Formatting your ThesisIf you start writing your thesis with the formatting already in place, you will save yourself valuable time and effort. This handout highlights library-related requirements for thesis formatting. To ensure that you have met the library requirements, you may wish to have the formatting of your thesis reviewed by the library before sending it to Reed Printing Services. For other formatting details consult the Senior Handbook and the Computer User Services Thesis Help Page
Style & Format
Some disciplines have standard style manuals. Consult your advisor to determine which style is appropriate.
- The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Ref BF76.7 .P83 2001)
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Ref LB 2369 .G53 2003)
- Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (Ref T11 .S386 1994)
- Chicago Manual of Style (Ref Z253 .U69 2003)
If there is no manual for your field, use a standard style manual such as Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Ref LB 2369 .T8 1996).
In typing the title page, follow the sample or use the template in the Thesis Help folder.
Under the title, state as follows:
A Thesis Presented to the Division of ______________________________
The Divisions are:
History and Social Sciences
Literature and Languages
Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Linguistics
If you have an established interdisciplinary major, then your thesis should be presented to:
the Established Interdisciplinary Committee for Major(A) and Major (B)
The established interdisciplinary committees are:
American Studies, Biochem/Molec. Biol, Chem/Phys, Clas/Rel, Danc/Thea, Econ/Math, General Lit, Hist/Lit, International and Comparative Policy Studies, Linguistics, Lit/Thea, Math/Phys.
If you have an ad hoc interdisciplinary major that is not within one division, your thesis should be presented to:
the Interdivisional Committee for Major (A) and Major (B)
If your ad hoc interdisciplinary major is within one Division but is not an Established Committee, your thesis should be presented to
the Interdisciplinary Committe for Major (A) and Major (B)
Refer to the Senior Handbook for a complete list of the established interdisciplinary/interdivisional committees.
Since the title and approval pages of all theses must be uniform (no variations will be accepted), check with the library before binding. Other points to remember about the title page include:
- The title must appear in capital and lower case letters. Do not use decorative graphic devices.
- Your full name must be used on the title page. Nicknames are not permitted.
- All words on the title page should appear in a uniform font and font size.
- Because the only subject retrieval for theses in the library catalog is by keywords in the title, please use a title that accurately reflects the content of your thesis.
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On a separate page, following the title page, just below the center, type:
Approved for the Division*
*Replace 'Division' with 'Committee' if appropriate.
(type your department or interdisciplinary major here)
type the name(s) of your Thesis Advisor(s) here
The line is for the signature of your thesis advisor after you have passed your oral examination and corrections (if any) have been made. Be sure an original signature is on the archival copy. The signature on the second copy may be original or photocopied.
An abstract is a brief statement (200 words or less) summarizing the important points of the thesis. A creative thesis does not require an abstract.
Margins & Fonts
Leave a margin of one and one-half inches on the left side of each page (or in the case of double-sided copy, on the edge of the page which will be bound), and a margin of at least one inch on the other three edges. Any font and font size that will produce a clear readable copy is permissible. If you have any questions, see a library staff member.
Page numbers should begin with the first page of the introduction and continues through the entire thesis. Page numbers may appear in various locations but should be consistent throughout the thesis. Positioning is particularly important when formatting for a double-sided thesis, since numbers placed on the outside corners must be on the top right on odd-numbered pages and top left on even-numbered pages. Page numbers should never be placed on the inside margin where pages are bound together. Do not include page numbers on the first pages of chapters, but be sure to list them in the table of contents. Check with the library if you have questions.
Order of Contents
acknowledgments and/or preface*
table of contents
list of tables*
list of figures*
abstract of thesis (required in all but creative theses)
major body of text
bibliography or list of references
The Registrar's Office checks for those items in bold type and for correct pagination. Consult both your advisor and the Registrar's Office if you plan a different arrangement or if you have any questions.
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Placement of Chapters
Each chapter should begin on a new page on the right side.
Spacing is dependent upon the font you use. Most fonts allow for 1 1/2 spaces between lines. However, if your thesis is exceptionally long, it may be necessary to single space. Be consistent throughout your thesis. Single space all quotations of more than three lines.
Tables & Figures
All chapter titles, as well as figure and image titles, must match your table of contents and list of tables/figures exactly. Consult your advisor about your choice and the acceptability of drawing programs if charts or graphs are required.
More information about including images in theses is available at: http://library.reed.edu/help/faqs/thesisimages.html
Footnotes & Endnotes
Footnotes and endnotes are single-spaced and numbered continuously for each chapter or for the entire work. Be consistent throughout your thesis.
The use of illustrations, the complete texts of poems or substantial portions of essays, screenplays, and other similar works, published or unpublished, may require permission from the copyright holder before they can be reproduced in your thesis. It is your responsibility to personally contact the rights holder if necessary. Acknowledgement of formal permission should be clearly stated in the thesis but may be done in a variety of ways (see Chicago Manual of Style, chapter 4). For more information consult the Copyright Help for Theses guide or contact a reference librarian for help.
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Before presenting your completed theses to the Registrar's Office, ask a library staff member to verify the formatting while you still have time to make changes.
Number of Copies
Prepare four (4) copies of the thesis to be checked by the Registrar's Office prior to the thesis deadline. These copies will be returned to you immediately for distribution to your Orals Board.
Reproducing Your Thesis
You have the option of having your thesis copied double-sided. If you choose this option, be aware that additional formatting is required. Contact the library for instructions.
Photocopy service is available from Reed Printing Services. Avoid the thesis deadline rush. At off-peak times, a complete thesis can be copied in less than thirty minutes. If you wish to use an alternative method for reproducing your thesis, consult Reed Printing Services.
If you plan to include audio and/or visual tapes, cassettes, etc. in your thesis, please consult with a library staff member. Each piece of the accompanying material must be marked with your name and the title of your thesis. Contact the library for information on the correct inks to use and to obtain special boxes to contain those materials.
After the thesis has been completed and has the final approval of your advisor, binding can be done by Reed Printing Services or at an off-campus bindery. If you go off campus, verify with Reed Printing Services make sure that the materials and methods used are appropriate.
Two copies of the thesis should be bound, preferably in hard binding, for deposit in the library. One of these copies must be on archival paper and have the original signature of your advisor. The second copy may have either an original or photocopied signature. Printing Services will use archival paper for all thesis copying.
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