Below is the Scholarly Works Option (formally known as the Manuscript Option) Formatting Guide created by the Graduate School. Students should read the Eligibility section of this webpage and also check with their department to find out if the Scholarly Works Option is acceptable for their ETD.

Formatting

Step-by-step guide to formatting the Scholarly Works Option

ETD Outline

Outline of what must be included in the Scholarly Works Option

Overview

Who may use the Scholarly Works Option and what qualifies as "scholarly work"

FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions

 


 

Step-by-Step Formatting Guide

Students should carefully...

  1. Read through the sample pages to familiarize themselves with formatting guidelines;
  2. Read through the accessibility webpage to familiarize themselves with accessibility requirements;
  3. Download the Microsoft Word template;
  4. Watch the template instructions video;
  5. Format their document; and finally
  6. Compare their document side-by-side with the sample pages to ensure they have fulfilled all requirements

before submitting a draft to the Submission Portal.

1. Sample Pages

Read through the Scholarly Works Option Sample Pages to get an overview of the Scholarly Works Option format. All formatting rules are contained on this template along with visual examples of each rule.

Students should have a firm grasp of double versus triple spacing to fully understand the formatting requirements and the sample pages.

If students would like to view a full list of these requirements on this webpage, a list is compiled at the bottom of this page. The rules between the sample pages and this webpage are the same.

2. Accessibility Requirements

Click here to view accessibility requirements.

3. Template

This template was updated in July 2023 to include additional automatic features using styles, clarify some rules, and fix a bug in the footnotes; in September 2023 to fix a bug in the outline navigation; and again in December 2023 to improve wrapping on chapter titles and first level headings. No formatting rules have changed.

Click the button below to download the Microsoft Word template for the Scholarly Works Option format. This template is appropriate for Master's and Doctoral students.

 

4. How to Use the Template

Watch the video below that outlines how to use the Microsoft Word template for the Scholarly Works Option format. This video is intended as a supplement to the accessibility video found on the accessibility requirements page.

Note: For a transcript of the video, visit the ETD Template Video with Transcript page. This transcript page can also be very helpful if you want to find a certain point in the video to watch again.

5. Formatting

Good luck!

6. Review

Please look at your own formatted ETD side-by-side with the sample pages provided above. Scroll through every page to ensure that you have fulfilled all requirements and have fixed any issues that might have come up. Spacing issues often come up downstream when you make content changes upstream.

7. Submit Draft or Final

When submitting a PDF, remember to complete the accessibility requirements, including saving your PDF with bookmarks and editing document properties.


 

ETD Outline: Required Chapters and Subsections

Master's Students Using the Scholarly Works Option

Master's students who choose to use the Scholarly Works Option must include at least one journal article of which they are the first author. The ETD must contain the following, at a minimum:

  • Front Matter
  • Chapter One: General Introduction (Required)
  • Chapter Two: Methodology (Highly recommended)
  • Chapter Three:
    • Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors
    • Manuscript Information Page
    • Manuscript/Journal Article
  • Any Additional Chapters (Can be manuscript or standard formatting)
  • Chapter Four: General Conclusion (Required)
  • Cumulative References Cited

Doctoral Students Using the Scholarly Works Option

Doctoral students who choose to use the Scholarly Works Option must include at least two journal articles, one of which they are the first author. The ETD must contain the following, at a minimum:

  • Front Matter
  • Chapter One: General Introduction (Required)
  • Chapter Two: Methodology (Highly recommended)
  • Chapter Three:
    • Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors
    • Manuscript Information Page
    • Manuscript/Journal Article
  • Chapter Four:
    • Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors
    • Manuscript Information Page
    • Manuscript/Journal Article
  • Any Additional Chapters (Can be manuscript or standard formatting)
  • Chapter Five: General Conclusion (Required)
  • Cumulative References Cited

What Should Be Included

Required Introductory Chapter

An introductory chapter is required for all students using this option, even for a Master's scholarly thesis that may only have a single scholarly work chapter. This is a part of the ETD that is solely the student’s work and writing. Students have options as to what to include in this chapter, e.g. the problem context for the scholarly work(s), establish its purpose and objectives, and explain how the scholarly work(s) presented in the body address the purpose and objectives. This is required even if you have an introduction section in your scholarly work(s).

Methodology Chapter

For many scholarly works ETDs, Chapter Two can provide more detail on the methodology(ies) of your work than there was space for in the scholarly works. The chapters containing your scholarly works should include the title of the scholarly work, authors and co-authors and their contributions, and all details of where the scholarly work has been peer-reviewed (if applicable), etc. on the Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors and Manuscript Information Page. You should be the major contributor to all scholarly works included in your ETD, even in cases of collaboration or co-authorship.

Required General Conclusion Chapter

A conclusion chapter is required for all students using this option, even for a Master’s scholarly thesis that may only have a single scholarly work chapter. This is a part of the ETD that is solely the student’s work and writing. Students have options as to what to include in this chapter, for example expand on future directions for research or, if applicable, thematically link the different chapters. This is required even if you have a conclusion chapter/section in your scholarly works(s).

Note About Appendices

Appendices should NOT include full manuscript chapters. If you are unsure whether to include the manuscript chapter in your ETD, you may follow the below guidance.

Will your committee test you on the content of the manuscript chapter during your defense?

  • If the answer is yes, you should include the manuscript chapter in the body of your ETD (rather than in an appendix).
  • If the answer is no, you should not include the manuscript chapter in your ETD.

 

Overview

A “scholarly works” ETD can include manuscripts, new creative products that align with departmental guidance on scholarship, and the presentation of those experiences as chapters in a thesis or dissertation. Departments should provide guidance in their handbook to their graduate students and graduate committees as to what can be included as a chapter in a scholarly works ETD. Guidance can be drawn from examples of formal, peer-reviewed scholarship faculty would consider for promotion and tenure. For manuscripts, chapters can be ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal but do not have to have gone through the process yet. For other scholarly products, the department should define the equivalent to ready-for-peer review.

Please follow the ETD formatting guidelines. If the scholarly work includes other media, care should be taken to ensure continued access to the material. Other materials, formats, and technologies shall be archived as appropriate with care given to archival and preservation needs. An invention disclosure or patent application may be appropriate to include.

Regardless of the medium of the creative product, a record, recording, image, facsimile, or similar evidence of the creative work shall be included in the PDF of the EDT so that it is viewable by readers of the ETD. Published material authored by the student and based on research conducted for the study may be included if they follow written departmental guidelines. Each scholarly work must be logically connected by added text and be integrated into the document in a coherent manner.

Students or advisors can opt for a one-year embargo if the scholarly work should not be released immediately after submission. This might be appropriate, for example, in the case where an invention disclosure and/or patent application is included in the ETD. This option will be indicated within the ETD Submission Portal when the student submits their final document.


 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Scholarly Works Option

What the Scholarly Works Formatting Option allows that the Standard Formatting Option does not is that chapters qualifying for the Scholarly Works 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. Font size and style should remain the same throughout the document.

All ETDs employing the Scholarly Works Formatting Option must:

  • Have been either prepared, submitted, accepted or published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is not required that each article have been published by the time you graduate to qualify for the Scholarly Works Option. 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.
  • Include at least one article for which the degree-seeking student is the first author. 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.

For formatting instructions on how to include a PDF version of a manuscript, visit the How Do I...? webpage.

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. 

It is good practice to communicate clearly with journals about your manuscripts. If your ETD is already published, you should treat the chapter like a pre-print. Prior to completing your thesis or dissertation, you should notify journals when the manuscript is accepted. For published articles, journals often have a license form, this should not incur additional costs.

For questions, specifics, and help please contact Leila Sterman in the MSU Library at [email protected].

For each publication-related chapter the student must include a Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors page and Manuscript Information page. Both of these informational pages must be included in your Table of Contents. Please use the template and sample pages provided above.

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.

For questions, specifics, and help please contact Leila Sterman in the MSU Library at [email protected].


 

 

 

 

Full List of Formatting Rules

A full list of formatting rules is provided below. All of these rules are addressed on the sample pages.

General

Margins

  • Page margins must be at least 1" on all sides. Note: Previously, a 1.5" left margin was required, but this is no longer necessary.

Page Numbers

  • Set header to 1". Page numbers must be centered and sit at the bottom of the header with one single-spaced line below.
  • Every page in an ETD, except the copyright notice, is counted and assigned a page number. There are two separate series of page numbers.
    • The first, in lower case Roman numerals, begins with the title page and ends with the abstract or preface/foreword.
    • The second series, in Arabic numerals, begins with the first page of chapter one and continues throughout the ETD, References Cited and Appendices.

Font

  • Font should be consistent and readable — any easily readable, standard type font is acceptable. Script, for example, is not considered standard type. Ideally, font is set to 12 points; smaller than 10 points is not acceptable anywhere in your document.

  • Use consistent font throughout your ETD — all sections of your document should use the same font and font size, including your page numbers. The titles of tables and figure captions should use this standard font and size. There are two exceptions:

    • The contents of a table may use a smaller size of standard font to allow a large table to fit on a page; however, the text must be 10 points or larger and clearly readable.

    • The contents of a figure may contain text in any typeface, as part of the original figure; however, it too must be clearly readable.

  • Italic, script, or other nonstandard font styles are not acceptable except for emphasis or other special purposes.

Spacing

  • The dedication, abstract and figure/table captions are single-spaced.
  • The body of your ETD must be double-spaced. Indented paragraph style is required with no spacing after paragraphs.

Color

  • The use of color in your ETD is acceptable if it adds meaning to the content of your work.

 

Front Matter

Title Page

  • Counted as page i, but not numbered.
  • Must include the fullest form of your name (first, middle, last), official degree title (no emphasis), month and year ETD is accepted by The Graduate School.
  • Shape title as an inverted pyramid.

Copyright Page

  • Not counted or numbered. This page must be included in every ETD. Type "by / [Your Name]" on the same lines as the same words on your title page. Use the fullest form of your name (first, middle, last).

Dedication, Acknowledgments, Vita, and/or American Indian Heritage (Optional)

  • Continue in Roman numerals.

  • Dedication may be no longer than one single-spaced page.

  • Acknowledgments may be no longer than one double-spaced page.
  • If you include a vita, it can contain your full name, heritage, education, etc. The vita should be written in essay form in the third person and may not exceed one single-spaced page.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native students wishing to include heritage and tribal information may do so as part of a vita or as a separate single-spaced page.

Table of Contents (TOC)

  • Continue in Roman numerals. Complete a detailed listing of all subdivisions (headings) in ETD.

  • Front matter is not included in the Table of Contents.

  • Single space individual entries and add a double space in between major entries (e.g. chapter titles).

  • If your TOC runs onto more than one page, include a heading ("Table of Contents Continued") at the top of each additional page.

  • A custom TOC has been created for you in the Microsoft Word template. However, take caution before creating your own custom TOC in Word.

List of Tables, Figures, Images, etc.

  • Continue in Roman numerals. List of Tables should come before List of Figures.

  • Each should be on a separate page.

  • Double space between entries and single space individual entries.

  • See Sample Pages for how to format headings and align entries.

  • If your List of Tables/List of Figures runs onto more than one page, include a heading ("List of Tables Continued," etc.) at the top of the page and include Table/Figure and Page headings on each additional page.

Glossary or Nomenclature (Optional)

  • Continue in Roman numerals.
  • Match spacing of entries to List of Tables/List of Figures.
  • Each chapter must begin on a new page.

Abstract

  • Final Roman numeral page (unless you include a Preface or Foreword).
  • Single-spaced and no more than 350 words.
  • The abstract must contain the following four elements: (1) statement of the problem, (2) procedure or methods, (3) results and (4) conclusions. (You do not need to number or identify the preceding elements.)
  • Mathematical formulas, abbreviations, diagrams, and other illustrative materials should not be included.
  • The Abstract should be written to be understood by a person who does not have expertise in the field.
  • The abstract can be written in the student’s native language along with an English translation.

Preface or Foreword (Optional)

  • Final Roman numeral page of your front matter, if included.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • Double space.

 

Body Text

Page Numbers

  • Chapter One begins Arabic numbered pages. Continue Arabic numerals through the end of your ETD.

Chapter Titles

  • Write out chapter numerals (e.g. CHAPTER ONE not CHAPTER 1).
  • All caps, centered on page. Triple space above and below.
  • See the sample pages for two examples of how to format your chapter titles.

Sub-Headings

  • First level headings: Centered, upper and lower case, underlined. Triple space above and below.
  • Second level headings: Aligned with left margin, upper and lower case, underlined. Triple space above and double space below.
  • Third level headings: Indented from left margin, upper and lower case, underlined, paragraph text starts on same line. Third level headings may be separated by a space or punctuation. (Do not underline the punctuation or space following the heading.) Triple space above.

Spacing

  • The dedication, abstract and figure/table captions are single-spaced.
  • The body of your ETD must be double-spaced. Indented paragraph style is required with no spacing after paragraphs.

Tables, Figures, Illustrations, etc.

  • Tables and Figures may be located in one of two places in your document; choose one system and use it consistently throughout your work:
    • Insert the table or figure within the text, as close as possible after the first reference is made to it. (Preferred method)
    • Place your tables and figures at the end of the chapter in which they are first discussed or referenced.
  • Table and Figure captions may be located either above or below the table/figure. Choose one system and use it consistently.
  • Single space your captions. If a table or figure is the first content on a page or sits alone on a page, start it on the top line of the page.
  • Triple space your tables and figures (including the caption) from the surrounding text. There should be a triple space above and below your table, figure, caption separating it from the paragraph text. See the sample pages for several examples.
  • Tables and figures should fit inside the 1" margins. If they do not, the page can be rotated to the landscape orientation instead.
  • If you have a long table that spans more than one page, include a heading (e.g. Table 1 Continued) at the top of the second page. If you are having trouble adding “Table [x] Continued” to the top line of the second page, try these tips.

Quotations

  • Direct quotations of less than four lines may be written within the main text and enclosed in double quotation marks.
  • Direct quotations of four lines or more should be single-spaced and set off in a separate paragraph, indented equally on both sides, with the text justified.

 

Scholarly Works Option-Specific Guidelines

Required Introductory Chapter

  • The introductory chapter links all manuscript(s) thematically, outlines the problem context for the work, establishes its purpose and objectives, and explains how the manuscript(s)s presented in the body address the purpose and objectives.
  • If there is only one manuscript chapter, this chapter should provide more detail than there was space for in the journal article.
  • This is required.

Highly Recommended Methodology Chapter

  • The methodology chapter should provide more detail on the methodology than there was space for in the journal article.
  • This chapter is optional but highly recommended.

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, which includes a brief paragraph of contributions for each author.
  • This page is required for each included manuscript.
  • The "Contribution of Authors and Co-Authors" title should be a first-level heading within the manuscript chapter.

Manuscript Information Page

  • Within the Manuscript Format Option a Manuscript Information Page will follow the Contribution of Authors Page and precede each individual manuscript that has been prepared, accepted, submitted or published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • The "Manuscript Information" title should be a first-level heading within the manuscript chapter.

Required General Conclusion Chapter

  • The general conclusion links all manuscript(s) thematically and should expand on the author's future directions of research.
  • If there is only one manuscript chapter, this chapter should provide more detail than there was space for in the journal article.
  • This is required.

References

  • Each manuscript may have its own reference section, but a cumulative references cited section is required at the end of the document. This should cover all references used throughout the entire document and in each manuscript.
  • Individual references sections within a manuscript chapter should be proceeded by a first-level heading.

 

Back (Reference) Matter

  • The back matter contains the References Cited and Appendices.
  • All back matter pages are numbered in Arabic numerals, continuing from the body matter.

Bibliography, Literature Cited, or References Cited

  • References are single-spaced with a double-space between citations.
  • Use a References Cited divider page as shown in the sample pages ONLY if you also have appendices. Otherwise, type REFERENCES CITED (or the heading of your choice) at the top of the same page as your references, triple-spaced above your first reference entry.

Appendix or Appendices

  • Continue Arabic numerals after Reference matter. The bibliography/references will precede the appendices except when the appendices contain references that have not previously appeared in the text.
  • Appendix material should be subdivided into logical classifications and each appendix should be given a separate letter and title. Include divider pages for each individual appendix.
  • Appendices should NOT include full manuscript chapters. If you are unsure whether to include the manuscript chapter in your ETD, you can follow the below guidance.
    • Will your committee test you on the content of the manuscript chapter during your defense?
      • If the answer is yes, you should include the manuscript chapter in the body of your ETD (rather than in an appendix).
      • If the answer is no, you should not include the manuscript chapter in your ETD.

Supplemental Files

  • If your ETD contains supplemental files, the electronic document will be available along with your thesis or dissertation in ScholarWorks. Be sure to submit your supplemental files to the Formatting Advisor with your final submission and through ProQuest UMI, if applicable.