Thesis Checklist

Thesis/Graduation Deadlines

This checklist will help you find formatting items that need to be corrected so that your thesis can be accepted as the final step for your graduation.

  1. Use the following checklist or the links in Organizing Your Thesis to carefully check the formatting of your thesis/dissertation. Carefully checking these items will speed up the acceptance process for your thesis.
  2. After all the items have been checked, use the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the checklist to go to the next step for submitting your thesis/dissertation.

Sequence of Pages

Title Page

Match Iowa State's online samples

  • No page number can be displayed on title page
  • Title should display about 1.25 inches from the top of page
  • Capitalize only the first word of the title unless it is a proper noun or the first word following a colon
  • No period after the title
  • No minor displayed - Only Major (specialization) is correct
  • Do not use Dr., Esq., PhD, AIA, or other titles or affiliations before or after faculty names
  • Faculty name, Major Professor or Co-Major Professor. If Co-Major Professors, then there is no Major Professor
  • Spacing matches the online examples
  • Your name should be in BOLD in the top portion of the Title Page. Single space the committee member names.
  • OPTIONAL: Copyright statement - List the year of actual graduation. Your name should be listed exactly as it is written earlier on the Title Page

Table of Contents

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS, is in all caps and centered like Chapter Titles
  • In preliminary pages, numbers are lower case Roman numerals, top center
  • Page number columns in Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables are aligned to the right digit
  • Long titles do not run into the page number column
  • Single-space chapter entries. Double-space between chapter entries
  • Titles have all the same capitalization, size, and same font
  • Include the word Chapter and number before each chapter title. (Ex. CHAPTER 1. XXXXXXX)

Page Numbering

  • Preliminary pages are numbered with lower case Roman numerals
  • Chapter 1 starts with page 1
  • All page numbers are at the top center of the page, in the same size font
  • Each page has a page number and all page numbers are in sequence
  • Landscape page numbers should be in the same location and orientation as all other pages (example)

Page Margins (minimum)

  • Choose one style:
    Leftbound: Top: 1"; Left: 1.50"; Bottom: 1"; Right: 1"; Page numbers (in headers) set at .5" from top center
    Unbound: Top: 1"; Left: 1"; Bottom: 1"; Right: 1"; Page numbers .5" from top center
  • Consistent margins throughout the thesis
  • Tables and figures are within the margins

Line Spacing

  • Text should be double-spaced and, consistent throughout thesis
  • References, tables, appendices, footnotes, endnotes, and block quotes may be single-spaced, with a double space between listings
  • Consistent spacing before and after titles, headings and subheadings
  • Indent the first line of all paragraphs, including Abstracts

Fonts

  • 12 point size for text of thesis; tables, figures, footnotes and endnotes and Appendices may be 10 point
  • Standard proportional fonts, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria, or a similar proportional font
  • Same font used throughout thesis text (tables and figures may differ)

List of Tables and List of Figures

  • LIST OF FIGURES or LIST OF TABLES is in all caps and centered like chapter titles
  • Page is Numbered using lower case Roman numerals, top center
  • Page number columns in Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables are aligned to the right
  • Table or Figure titles do not run into the page number column
  • Single-space list entries. Double-space between list entries
  • Titles have all the same capitalization, size, and same font
  • Indent the second line of a title if it is wrapped to a second line

Abstract

  • ABSTRACT, is in all caps and centered like Chapter Titles
  • Numbered using lower case Roman numerals, top center
  • Abstract should be double-spaced or 1.5 spaces like the text of the thesis
  • Indent the first paragraph of your Abstract like other paragraphs in your thesis

Top Level (Major) Headings

  • All Top Level (Preliminary Pages, Chapter Title, Reference/Bibliography, and Appendix) headings must be in all caps, the same size font, and location at the top of the page
  • Top Level headings may be no larger than 16 point

Body of Manuscript

  • Paragraphs are indented
  • No blank pages
  • No excessive white space in text
  • Organized in a coherent and consistent manner, same size, location, font, etc.
  • All Top Level (Preliminary Pages, Chapter Title, Reference/Bibliography, and Appendix) headings must be in all caps, the same size font, and location at the top of the page
  • Top Level headings may be no larger than 16 point
  • Headings are used in a consistent manner, same size, location, font, etc.
  • Differentiation exists between heading levels
  • Chapter titles should include chapter and number centered in ALL CAPS (ex. CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION)
  • Secondary headings are centered with initial caps
  • Third level - left margin, initial caps
  • 12 point proportional font
  • At least two lines of a paragraph should be included on a page
  • Do not leave heading or subheading alone at the bottom of a page

Tables and Figures

  • Table and Figures can be included in the text near their reference or they can be grouped at the end of each chapter. A consistent style should be used for all chapters
  • Margins on the pages with tables or figures should be the same as your manuscript pages
  • Table captions are located at the top of the table, figure captions are located at the bottom of the figure
  • Captions longer than one line: use consistent line spacing and indention (single space is OK)
  • Table/figure too large to fit on one page: use ‚ÄúTable/Figure X continued" at the top of each subsequent page
  • Landscape tables and figures should be turned so that the top of the table/figure is to the left
  • Page numbers on landscape pages should not turn with the table/figure. They should be located on the 8.5" end of the page in the same position and orientation as all the other page numbers (example)

Journal Paper Format

  • Follows ISU requirements for Journal Paper (example)
  • Each paper starts a new chapter, which can include Abstract, Introduction, Tables, Figures References and Appendices as part of the chapter
  • Use paper's title as main chapter heading
  • Beneath paper's title, indicate the publishing status and the name(s) of the author(s)
  • Include an explanation of your role and/or the co-authors' roles in the research/preparation of the paper
  • Begin the text of the paper on the same page as the title

Appendices

  • Each appendix must have a Top Level heading, in the same location as, and formatted like, all the other Chapter titles
  • Must be displayed as Top Level headings in your Table of Contents
  • All pages are numbered in the same font and location as text pages
  • If there is only one appendix, do not put an A or I or 1 after Appendix. If multiple Appendices use letters or numbers such as Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.
  • Letters and documents should not contain signatures

Citations and References/Bibliography

  • Consistent academic style for your discipline
  • Within chapters, the bibliography should not start on a new page unless there is no space on the previous page
  • If bibliography is at the end of a paper, it is a major heading and starts on a new page
  • Website URLs must contain complete descriptions and dates of the information used and dates of access of that information
  • Single space references, double-space between

Biographical Sketch or Vita (optional in thesis)

  • Follows ISU requirements for Biographical Sketch or Vita (example). Do not include personal or contact information

It is important that you have met all the formatting requirements so that your thesis can be promptly approved for your graduation.

  • I verify that I have checked all the formatting guidelines listed in the Thesis Checklist or in all the links in Organizing Your Thesis. You must check this box in order to submit below.

Click on the Submit Your Thesis button below to go to the next step.