Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Guidelines
The Guide to Preparation of Theses, Project Reports, and Dissertations
Candidates should download and read this Guide prior to preparing their documents for submission.
Templates & Sample Pages
Candidates are encouraged to use the templates provided to assemble and format their theses, projects, and dissertations.
- Thesis/Project Report Template (new and updated!)
- EdD Dissertation Template (update coming soon)
- Sample Pages of Thesis/Project Report (new and updated!)
- Sample Pages of EdD Dissertation (available soon)
- Sample Pages of PhD Dissertation (available soon)
- LaTeX Template (courtesy of the Department of Mathematics)
Candidates are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Thesis Formatting Workshops offered several times each quarter. The handout provided at this workshop is particularly helpful.
Margins, Font, and Spacing Watch on YouTube
The top and bottom margins are set to 1 inch. The left and right margins are set to 1.25 inches. Page numbers fall within this margin and must be at least 1/2 inch from the edge of the page.
Typing of the document uses one side of the page only, double spaced, with a 12-point size professional typeface, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier. Only one size and one style of type may be used.
Order of the Pages and Numbering Watch on YouTube
Preliminary pages precede the main text and are arranged in the following order: title page, copyright page, approval page, abstract (150 word limit for master's candidates; 250 words for doctoral candidates), acknowledgments, table of contents, list of tables (if any), and list of figures (if any). See templates below. The main text is divided into chapters. When present, endnotes, glossary, list of references, and appendices follow the main text in that order. Each preliminary page, each chapter page, the endnotes, the references, and each appendix must begin on a new page.
Preliminary pages are numbered using lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.). Pages of the main text are numbered using standard Arabic numerals. All pages, including appendices are counted and numbered. Watch on YouTube how to split pagination.
Headings and Subheadings Watch on YouTube
Chapters must be constructed and presented in a logical and consistent manner. Follow individual department guidelines. If a specific style manual is required then that manual's requirements should be observed.
Citations and References Watch on YouTube
Citation format must follow the style manual or guidelines specified by the candidate's department and must be consistent within the document. It is strongly recommended that candidates use RefWorks to format their references, an application that is free for CSULA students, staff, and faculty. Candidates may also attend a free Library Workshop for help with references, citations, and issues related to plagiarism.
Tables and Figures
Tables are comprised of data or statistical information, which are presented in column and row format. Illustrative materials such as graphs, charts, diagrams, maps, and photographs, are referred to as figures. Tables and figures are numbered consecutively, and in separate sequences, and conform to department or style manual guidelines. Tables and figures are to be placed within the text, close to its first reference; together in their own section following the last chapter; or in appropriate appendices at the end of the document.