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This manual is designed to assist graduate students who must produce a thesis, dissertation or equivalent under the supervision of their committee chair and successfully defend it as part of their degree requirements. This manual identifies Arizona State University’s specific format requirements and contains instructions for meeting these requirements. (asu-graduate-college-format-manual-pdf)
Students who are planning to incorporate a previously published or publishable work in their document should refer to the Policy on using Previously Published or Publishable Work in a Culminating Experience Document.
Every page of your document must meet the margin requirements of 1.25 inches on the left and right, and 1 inch on the top and bottom. All materials including appendices, if you choose to include them, must meet the margin requirements.
The Graduate College requires that students use one of the TrueType fonts listed below. You should retain the same font and font size throughout your document (preliminary, main text, back matter pages); the only exception is endnotes and footnotes which may be in a smaller point size.
|Font||Size of Text|
|*Times New Roman||12pt|
* These fonts are designed for easy screen readability and are highly recommended.
** TimesNewRoman (with no spaces between words) differs from the traditional font. Although it is acceptable to use, your manuscript should not switch between TimesNewRoman and Times New Roman as there are distinct differences between the two fonts.
All text must be double-spaced, except: block quotes, appendices, table/figure captions, material in tables, footnotes, endnotes, reference citations, and the optional biographical sketch. You must single-space individual footnotes and reference entries, then double-space between each note and entry.
You should make every effort to apply formatting consistently, as indicated by your style guide and this manual, throughout your document. Also, it is important to use terms, abbreviations, word order, capitalization, and punctuation (i.e., hyphenation) consistently in your preliminary matter, main text, and back matter.
Your document must be in the following order:
The format for headings and subheadings should be determined by your style guide; please review it carefully.
Headings and subheadings should appear in the same font and size as the rest of the text, even if a style guide makes such alterations.
All paragraphs of your text should be indented as indicated by your style guide or journal. Indent consistently throughout your document. Indentation of block quotations and reference entries should conform to your style guide or journal article.
Justifying both margins is not recommended because it can cause a number of problems, especially in the references. Many programs that justify your text at both margins add spaces between words to stretch out a line, leaving awkward gaps in the text.
Widows and Orphans
“Widow” lines occur when the last line of a paragraph appears alone at the top of a page. “Orphan” lines occur when the first line of a paragraph, or heading or subheading, appears alone at the bottom of a page. To fix a “widow” or an “orphan,” move a line from the previous page to accompany it or move the line onto the next page. You may allow more than 1 inch at the bottom of a page in order to avoid “widow” and “orphan” lines. Use good judgment in correcting such problems, but avoid placing text within the 1-inch bottom margin.
Most word-processing programs, including Microsoft® Word, have a feature to prevent or fix this error.
You must identify all sources for other’s concepts, ideas, quotations, or paraphrased text that you have used in your document. Ensure that the author name, publication date, or page number (depending on your style and the type of source) are correct.
Follow your style guide for the treatment of in-text citations in terms of appearance, content, punctuation, and placement.
Wherever you elect to place your notes, they must be formatted consistently throughout the document. All notes should be indicated in the text with corresponding superscript numbers (here1 rather than here1), so that they are distinct from the text. Follow your style guide or journal for the numbering and format of notes. You should single-space each note, and use double-spacing between them. To format a document with endnote or chapter note organization, begin the notes section on a new page. If you use notes, please choose word-processing software that allows for superscripts.
Photographs and Graphics
Each photograph or graphic, like all figures, must be given a number and a caption and must meet margin requirements, reducing the image if necessary. A “LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS” or “LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS” should also be included in the preliminary pages to assist readers in finding the images.
Should you wish to include photographs or illustrations, you have two options: (1) scanning them; or, (2) reproducing them xerographically (provided that the resolution is clear enough). Whichever method you choose, the resulting image(s) should be sharp with good contrast quality.
Note to Students in the School of International Letters and Cultures. Documents produced to fulfill the requirements of a Master of Arts degree, or a Doctor of Philosophy degree may be written in the language of the discipline. The foreign title should appear on the title page. The following page, labeled page i, should consist of the English translation of the abstract. Pagination continues on the next page with the abstract and rest of the document written in a foreign language.
No first person plurals* – ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘us’
Note to Students in the School of International Letters and Cultures. If you compose your document in the language of your discipline (e.g. Spanish, German or French) then you must include an extra abstract in English. See page 7 for more information.
Generally, the dedication contains a more personal note to family or loved ones, while the acknowledgments usually consist of professional and academic assistance. The dedication and the acknowledgments should be on separate pages.
Note to Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Students: A creative writing practicum will not require a table of contents if there are no formal divisions within the document.
Table of Contents (continued)
Refer to your style guide for the formatting of tables (including borders), table titles, and figure captions, including placement, typeface, alignment, and wording. You may need to reduce the size of a table or figure, either xerographically or by using smaller size type within the table or figure, to meet the margin requirements. As a general guide, you may refer to the figure below, a sample table in Chicago style. Tables extending over multiple pages should be placed in an appendix.
For continued figures or tables, follow your style guide for treatment of captions/titles.
Sample Table in Chicago Style
Note: You should follow the format of your selected style guide.
Horizontal (Landscape) Table
Style guides and journals vary widely in the treatment of references. Your comprehensive list of references also may be called “Works Cited” or “Bibliography,” but certain requirements apply to the list regardless of its name. Your style guide determines the format for all entries and their overall organization; therefore, you must be familiar with the style of citations and references used by your journal or style guide, ensuring that it addresses all of your source types. Please be aware that some style guides provide more than one option for reference style, depending on the discipline (e.g., humanities or sciences), so you will want to choose the option that is best suited to your discipline.
Nation, K., & Snowling, M. (2004). Beyond phonological skills: Broader language skills
contribute to the development of reading. Journal of Research in Reading, 27, 342–356.
Riedel, B. (2007). The relation between DIBELS, reading comprehension, and
vocabulary in urban first-grade students. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(4), 556-567.
Swanson, H., Rosston, K., Gerber, M. & Solari, E. (2008). Influence of oral language and
phonological processing on children’s bilingual reading. Journal of School Psychology,
46, 413–429. doi:10.1016/ j.jsp.2007.07.002.
Wiley, T., & Wright, W. (2004). Against the undertow: The politics of language
instruction in the United States. Educational Policy, 18(1), 142–168.
When you submit your document for format review, the advisor will check your citations for consistency, but you must complete a more thorough check to guarantee the order of references and the completeness of entries in relation to your style guide, and to ensure that the information you provide to your readers is accurate and that you are not plagiarizing per graduate.asu.edu/policies-procedures. You will also want to verify that your reference list entries match any coinciding in-text citations. You are ultimately responsible for the completeness and accuracy of your references.
Designate each appendix with a letter (“APPENDIX A”) or Roman numeral (“APPENDIX I”)
As a graduate student, copyrighting impacts you in two ways. First, as the writer, you have legal rights concerning the contents of your thesis/dissertation. Second, as a researcher, you must make every effort not to violate the copyrights of others. Please visit https://lib.asu.edu/policies/copyright for more information.
Copyrighting Your Own Work
All works under copyright protection and published in the United States on or after March 1, 1989, are subject to mandatory deposit. Usually, the holder of the copyright is required to submit two copies of the copyrighted work to the Copyright Office. Section 704 of the Copyright Act states that these deposits “are available to the Library of Congress for its collection, or for exchange or transfer to any other library.” Circular 1 Copyright Basics and Circular 7d Mandatory Deposit of Copies (loc.gov/copyright/circs) provide useful information about the copyright process.
If you have questions, you may contact the Copyright Office Public Information Office on the Internet at copyright.gov or by phone at 202-707-3000. The form used to register a copyright for most documents is Form TX. Certain documents in the performing arts, such as musical scores or plays, may require Form PA. Contact the Copyright Office if you are not sure which form to use. Application forms are available online at copyright.gov/forms.
You can apply for a copyright through UMI/ProQuest when you submit your document through ETD. If you plan on copyrighting your document, follow these additional formatting instructions:
Place the copyright symbol (©) on the lower half of a second page after the title page with the year and your name centered between the margins. The copyright symbol meets the requirements of the Universal Copyright Convention to which the United States and most European and Asian nations belong. You should also include the statement “All Rights Reserved” below the copyright line. This statement will afford additional protection under the Buenos Aires Convention, to which the United States and most Latin American nations belong.
©2011 Your Full Name
All Rights Reserved
The copyright page will become your second page, between the title page and the abstract. Please note that the copyright page does not change pagination; your abstract will still be page ‘i’.
If you include a copyright page then you must pay the copyright fee.
Using the Copyrighted Work of Others
Copyrighted material includes tables, charts, graphs, maps, questionnaires, illustrations, photographs, literary works, etc. It is against the law to reproduce copyrighted materials, in full or in part, without permission of the copyright owner. If you need to include copyrighted source material in your document, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to its use. The written permission you secure from the author or publisher to use copyrighted work in your document should be included in an appendix.
Fair Use rights have the same legal standing in the law as the copyright owner's rights. Fair Use allows for the limited use of copyrighted content (such as tables, maps, or works of art) to create new works that benefit society. Before you complete your document, consult: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/
Including Non-printMedia with Theses/Dissertations
Non-print media, such as audio or video files may be used to store information that accompanies your thesis/dissertation. The information stored on such files, particularly any included software, must not violate any copyrights.
Research involving human subjects conducted under the auspices of Arizona State University is reviewed by the University Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) in compliance with federal regulations. Research involving human subjects concerns the collection of data on subjects whose performance of any activity is required for the purpose of compiling data. This includes data obtained by observation, interview, questionnaire, experiment, or a secondary source. Documents containing any data collection from human subjects require that applications be submitted to the University Human Subjects IRB for approval before data collection or recruitment of subjects is initiated. For further information, contact the human research coordinator in the Office of Human Research Administration at 480-965-6788 or visit researchintegrity.asu.edu/humans.
Research involving the use of animals conducted under the auspices of Arizona State University is reviewed by the University Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) in compliance with federal regulations. Documents containing any data collection from animal research require that applications be submitted to the University Animal Care& Use Committee for approval. For further information, contact the IACUC secretary in the IACUC Office at 480-965-4387 or visit researchintegrity.asu.edu/animals.
Some graduate degree programs require students to produce written projects that are not called “theses” or “dissertations.” If you are pursuing a degree in one of these programs, be sure to substitute the proper wording on the title page of your document as indicated in the following table:
Exceptions to “Thesis” and “Dissertation” on the Title Page Degree Name of Document
|Degree||Name of Document|
|DMA in Conducting||A Research Paper|
|DMA in Music Performance||A Research Paper|
|MFA in Creative Writing||A Practicum|
|MFA in Dance||A Bound Document|
Documents Containing Separate Studies or Papers where the Student is the Author or Co-Author
Do not use the first person plural (i.e. “we,” “our,” or “us”) since theses and dissertations may not be co-authored. For more information regarding copyrights and permissions visit Copyright Library Guide. For more information regarding the use of previously published/publishable collaborative work, refer to the Policy on using Previously Published or Publishable Work in a Culminating Experience Document.
Supplemental non-print materials should be listed as appendices in your table of contents. The appendix cover sheet must also be marked with a description of the software and operating system (e.g., MAC or Windows XP) required to view the non-print file.
You may upload supplementary files that accompany your document. Examples might be sound clips or spreadsheets of research data. You can upload as many supplementary files as you need. If you upload a set of files that are “zipped”, then that is how the supplemental material will be distributed with the full text: as a zipped file.
Please note that if your document and supplemental material combined exceeds 1000 MB then you need to create a PDF with just the Title Page, Abstract and on the third page a note explaining that the rest of the dissertation and all supplemental materials will be included on a CD-ROM or a DVD, and submit the PDF online. You will still submit your payment online. Then you will submit all materials on a CD-ROM or DVD to the Graduate College for approval.