Formatting Guidelines and Templates

FSU's Formatting Guidelines & Requirements

Students should review the following guidelines and requirements document thoroughly prior to formatting their manuscript. Please note, The Graduate School's formatting requirements take precedence over any other formatting styles.

Click to view or download the "Guidelines & Requirements."

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 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).
  • In the WORD Paragraph menu, spacing Before and After the paragraph are always set to 0.
  • There is no continuous vertical block of white space more than 1 inch except on landscape pages, the last page of a chapter or appendix, pages on which tables or figures fill at least two-thirds of the page, or where it was necessary to avoid a widow/orphan.
  • All page numbers are bottom center at 0.75 inches from the bottom edge of the page; numbers begin with ii on the Committee Page, and the first page of the body text after my Abstract is page 1.
  • All main section headings are formatted consistently: centered at the top edge of the 1-inch margin of a new page, all capital letters, and all in their use of boldface font. All chapter titles are formatted consistently: centered beneath the main section heading, all capital letters, all in their use of boldface font, 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. (Each level of subheading should be formatted distinctly from all other levels.)
  • If subheadings are numbered, I have numbered all levels of subheadings consistently, and used only Arabic numerals beginning with the chapter and section numbers (e.g. 1.1), not Roman numerals or letters.
  • Chapter /Appendix titles and subheadings listed in the Table of Contents exactly match the titles and subheadings 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.

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.

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