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ECU's Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission Service: Vireo: Required Elements

East Carolina University Submission Guide for the Graduate School Theses and Dissertations.

Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations

Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations

The Graduate School has specific guidelines for the presentation and writing of the thesis or dissertation. A specific page order and formatting of each page is required. The components to be included in any given thesis or dissertation should be determined by mutual agreement between the student and their advisory committee.  Below are prepared templates, and other information, formatted according to Graduate School guidelines. When referencing these templates, the student should recreate the page in their own document:  DO NOT FORGET TO CHANGE THE GENERIC DATA ACCORDINGLY.  For example: when it reads “Month, Year” replace this with the actual month and year.

 
A Brief Note on Page Numbers:
 
Including page numbers in an ETD can be tricky:  not all pages will be counted, and some are counted but do not have a page number on them.  Abstract pages and the blank page immediately following the abstract are not counted.  All other prefatory pages from the Title Page up to but not including Chapter 1 (or Introduction) may be designated only in the Table of Contents, but not on the prefatory pages themselves, by lower case Roman numerals (at a minimum, the student must include LIST OF TABLES or LIST OF FIGURES as prefatory pages, if applicable, in their Table of Contents).  There should not be a page number on the first page of any chapter, on the first page of References, nor on the first page of Appendices. All other pages should be numbered except for those mentioned above (standard Arabic numbering).  See the Manual of Basic Formatting (linked on left) for detailed instructions on exactly which pages receive a page number and how to include page numbers in an ETD.
 
 
The following is a list of pages for ETDs in their required order.  Beside the name of the page(s) there is an indication of weather or not it is required or optional.  The number of pages in any category will vary by student.  To learn more about the specific formatting requirements of each of the pages, select the appropriate page title in the accordion that follows the list.  It is suggested that students read through every page's formatting requirements.  The Manual of Basic Formatting(linked on left) has additional detail on formatting ETDs in general (i.e. margins, line spacing, etc).  This manual also gives step by step instructions for some of the more difficult formatting requirements including pagination and table of contents.  Students are encouraged to read through this page and the Manual of Basic Formatting before contacting Graduate School or Library staff for help with their ETD.
 
An ETD manuscript should have the following order:
  • Abstract [Required]
  • Blank Cover Sheet [Required]
  • Title Page [Required]
  • Copyright Page [Required]
  • Signature Page [Required]
  • Dedication Page [Optional]
  • Acknowledgement Page [Optional]
  • Table of Contents [Required]
  • List of Tables/Figures [As Appropriate]
  • List of Symbols/Abbreviations [As Appropriate]
  • Preface [Optional]
  • Body of Thesis/Dissertation [Required]
  • References [Required]
  • Appendices [As Appropriate]
  • Ending Blank Page [Required]

Abstract (Required)

The abstract pages are not numbered. The first abstract page should include the title of the work, the word “by”, the student’s name, the graduation month and year, the student’s director’s name, and the student’s major department all on separate lines before the abstract begins. The abstract itself should be a double spaced, concise summary of the work without any references. See the example below. Note that the student should recreate the example below on a portrait oriented page in their work and they should choose “Director of Thesis” or “Director of Dissertation” accordingly.

Blank Cover Sheet (Required)

An unnumbered, blank page should separate the abstract from the title page.

Title Page (Required)

The title page is the first page counted; however, it does not receive a page number in its footer. The only indication of this page can be in the Table of Contents by a lower case roman numeral (i). The student is not required to list pages that come before the Table of Contents in the Table of Contents. The title page includes the title of the work at the top, the student’s department, degree, and name, and the graduation month and year. The specific format of the title page can be seen in the example below.

 

Copyright Page (Required)

The copyright page is the second page counted; however, it does not receive a page number in its footer. The only indication of this page can be in the Table of Contents by a lower case roman numeral (ii). The student is not required to list pages that come before the Table of Contents in the Table of Contents. The copyright page includes the copyright symbol (©), the year, and the student’s name centered vertically and horizontally. See the example below. (The copyright symbol may be replaced by the word “Copyright”).

 

Signature Page (Required)

The signature page is the third page counted; however, it does not receive a page number in its footer. In the Table of Contents (only), this signature page is listed with a lower case roman numeral (iii) page number. The student is not required to list pages that come before the Table of Contents in the Table of Contents. The signature page includes the title of the work, the students name, the typed names of the student’s committee members (committee director first), the name of the student’s department/unit chair, and the name of the dean of the graduate school, all typed immediately under the signature line with their degree (see example). The separately uploaded signature page should also include the signatures of everyone listed on the page except for the dean of the graduate school, whose signature will be added AFTER submission and review.
*An unsigned signature page with the student's committee members' names should be part of the PDF file of the thesis or dissertation.  The signed signature page (all but the signature of the dean of the graduate school) will be uploaded in the Administrative Documents step of the submission process.
 

Dedication Page (Optional)

The dedication page is an optional page. It can be counted in the Table of Contents with the next sequential lower case roman numeral but does not receive a page number in its footer. The student is not required to list pages that come before the Table of Contents in the Table of Contents. This page is a short dedication to persons of the student’s choice and may have a variety of formats. Students should discuss the formatting of a dedication page with their research advisor.

Acknowledgement Page (Optional Page)

The acknowledgment page is an optional page. It can be counted in the Table of Contents with the next sequential lower case roman numeral but does not receive a page number in its footer. The student is not required to list pages that come before the Table of Contents in the Table of Contents. The acknowledgment page is used when a student wants to thank or otherwise recognize persons or agencies and should be done using indirect speech. See the example below.

 

Table of Contents (Required)

The table of contents page is counted; however, it does not receive a page number in its footer. The table of contents page does not appear in the Table of Contents list (there is no roman numeral listed for the Table of Contents). This page is titled with “Table of Contents” at the top and is followed by the sequential list of contents of the student’s work. The counted pages that precede this page may be included in the Table of Contents list at the student’s discretion (student’s should discuss this option with their research advisor). All pages that follow the table of contents page should appear on the Table of Contents list with the appropriate starting page number. 


*Note: there are still prefatory pages that follow the table of contents page; these pages will be given the next sequential lower case roman numeral page number both in the Table of Contents. Arabic numbering of pages should begin with Chapter 1 (or introduction) of the student’s work.


The example below shows the basic layout required for the Table of Contents. More detailed instructions on how to create the table of contents page can be found in the Manual of Basic Formatting Requirements for ETDs.

 

List of Tables/Figures (As Appropriate)

The list of tables/figures is a counted prefatory page (or pages) and should have the next sequential lower case roman numeral page number in the Table of Contents. This page should be titled appropriately and have a numbered list of the tables/figures that appear in the student’s work in the order of their appearance with the appropriate page number. The formatting of this page will be similar to the formatting of the Table of Contents. Refer to the section of the Manual of Basic Formatting Requirements for ETDs for the Table of Contents. Also, see the example below.

 

List of Symbols/Abbreviations (As Appropriate)

The list of symbols/abbreviations is a counted prefatory page (or pages) and should have the next sequential lower case roman numeral page number in the Table of Contents. This page should be titled appropriately and have an alphabetical list of the symbols/abbreviations used in the student’s work accompanied by the page number of the first page that each symbol is used in the work. Again, this page will be formatting similarly to the Table of Contents. 

Preface (Optional)

The preface page is an optional, prefatory page. If used, it will receive the next sequential lower case roman numeral page number in the Table of Contents. A preface page should be titled as such and is written by the student to introduce how the work/research came into being. It may answer the questions of how, why, and to what end, among others. Students should discuss the use of a preface page and the proper formatting with their research advisor.

Body of Thesis/Dissertation (Required)

The body of a thesis or dissertation starts with chapter 1 (or introduction) and continues all the way through the last appendix. The first page of chapter 1 (or the introduction) is counted as page number 1 and is denoted in the Table of Contents with an Arabic number. The first page, and every first page of each new section (chapter 2, chapter 3, references, appendices, etc), does NOT receive a page number in its footer. Again, the first pages of each section are only given a page number in the Table of Contents, though they are always counted.

References (Required)

The references pages, when placed at the end of the document, have an alphabetical list of all references used in the thesis or dissertation. Some departments may opt to include reference pages at the end of each chapter that detail the citations used in that chapter; this is an acceptable ordering, when the chapters are intended to be used as separate journal articles.  References should be cited appropriately according to the student’s department’s preferences. There should be no page number on the first page of the reference pages when it appears at the end of the document; the first page is counted but is denoted only in the Table of Contents with its sequential page number. If the student opts to have the references used at the end of a chapter, the page numbers may continue onto the first page of these references and throughout the reference pages.  For an example of a references page, see the linked document below.
 

Appendices (As Appropriate)

An appendix is required if any pre-research approvals are needed for the student’s work: IRB or IACUC approval letters that include the student's last name are required if any human subjects or animals are used in the research and should be Appendix A. 

An appendix may also be required if the student wishes to use another’s work in their thesis or dissertation (see appendix B below). If the work only has one appendix, then simply title it “Appendix”; if the work has more than one appendix, then title them in sequential order using capital letters (“Appendix A”, “Appendix B”, etc). The title of the appendix should also accompany the word “Appendix” (see appendix A below). Appendices may also be used to provide more discussion or derivation on a topic in the work that may be too lengthy to include in the body of the thesis or dissertation. Student’s should discuss with their research advisor the possibility of using an appendix for other reasons. The examples below show a basic formatting of a generic appendix and of a permission letter. The first page of each appendix should not have a page number in its footer; it is, however, denoted in the Table of Contents. Appendices should have an order as follows: pre-research approval(s), permission letters, then as they are referenced in the work.

 

Blank Ending Page (Required)

A blank page should be the last page in a thesis or dissertation. This page does not have any text on it, including a page number. This page is not included in the Table of Contents.