Montana State University

The Graduate School - Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Manuscript Formatting Option Guidelines

In addition to the Standard Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Guide, The Graduate School offers a Manuscript Format Option for students who have or will be publishing a chapter or chapters from their thesis/dissertation. The Manuscript Format Option can be used when a thesis/dissertation 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 new formatting requirements for chapters that have been or will be published.  Each student following the Manuscript Option will still need to include thesis/dissertation 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.

So 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 thesis/dissertation and the page margin requirements for the Standard Formatting Option must be followed.

Does My Thesis/Dissertation Qualify for the Manuscript Formatting Option?
All theses/dissertations incorporating the Manuscript Formatting Option must:

  • Have been: 1) prepared, 2) submitted, 3) accepted, or 4) published for 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, must be a product of the thesis/dissertation study, and must not have been used to obtain another degree.

**Please check with your department to see if this option is available for your thesis/dissertation and whether they have more stringent requirements.
For chapters that do not meet the above criteria, formatting must be consistent with the traditional Graduate School Style and Composition Guide (Standard Formatting Option), rather than the Manuscript Format Option.

Mandatory Inclusions for Each Chapter :

Following the Manuscript Format Option
For each chapter based on publication, 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 (sample below).

Contribution of Authors and Co-authors Page

Each department will determine whether the student is the primary author or co-author of each manuscript. All authors must be mentioned in a Contribution of Authors and Co-authors page as wells as a brief paragraph of contributions for each authorPlease follow the formatting in our sample Contribution of Authors and Co-authors page or use The Graduate School Contribution of Authors and Co-authors template.

Sample of Contribution of Authors and Co-authors Page
Contribution of Authors and Co-authors Page Template


Manuscript Information Page
Within the Manuscript Format thesis/dissertation, a Manuscript Information page will precede individual manuscripts that have already been 1) prepared, 2) accepted, 3) submitted, or 4) published for a peer-reviewed journal. The Manuscript Information page follows the Contribution of Authors and Co-authors page.  Please follow the formatting in our sample Manuscript Information page or use The Graduate School Manuscript Information page template.


Sample of Manuscript Information Page
Manuscript Information Page Template
Sample Table of Contents Including Contribution of Authors and Co-authors and Manuscript Information Pages


Summary of Manuscript Formatting Option Layout

Front Matter

The thesis/dissertation is to include all front matter (a title page, abstract, table of contents, etc.) as specified by The Graduate School’s Standard Formatting Option. The specific formatting guidelines for the front matter as well as sample pages and templates can be found on our ETD formatting website at http://www.montana.edu/etd/format_standard.html

Body of Thesis/Dissertation
Chapter 1 – General Introduction (common introduction linking all manuscripts thematically)
Chapter 2 – Literature Review *
Chapter 3 – First Manuscript, preceded by Contribution of Authors and Co-authors and   Manuscript Information Page
Chapter 4 – Second Manuscript, preceded by Contribution of Authors and Co-authors and Manuscript Information Page

Back Matter
Chapter 5 – General Conclusion (common conclusion linking all manuscripts thematically)

Bibliography/References Cited
– Common bibliography/references cited covering all manuscripts, although each manuscript may have its own reference section

Appendices
– Optional (subject to departmental requirements).

Other Helpful Information
If work from a previously published manuscript or from a manuscript accepted for publication is to be used in the thesis/dissertation, it is standard for the copyright of this material to be held by the journal. Consequently, permission from the journal to reproduce this copyrighted material must be obtained and included at the relevant sections of the thesis/dissertation. An example of the permission statement might read as “The following chapter has been published (accepted for publication) in the Journal of XYZ and appears in this thesis/dissertation with the journal’s permission. Any modifications of published work (e.g., those required by the advisory committee) should also be clarified.
This option is not meant to provide you with information specific to the style required by peer-reviewed journals in your discipline. If you have any questions concerning details of the preparation of the journal article chapters(s) that are not covered in this section, consult the journal’s guide for authors where your manuscript(s) will be published. It is the responsibility of the student and their advisory committee to insure that the journal style is followed.

Example of a Manuscript Format: http://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/handle/1/2996