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

Learn about Graduate College formatting requirements.



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


Copyright by


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

Music Abstract Title Page

Music Abstract Title Page

First, type the title of the abstract in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, centered on the page. This is typically "A GRADUATE RECITAL IN (INSTRUMENT HERE)" or something similar.


Leave a few blank lines after the first section. The second section will read:

An Abstract of a Recital


in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Master of Music


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.

Example of a music title page with and without nonprinting characters to show formatting



Music Approval Pages

Music Approval Pages

Music students completing a recital requirement will have two approval pages. The first will be used to approve the written content of the abstract and the second will be used to approve the recital. Note that there will not be any page numbers on the approval pages or on any of the front matter for music abstracts. Follow the steps below to properly format these pages.


Abstract Approval Page

This is the first of the two approval pages. Follow the steps to format this page and fill in information where appropriate.

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 Abstract


has been approved as meeting the thesis requirements for the

Degree of Master of Music

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 recital committee chair followed by their role. "Dr. Name, Chair, Recital Committee"

Two lines with "date" below one and "Dr. Name, Chair, Recital Committee" below the next

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 with the roles "Dr. Name, Recital Committee Member" and "Dr. Name, Dean, Graduate College" 

Two lines with "date" below one and "Dr. Name, Chair, Recital Committee" below the next, this is repeated with "date" lines for 3 more people who have either "Dr. Name, Recital Committee Member" or "Dr. Name, Dean, Graduate College" below as their role

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.

Examples of a properly formatted abstract approval page with and without nonprinting characters



Recital Approval Page

The recital approval page is the second of the two approval pages for music students. This will approve the recital portion of the requirements. The easiest way to format this page is to select ALL of the text on the Abstract Approval Page that was just formatted and to paste it onto the new blank page that was inserted with the previous page break.

All of the text on the abstract approval page is selected, up to the page break which is not, and the right click menu shows "copy" being selected

Paste the copied text onto the next page using the "keep source formatting" option.

Right click menu showing the paste options: keep source formatting selected

Change the first line so it reads:


This Recital by: Your Name

instead of:

This Study by: Your Name

After the title line, add a date line:

Date of Recital: Month ##, Year

The correctly formatted recital approval page should match the below example

A properly formatted recital approval page including lines for name, title, date of recital, and signatures of all committees

Optional Pages

Optional Pages

Dedication & Acknowledgements

Music students may choose to include a dedication and/or acknowledgements page. There is no required formatting for these pages, though it is recommended that the word DEDICATION or ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS appears in all capital letters, centered, at the top of the page.

Two pages with DEDICATION in all caps, centered at the top of one and ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS centered in all caps at the top of the next


Table of Contents

Music abstracts tend to be shorter written works than a traditional five chapter thesis due to the recital component. This means that the Table of Contents is not required unless the written work is substantial and divided into many sections. If you have a question about if a Table of Contents would be appropriate for your work contact the Thesis & Dissertation Reviewer.


Body of the Abstract

Body of the Abstract


Page Numbers

Page numbers are not required for music abstracts. If your committee requests that you include page numbers or if you desire to include them for the purpose of clarity and consistency, they will start with the first page of the body of the abstract. There should not be any page numbers in the front matter of the abstract (including the approval pages).

You must have a Section Break (Next Page) at the end of your Front Matter to be able to format page numbers properly. To insert the page number, double click in the header of the first page following the Front Matter where the first page of the body of the work will start. 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 (number style, restarting the numbering, etc.) 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 Arabic Numerals, starting at 1. 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

Check that the Number Format is set to Arabic Numerals and change the Page numbering so it "Starts at" 1.

number format should be in arabic numerals, 1, 2, 3, and the start at should be changed to 1

Then, insert the page numbers at the Top of Page, right aligned.

Page number menu open with Top of Page Plain number 3 selected, inserting the page number on the top right of the page

top of a page with 1 in the top right, 0.75" from the top of page




The only required heading is the word ABSTRACT in all capital letters centered at the top of the first page of the abstract. If headings beyond ABSTRACT are used, follow the heading levels outlined in section 3. You should continue following this guide step by step for any of the applicable materials included in your abstract.