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Thesis and Dissertation

Directions on Form, Preparation, and Submission of the Final Copies of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

Setting Up Your Document

This section is designed to help you set up your document's parameters BEFORE you start typing.  It will make the creation process easier if you do this first. 

 

TEMPLATE USERS

Student's wishing to take advantage of SHSU's pre-formatted template may download it from the link below.  Be sure to follow the download instructions:

NON-TEMPLATE USERS

The rest of the instructions on this page are for Non-Template users since the provided SHSU template already contains pre-formatted parameters.  Set the margins BEFORE you start typing to prevent problems with table and figure formatting later.  It may seem tedious and unnecessary to set font styles, but doing so helps ensure that your document is consistently formatted throughout, and is well worth the small amount of effort.

1. Margins

  1. First, open a new, blank Word document and save it.  This will be your new thesis or dissertation document that you will work in from now on.

  2. Click on the LAYOUT tab.

  3. Click on the Margins feature.

  4. Click on Custom Margins.  A Page Setup window will appear.

  5. Make sure that the margins are set to the follow parameters:

    • Top:  1"

    • Left:  1.5"

    • Bottom:  1"

    • Right:  1"

  6. At the bottom of the window, make sure that the Apply to function is set to Whole document.

  7. Click OK.

2. Line Spacing

Your document should be double-spaced throughout.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, which will be noted as you add content to your document. 

How to set line spacing:

  1. Click on the Home tab.

  2. In the Paragraph section, click on the icon that looks like a series of horizontal lines, with arrows running up and down next to it.

    • An image of the paragraph section.   

    • An orange arrow pointing right.  A close up image of the Line Spacing feature. 
       
  3. Click on 2.0.  Now your entire document should automatically be double-spaced.

 

3. Font Styles

12-point font is required throughout.  The only exceptions for font size are tables and figures, where smaller sized font may be necessary to present data (as long as it remains legible).

Acceptable fonts include the following: 

  • Times New Roman
  • Helvetica
  • Courier
  • Geneva
  • CG Times

The same font style must be used throughout the entire document.

Setting font styles

Setting font styles is important partly because it helps automatically populate your Table of Contents. This is an invaluable time saver. 

These instructions explain how to create 6 font styles.  You may not need to use all of them in your document, but the instructions are included regardless. They should look something like the following:

TIP:  All of these font styles are preformatted in the "Template -- without macros" found on the Home page.

Style:  CHPT_Title

Bold 12 pt. Font, Centered

Used for CHAPTER HEADINGS and First Level Headings (a.k.a. Chapter Titles)

Style:  Heading2

Bold 12 pt. Font, Left-justified, Headline Capitalization.

Used for 2nd Level Headings -- These are the most commonly used headings.  Used to designate a section within a chapter.

Must have two or more within a chapter, or none at all.

 

Example:

This is a Heading Two Level

Begin regular text, indented, on next line.

Style:  Heading3

Bold 12 pt. font, left-justified and indented, sentence-style capitalization. 

Used for 3rd Level Headings -- Used to designate a subsection within a Heading2 section.

Must have two or more within a section, or none at all.

 

Example:

This is a heading three level, indented and ending with a period.  Begin regular text

directly after heading.

Style:  Heading4

Bold 12 pt. font, italicized, left-justified and indented, sentence-style capitalization.

Used for 4th Level Headings -- Used to designate a subsection within a Heading3 subsection.

Must have two or more within a section, or none at all.

 

Example:

This is a heading four level, indented and ending with a periodBegin regular text

directly after heading.

Style: Heading5

12 pt. font, italicized, left-justified and indented, sentence-style capitalization.

Used for 5th Level Headings -- Used to designate a subsection within a Heading4 subsection.

Must have two or more within a section, or none at all.

 

Example:

This is a heading four level, indented and ending with a period.  Begin regular text directly

after heading.

Style: RegText

12 pt. font, left-justified and indented, sentence-style capitalization.

Used for typing the body text of your document.

 

Example:

This is regular text.  The first sentence of each paragraph is indented by .5 inches.  This is

the style that you most familiar with.

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the Quick Style gallery.

                      style gallery  

    arrow

  1. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  2. Change the name to CHPT_title.

  3. Click Modify

  4. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Make it bold.

    • Centered on the page.

  5. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  6. Select Font.

  7. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  8. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  9. You should now see your new style named CHPT_title in the Quick Style gallery.

Style:  Heading Level Two

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the visual Quick Style gallery.

  2. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  3. Change the name to Heading2.

  4. Click Modify

  5. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Make it bold.

    • Left-justified on the page on the page.

  6. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  7. Select Font.

  8. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  9. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  10. You should now see your new style named Heading2 in the Quick Style gallery.

Style:  Heading Level Three

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the visual Quick Style gallery.

  2. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  3. Change the name to Heading3.

  4. Click Modify

  5. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Make it bold.

    • Left-justified on the page.

  6. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  7. Select Font.

  8. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  9. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  10. You should now see your new style named Heading3 in the Quick Style gallery.

Style:  Heading level four

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the visual Quick Style gallery.

  2. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  3. Change the name to Heading4.

  4. Click Modify.

  5. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Make it bold.

    • Italicize it.

    • Left-justified on the page.

  6. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  7. Select Font.

  8. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  9. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  10. You should now see your new style named Heading4 in the Quick Style gallery.

Style:  Heading level five

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the visual Quick Style gallery.

  2. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  3. Change the name to Heading5.

  4. Click Modify.

  5. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Make it italicized.

    • Left-justified on the page.

  6. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  7. Select Font.

  8. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  9. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  10. You should now see your new style named Heading5 in the Quick Style gallery.

Style:  Regular text

  1. Click on the down arrow on the far right side of the visual Quick Style gallery.

  2. Click Create a Style.  This opens a Create New Style from Formatting window.

  3. Change the name to RegText.

  4. Click Modify.

  5. Under Formatting:

    • Select your chosen font from the drop-down menu (i.e. Times New Roman).

    • Set it to 12 pt.

    • Left-justified on the page.

  6. Click on Format in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

  7. Select Font.

  8. Under Effects, make sure that no options are checked.

  9. Click OK.  Click OK again.

  10. You should now see your new style named RegText in the Quick Style gallery.


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