The following format guidelines are intended to help you in the preparation of your master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation and should be used in conjunction with the specific style adopted by your academic program. Please read them carefully.
It is your responsibility to conform to the following format requirements and to be sure that the presentation of your manuscript is of the highest quality. Because requirements may change over time, students should not use existing library or departmental copies of manuscripts as examples of proper format.
As a Format Aid, students can use LaTeX style format if recommended. To access, please click on the Formatting Aids section below.
It is strongly suggested that you have a draft of your entire manuscript reviewed by the chair of your committee and the Manuscript Coordinator at OGS before you electronically submit your thesis or dissertation PDF file to the repository.
If you are interested in resources for editing and/or formatting, you can find persons who provide these services at the OGS bulletin board that is located outside the Manuscript Coordinator's office in the Office of Graduate Studies, Humanities Building, Room 107.
The Manuscript Coordinator is available to help you with issues related to format. You may contact the Manuscript Coordinator at (505) 277-2711. If you are calling from out of state, you may call 1-800-225-5866, press 5 for the Graduate Office and ask to speak to the Manuscript Coordinator. Please click on each section below for more information.
Rights of the Author and the University:
Your graduate unit has the right to require that you provide them with a copy of your thesis or dissertation, and that certain original records and materials be retained as the property of the University. Publication rights to the thesis or dissertation are reserved to you as the author.
The final version of your thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) by:
With the approval of a student’s thesis or dissertation committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies, a manuscript may be written in a language other than English. However, the manuscript must be accompanied by an abstract in English approved by the committee.
The following forms, which may be obtained at the OGS, must be submitted before your manuscript will be accepted by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Many of the forms are now available on the Web. For further information, connect here.
You may use the template for the front matter pages, on our Templates Page.
No binding fee is required for electronic manuscript submission. There is a $30 binding fee required to cover the cost of binding the two manuscript copies submitted to the OGS and forwarded to the University Library. This applies to Embargo Restriction requests submitted to the LoboVault repository . (One copy will be placed in the University Archives and the other in Circulation).
If you are a doctoral candidate, you are required to have your dissertation published by ProQuest (formally known as UMI). This will bring your work to the attention of researchers in your field in a variety of ways. Your abstract will appear in Dissertation Abstracts International, which is considered the authoritative source for concise summaries of current doctoral research. Your entire dissertation will be published by ProQuest.
As of fall 2010, ProQuest Publishing does not require payment of a registration fee for doctoral students who submit via the ProQuest UMI-UNM Administrator Website. Doctoral students must select the "traditional publishing" option and not the "open access" option to activate the no registration fee feature, otherwise they will be charged as shown below.
Students are responsible for the associated fee, which is currently $65 for traditionally published dissertations that are not submitted via the UMI-UNM Administrator Website and $160 for open access dissertations; $55 for traditionally published and $150 for open access theses. Both the ProQuest registration form and fee must be submitted with your dissertation electronically. The registration fee is payable by credit card.
ProQuest provides copyrighting of dissertations as a supplementary service when the work is being registered with them. The current fee for copyrighting is $65.
The publication or copyrighting of master’s theses by ProQuest is optional.
Registering your copyright in your thesis or dissertation is optional. Under current United States copyright Law, the moment you reduce a work to a tangible medium (i.e., write it on paper, save on hard drive or other storage device, take the photograph, record the music, etc.) your thesis or dissertation is copyrighted. This applies to unpublished manuscripts as well. There is no longer the need to register your work for copyright to attach. Furthermore, there is no longer the requirement of putting a copyright notice on a work for it to be copyrighted. You may register your copyright either by having ProQuest do so (see above) or on your own by submitting a registration form, which you can pick-up at Zimmerman Library Government Publications or download from US Copyright Office's web page, with a check for thirty five ($35) dollars, and two copies of your thesis or dissertation. Additional information can be obtained by calling 202-287-8700 or going to the US Copyright Office web page at http://www.copyright.gov/
You should remember that if you quote or otherwise reproduce in your thesis or dissertation material previously copyrighted by another author, beyond brief excerpts, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner. Keep in mind that if a work was created in or after 1989, there is no requirement that it have a copyright notice to be copyrighted This includes foreign works and foreign works for which the copyright has been reinstated pursuant to international treaty.
Copyright law is extremely complex and it can be difficult to determine what action you need to take and where to begin looking for permissions. The web sites listed below contain a great deal of information and have been helpful to students. The Office of Graduate Studies does not provide copyright advisement.
The Copyright Clearance Centerhttp://www.copyright.com/
U.S. Copyright Office Home Page http://www.copyright.gov/
ProQuest: Copyright Law and Graduate Research http://www.umi.com/assets/downloads/products/UMI_CopyrightGuide.pdf
The University of Texas at Austin Copyright Crash Course http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/
All pages of your manuscript must be in 'Letter Size', 8 ½ X 11 inch, format.
The copies of your manuscript must be clean, unshaded, and free of spots and smudges. Faint, streaked, or uneven copies are unacceptable.
(See Also) The left margin of each page must be 1 1/2 inches, and the top, right, and bottom margins 1 inch.
(See Also) There are only two ways to paginate your manuscript; upper right hand corner and bottom center. If your page numbers are at the bottom, leave two blank line spaces between the last line of text and the line on which the page number is placed. Whether they are at the top or the bottom, page numbers should appear just outside the 1-inch margins (.5 to .8 inches from the top or bottom edge of the page. Whichever method of pagination is selected, it must be followed consistently. Use lower-case Roman numerals for the front matter (which is all pages before the body of research), create section break and continue (beginning again with page "1") with Arabic numerals for the remainder of the manuscript, including the text, illustrations, appendices and references.
Your manuscript should be double-spaced (one and a half spaces can be used if approved by the chair of your committee) and single-sided. References may be single-spaced with a double space between each reference. Indented quotations may also be single-spaced. Use a professional quality font (e.g., Arial, Times Roman, Courier or Helvetica). Font size for your text should be 12 point; headings may be up to 14 point. Fonts for tables, figures, and appendices may range from 8 to 12 point.
The style of your thesis or dissertation may follow any one of many standard style guides, as preferred by your graduate unit, or the style considered standard in your particular discipline. You should consult your advisor for preferences or additional requirements your department may have. In any case, your manuscript must be internally consistent.
Thesis or dissertation manuscripts are generally divided into three sections – the Front Matter, the Body of Research, and the Reference Matter.
For a visual reference to format the Front Matter, utilize the Example of Completed Front Matter link at the Approval Template page. A Thesis Example and a Dissertation Example will help you format the Front Matter for pagination and the placement of the proper order of the front matter pages which can be generated at the "MS Word Templates" page.
(See Also) The Approval Page is the first page of the Front Matter and the manuscript. Count this as page "i". Type the names of the committee members on the lines provided at the center of the page.
(See Also) The Title page contains the title of your manuscript, your name, your previous degrees (including your majors, institutions and years centered on the page). Count the title page as page "ii". The degree you will be receiving at UNM, and the month and year of your graduation should be listed toward the bottom of the page (check with OGS for the graduation date). When listing the degree to be awarded, please refer to the Master’s and Doctoral Degree List included with these guidelines. Do not use abbreviations.
(Optional) This is an optional page. If you use one, number it in appropriate sequence with a lower-case Roman numeral. The title must be in capital letters, centered just below the top margin of the page. The dedication itself may be single or double-spaced.
(Optional) This is also an optional page. If you use one, number it in appropriate sequence with a lower-case Roman numeral. The title must be in capital letters, centered just below the top margin of the page. The acknowledgment itself may be single or double-spaced.
On the Abstract page first list the title of your manuscript, your name, all degrees you have already earned (in chronological order), and the degree to be awarded. These lines should be centered on the page, beginning just below the top margin. Then double-space, and on the following line, center the word ABSTRACT. Double-space again before beginning the text of your abstract. Use paragraph indentation as appropriate. The text itself should be either one and a half spaces or double-spaced.
Dissertation abstracts are limited to 350 words. Thesis abstracts are also limited to 350 words unless you are electing to have your thesis microfilmed by ProQuest/UMI – in that case the thesis abstract may contain no more than 150 words.
Number the Abstract Page in appropriate sequence with a lower-case Roman numeral.
The Table of Contents page is counted and numbered with a lower-case Roman numeral. If you have used a List of Figures (Optional) and/or a List of Tables (Optional) , they must be included in your Table of Contents. Tab leaders should be used between the heading levels and the page numbers. (DO NOT simply type dots across the page--the spacing will not work out. Instead, set a dot leader tab. If you have multiple appendices, they must each be listed (see section on Appendices).
(if applicable) - placed on separate page after the Table of Contents.This page is counted and numbered with a lower-case Roman numeral. It may be single or double-spaced. Tab leaders should be used between the title of the figures and page the numbers. This page should be listed at the beginning of the Table of Contents.
(if applicable) - placed on separate after the Table of Contents.This page is counted and numbered with a lower-case Roman numeral. It may be single or double-spaced. Tab leaders should be used between the title of the tables and the page numbers. This page should be listed after the List of Figures at the beginning of the Table of Contents.
(optional)This page is counted and numbered with a lower-case Roman numeral.
Beginning with the first page of the text (begin again with page "1"), pages are numbered with sequential Arabic numerals through the end of your manuscript. Each chapter/major division of the text must start on a new page. Each of these lead pages should be counted and numbered.
Figures may include diagrams, charts, drawings, schematics, photographs, etc. Each of the two required copies of your manuscript must contain its own original figures, with the exception of photographs, in which case both may be high-quality copies either in color or black and white. Figures should be inserted as near as reasonably possible to the text to which they relate. They should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals as part of the continuing text.
Figures and their captions must appear on the same page, within the required margins. If captions are more than one line long, they may be single-spaced. They should be placed on paper of the same size and weight as the rest of the manuscript. Colored materials are acceptable, but since color does not reproduce on microfilm, an alternate key should be provided if it will be needed for interpretation of the figure in black and white.
Oversized figures may be presented in one of two ways:
A horizontal figure that is too wide to fit on a regular manuscript page may be mounted on another piece of paper at the left hand margin, and folded like a fan. The folds must be within the right hand margin.
A figure that is both too long and too wide may be folded and inserted into a 6 ½ x 9 ‘’ envelope that is mounted on another sheet of paper.
Tables that are a half-page or shorter in size may be placed at the top or the bottom of the page, or in the center, with text above and below. Tables may also be placed alone on the page immediately following the page that refers to them. The placement of tables should be consistent throughout the manuscript. Tables continuing for more than one page should be labeled [e.g., Table 1 (cont.)], and oversized tables should be treated in the same way as oversized figures (see above).
The appendix (or a series of appendices) usually follows the main text, and contains material that is useful for a detailed review of the study, but is not essential to an understanding of the text. For example, an appendix is the appropriate section in which to place material such as raw data, the results of individual laboratory analyses, or sample forms. This may be useful supporting data even though it is not specifically utilized in the text. Note, however, that some reference should be made in the text to the fact that these materials appear in the appendix. The pages of the appendices are numbered in sequence with those of the text. Although it is preferable, you do not have to meet margin requirements for the material in your appendix, except for the left-hand margin.
After the last page of text, include a list of Appendices on a separate page. Individual appendices should start on a separate page and should be clearly marked.
The List of Appendices should also be included in the Table of Contents. To list appendices in your Table of Contents, use "Appendices" as your major heading. On the next line, indent five spaces, and begin listing each appendix with its title (for example, "Appendix A. Survey Data") and page number.
No manuscript is complete without a full listing of the necessary bibliographic information about the sources upon which the study is based. In most cases, only those sources actually cited in the study are listed. This section will be called "List of References", "References Cited", or simply "References", and all pages are counted and numbered. The list is most often arranged alphabetically, although it may follow some other logical plan. It will follow the appendices.
Templates for the "front matter" of your manuscript are now available at the Front Matter Templates section of this site. This page also includes Samples of completed front and reference material. This section is a valuable visual reference to use to format the Front Matter with the proper lowercase Roman numeral pagination.
OGS would like to thank Neall Doren for his help in developing a LaTeX Style File for formatting theses and dissertations. For further information, connect to LaTeX Template and Style Files. The LaTeX Style is popular with specific research disciplines, such as Engineering and the Math sciences.
Please note that computer-generated manuscripts are subject to the format requirements to which all other manuscripts are held.
Formatting on front material is very detailed. Make sure that formatting matches examples (especially red-bordered pages). Make sure that pages are numbered correctly. (A sample of completed front material is available on the web site.)
Margins for the entire manuscript must be:
left – 1.5 inches; top, right, bottom – 1 inch
Exceptions: Top, right and bottom margins may vary in the Appendix pages, but the left margin must be 1.5 inches throughout the ENTIRE manuscript (including Front Matter, References, Appendices). Page numbers in the Appendices must also appear consistently as in the rest of the manuscript.
Margin requirements must be met, and page numbers must be placed consistently as in the rest of the manuscript.
Your Table of Contents will be checked against the body of your manuscript.
Your manuscript must be accompanied by ALL the appropriate completed forms or it will not be accepted.
Please Note: The problems listed above are among the most common, but manuscripts can be returned for other problems as well.