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Graduate School

Instructions for Templates

How to Use the Templates

Our thesis and dissertation templates have already been formatted to conform with submission requirements. You are not required to use a template, but it may be helpful in getting started with formatting your document.

Entering Your Information 

Wherever you find red text, enter in your information. Don't forget to change all red text to black before submitting. 

Refer to the Formatting Guide

Our templates are designed to be used in conjunction with the Formatting Guide and not as your only point of reference when formatting your document. You'll still need to understand all formatting requirements and ensure your document complies with them.

Address Optional Content Appropriately

Some content or pages in the templates may not be required in your document. For example, the template includes an optional Dedication. If you decide not to include any of the optional content in your document, remove those pages from your template and adjust both your table of contents and page numbers accordingly.

Ensure Formatting Doesn't Change As You Edit

Take care that you don't accidentally alter template formatting as you edit your document. For example, the templates are divided into multiple sections and if you're not careful, you may end up deleting section breaks, throwing off the template formatting. You can avoid this by paying careful attention as you make changes so everything stays where it needs to be. 

Enable Formatting Indicators

One helpful way to keep track of formatting in Microsoft Word is to show the paragraph and formatting indicators that are usually hidden.

How to Enable Indicators

1. Navigate to the “Home” tab.
2. Click the paragraph symbol (¶) in the upper right corner of the “Paragraph” section.
3. Hold the “Ctrl” key and the “Shift” key, then press “8”, or “*”. This is a useful tool because it shows you where invisible things like tabs and section breaks have been inserted.

Do Not Use Templates as a Style Manual

Do not use the template to determine which style to apply in your document (such as APA, Chicago, MLA, etc). You should refer to the style manual approved by your department as you write your thesis or dissertation. This is especially important for things like in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes, bibliography, etc.

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