1 North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Thesis and Dissertation Digital Handbook This style guide outlines the thesis/dissertation formatting requirements at NC A&T. The Graduate School (revised August 2014)
2 1 STEPS FOR SUBMITTING YOUR THESIS/DISSERTATION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL ***Refer to the thesis/dissertation website for deadlines*** STEP 1: Apply for graduation. Note that you must first be enrolled before you can apply for graduation. STEP 2: Defend your thesis/dissertation. After a successful defense, an oral defense approval form must be submitted by your department to the Graduate School. If your committee has requested that any further changes be made, you should make them as soon as possible after the defense. STEP 3: Submit defended, properly-formatted thesis/dissertation (with all committeerequested corrections made) and accompanying materials to the Graduate School for review. There are two parts to this: o FIRST, BRING THE FOLLOWING COMPLETED MATERIALS TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OFFICE (Gibbs 120) Thesis/Dissertation Checklist Declaration of Academic Honesty Proof of Research Compliance (approval letter/ from the Office of Research Compliance and Ethics) Advisor-approved electronic PDF copy of thesis/dissertation (either on a CD with Major Professor s signature on front or ed to Dr. Bigsby directly by advisor). Note that the CD does not require a specific type of label. o NEXT, UPLOAD YOUR DOCUMENT TO THE ETD (ELECTRONIC THESIS AND DISSERTATION) DATABASE (the PDF document uploaded must be identical to the version that was on the CD or mailed to Dr. Bigsby). For help with ETD submission, see the guide at STEP 4: The Graduate School will now review your document for formatting errors and minor grammatical errors (note that we do NOT provide comprehensive editing for grammar and mechanics).we will contact you with any required revisions. Complete these thesis/dissertation revisions and then upload the revised PDF document to the ETD Database. STEP 5: Once your uploaded thesis/dissertation meets the standards of the Graduate School, we will send you a Final Approval The only other step is to submit the Signature Page (with original signatures of major professor, committee members, and Department Chairperson) by the deadline. This completes the submission process! Once your degree is conferred, your document will be delivered to UMI/ProQuest for electronic publication.
3 2 Table of Contents SUBMITTING YOUR THESIS/DISSERTATION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL... 1 Formatting Overview... 3 Title Page... 4 Signature Page... 5 Copyright Page... 6 Biographical Sketch... 7 Dedication Page (Optional)... 8 Acknowledgments Page (Optional)... 8 Table of Contents... 9 List of Figures...10 List of Tables...11 Abstract...12 Organization of Chapters...13 Figures and Tables...14 General Requirements for Figure and Table Captions...14 Figures in Text...15 Tables in Text...16 Headings...17 References...20 Appendices...21 Bound Copies of Thesis/Dissertation & Archived CD Copy...22 Help with Section Breaks...22 Help with Leader Lines...23
4 3 Formatting Overview IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU USE NC A&T S THESIS/DISSERTATION TEMPLATE TO HELP FORMAT YOUR DOCUMENT. The template can be found here. We recommend APA citation style, but other accepted styles can be used as well, so long as you are consistent and accurate in your citations.. The top, left, right, and bottom margins should be 1 for all document pages. Double space; leave no extra space between paragraphs. Indent 10 spaces for new paragraph or tab once (0.5 ). All text, page numbers, and captions should be in Times New Roman and 12 point font. Pagination and Sequencing Table SEQUENCE STATUS PAGINATION PAGE NUMBER PLACEMENT Preliminary Pages Required Small Roman Location Numerals Title Page Required Count/Do not None LISTED IN TABLE OF CONTENTS Yes/No number Signature Page Required Count/Number Top/Right No Copyright Notice Required Count/Number Top/Right No Biographical Sketch Required Count/Number Top/Right No Dedication Optional Count/Number Top/Right No Acknowledgments Optional Count/Number Top/Right No Table of Contents Required Count/Number Top/Right No List of Figures Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes List of Tables Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Key to Symbols or Abbreviations No Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Text Required Arabic Numbers Starting at 1 (Abstract Page) Location Yes/No Abstract Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Introduction Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Body of Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Thesis/Dissertation Summary or Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Conclusion References Required Count/Number Top/Right Yes Appendices Optional Count/Number Top/Right Yes
5 Title Page Your title page does not have a page number. However, the title page is the understood page i (hence, the Signature Page is page ii). Start your title centered at the top of the page, and be sure all required information appears as outlined in the example. Use your legal name as reported to the University. Be sure everywhere your name appears in your thesis/dissertation document matches the title page exactly. 4
6 5 Signature Page Your Signature Page will contain signature from your major professors, committee members, department chair, and Graduate School Dean (Dr. Sarin). Your signature page should be numbered with a Roman numeral ii. All information as seen on the example is required. Please delete extra entries if they are not needed. You can also move Dr. Sarin s entry if you have an even number of entries. The Graduate School
7 6 Copyright Page The copyright page is mandatory for all theses and dissertations. It will be the page after your signature page. iii
8 7 Biographical Sketch The Biographical Sketch is required. It provides personal information about the author of the thesis/dissertation. Write your Biographical Sketch in the THIRD PERSON. Try to keep your Biographical Sketch to about one page. Your name should appear exactly as it appears on your title page. iv
9 8 Dedication Page (Optional) If there is anyone that you would like to dedicate your thesis/dissertation to, you may write honor them on your dedication page. The page must meet all margin and formatting requirements. It must have the title Dedication written in standard 12 point Times New Roman font, and centered at the top of the page. It must be numbered with a Roman numeral. Acknowledgments Page (Optional) If you would like to acknowledge the contributions of other who made your thesis/dissertation possible you may write sentences describing this on the Acknowledgments page. Acknowledgments are also optional. If you wish to include an acknowledgment, insert it after the Biographical Sketch and before the Table of Contents. This page should be numbered with a Roman numeral. It must meet all of the formatting requirements (1 margin all around, centered title, double space, 12 point Times New Roman font).
10 9 Table of Contents Information listed in the table of contents must match exactly the capitalization and wording of titles for chapters and subheadings used in the thesis/dissertation itself. Arabic numerals start with 1 on the Abstract page. Only the sections AFTER the Table of Contents are listed. For additional information on how to format a table of contents page see the examples below (note that either Sentence case capitalization or Title Case Capitalization can be used for heading Levels 3, 4, and 5; see pgs ). You may reference page 23 of this manual for information about creating leader lines and tabs (the Template has them built-in). 1
11 List of Figures Your List of Figures page comes after your Table of Contents. All figures should be numbered in text and on this page. You may use either continuous numbering throughout the document (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) or chapter-based numbering (1.1, 1.2, 2.1, etc).. Be sure your numbering system is consistent. 10
12 List of Tables Your List of Tables page comes after your List of Figures. All tables should be numbered in the text and on this page. You should use either continuous numbering or chapter-based numbering throughout the document. Be sure your numbering system is consistent. 11
13 Abstract An abstract is required. It is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the thesis / dissertation. The abstract should include a statement of the problem or issue, a brief description of the research method and design, major findings and their significance, and conclusions. It allows readers to survey the contents of the thesis/dissertation quickly and it will be immediately visible to online readers who browse your work. An abstract of a thesis/dissertation should be approximately words (roughly one page, though two pages is fine). 12
14 13 Organization of Chapters The exact content of each chapter (and the exact chapter titles) may vary slightly, but most documents (particularly in STEM fields) will generally follow the framework below: -CHAPTER 1 Introduction Your introduction should address the following points, as needed (you may wish to use some of these as distinctive subsections): Purpose of Research, Research Questions or Hypotheses, Scope and Significance of Research, Summary of Conceptual Framework and Methodology, Potential Limitations or Constraints, and Definition of Terms. -CHAPTER 2 Literature Review Here, you will explore the previous scholarly work on the subject, addressing the following issues: significant conceptual frameworks in the field, background information on research methodologies, areas of inquiry that have been treated thoroughly, and areas that require further investigation or refinement. -CHAPTER 3 Methodology Your chapter (or chapters) on Methodology should address the following areas, as necessary: Rationale for Methodology, Conceptual Approach, Data Gathering Methods, and Validity and Limitations of Data. -CHAPTER 4 Results and Analysis In this chapter, you will present the data acquired through your research methods, and provide analysis of significant findings and observations. -CHAPTER 5 Discussion and Future Research In your final chapter, you will tie together the various strands of your research by linking your findings to past research, exploring the significance of your results, and envisioning the application of your work to future research objectives and practices.
15 14 Figures and Tables A table generally refers to numerical data or textual information presented in a column format. All graphs, charts, line drawings, maps, photographs, plates, or other graphic representations are considered figures and are all labeled as Figures. All figures and tables must be clear and legible. General Requirements for Figure and Table Captions Use consistent capitalization and spacing for captions and consistent punctuation after figure or table numbers and at the end of captions. If a caption is longer than one line, the subsequent lines should be flushed to the left margin. You should number figures and tables in separate but continuous series throughout the text (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.) or by chapter (e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc.). For Tables that are split across pages, on subsequent pages use the abbreviation cont. in place of the main caption.
16 Figures in Text [NOTE: the style described below comes from APA 6 th edition. Other caption styles may be acceptable, so long as you are consistent throughout the entire document.] The actual figure is centered in the text. Below the figure is the figure number (with a period at the end), one space, and a figure description. The word Figure and the figure number (ex. Figure 2.2) is italicized. The figure description is not italicized. All of the information below the picture/figure is flushed to the left. 15
17 Tables in Text [NOTE: the style described below comes from APA 6 th edition. Other caption styles may be acceptable, so long as you are consistent throughout the entire document.] When inserting a table in the text of your paper follow the formatting below. Remember that a table should follow the point of reference in the paper. Also keep in mind that the table number (not italicized) is doubled spaced and the table description below it is italicized. 16
18 17 Headings [NOTE: the style described below comes from APA 6 th edition. Other variants in heading style may be acceptable, so long as you are consistent throughout the entire document.] There are up to five levels of headings that can be used in your document. Please note that your style heading must exactly match the punctuation, spelling and capitalization in the Table of Contents. Your headings should appear as described and shown below (with the caveat that your subheadings may also have numbering associated with them, such as 1.1, 1.2.2, etc.). For more information, consult an APA handbook on heading levels. Level 1 (Chapter headings): Centered, in bold face type, capitalize the first letter of all significant words (this is known as Title Case Capitalization ). Level 2: Flush left in bold face type, upper and lower case letters (Title Case Capitalization) Level 3: Indented in bold face type, capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns (this is known as Sentence case capitalization ). End level 3 heading with a period. Notice that the paragraph text begins on the same line (same for Levels 4 and 5 as well). Level 4: Italicized, indented in bold face type, with only the first letter of the heading in uppercase lettering (Sentence case capitalization). End level 4 headings with a period. Level 5: Not in bold face type; indented with only the first letter of the heading in uppercase lettering (Sentence case capitalization). End level 5 headings with a period. SEE THE EXAMPLES ON THE NEXT PAGE
20 19 Partially Blank Pages Every page that contains text should be completely (or at least nearly) filled with the exception of the following instances: When the page in question is the last page of the chapter. When a heading plus two lines of text will not fit at the bottom of the page (note that Microsoft Word generally handles this automatically as you type). When inserting a figure or table, please try and fill in any gaps with text wherever possible. Note: Figures and tables should be displayed in close proximity to their first point of reference.
21 References The References section displays information for all the sources you cited in your thesis/dissertation. The examples below are formatted in APA 6 th edition style. Entries in your References section must adhere to APA 6 th edition guidelines (or another accepted style used in your discipline). Be sure that you are consistent in your citation style throughout the entire document. For assistance with APA formatting, see the official APA Manual or this site from the Purdue OWL: ( Information on other citation styles is also readily available online. EndNote citation management software is available through Bluford Library. 20
22 21 Appendices An appendix is located at the very end of your thesis/dissertation after your reference page. If you have one appendix, it should have a title centered and italicized at the top of a new page. The title should read, Appendix. If you want the appendix to have a specific title/description, put that on the line below Appendix, also centered and italicized. If you have multiple images, charts, or tables that constantly interrupt the flow of your text, you should have multiple appendices at the end of your thesis/dissertation. In this case, the title of each appendix will have a capital letter, starting with the letter A (e.g. Appendix A). You may wish to label Figures and Tables with A-# (e.g. Figure A-1, Figure A-2, etc.)
23 22 Bound Copies of Thesis/Dissertation & Archived CD Copy If desired, personal bound copies (or bound copies for Major Professor/department) of the final thesis/dissertation manuscript can be purchased via UMI/ProQuest. Note that you must choose this option and pay during the first upload on UMI/ProQuest. Otherwise, you will need to submit a paper form or call UMI/ProQuest directly. Note that neither the electronically-published version of the document nor the bound copies ordered through UMI/ProQuest will contain the Signature Page with actual signatures. Help with Section Breaks In the event you choose not to use the Thesis/Dissertation template provided, section breaks need to be created to make sure your pages are numbered correctly. Since your title page should not have a page number, there should be a section break between the title page and the preliminaries section of your thesis/dissertation. Your preliminaries section comes after your title page and must be numbered with roman numerals. When you are done typing your preliminaries (everything from your signature page to your list of tables and list of figures) you need to insert another section break before you move on to your abstract. The body of your paper requires digits for your page numbers. The body of your thesis/dissertation is everything from the abstract to the reference page (or appendix if you have one). Additional information can be found by following these links: Word 2010: HA aspx?CTT=1 Word 2007: HA aspx?CTT=1 Word 2003: HP aspx?CTT=1
24 23 Help with Leader Lines Leader lines will help guide all readers eyes from a title to the page number. It is also helpful in making sure your page numbers are properly aligned to the right. This formatting tip is useful for making your Table of Contents page, your List of Figures page, and your List of Tables page. Additional information can be found by following these links: Word 2010: HA aspx?CTT=1 Word 2007: HA aspx?CTT=1 Word 2003:
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