College of the Arts Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide

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College of the Arts Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide

Preface

PREFACE

This is the official style guide for theses and dissertations in the College of the Arts. Special style guides are used by various Schools for footnote form and other matters of detail. Students should consult these guidelines for matters not covered in this style guide. When variations between statements in this document and the style guides listed for a specific discipline occur, students should consult with their thesis or dissertation advisor.

Reasons for Regulations

The rules presented here are necessary because theses and dissertations are catalogued by University Libraries and submitted in an electronic format to OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. Therefore, they must be produced with the same care as printed books. Margins must be uniform, and paper, if used, must be of uniform color and quality.

Responsibilities

Degree candidates are responsible for the accurate preparation of all aspects of the thesis or dissertation and submission of the document. Candidates should not expect their advisors to edit their theses or dissertations for errors, nor should they expect typists to correct or edit copies.

Approval

Certification that a thesis or dissertation is correct with regard to mechanical style and format is made by the student, the thesis or dissertation director, and the school director. Such certification is made through submission of two copies of the signed signature page to the Dean’s Office of the College of the Arts (with all signatures secured in black ink except the college dean’s).

Document Production

DOCUMENT PRODUCTION

Master’s and Ph.D. students are required to submit theses and dissertations electronically. Information about electronic submission is available at www.library.kent.edu/etd.

Approved Paper

Use black print on 8.5-inch by 11-inch 20-24 pound acid-free archival-quality white laser paper for signature pages. To avoid variations in color and texture, the same paper must be used throughout each copy. If incorrect or unapproved paper is used, reprinting of the signature pages and thesis will be required.

Margins

Allow one inch for the top, bottom, left, and right margins. Double spacing down from the line the page number appears on is preferable; however, flexibility based on specific software parameters is acceptable. Use only a ragged right margin (unjustified). Take special care to ensure that illustrations, graphs, tables and pictorial materials do not extend beyond top, bottom, or side margins. When necessary, reduce image size before importing it to the page. Call College of the Arts Advising (330-672-2760) or consult your graduate coordinator with specific questions.

Spacing

Double-space the text throughout. Hyphenation of words at the end of a line is discouraged. Division is permitted to avoid short lines that end considerably more than one inch from the right margin. To obtain proper spacing for front matter, refer to the appendixes of this manual. Footnotes should be single spaced. References may be single spaced, with a double space between entries.

Quotations

For quotations longer than 40 words, indent five spaces from the left margin with no quotation marks at the beginning or end. Long/block quotes are usually single spaced, but check the style manual accepted by the school in which the thesis or dissertation is being written.

Pagination

Every page in the thesis or dissertation must be assigned a page number, and numbers should appear on all pages except for the title page of the document, the signature page and the title page of the appendices. Use lower case Roman numerals for page numbers on pages containing front matter (e.g., table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, preface, acknowledgments, etc.). Center page numbers on front matter approximately 0.5 inch from the bottom. Use Arabic numerals for the text beginning on page one of chapter one. Place page numbers in the top right-hand corner approximately 0.5 inch from the right and top edges. Numbering must run consecutively throughout the front matter, text, and appendices with no missing numbers. Each number may be used only once; use of numbers such as 9a, 9b, and so forth is not allowed. Please refer to your school’s preferred style manual for more information about pagination.

Font

A single font style must be used throughout the text. Fonts must be easy to read and in a Serif style. Times New Roman is the most popular font used. Standard font sizes are 10 and 12. As necessary, a smaller font may be used in tables and charts. Underlining in the text, unless part of a formula or equation, is discouraged. For adding emphasis, use italics, boldface, or all caps. Use of italics and boldface is permissible. Italics can be used to replace underlining throughout the document, including headings and references. Guidelines for headings are shown in the APA Publication Manual (Sixth Edition), The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition) and The MLA Handbook (Eighth Edition).

Front Matter

FRONT MATTER

The format for pages containing front matter is shown in the appendixes of this document. Prepare those pages exactly as shown. The month and date appearing on the title page and abstract should correspond with the date on which the degree is conferred (not the date of the defense of the thesis or dissertation).

Organization of Front Matter

The front matter must be presented as follows:

  1. Title Page (page i, page number does not appear)
  2. Signature Page (page ii, page number does not appear)
  3. Table of Contents (page iii, numbered in sequence)
  4. List of Figures (numbered in sequence)
  5. List of Tables (numbered in sequence)
  6. Preface, including Acknowledgments or Acknowledgments alone if there is no Preface (numbered if applicable)

Title Page

The title page must be prepared as shown in the appendix. Note that all material is centered and that the title of the thesis or dissertation is presented in uppercase letters.

Signature Page

Sample signature pages for the thesis and for the dissertation are shown in the appendixes. The signature pages of both submitted originals must be signed with original signatures in black ink. The student is responsible for obtaining all signatures except the dean’s. The signature pages should be sent to the Director of Advising, Ben Stenson, bstenson@kent.edu. Mr. Stenson will send the signature page to the college dean.  The dean's signature is obtained AFTER the final, proofed or edited originals of the thesis or dissertation have been submitted and approved in Ohio LINK.

Candidates should include an unsigned signature page within the electronic document and submit two signed originals (on paper) to the College of the Arts Advising office with the thesis/dissertation preparation approval form (also on paper) by that semester’s deadline.

Table of Contents

All parts of the thesis or dissertation, except the title page and signature page, are listed in the Table of Contents. The titles of major divisions (acknowledgments, list of figures, list of tables, titles of chapters, appendixes, and references) should be presented in the Table of Contents in capital letters. If more than one level of heading is used in the Table of Contents, each level should be indented three spaces (or one standard tab) to the right of the preceding higher level. Each level of heading used in the Table of Contents must appear in the order of its rank.

As shown in the Appendices of this document, page numbers in the Table of Contents should be right justified and aligned vertically. A line of leader dots should be used to guide the reader's eye from each entry in the Table of Contents to the corresponding page number. Candidates who are unable to vertically align material and page numbers in the Table of Contents may hire a typing service for assistance.

Figures

Any type of illustration, photograph, drawing, chart, or graph is referred to as a figure. All figures must fit inside the regular margins of the paper. Oversize materials should be reduced to conform to the margins.

If more than three figures are used, a List of Figures should follow the Table of Contents. Wording of entries in the List of Figures should agree exactly with the captions and the wording used in the body of the document. A sample List of Figures is provided in the appendixes.

All full-page figures must have page numbers in the upper right corner. Each figure should be labeled as "Figure 1," "Figure 2," and so on, consecutively throughout the document, including the appendix. The figure number and caption should appear below the figure. Authors should follow the style guide designated for their discipline when preparing figure captions.

Tables

Tables are any organized arrangement of facts or data in rows and columns. Every table in the document should be referred to in the text. If more than three tables appear in the paper, a List of Tables must follow the List of Figures in the Table of Contents. The List of Tables is arranged on a page in the same way as the List of Figures.

Tables must be labeled as "Table 1," and so on, consecutively throughout the document, including the appendix. Each table must also have a title set above the body of the table. Authors should follow the style guide designated for their discipline for guidelines on centering and capitalization. The wording of entries in the List of Tables should agree exactly with the wording used in the table titles. The general instructions regarding margins of figures also apply to tables.

Acknowledgments

An Acknowledgments page is used to thank individuals or institutions that have helped the writer carry out the project. The generic heading ACKNOWLEDGMENTS should be centered one and a half inches from the top of the page. Margins for the text of this section should be the same as for the body of the thesis or dissertation.

The Body of the Paper

THE BODY OF THE PAPER

Levels of Headings

Theses and dissertations are complex projects that may require different levels of headings throughout the body of the paper. The author has considerable latitude in determining the number of levels to include. Each level of heading used in the Table of Contents must appear in the order of its rank, and the wording must agree exactly with the wording used in the body of the document. Two systems of headings are shown below. Whichever the author chooses must be used consistently and exclusively.

System One

When using conventional typeface, italics may be used instead of underlining. However, no bolding is permitted in any part of the document. The format for system one is as follows:

Level 1 -- Centered, all caps

Level 2 -- Centered, caps and lower case

Level 3 -- Centered, underlined or italicized, caps and lower case

Level 4 -- Flush left, underlined or italicized, caps and lower case

Level 5 -- Indented five spaces, underlined or italicized, lower case paragraph heading,

                 ending with a period

System Two

Combinations of regular and boldface (but not underlining) can be used in this system as follows:

Level 1 -- Centered, all caps, boldface

Level 2 -- Centered, all caps, regular

Level 3 -- Centered, caps and lower case, boldface

Level 4 -- Centered, caps and lower case, regular

Level 5 -- Flush left, caps and lower case, boldface

Level 6 -- Indented five spaces, caps and lower case, ending with a period, boldface

Appendices

Appendices are used to present detailed information that, if included in the text, would obstruct clear presentation of the argument. The name of the appendix (Appendix A, etc.) should be placed in the center of a blank page preceding the appendix or on the top of the first page of each appendix. Each appendix should be independent of others. In most cases, an appendix should not have footnotes (documentation can be inserted in the text). Materials placed in the appendixes must meet the same standards of pagination, margins, etc., as other parts of the document.

References

In a dissertation or thesis, the term "references" implies a list of sources used in preparation of the document. Scholarly ethics require that authors not list works that have not actually been consulted; only works that have been cited in the footnotes or in the text should be included in the references. However, the references may contain a separate list of “secondary” or “additional” sources under those cited in the document.

References may be single or double spaced within a single entry and must be double spaced between entries. References are placed last in the document, after the appendices. All references should be in hanging paragraph form (first line on the margin, other lines are indented).

The Abstract

THE ABSTRACT

A thesis abstract should be approximately 200 words in length. A doctoral dissertation abstract should be no longer than 350 words. The abstract should describe the problem or topic, any important or distinctive methods used in the research, and the principal conclusions reached. It should be written without formulas or symbols and in language understandable to a reader outside the discipline. The doctoral dissertation abstract must conform to the requirements of Dissertation Abstracts International without further editing or revision.

Candidates must type the abstract in space provided on the OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) website as part of the submission process and should not include an abstract as part of the thesis or dissertation document.

Defense Copy

DEFENSE COPY

The "defense" copy is a basis for the questioning of the candidate. As such, all parts (Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, all data, appendixes, and References) that are part of the document must be included as they will appear in final form. All pages must be numbered appropriately. Although it is assumed that changes in the final copy may result from the oral defense, the defense copy should be in as complete and final form as possible, including content, grammar, style, and format of the manuscript.

A copy of the completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the examining committee at least 10 working days before the oral defense. For dissertations, the document must be submitted to committee members at least 10 working days prior to the pre-oral defense meeting.

Preparation of the Final Copy

PREPARATION OF THE FINAL COPY

Some schools prefer that students not prepare the final copy until after the student's final oral examination. Copies of the thesis or dissertation supplied to examination committees, however, must be neat and legible. Consult your school or advisor concerning their preferences. Students may have professionals produce the final copies. Since these individuals cannot be expected to be completely familiar with the stylistic requirements of all disciplines, copies supplied to a professional typing service should adhere closely to the expected final versions.

Because theses and dissertations represent the highest level of research and scholarship produced by students of a university, scholars throughout the country and the world may refer to these documents. Thus, it is important that the style, format, and mechanics are handled in a highly professional manner as outlined in other sections of these guidelines. The final copy should be error free.

Production of a high-quality dissertation or thesis document is the responsibility of the degree candidate. Careful attention to details such as punctuation, vocabulary, and coordination of headings with tables is necessary if the document is to reflect well upon the candidate and the committee. Asking trusted 13 acquaintances to review the final written work can be helpful in identifying errors and inconsistencies. An alternative is to employ a professional editor who is familiar with the style standards identified for the discipline and the format requirements described in these guidelines.

Submission

Many graduate programs require students to submit a culminating research project in the form of a thesis or dissertation.  Both are required to be submitted electronically through University Libraries.  An Electronic Thesis or Dissertation is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. In its simplest form, it is a file that reproduces the format of a printed document on a computer screen and can be used to produce a printed copy of the document. A more advanced type of ETD may consist of or include other types of digital media such as audio or video clips, hypertext documents, etc.

Kent State participates in an international ETD initiative through the OhioLINK ETD Center This is a link to another web site which processes, stores, and disseminates theses and dissertations from Ohio schools. OhioLINK is in turn a member of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), an international consortium that seeks to improve graduate education by developing accessible digital libraries of theses and dissertations.

In order to be officially cleared for graduation, a student must submit the

document electronically according to guidelines available on the University

Libraries ETD website. The deadline date for each term for filing final copies is published in the University Academic Calendar. The deadline can be expected to fall approximately four weeks prior to the date of the graduation ceremony.

Certification that a thesis or dissertation is correct with regard to mechanical style and format is made by the student, the thesis or dissertation committee chair, and the school director. Candidates should upload an unsigned signature page within the electronic document and submit two signed originals (on paper) to the College of the Arts Advising office by that semester’s deadline.

College of the Arts Advising will be notified of your electronic dissertation submission, will review it, and will notify you if any changes need to be made before officially uploading it to OhioLINK. After the college approves the submission, OhioLINK will release your document on the OhioLINK Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Center (ETD) website. At some point after that, usually within a month or so, OhioLINK will forward a copy of electronic dissertations to ProQuest. It may take ProQuest some months to add the ETD to their database.
 

Guidelines for Preparation

These are the steps to take for preparing a thesis or dissertation (ETD) for submission. Each college has unique requirements. Check with your advisor and departmental staff for details of their specific requirements. Each college has an ETD gatekeeper who can refer you to resources. A list of these contacts is available here.

These guidelines address the process for ETD submission and do not address required formatting for specific departments. Check with your adviser, departmental staff, or gatekeeper regarding format guidelines. To prepare for the actual submission you may want to read the OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center Submitter User Manual.

  1. After successfully defending your dissertation or thesis, make any required final corrections. Make certain the approval signature page includes the names as well as the titles of the people who will be signing the page. Place each name just below or next to the line that person will sign.
  2. If you wish to request a delay in publication (embargo) of your dissertation or thesis because of a publisher agreement or patent application, download the form and take it to your advisor.
  3. Print two copies of the approval signature page and obtain all needed signatures.
  4. Convert the final corrected copy to PDF format (see the PDF How-To). Avoid free software or web services that may insert advertisements into your document or are not full featured. Do not password the file or add other forms of security to it. Make sure all fonts are embedded (when saving as PDF with Microsoft Word select PDF/A in Options).
  5. Go to the OhioLINK ETD Center and follow the prompts to create your account and provide information about your ETD. Additional submission information from OhioLINK is available in the OhioLINK ETD Center Submitter User Manual. Soon after making your submission you should receive an email confirming it.
  6. Get in touch with your College or School. Each college has an ETD gatekeeper who is a valuable resource. A list of these contacts is available here. Confirm receipt of your submission, submit the signed signature pages, and submit any additional paperwork required. 
  7. Be prepared to resolve any outstanding issues with the format of your electronic dissertation after your College or School reviews the online submission.
  8. You should receive another email when your submission has been approved.

Electronic Thesis Checklist

  1. Approved Thesis Topic form Must be accompanied by a description of the topic and methodology before final term. Is signed in black ink by advisors, graduate program coordinator, and school director, to be signed by dean. 
  2. Standard typeface or font and point size between 10 and 12
  3. Text, tables, and graphs should be in black except where color improves the electronic document
  4. No running heads
  5. Margins: 1.0 inch from top, bottom, left and right edges. This includes all figures, tables, appendices, references, and signature pages.
  6. Format of tables, figures, footnotes, and references within the text should follow guidelines in the recommended style guide and conform to the margins as listed above
  7. Page numbers placed 0.5 inch from top and right edges - flexibility based on specific software parameters is acceptable
  8. All front matter in correct format (see p. 6 for information about front matter)
  9. Document submitted electronically by deadline according to guidelines
  10. Submit to the College of the Arts Dean’s Office by deadline:
    1. Two signature pages, printed on approved paper (see p. 4 for information about paper), signed in black ink by advisors and school director, to be signed by dean.
    2. b. Report of Thesis Final Examination signed in black ink by advisors, graduate program coordinator, and school director, to be signed by dean.

Electronic Dissertation Checklist

  1. Must be accompanied by a description of the topic and methodology before final term. Is signed in black ink by advisors, graduate program coordinator, and school director, to be signed by dean. 
  2. Standard typeface or font and point size between 10 and 12
  3. Text, tables, and graphs should be in black except where color improves the electronic document
  4. No running heads
  5. Margins: 1.0 inch from top, bottom, left and right edges. This includes all figures, tables, appendices, references, and signature pages
  6. Format of tables, figures, footnotes, and references within the text should follow guidelines in the recommended style guide and conform to the margins as listed above
  7. Page numbers placed 0.5 inch from top and right edges - flexibility based on specific software parameters is acceptable
  8. All front matter in correct format (see p. 6 for information about front matter
  9. Document submitted electronically according to guidelines by deadline
  10. Submit to the College of the Arts Dean’s Office by deadline:
    1. Two signature pages, printed on approved paper (see p. 4 for information about paper), signed in black ink by committee members and school director, to be signed by dean.
  11. Report of Dissertation Final Examination signed in black ink by advisors, graduate program coordinator, and school director, to be signed by dean.
Registration and Copyright

REGISTRATION AND COPYRIGHT OF THE DISSERTATION

Doctoral dissertations incur a publication fee charged by ProQuest, but the university absorbs it. ProQuest offers additional services for purchase (copyright registration and bound copies of the dissertation), but these are optional. Under United States copyright law, as the creator of your original thesis or dissertation, you own the copyright to your work as soon as it's in a "fixed and tangible medium," such as saving your work to your computer.

Kent State University Policy 5 - 10. 1 also specifies that students own the copyright to their coursework, including theses and dissertations (see Kent State University Administrative Policy Regarding Copyrights). Registering your copyright is not necessary; however, there are certain circumstances in which it can be advantageous. If you wish to do so, create an account and follow all instructions at: Copyright.gov Registration Portal. Registration fees depend on the type of work you are registering.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact Cindy Kristof at ckristof@kent.edu

Special Style Guides for Various Disciplines

SPECIAL STYLE GUIDES FOR THE VARIOUS DISCIPLINES

The following style guides are approved for dissertations and theses done in

the College of the Arts. They should be consulted for matters not covered in this

style guide. Use the current edition of each guide.

Art Education: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Art History:The Chicago Manual of Style

Studio Areas:The Chicago Manual of Style

Fashion: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Music: The Chicago Manual of Style; Luper and Helm Words and Music: Form and Procedure; Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association; Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

Theatre and Dance: MLA Handbook

 

The Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide can be found here.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association can be found here.

The MLA Handbook can be found here.

Appendices

To view appendices, refer to the downloadable copy of the College of the Arts Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide:

Download Style Guide