Thesis Formatting

Please read these guidelines in their entirety before formatting. Proofread the final draft carefully.

If you have special problems or questions not addressed in the following guidelines, please contact the thesis coordinator at the Honors College (330-672-2312).

General Formatting Guidelines


1½ inches at the left and top; 1 inch at right and bottom; 2 inches at top for first pages of chapters, table of contents, list of figures and tables, acknowledgments, preface, bibliography, and appendix. Please check margins carefully on the computer and make appropriate adjustments. Remember that a 1 inch margin is often already in place and must be changed as appropriate. 


The text is normally double spaced with triple spacing after chapter and major division headings. Additional space may also be needed before subheadings. Check the appropriate style guide for spacing and underlining of subheading and sub-subheading.


Use 20-24 lb. bond paper with at least 50% cotton content. Most thesis paper available has 100% cotton content. Thesis paper is available at all local bookstores and office supply stores; acceptable brands, among others, are Southworth, or KSU thesis paper. Be sure to check the cotton content, as this is what keeps the paper intact over time.

Number of copies

Please turn in two printed copies to the Honors College by the last day of class for the semester. One copy will be housed in the Kent State Honors Library and the other in the Kent State University Library. Uploading to OhioLINK is optional. If you choose to upload your thesis to OhioLINK, the thesis coordinator will send you a link to the OhioLINK ETD center once you submit your Oral Defense Form. Any additional bound copies, for the student to keep or give to the advisor or family, will be signed and returned to the student. Students may request a maximum of two personal copies.

Title and approval pages

The Honors College copy must contain a title page and approval page. The approval page must contain original signatures from the appropriate persons (thesis advisor and department chairperson) before the thesis/project will be accepted by the Honors College. The Honors dean signs last and often delays signing until corrections are made if she sees errors in the final copies. Please note the appropriate wording on the approval page to match your departmental affiliation, e.g., use Chair, Department of English, Director, School of Theatre and Dance, or Dean, College of Nursing.


All pages must be in the right order - please check! See below for the proper sequence. Note the position of page numbers. Front Matter (except for the title page, which bears no number but is counted as page one) has the page number in lower-case Roman numbers centered about 5/8" from the bottom of the page. Page numbers for the body text are placed 5/8" from the top and 1" from the right side of the paper. See additional notes below.

Style Guide

Please use the style guide appropriate for the discipline (MLA, Turabian, APA, Chicago, etc.) concerning: spacing, footnote form, bibliographical form, etc. The guidelines above, however, take precedence over the style guides if there is a discrepancy, e.g., with margins.


Illustrations, tables, charts, photographs, maps, etc. should be listed at the outset, referred to in the text before they appear, numbered and captioned.

Order of Pages/Front Matter

  1. Blank page
  2. Title page
  3. Blank page
  4. Approval page
  5. Blank page
  6. Table of Contents
  7. List of Figures (if any)
  8. List of Illustrations (if any)
  9. List of Tables (if any)
  10. Preface, including acknowledgments, or acknowledgments alone, if there is no preface

Note: All front matter should be given small Roman numerals. The title page should not have a number, however, it is considered to be page one of the front matter. The approval page is given the number ii. The blank pages in the front matter are not assigned page numbers.

Download Thesis Front Matter