Formatting Guidelines and Template

Formatting Guidelines

For a downloadable PDF of the Formatting Guidelines Manual, please click here.


Formatting Checklist

This is not a comprehensive list of formatting requirements, but is meant to be a checklist to help avoid the most common mistakes prior to submitting a manuscript to the Manuscript Clearance Office. All rules in the most recent edition of the manual Guidelines and Requirements for Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertation still apply.

  • My entire document is standard U.S. letter page size (8.5 x 11 inches).
  • My page margins are set to 1 inch throughout the document, and no text, tables, figures, etc. extend into any of the margins.
  • I have used all double or all 1.5 line spacing in the Abstract, body, and Biographical Sketch (if in paragraph form).
  • There is no continuous vertical block of white space more than 1 inch except on the last page of a chapter or appendix, or where it was necessary to avoid a widow/orphan.
  • My page numbers are bottom center at ¾ inches from the bottom edge of the page; numbers begin with ii on the Committee Page, and page 1 is the first page of the body text after my Abstract.
  • Headings listed in the Table of Contents exactly match the headings in the text: word-for-word, and the use of capitalization and punctuation.
  • Entries in the List of Tables and Figures (and other similar lists) exactly match the headings or captions in the text: word-for-word, and the use of capitalization and punctuation.
  • Entries in the List of Tables, Figures (and other similar lists), and References are single-spaced, with a single blank line between each entry.
  • All main section headings are formatted consistently: centered at the top margin of the page, all capital letters, and all in their use of bold. All chapter titles are formatted consistently: centered beneath the main section heading, all capital letters, all in their use of bold, and separated from the chapter heading by a single blank line.
  • The format of my subheadings is consistent with the style of my discipline, and is consistent throughout the entire manuscript with respect to alignment, capitalization, numbering, and use of bold and/or italics.
  • If subheadings are numbered, I have numbered all levels of subheadings consistently, and use only Arabic numerals (1.1), not Roman numerals or letters.
  • Table headings are above the tables, and captions for figures (and other similar items) are below the figures. There are 2 single blank lines above and below tables and figures (and other similar items) to distinguish them from text, tables, and figures on the same page.
  • I have removed, obscured or redacted all personal contact information and signatures from the manuscript.
  • In one or more appendices, I have included any IRB approvals, consent forms, and ACUC assurance letters that were necessary.
  • I have double checked the page numbers in my Table of Contents and all Lists to make sure they are correct.

Formatting Templates

Manuscript Clearance provides templates for both Word and LaTex that students can use to type their text directly into and are formatted according to FSU requirements. Three Word templates are provided. The main elements are the same in all three, but the layout of the Table of Contents is different. You can select a Table of Contents that lists only the main section headings (which is all The Graduate School requires), or a Table of Contents that also lists subheadings, either numbered or unnumbered. The use of numbered subheadings in the body of the manuscript is discipline-specific and is not required by The Graduate School. Use of a Table of Contents or List generator in Word is discouraged, because the results do not adhere to University formatting requirements.

Please note that these templates are created with general formatting requirements. Items such as chapter titles, the number of chapters you include and the content of those chapters is a discipline-specific, content issue not dictated by The Graduate School.

ETD Formatting Templates – Word for PC

ETD Formatting Templates – Word for Mac

ETD Formatting Templates – LaTex

This template is for use by students who prefer to use LaTex for their manuscript. A User Guide is included in the download for assistance.


Formatting Assistance

Manuscript Clearance also provides a number of step-by-step instructions to assist students with common formatting issues. Please see the list below for assistance.