Thesis Format Standards

General Instructions


Double space throughout, with the exception of the title page, approval page, captions, table or figure headings, extensive quotations, footnotes or end notes, entries in the References section, entries in the Table of Contents, and appendices.


Any standard font is acceptable; however, the same font should be used throughout. Use a font size of 12. The only allowable exceptions to this font size are captions (not smaller than 9 point) and headings (not larger than 20 point). Use of italics is restricted to foreign words, book or periodical titles, taxonomic names, letters used as statistical symbols or algebraic variables, test scores and scales, and judiciously placed special emphasis.


ALL pages must have the following:

1.5" left margin (to allow room for binding)

1" top, bottom, and right margins


White bond paper, 8.5" x 11", with a watermark indicating 25 percent (or higher) cotton content, 20# - 25# weight, is required. Exceptions are allowed only for photographic plates and pocket material.

Overall Appearance

The thesis that is submitted to the dean must be free from errors. All corrections should be made before the final copy is printed. Overstrikes, cross-outs, handwritten additions or corrections, lines from paste-ups, dots or shading in the background, smudges, and use of correction fluid are not acceptable in the final copy.

Printing the Final Copy

Print on one side of the page only. Use only acid free paper and prepare two (2) copies. You may run the required paper directly through a laser printer. The print must be sharp and of uniform darkness. Starting with a fresh toner cartridge is recommended. Another option is to print the copy on paper of lesser quality and photocopy two (2) copies onto the watermark acid-free paper. If you use a professional photocopying service, check all pages before paying for the service and leaving the premises. Common problems with photocopying include missing pages, crooked pages, shifted margins, and smudges or spots on the copy. Please see additional instructions regarding library copies under Printing and Archiving below.

Use of Copyrighted Material

You are required to obtain permission from the author or publisher to quote extensively from copyrighted material or to use a copyrighted work such as an illustration in its entirety. Permission is usually granted on condition that special acknowledgment is made. If payment is required, it is your responsibility.

Classified Material

The primary intent of the thesis is to communicate the results of your research to the scholarly community. For this reason, your thesis research should not include any information that is restricted.

Multiple Volumes

Any thesis that is thicker than 2" must be divided into multiple volumes. In making this determination, please note that cotton bond paper is thicker than standard printer paper.


All preliminary pages are numbered with lower case Roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page, with the bottom of the number at least 1/2" from the edge of the page. The exception is the title page, which is counted but not numbered. Beginning with the text of the thesis, the page numbering changes to Arabic numerals, placed in the upper, right-hand corner, with at least 1/2" clearance from each edge. The first page of the main text restarts the pagination sequence and is page 1. All subsequent pages, except the multiple volume title pages, are numbered throughout the thesis, including cover pages, tables and figures, references, appendices, and the vita. Allow at least one double space between the page number and the first line of text on each page.

A. Title Page (Required)

The title page is counted but not numbered. The name of the degree that appears on the title page (and the approval page) must be on the list of degrees. These are the official names of the degrees awarded by North Georgia. No variations are allowed. The month and year of the awarding of your degree (not the defense or thesis submission) are used as the date. Degrees are awarded three times a year - May, August, and December.

B. Approval Page (Required)

The format of the approval page is similar to that of the title page, with the addition of signature lines for the chair (or co-chairs) of the thesis committee, and for the dean of the respective school (Mike Cottrell School of Business, Arts & Letters, Education, or Science & Health Professions).

C. Abstract (Required)

The abstract is a succinct summary of the Thesis. It contains a brief description of the problem, a brief statement about the method or procedures used, and a concise account of the findings. Although it may extend beyond one page, the abstract should not exceed 350 words.

D. Copyright Page (Optional)

You may include this page even if you will not be formally registering for copyright with the Library of Congress. If the copyright symbol is not available in your word processing software, it may be drawn by hand. This is the only allowable handwritten item.

Web sites that provide information about copyright are:

US Copyright Office

IUPUI Copyright Management Center

Library of Congress

E. Dedication (Optional)

May be combined with acknowledgements. Center the text horizontally on the page. There is no heading on this page.

F. Table of Contents (Required for All Except Creative Works)

The Table of Contents lists all sections that follow it (with the exception of an epigraph or frontispiece and the vita). Chapter or section titles and primary and secondary subdivisions should be listed exactly as they appear in the text along with page numbers. Type TABLE OF CONTENTS centered at the top of the page, double space, and begin the entries. Single space within entries, and double space in between entries. Figures and Tables are listed separately.

G. List of Figures (Required if Figures Appear in the Thesis/Dissertation)

Includes charts, graphs, illustrations, diagrams, maps, pictures, photographs, and other similar non-text items. Include a separate list on a separate page for each type of illustrative material. List the number, caption, and page number of each figure, including any found in the appendices. Figures should be numbered consecutively throughout.

H. List of Tables (Required if Tables Appear in the Thesis/Dissertation)

List the number, caption, and page number of each table, including any found in the appendices. Tables should be numbered consecutively throughout.

I. List of Abbreviations (or List of Symbols or Nomenclature)

Optional, include as necessary.

J. Acknowledgments (Required if Permission to Reproduce Copyrighted Material is Necessary)

Center the heading ACKNOWLEDGMENTS at the top of the page, double space, and begin the remarks.

K. Frontispiece (Illustration) or Epigraph (Quotation) (Optional)

The source of the epigraph is listed below the quotation, but is not listed in the bibliography unless it is also cited in the main text.

L. Body of Thesis (Required)

Each Thesis should follow the Manual Style designated by the program (i.e., APA, MLA) for headings, citations, etc. A heading or subheading should never appear at the bottom of a page without at least two lines of text under it.

M. Tables and Figures (Optional)

N. References and Bibliography (Required)

References may be placed at the end of the main text. Information sources that are not cited in the thesis, but provide additional background for the topic, may be listed as a bibliography.

O. Appendices (Optional)

Many theses will not need this section. Material that supports the research, but is not essential to an understanding of the text, is placed in the appendices. Examples include raw data, extensive quotations, and survey or test instruments.

Appendices should be designated A, B, C, etc. If there is only one appendix, it is simply called Appendix, not Appendix A. Each appendix and its title (for example, Appendix A, Raw Data for Time-to-Degree) are listed in the Table of Contents. A separate display page, giving the appendix designation and title, may precede each appendix. If used, the page number of the display page is the one listed in the Table of Contents.

All material included in the appendices must meet minimum font and margin requirements.