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Thesis Help

Formatting for Spring 2020


The Spring 2020 thesis formatting requirements are being amended to allow for online submission. Details to follow.


​General formatting questions? Ask a Librarian! 

Specific formatting questions? Ask CUS! 

Style Guides

Some disciplines have standard style manuals. Consult your advisor to determine which style is appropriate.

  • The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association   (BF76.7 .P83 2010)
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers   (On Reserve LB2369 .G53 2016)
  • Scientific style and format : the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers    (T11 .S386 2014)
  • Chicago Manual of Style  (Z253 .U69 2017 & online)

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 (Reference Desk LB 2369 .T8 1996) or the Chicago Manual of Style. 

Whichever style manual you use, be consistent. Please note that the style manual used, including footnotes or endnotes, style of bibliographic citations, etc. is up to your department and not dependent on library approval.

Thesis Components

All formatting requirements are included in the senior handbook, but some requirements can be confusing. If you have any questions about formatting, ask the registrar, or a librarian.

Use the Thesis Template. CUS has templates for both Word & LaTeX. Use them! Formatting issues may still occur, but fixing them will be easier. You must use a consistent font and style.

The contents of your thesis must follow the order below. Required sections are in bold

  • Title Page

  • Approval Page

  • Acknowledgments / Preface

  • List of Abbreviations

  • Table of Contents

  • List of Tables

  • List of Figures

  • List of Spectra

  • Abstract

  • Dedication

  • Major body of text

  • Glossary

  • Appendix

  • Endnotes

  • Bibliography / References

  • Index

Title and Approval Pages

No variations in the title or approval pages will be accepted. Correct examples are linked below. 

Title and Approval Pages for a Division  

Title and Approval Pages for an Established Interdisciplinary Committee

Title and Approval Pages for an Interdisciplinary Committee

Title and Approval Pages for an Interdivisional Committee


Approval Page with Two Advisors - Horizontal

Approval Page with Two Advisors - Vertical


  • Use the correct title and approval page wording for your major
  • Type the title in capital and lowercase letters
  • Do not use decorative graphics/fonts
  • Use a consistent font and size
  • Use a title that accurately reflects the content 
  • Do not use ampersands
  • The date on your title page should be the month and year you are submitting your thesis
  • There should be no punctuation between the month and date on the title page

CORRECT : May 2020

INCORRECT : May, 2020

INCORRECT : May 14, 2020

Questions? Ask a Librarian!

Images, Figures and Tables

Inserting Images and Tables

Consult with your thesis advisor as to where to insert your images. They can appear within your chapters, at the end of chapters, or in a separate appendix at the end of your thesis. Your advisor can also provide guidance on whether to place the full image citation below the image or in your Bibliography.

Instructions for inserting images and tables into the thesis Word and LaTex templates are available on the CUS Thesis Help Page.

Building your Lists

While a List of Images/Figures is an optional section it is recommended to include one if you have multiple figures. All figures must have titles and the items in the list must match the titles of the images. A sample List of Figures as well as specifics about formatting are in the thesis template (Word or LaTeX). Contact a librarian or CUS with questions.