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Writing - Thesis Guide for MA students: Thesis Formatting Guide

MAT/MAB Thesis Deposit

Graduation Requirement

To fulfill the graduation requirements and obtain your degree, you must deposit a final electronic copy of your thesis with the library:

  • As soon as possible after the defense, make any corrections suggested by the examining board.
  • Proofread your manuscript a final time.
  • E-mail your complete, final copy to the Library Director at
    • MS Word format is preferred.
    • PDF format is also acceptable.
  • You must deposit your thesis within one month after your defense and at least one week before graduation.

The Maly Library will print and bind one copy of theses that receive a mark of B+ or higher to keep in the library collection.

If you would like to have a bound personal copy of your thesis, there are several online vendors from which to choose. Below are a few suggestions:

OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center

Upon the recommendation of the thesis defense panel (grade: A) and the permission of the student, a thesis may be added to OhioLINK’s Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center (ETD). If the thesis is approved for inclusion in the ETD, the student will submit it online with the help of the Maly Library staff. When submitting a thesis to the ETD, you give OhioLINK and the Athenaeum of Ohio permission to make your work available for open access on the Internet, including access through major Internet search engines.

Order of Elements

 This chart summarizes the elements in the thesis/major research paper and how they are to be paginated. Required elements are noted. All other elements are optional. Note that only those items placed after the Table of Contents must be listed in the Table of Contents. For more details on the optional elements, please see Turabian.

Page Title Page Number

Title Page (REQUIRED)

Abstract (REQUIRED)

Approval Page (REQUIRED)

No number (is considered page 1)

No number (is considered page 2)

iii; at center bottom of page

Preliminary materials



   Table of Contents (REQUIRED)

   List of Illustrations

   List of Tables

   List of Abbreviations (may appear in end matter)




Use lowercase Roman numerals, at center bottom of page.

Be sure to count the title page, abstract and approval page as the first three pages.

Begin numbering the preliminary materials with iv, v, vi, etc. 








Body of Text (REQUIRED)

1,2,3, etc. at center bottom of page.


End matter



   List of Abbreviations (may appear in preliminary materials)

   Bibliography (REQUIRED)

Continue consecutive numbering at center bottom of page.





Thesis Formatting Checklist

Entire Document

  • The thesis has a strict range of 50-70 pages in length (not counting the title page, table of contents, bibliography or other preliminary and end materials).
  • Margins are 1” on the top, right, and bottom; 1.5” on the left (this is the binding edge).
  • All text, including page numbers, chapter titles, and block quotes, are in Times New Roman 12 pt. Footnotes are in Times New Roman 10 pt.
  • Paragraphs are justified except the title page. The first line of a paragraph is indented 0.50”. There are no spaces between paragraphs except before a new subheading.
  • Headings and subheadings levels are consistent throughout the document. There should be differentiation between the levels, e.g. bold for first heading, italics for second, underlining for third.
  • All chapters or first headings begin on a new page; subheadings do not begin on a new page unless they are “orphans,” i.e. the last line on a page (if this occurs then place that subheading on the next page).
  • Proofread your manuscript carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors as well as overall readability and flow and adherence to this checklist. It would be advisable to have another person or two proofread it too.

Title Page

  • All parts of the title page are centered and double spaced.
  • The phrasing and spacing on the title page is exactly as specified in the thesis template.
  • The author name on the title page is the “name of record,” i.e. your official name as recorded by the registrar.
  • The author name does not include titles (Rev., Rev. Mr., Dr., Esq., etc.) or organizational affiliations (your diocese, your employer, etc.).
  • The date is the month and year that you deposit the thesis with the library (not the defense or graduation date).
  • Title page is unnumbered.


  • Abstract text is double-spaced and limited to one page.
  • Abstract page is unnumbered.

Page Numbering

  • The approval page is numbered “iii” and other preliminary pages (Dedication, Contents, Abbreviations, etc.) are given a Roman numeral.
  • The main body of text (Introduction, Chapter 1, etc.) begins on page “1.” Arabic numbering continues to the end of the thesis, including the bibliography.
  • Page number position on each page is bottom center.

Table Of Contents

  • Only items that follow the Table of Contents (TOC) are included on the contents page. Title page, abstract, approval page, and dedication are not listed in the TOC.
  • Headings, titles, or captions are listed in the TOC exactly as written in the main document, with consistent capitalization and hierarchy indentation, and page numbers have been verified.

Main Body Of Text

  • Double space all text except block quotes.
  • Quotes comprising 4 or more lines should be set apart in a block quote: single spaced with a 0.50” indent on both right and left; no quotes at the beginning or end of the block quote.
  • Use ellipses to indicate omitted text within a quote. Ellipses consist of alternating 3 spaces and 3 periods such as . . .


  • Follow Turabian’s bibliography/notes format: sources in the body of your paper are cited as footnotes.
  • Footnotes are single spaced. The first line is indented 0.50”.
  • Most titles of works should use headline-style capitalization, i.e. first word of title and subtitle is capitalized and every other word is capitalized except the words to or as, articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for) and prepositions (of, in, at, above, under). The latter are capitalized when they are used as adverbs or adjectives.
  • If a book is a 1st ed. or Enlarged ed., do not add that information in the citation.
  • If a book is a 2nd ed. or has other substantial content changes (may be noted by Rev. ed.), add that to the citation.
  • If there are two or more cities listed for your source, include only the first.
  • If the city of publication might be unknown or confused with another city, add the state abbreviation, province, or country. When the publisher’s name includes the state name, no state abbreviation is needed.
  • No state abbreviation is needed for well-known cities of publication such as: Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco, etc.
  • Regarding the name of the publisher, list it as shown on the title page but omit initial The or abbreviations such as Inc., Ltd, Co., & Co. and Publishing Co.


  • Follow Turabian’s bibliography/notes format: all cited references are listed at the end of the thesis in a bibliography, usually in alphabetical order by author last name or title (if no author).
  • Each entry in the bibliography is single spaced within the entry, double spaced between entries. Hanging line indentation is 0.50” (i.e. all lines except the first line are indented 0.50”).
  • If the same author (or the same group of authors) has more than one title in the bibliography, list their name(s) with the first title only. Under the subsequent titles, in place of their name(s), use a 3-em dash. To make a 3-em dash: press CTRL, ALT, and the minus sign (on the number pad) three times.