To simplify the process of formatting your master's thesis, we provide you this preformatted template that conforms to many of the specifications outlined below. When you download this template, it will open an untitled Word document that you can use to write your master's thesis. Be aware that copying and pasting text from other locations can bring in formatting along with the text. It is best to use the text-only function if pasting is necessary or to copy and paste material into Notepad or TextEdit before copying and pasting into Word. While this template is designed to assist you with formatting your thesis, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring the conformity of your work to these formatting standards.
For general formatting requirements (e.g., typeface, font size, spacing, references, etc.), consult the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (henceforth, APA). What follows are institutional guidelines that clarify, specify, or amend the formatting guidelines in the APA manual.
Page Layout and Spacing
Pages should be 8 ½ by 11 inches. Margins at the top and bottom must be 1”. The left and right margins must be 1.5” to allow for binding (this allows for binding double-sided pages).
While former editions of APA allowed for double spacing between sentences, the latest edition of APA has abandoned this practice (6.1 Spacing After Punctuation Marks, p. 154) and a single space after punctuation marks at the end of sentences should appear in all drafts of a master's thesis.
Center all page numbers below the bottom margin, 0.7 inch from the bottom of the page. The number stands alone without “page” or any phrase or punctuation. Every page in your paper except the Copyright page will be counted in page numbering, however, not every page will show a number. The title page counts as the first preliminary page, but it does not display a number. Preliminary pages are numbered with lower case Roman numerals (e.g. i, ii, iii, iv). The first page of the body of the text uses Arabic numerals and restarts the numbering. See the chart in the section below for more specific details about page numbering.
The chart below shows (1) the proper order pages and sections, (2) whether these pages/sections are required, (3) whether they are counted in the page count, and (4) whether the page number should appear or not and with what kind of numeral.
|Copyright Page||Required||Not counted||Blank|
|Table of Contents||Required||Counted||Roman numerals|
|List of Tables||
|List of Figures||Required if
such are used
|Body of Text||Required||Counted||Arabic numerals|
Students must agree to the Copyright License when submitting their final draft to Proquest Dissertation and Theses. Since the thesis is submitted in satisfaction of a part of Master’s degree and the act of depositing these materials in the College Archives indicates a willingness by student authors to share their work with the Rhodes community and with the general public, the College Archivist will permit public access to it. Signing this form does not prevent you from further publication of your work.
The copyright page should include the word “Copyright,” followed by the copyright symbol ©, followed by the anticipated year of graduation, followed by the author’s full legal name (no initials). Below this line, the copyright notice should appear single-spaced and read, “All rights reserved. Rhodes College has been granted permission to copy, publish, post and or disseminate this document in any form by any means at the sole discretion of the College, including without limitation, for purposes of preservation or instruction.”
The top of the first line of the title appears 2 inches from the top of the page. APA recommends titles be "focused and succinct." See further guidelines at 2.4 Title (pp. 31-32). If multiple lines are used, arrange the lines in inverted pyramid form (that is, each line shorter than the one above it). If the title contains both a main title and a subtitle, then the main title may appear on a separate line or lines from the subtitle, even if this means not using the inverted pyramid form.
The following items of information should be evenly spread out over the remainder of the title page:
2. Name as it appears in official College records
3. Educational Studies
4. Year of Graduation
5. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the Master of Arts in Urban Education
Committee Approval Page
The words “Committee Approval” (in Title Case) appears centered 2 inches from the top of the page. On the second single-spaced line below the heading, type your thesis title as it appears on the title page. On the fourth single-spaced line below your title, print your full name (do not include the word “by”).
On the fourth single-spaced line below your name, include “Read and approved by:” left justified. On the fourth single-spaced line below this, include a 3.5-inch solid line, indented 0.7 inch. On the next single-spaced line indent 0.7 inch and type the title and formal name of the of your thesis committee followed by the parentheses “(Chair)”. On the fourth single-spaced line below the name of the chair or faculty supervisor, include another 3.5-inch solid line, indented 0.7 inch. On the next single-spaced line indent 0.7 inch and type the title and formal name of the second reader of your thesis committee (no parenthetical designation follows this name). Repeat the previous instructions for the third member of your committee. On the fourth line below the name of the last reader, type the word “Date” left justified followed by a 2.5-inch solid line. Consult the College’s website for the formal name of the members of your thesis committee and include the highest earned degree after the formal name.
If one of your committee members does not have a professional title (i.e. Dr.), use either Mx., Ms., Mr., or an alternative title of their choosing.
The abstract, a brief summary of your work, should be 150-250 words and double-spaced. For advice about crafting your abstract, consult APA 2.9 Abstract (p. 38).
The word “Abstract” appears centered 2 inches from the top of the page. On the second single-spaced line below the heading, type your thesis title as it appears on the title page. On the fourth single-spaced line below your title, print your full name (do not include the word “by”). On the fourth single-spaced line below your name, begin your thesis abstract.
Table of Contents
The heading “Table of Contents” (in Title Case) appears 2 inches from the top of the page. On the third line below the heading, the table of contents (TOC) should appear. Use double-spacing for the contents of the table that follow.
The entries correspond to all headings, either of pages or body sections) that follow the TOC. If the heading is too long for one line, subdivide the entry and single-space. First-level entries should appear left-justified with no indentation. Each deeper level in the TOC should indent 0.25 inches (e.g., level 2 is indented 0.25 inch, level 3 is indented 0.5 inch).
Include all levels of headings (e.g., second-level, third-level, etc.) unless doing so would lengthen the table to more than two pages. In such cases, limit the table of contents to first- and second-level headings or to first-level headings, whatever produces a sufficiently detailed table without excessive length.
Leaders from an entry to its page number should be arranged using periods (not dashes, solid lines, or other characters).
Page numbers are justified to the right margin; the last number of each page reference should line up vertically.
Manually break long, multi-line entries in the table to allow at least half an inch of space between any portion of the text of the entry and the page number.
Each page in the TOC is numbered with lower case Roman numerals centered at the bottom of each page beginning with iv (pages i-iii are the three previous pages which are counted but not numbered).
List in Preliminary Pages
The style guidelines for a list of tables or figures follow the same style guidelines for the Table of Contents (above). Choose the title (e.g., “List of Tables”) that best describes the type of data display you are documenting. Ideally, you would have no more than two lists, one of tables and one of figures. However, use the categories and the number of lists that make the most sense for your particular project. For all other formatting related guidelines, see APA chapter 7 Tables and Figures (pp. 195-250).
The acknowledgments section is a place to acknowledge the influence, assistance, or support of individuals or organizations throughout the course of your education and/or particularly during the course of your thesis work. As a place for personal reflection, it should not include any argumentation of or discussion about your thesis.
The heading “Preface” appears 2 inches from the top of the page. The preface begins on the fourth line below the heading.
Follow the general guidelines for formatting the body of text according to the instructions in APA, particularly those instructions in chapter 2, Paper Elements and Format (pp. 29-67). While APA discourages a first-level "Introduction" heading at the head of the body of your main text, such a heading is actually useful for the table of contents (especially one with hyperlinks for ease of navigation, like our template produces). You can disregard APA's instructions here. Alternatively, you could use a different label than the word "Introduction" as the initial heading of your paper.
Footnotes appear infrequently in APA style. If footnotes are necessary, consult section 2.13 Footnotes (pp. 40-41).
Begin using Arabic numerals for the pagination of the body of text, beginning with 1. Continue this sequence of Arabic numbering through the remainder of the paper, including appendices and references.
The heading “Appendix” appears 2 inches from the top of the page. The preface begins on the fourth line below the heading. For all other formatting-related matters, consult APA 2.14 Appendices and 2.15 Supplemental Materials (pp. 41-43).
The references section contains every work cited in the thesis and only those works that are cited. The heading “References” appears 2 inches from the top of the page. The preface begins on the fourth line below the heading. Use a 0.5-inch hanging indent for entries. For all other formatting-related matters, consult APA 2.12 References (pp. 39-40) and chapters 9 and 10.