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Graduate Research

Requirements for Submission of Theses

PDF Version

Steps for Submitting a Thesis

  1. The student completes his/her thesis and obtains the required signatures.
  2. The student downloads and completes the Thesis Deposit and Access Agreement Form.
  3. The student submits, in an electronic format, the Thesis Deposit and Access Agreement Form and the thesis with required signature to the Catalog/Database Management Librarian.
    Submissions will not be accepted without required signatures.
  4. The Student sends the submission by email at If you have questions, please call the librarian at 254-3053.

General Requirements:

Number of copies:  The Library requires one electronic file of the thesis for possible inclusion in the Library's digital repository DOCS@RWU

Format:  The Library accepts theses in Microsoft Word or PDF formats. Other digital formats may be accepted at the Library's discretion, but students must secure permission before submitting a thesis to the library in an alternate format.

File Size:  The maximum size of an electronic thesis is limited to 50 MB. To reduce the size of a thesis, it is recommended to submit graphic and illustrative files separately. The supplementary files should be clearly labeled for identification.

Thesis Deposit and Access Agreement Form:  The Library requires the form to be completed and submitted with the thesis. The Library keeps the completed form as a record of submission and obtains permission from the author to post the electronic thesis in its digital repository. The form can be downloaded at   

Stylistic Requirements:

Printing:  The use of headers or chapter titles larger than 3/16" is discouraged and the use of excessive italics or bold print is prohibited. A standard font style and print size should be used such as Times New Roman 12, Letter Gothic 12 and Helvetica 12 for PC, and Times 14, Helvetica 12, and Geneva 12 for Macintosh.

Spacing:  Double space the text. Only footnotes, long quotations, bibliography entries (double space between entries), and captions for graphic or illustrative material may be single spaced.

Margins:  All (right, left, top, and bottom) margins should be set at one inch. Use these margins throughout the thesis.

Justification:  Text should be left justified only. Ease of reading should be the primary consideration in determining line formatting.

Thesis Preliminary Pages:

1. Title page (required): 

These elements should be included:

  • Title of thesis
  • Name of author
  • Degree earned (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, etc)
  • Academic department or discipline of author
  • Institutional affiliation of author
  • Date of thesis acceptance

(Please use the official names of College, School, Department and Program as listed in the University catalog for the year the thesis is submitted.)

(See sample title page within Appendix document)

2. Signature page (required):

  • Title of thesis
  • Name of author, signature and date of signature  
  • Name of advisor, signature and date of signature
  • Name of Dean of academic school, signature and date of signature

3. Dedication and /or acknowledgements (optional)

4. Table of Contents (optional)

5. List of figures, tables, etc (optional)

6. Abstract (required)

An abstract must be included with the thesis document. The abstract should not exceed 150 words and should summarize the results, conclusions or main arguments presented in the thesis.

Pagination:  Page numbers are required and should appear consistently throughout the document either in the upper right corner or centered at the bottom or top of the page. If using footnotes, place the page number at the top of the page. Below is a guide to pagination:

  1. Every sheet of the document must be counted in page numbering, (except blank pages) however, not every page will show a number.
  2. The title page counts as the first preliminary page, but it does not carry a number.
  3. Preliminary pages, including the signature page, dedication/acknowledgments, table of contents, list of illustrations, and abstract, use lower case roman numerals as page numbers. (e.g. i,ii,iii,iv,v…)
    (See sample pages within Appendix document)
  4. The main body of the work uses Arabic numerals, beginning with page 1 and numbering consistently through the final page of text.  This numbering includes introduction, appendices, bibliography, and index.  A display page (indicating a new section or chapter title) is included in the numbering but does not show the number on the page.

Non-print materials:  Non-print materials, including photographs, magnetic recordings and electronic data files, provide special problems for long-term storage and preservation.  Please refer to the following guidelines when submitting these types of materials:

  1. Regardless of material format, all submissions must include the required Thesis Deposit and Access Agreement Form, an abstract and a title page.  For submissions containing multiple electronic files, a printed copy of the file directory is also required.
  2. Moving images: recordings may only be submitted on VHS videocassettes or on DVDs.  The recordings must meet NTSC standards.  Each submission must carry a label with author, title, file format(s) and length. The DVD label must be affixed to the case only, not the DVD itself.
  3. Sound recordings: recordings must be submitted on “gold standard” archival   CD-Rs.  Digital sound files must be in AIFF format. Follow the same labeling format as for DVDs.
  4. Fine art or photographic images printed on thesis paper from a digital image file are preferred.  All images, whether digital prints or photographic originals or photocopies, should be reduced to 5 x 7-inch format in order to accommodate the margins.  Mount small photographs with white casein (e.g. Elmer’s glue), Pritt glue stick or dry mounting tissue.  Do not use rubber cement or tape.
  5. Drawings: Visual materials that cannot be computer generated should be drawn with permanent black ink. Do not use felt-tip pens, color markers or pencils.
  6. For projects involving complex electronic data sets, such as Web sites, programming codes or large data files, please contact the Archives Specialist at 254-3049 for special instructions.

Collation:  The following order is required:

  1. Title Page
  2. Signature page
  3. Dedication/Acknowledgements, if any
  4. Table of Contents, if any
  5. List of figures, tables, etc., if any
  6. Abstract
  7. Preface, if any
  8. Text
  9. Endnotes (if preferred over footnotes)
  10. Bibliography or list of references
  11. Appendices, if any

Style Manuals:  The style manual appropriate to the discipline should be adhered to throughout the document.

Proofreading: Proofreading, spell-checking, and proper bibliographic citations are essential to do prior to submitting the completed document. No thesis will be accepted for deposit if it fails to meet standards of excellence for published works.

Permissions:  Students are responsible for obtaining permission in writing from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted material included in the work (including images) and from any third party whose privacy rights should be considered.