potentially patentable discoveries and/or products with potential commercialization
  • Permit technology transfer to occur
  • Allow time for an article to be accepted for publication and/or a book contract to be executed

Style Manual

An essential reference tool when writing a dissertation or thesis is a department-approved professional style manual. You must consult a style manual recognized by a professional society in your field.

To determine which professional style manual is appropriate for your discipline, consult with your advisor. Common manuals include those published by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the University of Chicago Press. These and other approved style manuals are listed in Appendix A of the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook.

Note that the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook is NOT itself a professional style manual. Rather, it is a guide outlining where your dissertation/thesis might diverge from a discipline's specifications. If a discrepancy between the instructions in a style manual and those in the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook exists, the Dissertation & Thesis Handbook takes precedence.

Workshops and Other Assistance

The Temple University Computer Services Department offers training seminars throughout the year in using word processing and statistical tools for your dissertation or thesis. These seminars provide the building blocks for crafting your document.

Technical "How do I?" questions should be addressed to the Computer Services Help Desk at 215-204-8000 or help@temple.edu. Another useful resource is Lynda.com, which offers word processing tutorials.

In addition, the Writing Center offers writing retreats that are designed to help graduate students with their writing projects, including dissertations, proposals, and articles for publication. These writing retreats offer intensive and focused writing time, one-on-one mentoring, goal-setting support, fellowship, and motivation. A nominal fee is charged for each retreat to cover program costs.