Section-Specific

Overview

Students are responsible for meeting all the format requirements as outlined by the Office of Graduate Studies on this website. Click on any section link in the menu to view formatting requirements for that specific section, along with examples and instructions on how to use and set up formatting functions in Microsoft Word. In addition to these section-specific requirements, there are also general format requirements needed throughout the thesis/dissertation. Those can be found under ETD Formatting - General.

The Office of Graduate Studies does not specify a specific structure or organization for the main body of the manuscript (such as content, number of chapters, chapter organization, etc.). However, individual graduate programs may require a specific style ( i.e., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) set forth by their program throughout the manuscript.

Manuscript Sections

Common Mistakes

  • Make sure that you use one consistent font and font size throughout the entire manuscript, excluding footnotes, table captions, and figure captions. Everything should be in black font and should be legible.

  • Page numbers have to go at the bottom of the page. They must also be the same font and font size as the main text of the manuscript.

  • All main chapter/section headings must be 2” from the top edge of the page and must be styled consistently.

  • Your margins should be 1” all the way around. Double check that there are no extra indents or tabs affecting the margins of your document. (More Info)

Title Page

This is the very first page of your manuscript, and it has very specific spacing and formatting requirements. Generally, this page should be single-spaced, centered, and should not have a page number. This page includes your title, name, degree information, committee information, date of approval, keywords, and copyright. (More Info)

Table of Contents

This will follow your title page and should include every heading and subheading used within the body of the manuscript, word-for-word. The pages of your TOC should be numbered using lowercase roman numerals. These pages must be single-spaced with the headings aligned against the left margin and the page numbers aligned against the right margin. (More Info)

List of Tables

If you are using tables within your manuscript, then you must include a List of Tables. This list is formatted similarly to the TOC. Every table caption (word-for-word) must be included in this list along with their page numbers. The pages of this list will be numbered using lowercase roman numerals continued from the TOC. (More Info)

List of Figures

If you are using figures within your manuscript, then you must include a List of Figures. This list is formatted similarly to the TOC. Every figure caption (word-for-word) must be included in this list along with their page numbers. The pages of this list will be numbered using lowercase roman numerals continued from the List of Tables. (More Info)

Abstract

Your abstract should be formatted similarly to your main body of text – double-spaced and either left-aligned or justified. A concise abstract contains a statement of purpose, the rationale for the study, general methods or approaches, results or outcomes, and conclusions (significance and implications of the work to the discipline). These pages will have lowercase roman numerals continued from the List of Figures. (More Info)

Main Body

  • Starting with the first page of your manuscript, you will begin using Arabic numerals to number your pages (1, 2, 3, etc) . These pages must be double-spaced and either left-aligned or justified. If you choose to use subheadings in your text, be sure to keep track of how each level of subheading is styled so that you can keep it consistent. (More Info)

Tables

Tables can either appear within a chapter where they are referenced, or they can be compiled at the end of the chapter. The font of the table should be the same style as the rest of the manuscript and can be reduced to as low as 8pt. Table captions must be located above the tables and must be styled consistently. (More Info)

Figures

Figures can either appear within a chapter where they are referenced, or they can be compiled at the end of the chapter. The font of the figure caption should be the same style as the rest of the manuscript and can be reduced to as low as 8pt. Figure captions must be located below the figures and must be styled consistently. (More Info)

References

The style of your references section should match that of the main body and should follow a specific format (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago). It can be either single or double-spaced. It can appear either as a major section at the end of the manuscript or as a subsection of individual chapters. (More Info)

Optional Sections

Dedication

This section comes directly after the Title Page and should not have a page number. It should match the paragraph style and formatting used in the main body. You can use this page to honor those who inspired or encouraged the completion of your degree. (More Info)

Acknowledgements

This section comes after the Dedication (or the Title page if there is not one) and should not have a page number. It should match the paragraph style and formatting used in the main body. You can use this page to express recognition of or appreciation for any professional assistance you received. (More Info)

Footnotes

Footnotes must be placed at the bottom of the page and single-spaced. They must match the font of the main body but can be reduced to as low as 8pt. Footnotes have to be numbered consistently and consecutively. (More Info)

Endnotes

Endnotes go at the end of a chapter and should be single-spaced. They must match the font of the main body but can be reduced to as low as 8pt. Endnotes have to be numbered consistently and consecutively. (More Info)

Appendices

Appendices must be located directly after the References. These pages are used for supplementary, informational, and/or illustrative material that is too lengthy to include in the text. Each Appendix subsection or chapter must be listed using a consistent style (e.g. Appendix I, Appendix II). These pages should be numbered using Arabic numerals continued from the References section. (More Info)

About the Author

You can use this section to write a brief biological sketch written in 3rd person. It cannot be longer than a page and should not have a page number. Instead, you will list “End Page” in the TOC. The text should match the font and paragraph style of the main body. (More Info)

 

Need Help?

Try attending one of the ETD Workshops or Help Sessions. Or contact an ETD Administrative Specialist at (813) 974-2915 (or grad-etd@usf.edu) to schedule a 15-minute, one-on-one help session.