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Formatting Your Thesis/Dissertation: 2. Front Matter (Thesis)

Learn about Graduate College formatting requirements.

Copyright

Copyright


The first page of the document is the Copyright Page. The text is centered horizontally and vertically on the page and reads:

 

Copyright by

YOUR NAME IN CAPITAL LETTERS

Year Submitted

All Rights Reserved


To center text horizontally: type the required text and select it. Use the center alignment found under the HOME tab in the Paragraph section.

to center text horizontally, use the text alignment in the paragraph section of the home tab


To center text vertically: with the text still selected, go to the LAYOUT tab and locate the Page Setup Dialog Box. Under the LAYOUT tab on the Dialog Box, select Vertical Alignment: Center and Apply to: Selected Text. Then press OK

vertical alignment can be changed in the layout portion of the page setup dialog box, it should be applied to selected text on the copyright page


This should center your text vertically and place a section break next page at the end of the selected content. This will also add a new page with normal vertical alignment and restore the default settings. If it didn't, manually insert a section break (next page) and go through the alignment settings above selecting vertically align to top instead to restore teh default.

copyright page vertically and horizontally centered

Thesis Abstract Title Page

Thesis Abstract Title Page


First, type the title of the thesis in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, centered on the page. This should form an inverted pyramid if it is a long title that runs over multiple lines. This means that the first line is longer than the second line and so on. This may be only 1 line (if it fits between the margins) or more depending on the length of the title.

TITLE OF THESIS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS

FORMING AN INVERTED

PYRAMID


Leave a few blank lines after the first section. The second section will read (be sure to select the appropriate degree type in the last line):

An Abstract of a Thesis

Submitted

in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Education Specialist or Master of Arts or Master of Science or Master of Arts Education

 


After a few blank lines, the final section of text on the page should read:

Your Name

University of Northern Iowa

Month Year

The Month Year should be the month and year in which you submit the thesis for approval. For Spring graduates enter May, for Summer graduates enter July, and for Fall graduates enter December. Immediately after the Year, insert a page break.


Below is an example of what the Abstract Title Page should look like with and without Markup on. Ensure the Page Break falls at the bottom of the page or it will insert an extra blank page.

The thesis abstract title page with and without markup to show that the page break should fall at the bottom of the page

 

 

Abstract

Abstract


Immediately following the Abstract Title Page, the Abstract is approximately 1-2 pages in length. This should be typed in normal paragraph format with the heading ABSTRACT typed in all capital letters, centered at the top of the page. Place a Page Break at the end of the Abstract.

The abstract has the heading ABSTRACT in all capital letters followed by the body of the abstract in normal paragraph style with a page break at the end of the text

Thesis Title Page

Thesis Title Page


The easiest way to format the Thesis Title Page is to select all of the text on the Abstract Title Page then copy and paste it onto the blank page after the end of the Abstract.

right click to copy selected text and then right click and select paste keep source formatting in desired location


Once you have done so, you'll make the following change:

The first line of the middle section should read: A Thesis instead of An Abstract of a Thesis

A Thesis

Submitted

in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Education Specialist or Master of Arts or Master of Science or Master of Arts Education


At the end of the Thesis Title Page (after the Month Year), insert a Section Break (Next Page). You must use a Section Break and not a Page Break so you can properly format the next pages.

the thesis title page with and without markup to show location of section break (next page) at the end

 

Front Matter Page Numbers

Front Matter Page Numbers


The first page following the Title Page will be the first page of the document that a page number appears on. The Title Page is the first official numbered page of the Front Matter, though a number is not displayed. The first page following the Title Page will be numbered in lowercase Roman Numerals as page ii. It is very important that there is a Section Break (Next Page) at the bottom of the Title Page.

To insert the page number, double click in the header of the page following the Title Page. This should open the Header & Footer Tools.

Double clicking in the header will open the header & footer tools

Once the Header & Footer Tools have opened, there are several things that should be checked prior to inserting the page number.

If you properly followed the document setup instructions in this guide, the Header from Top location should be set to 0.75". If it is not, change it now.

Ensure that "Different First Page" and "Different Odd & Even Pages" are not checked.

"Link to Previous" usually defaults to be turned on (indicated by it being in dark gray, like the image above). This should be deselected or turned off. If you do not do so, any formatting changes (adding the page numbers) done to this section will also happen to the previous section.

Check the navigation, options, and position inform


After these items have been checked, the formatting of the page numbers will need to be changed to Roman Numerals, starting at ii. To do so, click on the Page Number drop down and locate the "Format Page Numbers..." This will open the options you need to edit.

the option to format page numbers is located in the Header & Footer Tools

Change the Number Format to be in Roman Numerals and change the Page numbering so it "Starts at" ii.

Change the number format to be in Roman Numerals and start at page ii

Click OK. Then go back to the Page Number and select Top of Page and the option to insert them right aligned (Plain Number 3 in the image below).

Insert the page numbers in the top right of the header


You should now have page ii in the top right of the header. Ensure that page numbers were not inserted on the previous pages. If they were, you likely did not deselect the "Link to Previous" header tool.

page number ii in top right

Thesis Approval Page

Thesis Approval Page


The Thesis Approval Page is the first page of the document that has a page number. It should be page number ii (in lowercase Roman Numerals).

 

At the top of the page the following should be typed with the appropriate information filled in:

This Study by: Your Name

Entitled: Title of Thesis

 

has been approved as meeting the thesis requirements for the

Degree of Education Specialist or Master of Arts or Master of Science or Master of Arts Education


The next section of the Approval Page are the signature lines. There should be a line for each member of your committee plus the Dean of the Graduate College.

To format your signature lines, place a few line breaks after the degree line so there is room for a signature. Then you will single space your font so the signature line and name below it stay together.

select the 1.0 from the line spacing menu found on

You will need a date line followed by a separate signature line. To do so you will need to use what is called "tab stops" to ensure proper formatting. Open the Paragraph dialog box to location the "Tabs..." setting.

open the paragraph dialog box and locate the TAB s

You will need to enter a total of three different "Tab stop positions." For the first setting, enter 1.25" in the stop position, ensure it is left aligned with no leader and then press set. For the second setting, enter 2" in the stop position, ensure it is left aligned with no leader and then press set. For the third setting, enter 6" in the stop position, ensure it is right aligned with no leader and then press set. Click OK.

thesis signature line tab settings


Turn on the underline font style located under the font section of the HOME tab.

underline font style is located under the font sec

Press TAB on the keyboard once. Turn off the underline font style and press TAB again. Then turn the underline back on and press TAB one last time. You'll want to turn the underline off before pressing ENTER / RETURN on the keyboard to move your cursor to the next line. You should have two lines with a blank space between them.

there should be a line followed by a blank space and then a longer line

With your cursor directly below the first line, type the word Date. Press tab twice and then type the name of your thesis committee chair followed by their role.

below the line there should be the word date and the other line should have the committee member name and role

You will need to repeat this until you have a line for all of your committee members and one for the Dean of the Graduate College.

There should be at least four lines including one for the dean of the graduate college


In order to clear the formatting changes you've made to the font (including the tab stops) you can click on the "Normal" style under the HOME tab if you have followed the instructions in the Document Setup found in this guide.

select the normal style under the styles pane foun


At the end of the page, insert a Page Break.

thesis approval page should have name, title of thesis, degree type, and signature lines for the committee and the dean of the graduate college

Dedication & Acknowledgements

Dedication & Acknowledgements


The Dedication & Acknowledgements are optional pages. If you wish to include these pages, the header DEDICATION or ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS must be typed in all capital letters and centered at the top of the page. The body of these pages often follow the default paragraph setting, though are not required to. Always end the page with a Page Break to ensure the text flows properly. These pages will immediately follow the Thesis Approval Page if they are included.

The Dedication and Acknowledgements pages

Table of Contents, List of Tables, & List of Figures

Table of Contents, List of Tables, & List of Figures


A TABLE OF CONTENTS will be required with the minimum of entries for every chapter heading level. If the document includes any tables (information organized in columns and rows) it will also include a LIST OF TABLES. If the document includes any figures (images, charts, etc.) it will also include a LIST OF FIGURES.

Start by setting up the basic formatting for the pages that you will need for your document. Leave these as a placeholder. There is information in the body section on how to update the information in these as you link things throughout the body of the document.


All three pages have the same basic setup. The heading is centered at the top of the page and is typed in all capital letters. On the next line down from the heading, the word PAGE will be right aligned and typed in all capital letters.

You will use Page Breaks between these pages as they are part of the Front Matter section and will have the same basic formatting. At the end of the last one of these as it applies to your document, you will use a Section Break (Next Page). See the notes at the bottom of each section to help determine which is appropriate for your work.

 

Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

With your cursor left aligned on the next line down after PAGE, complete the following steps:

Locate the Table of Contents found under the REFERENCES tab.

The Table of Contents is found under the REFERENCE tab

Select the "Custom Table of Contents..." option. In the window that opens you will want to ensure that "Show page numbers" and "Right align page numbers" are checked and that "Tab leader:" is set to dots. These should be the defaults. Select how many heading levels you wish to show. You must have at least one (which will be chapter headings), though it is recommended to go up to 3 or 4 for longer works that use that many heading levels (a description of heading levels can be found under the "Body of the Document" page).

Select the custom table of contents option and ensure that the page numbers will show, right aligned, with dot leaders between heading and number. Show 1 to 3 levels of heading

You will likely get some sort of an error but the following (or something similar) should show. This is a field that you will be able to update once you link headings in the body.

When no entries are found, the Table of Contents field will appear but be empty.

**If you do not have any tables or figures, insert a Section Break (Next Page) here

**If you have tables and/or figures, insert a Page Break here

 

List of Tables


Note: If you do not have any tables but have figures skip this section

LIST OF TABLES

PAGE

With your cursor left aligned on the next line down after PAGE, complete the following steps:

Locate the "Insert Table of Figures" option under the REFERENCES tab.

insert table of figures is located under the REFERENCES tab

This will provide you the option to select "Caption label: Table." In the window that opens you will want to ensure that "Show page numbers" and "Right align page numbers" are checked and that "Tab leader:" is set to dots. These should be the defaults. Press OK

customize list of tables options and ensure it is selecting Caption label: table

You will likely get some sort of an error but the following (or something similar) should show. This is a field that you will be able to update once you link table titles in the body.

an empty list of tables will produce an updatable

**If you do not have any figures, insert a Section Break (Next Page) here

**If you have figures, insert a Page Break here

 

List of Figures


LIST OF FIGURES

PAGE

With your cursor left aligned on the next line down after PAGE, complete the following steps:

Locate the "Insert Table of Figures" option under the REFERENCES tab.

insert table of figures is located under the REFERENCES tab

This will provide you the option to select "Caption label: Figure." In the window that opens you will want to ensure that "Show page numbers" and "Right align page numbers" are checked and that "Tab leader:" is set to dots. These should be the defaults. Press OK

customize list of figures options and ensure correct caption label is selected

You will likely get some sort of an error but the following (or something similar) should show. This is a field that you will be able to update once you link table titles in the body.

an empty list of figures will produce an updatable field

**This will be the last page of the Front Matter and must have a Section Break (Next Page) at the end of it


 

You can "link" your document's headings, table titles, and figure titles to create a Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Figures that will generate all additions and update the page numbers. This information is found on the "Body of the Document" page. Start here to set up the necessary pages in the front matter and then review linking in the body of the document.