Manuscript Formatting Option Guidelines

In addition to the Standard ETD Formatting Guide, The Graduate School offers a Manuscript Format Option for students who have or will be publishing a chapter(s) from their ETD. The Manuscript Format Option can be used when an ETD is made up of several scholarly manuscripts or journal articles addressing a common theme, with each article constituting a separate chapter.


The Manuscript Option is a combination of formatting requirements from The Graduate School’s Standard Formatting Option and formatting requirements for chapters that have been or will be published. Any student following the Manuscript Option will still need to include ETD front matter following the Standard Formatting guidelines, chapter formatting for all non-publication-related chapters following the Standard Formatting guidelines, and a cumulative references section and appendix material (if applicable) following the Standard Formatting guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Manuscript Format Option: 


How is the Manuscript Formatting Option different? 

What the Manuscript Formatting Option allows that the Standard Formatting Option does not is that chapters qualifying for the Manuscript Option can be left in the formatting style used by the journal(s) where the chapter(s) have been or will be published with two exceptions: page numbers must continue consecutively throughout the ETD and the page margin requirements for the Standard Formatting Option must be followed.

Does My Thesis/Dissertation Qualify for the Manuscript Formatting Option?
All ETDs employing the Manuscript Formatting Option must:

  • Have been: prepared, submitted, accepted or published in a peer-reviewed journal. Each department will determine how many manuscripts will be included, with a separate chapter for each manuscript.
  • Represent research conducted while the student was enrolled in an MSU graduate program, be a product of the ETD study, and not have been used to obtain another degree.

Please check with your department to see if this option is available for your ETD and whether they have more stringent requirements.

For chapters that do not meet the above criteria, formatting must be consistent with the Standard Formatting Option Guidelines.

Mandatory inclusions for each chapter following the Manuscript Format Option:

For each publication-related chapter the student must include a Contribution of Authors and Co-authors page and a Manuscript Information page, both preceding the chapter text.  The Contribution of Authors and Co-authors page and the Manuscript Information pages must be included in your Table of Contents. 

Summary of Manuscript Formatting Option Layout:

If work from a previously published manuscript or from a manuscript accepted for publication is to be used in the ETD, it is standard for the copyright of this material to be held by the journal. Consequently, you may need to request permission from the journal to reproduce this copyrighted material and may want to include this information in the relevant sections of the thesis/dissertation. 

View an example of an ETD using the Manuscript Option Format on ScholarWorks.