University Libraries


Bullet A to Z indexBullet Library staff

ETDs: Formatting

Current info for Graduate Students about electronic theses and dissertations.

Standard Format

Style Formatting Requirements

Standard ETD Format  Most theses and dissertations have followed the same format for decades and is the one your committee members used and the one with which they are the most familiar.

Sections:
a) Front Matter
The "Front Matter" refers to the pages in the beginning of your ETD. It usually includes the title and abstract pages. The title page contains the front matter items from title through copyright statement and is followed by the abstract page. The dedication appears on its own page, as does the author's acknowledgments. The table of contents and each list of multimedia objects appears on its own page.

Elements of front matter:

    Title [See Template: Word , Latex ]
    Abstract (academic)
    General Audience Abstract
    Dedication (optional)
    Acknowledgements (optional)
    Table of contents
    List of figures (if figures are included in the document) [optional]
    List of tables (if tables are included in the document) [optional]
    List of abbreviations (optional)

b) Body Matter
The chapters of the ETD, in logical order and each with its own title, constitute the body matter. Chapter titles usually include:

    Introduction
    Review of Literature
    Results
    Discussion
    Conclusions
    Summary

c) Back Matter
At the end of your ETD are the references, appendices, and other back matter.

Page Number Format

The page number formatting is the same whether you are doing a standard or manuscript format.

Front matter - Roman numerals
Body and back matter - Arabic numerals


Title page - page i but not shown on the page

Abstract (academic) - page ii but not shown on the page

General Audience Abstract - page iii but not shown on the page

Dedication or Acknowledgements or Table of Contents - page iv and shown on the page from here on using Roman numerals

First page of Chapter 1 Introduction (body) - page 1 and shown on the page from here on using Arabic numerals

Appendix - continuous pagination from the body using Arabic numerals

Manuscript Format

Manuscript ETD Format allows the use of articles, book chapters, and the like to replace some of the standard dissertation/thesis chapters. Prior publication of the manuscript(s) is not a requirement for using this format. In addition to the standard or traditional format for dissertations and theses, the Virginia Tech Graduate School  accepts an alternative, manuscript, format. The Manuscript ETD Format allows the incorporation of your articles, book chapters, and the like to replace some of the standard chapters. Prior publication of the manuscript(s) is not a requirement for using this format.

The following guidelines apply:

At least one manuscript (i.e., article, chapter) for the Master’s degree, or at least two manuscripts for the Doctoral degree. The manuscript(s) should be based on research done at Virginia Tech. The manuscript(s) can be previously published, to be published, or in preparation for submission.

The graduate student is the major contributor and writer of the manuscript(s), as usually represented by sole author. In the case of multiple authorship, the contribution of each author is detailed in the Introduction or separate Attribution section.

The graduate student provides the Graduate School with a letter of copyright release for previously published and/or copyrighted material.

Whether previously published or to be reviewed, the manuscript is formatted to fit within the margins acceptable by the Graduate School and satisfies all requirements for ETD submission.


Sections:

a) Front Matter
Elements of front matter:

    Title
    Abstract (academic)
    General Audience Abstract
    Dedication (optional)
    Acknowledgements (optional)
    Table of contents
    List of figures (if figures are included in the document) [optional]
    List of tables (if tables are included in the document) [optional]
    List of abbreviations (optional)
    Preface/ Attribution (required only if the manuscripts are co-authored)

b) Body Matter
Usually, the chapters are organized in a logical manner, which may include the following titles:

    Introduction
    Literature Review (optional)
    Title for Manuscript 1
        Title
        Abstract
        Introduction
        Materials and methods
        Results
        Discussion
        References
    Title for Manuscript 2
    Conclusions
        Summary
        Overall model if appropriate (text or illustration if appropriate)

c) Back Matter
At the end of your ETD are the references, appendices, and other back matter.

File Formats

Your ETD must consist of at least one file in PDF/A-1b (archival) format. The first page of each file must be your ETD title page. (See also file naming as part of the Submission Process.)

     PDFA-1b Tutorial for Mac Users

     PDFA-1b Tutorial for PC Users

Educopia Guidance Brief: File Formats

Templates

Templates for front matter

Title page and abstract template for unanimous approval
        MS Word Template
        LaTeX Template

If one or more of your committee members do not approve your work, use this title page template for split approval

Tutorials

Acrobat
        Combining multiple PDF files
LaTeX
    Overview and information: http://www.latex-project.org/
    Useful LaTeX resources:
        http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Latex
        http://www.tug.org/tutorials/tugindia/
        http://www.andy-roberts.net/misc/latex/index.html
        http://www.math.vt.edu/people/borggajt/files/latex.html
Microsoft Word
            Formatting Page Numbers
            Combining multiple documents in MS Word

Software Skills Gateway (Element K)
Use your VT PID and password to access Element K tutorials for word processing, project management, IT security, programming, web development, etc. The tutorials are free to Virginia Tech students. You may take as many as you like at any time. If you have problems using Element K, please use contact http://4help.vt.edu.

depository library