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Writing A Thesis Paper For

Writing a thesis for Graduate School

Many departments have both a traditional style thesis/dissertation and a journal style thesis/dissertation. Please check with your adviser to determine which style you should write.

Traditional Format
When formatting your thesis/dissertation, follow the formatting guidelines when preparing the pages. You may also use the Word template to help with the process. Please note that there are some items in the template you will need to change (i.e. thesis/dissertation, school/department, degree, date, names of committee members, etc).

Journal Format
When preparing the front sections of your thesis/dissertation, follow the formatting guidelines when preparing the pages. You may also use the Word template to help with the process.

Each chapter is often a different journal article. An optional introductory first chapter or summary last chapter, or both, may be included. In each journal article chapter (i.e., article), the section headings, tables, figures, and references/literature cited must be formatted according to the specifications of the journal to which you plan to submit the article. Accordingly, each chapter may be formatted differently.

A copy of the “Instructions to Authors” from each relevant journal publisher, and a sample journal article that illustrates figures, tables, section designations, literature cited/references format, etc., must be included with the thesis or dissertation when it is delivered to the Examiner for the format check.

Style Manual
Every discipline has its own style expectations. Your committee will generally provide you with precise guidance on the contents and style for your thesis/dissertation. Before you begin to write, check the list of style manuals selected by your department/school. If you have several choices, find out from your committee which style manual to follow and review it carefully along with the University’s format requirements. If you discover a conflict between the instructions in your style manual and the University requirements, check with the Graduate School immediately.

Helpful Tips

References
Milner Library’s RefWorks, can help you set up a free program to manage and format your citations right from the beginning of your research.

Employing an Editor
Most graduate students edit and type their own theses/dissertations. The Graduate School doesn’t endorse or recommend any specific editors or typists. Employing an editor or typist does not guarantee that the document will meet the University’s requirements. Whether you choose to hire one of these professionals or do the work on your own, it remains your responsibility to meet all requirements and deadlines.

Source: grad.illinoisstate.edu
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