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Formatting the Thesis

All Gallatin theses should abide by certain conventions regarding style and physical production. While the formats will not necessarily be identical, the documents should generally be consistent with the following guidelines.


Every thesis, whether research, performance or project, should include the following items:

  • a title page;
  • a one-page, single-spaced abstract;
  • a table of contents, with page numbers; if necessary, a table of illustrations, tables or figures;
  • the body of the text, with appropriate headings for chapters, sub-sections or other parts;
  • appendices or portfolios as appropriate;
  • a complete bibliography (not annotated).

The following items may be included if the student wishes, and should be placed on one or more roman-numerated pages following the abstract and before the table of contents:

  • a copyright
  • a dedication
  • acknowledgments
  • a preface

Layout Specifications

  • Type Size and Style
    The same typeface is to be used throughout the thesis. Students should choose a standard book font, such as Century, Garamond, Goudy, Palatino, or Times New Roman (this is not an inclusive list).  An 11-point or 12-point font is appropriate for a thesis.
  • Pagination
    The paper should be numbered in arabic numerals, starting at 1 for the first page of text; pages before that (abstract, table of contents, preface, etc.) should be numbered in roman numerals, as indicated in the style book. Numbers should be placed consistently on the page: in the top middle, or top right, or bottom middle or bottom right.
  • Margins and Spacing
    Margins should be 1" on the left, right, top and bottom. The thesis should be double-spaced.
  • Proofreading
    The final copy of the thesis must be thoroughly and correctly proofread. The thesis readers will give the student written and/or oral indications of typographical (as well as spelling and grammatical) errors that they find in the document. The student will then make these corrections and submit the final copy of the thesis no more than 30 days after the defense, using the Final Thesis Submission Form.
  • Copyright
    To learn how to obtain a certificate of copyright for the thesis, visit the Web site of the United States Copyright Office.

Style Guide

Each thesis must conform to the style requirements of one of the following manuals: American Psychological Association (APA); Modern Language Association (MLA); Chicago Manual of Style. These books govern such matters as: formats for citations and bibliographies; page layouts and pagination; the use of specialized terms, etc. Whatever form the student chooses should be used consistently.