The East Carolina University Manual of Basic Requirements for Electronic Theses and Dissertations has been written to provide guidance in approaching the task of writing a thesis or dissertation. This publication is intended to serve several purposes in support of this endeavor:
Writers of theses or dissertations are expected to follow this Manual of Basic Requirements. However, students and directors frequently desire to introduce important modifications to improve communication or quality of expression, especially in consideration of specific journals, publishers, or fields of study. Desired deviations from this manual can be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval before submitting the final copy.
Listed below are procedures and requirements to be followed during the preparation and completion of a Thesis or Dissertation. The student should:
Students should consult with their committee director and members of their advisory committee to determine the textual arrangement and reference format of the thesis or dissertation. It may be helpful to select a journal, in which portions of your research will likely be published, to use as a style model. The selected style must be consistent throughout the document (Be sure to note that all examples given in this manual are just samples. Check with your department for the style they prefer).
Additional assistance in the proper use of a particular style is provided by either Joyner Library or Laupus Library. The libraries may provide access to Bibliographic Citation software which can aid in the proper citation and documentation of research. Currently, the libraries provide access to RefWorks (by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts) or EndNote Web (by the Thomson Corporation). Both citation softwares are available via either library electronic resources page. Also, tutorials for RefWorks may be found on the Refworks website. Finally, librarian assistance with citations as they appear in the thesis or dissertation can be found at either library. The link below provides information about Citation Management Software. These include RefWorks, RefWorks Flow, Proquest Flow, Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote Basic.
Citation Management Libguide
Before copyrighted materials are included in a thesis or dissertation, written permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Signed copyright forms must be included in the appendix. Students should consult the ECU Copyright page or contact the ECU Copyright Officer to determine if permission is required for copyright materials used. A sample permission letter is shown in Appendix B on the Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations page. Students may want to consult with their committee director on this issue.
Preparation of the Thesis and Dissertation Manuscript
The Graduate School requires a specific page order and formatting of each page (pagination, or numbering pages, is of particular specificity). See the Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations page for detailed descriptions of the required page formatting.
Not every page in a thesis or dissertation will receive a page number in their footer. What is more, not every page is even counted for pagination. The bullet points below summarize the most important required elements of pagination.Below the list there are two step by step guides for adding and formatting page numbers in the appropriate way. It is strongly encouraged that students review these guides carefully. See the Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations page for more information and examples of these pages.
Adding Page Numbers Using Microsoft Word 2010 -- University of Michigan Library Document
A one (1) inch margin should surround all pages of the thesis or dissertation (left, right, top and bottom). This applies to all material except page numbers, including figures, headers/footers, footnotes/endnotes, and full page images. Page numbers should be no lower than three-quarters (3/4) of an inch from the bottom edge of the page.
It is best to use standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial for better viewing in all mediums used by the ScholarShip and PQDT. If using unusual fonts, be sure to use embeddable Type 1 or TrueType fonts. In Word, it is possible to embed fonts by choosing Tools, Save, and “Embed TrueType Fonts.” Fonts that are available to all PDF viewers do not need to be embedded; these include: Arial, Courier, Helvetica (Bold, Oblique and BoldOblique), Times (Roman, Bold, Italic, BoldItalic), Symbol, and ZapfDingbats.
Most of the thesis or dissertation should be double spaced: abstract, dedication, acknowledgments, table of contents, preface, and body of the manuscript (with exceptions, see below).
Some of the document will be single spaced: footnotes/endnotes, list in appendices, and block quotations as paragraphs, captions, items in tables, lists, graphs, charts, and bibliographic entries in the body of text.
Some pages of the work will have a specified format: permission letters, approval letters, signature page, etc.
Color pages, if used, should be preserved if possible: PDF and print reproductions should include color material. Microfilm reproductions will NOT preserve color (color will appear as shades of gray).
It is suggested the student use tables without borders when formatting if it is desired to put text or numbers into neat columns. This suggestion is a result of the relative ease of using tables as opposed to using tabs in Microsoft Word. (That being said, tabs are suggested for use when constructing the Table of Contents and a detailed guide on using tabs in Microsoft Word will follow on this page).
The student is encouraged to avoid using Microsoft Word’s Equation Editor for typing equations into their work. Instead, the student can use italic Times New Roman font and Symbol font, along with superscripts and subscripts to create equations. (Tabs will be useful when numbering equations.)
The best method for including graphics in a thesis or dissertation is by using EPS (encapsulated PostScript) files rather than bitmaps, GIFs, or JPEG images. Microsoft Word 2013 should support the viewing of EPS files when they are placed in the document. (Otherwise, a box will appear where the picture will be upon printing.) It is always best to use high resolution images when available (such as 600 dpi). It is also suggested students avoid using graphic editors that are a part of a word processor. Adobe illustrator or other esteemed image editors are ideal (DO NOT USE PAINT).
Landscape Page Numbers
Page numbers must be placed in the footer of the page in portrait orientation even when the text of the page is in landscape orientation. For detailed instructions on how to make this change in Word, visit this Microsoft Website Help Page. Or view the University of Michigan Library Document above.
In Word, use the Edit, Copy, and Paste functions to add a multimedia object in the work. Remember to reference the figure in the text and to provide a figure number and title. This figure number and title should appear in the List of Figures.
Here are some general suggestions about spacing within a thesis or dissertation:
Table of Contents
A Table of Contents is required for all theses and dissertations. The placement (page order) of the table of contents can be seen in the Required Elements of Theses and Dissertations pages. The document below gives detailed instructions on how to format a Table of Contents using Microsoft Word 2013.
Before submitting their work, the student should review all materials they intend to submit for correctness in formatting, spelling, grammar, information, research procedures, etc. The following are major reasons that theses and dissertations are not initially approved:
Although all theses and dissertations should comply with the Manual of Basic Requirements of Theses and Dissertations, the Graduate School strongly suggests that each program decide upon a particular style or format by which all of their theses or dissertations will follow beyond that described herein. This format may be either a specific style manual (i.e. APA, Turabian, MLA) or the format of a respected journal in the field. Questions about formatting or the submission process should be addressed with the Graduate School at (252) 328-5792.