Below is the Standard Formatting Guide created by the Graduate School. A Scholarly Works Formatting Option is also available. Students should check with their department to find out if the Scholarly Works Option is acceptable for their ETD.

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 and watch the included video to familiarize themselves with accessibility requirements;
  3. Watch the template instructions video;
  4. Download the Microsoft Word template;
  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 Standard Option Sample Pages to get an overview of the standard 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. How to Use the Template

Watch the video below that outlines how to use the Microsoft Word template for the standard 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.

4. Template

These templates were 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 standard option format. This template is appropriate for Master's and Doctoral students.



A separate, condensed template is provided for DNP students that contains chapter titles provided by the DNP office. DNP students are expected to follow all standard formatting rules.

For Chapter 3, the DNP program requires that you format the chapter according to the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Guidelines (the Grad School does not offer help on this journal's formatting guidelines). See pages 15-19 of the Scholarly Works Option Sample Pages for an example of how to "sandwich" journal formatting within Chapter 3 of your document. The Contribution of Authors and Manuscript Information pages are already built into the DNP template for you.

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.





Full List of Formatting Rules

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



  • 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 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 be10 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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 chapters of text.

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.