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General Guidelines

When writing your thesis, dissertation, or record of study be sure to follows these formatting guidelines.


The student must consult with the department (see pg. 11) and/or committee to select an appropriate style guide to be used in writing the thesis. Note: Whenever there are differences in format and layout between the specifications of the Guidelines and the style guide, the Guidelines overrule the style guide.
Possible style guides include: American Psychological Association (APA), American Physiological Society (APS), American Medical Association (AMA), Chicago Manual Style, Harvard, Modern Language Association (MLA), and Vancouver, among others. Students may also use the style guide of the scientific journals commonly used in their field.

Page and Margins

Students should use 8.5” × 11” page size, with 1” margins.

Font and Type Size

Choose one font (type style) and use throughout the entire document. Consult the style guide for appropriate fonts. Use 12-point type size throughout the manuscript.


The text should be double-spaced. Students should follow their style guides for spacing in block quotations, lists in text, tables, figures, and references. There should be a space between each reference.


Students should follow the style guide for title formatting, including use of capitals and bold font. The formatting of titles should be consistent throughout the manuscript.

Page Numbers

The Title Page should not have a page number. Students should use lower case Roman numerals (e.g., i, ii, iii) for preliminary pages: abstract, dedication, acknowledgements, contributors and funding sources, nomenclature, table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables. Students should use Arabic numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3) for all other pages in the document.

Illustrations, Tables, and Figures

All illustrations, tables, and figures should be mentioned in the text (e.g., “see Table 1.1”). Students can include them in each chapter or as an Appendix designation. Students should follow their style guide for formatting and presentation guidelines.


Each document must contain a formal reference section in one of two locations: at the end of the main text or at the end of each chapter. Each source included in the reference section should be cited in the text. Students should follow the style guide for formatting.

Language Use

Students pursuing an M.A. in Hispanic Studies may write their thesis in English or Spanish. All other students should write the document in English, though it is permissible to include other languages when quoting directly from foreign-language sources.

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