Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD)

Specific Formatting Issues

1. Titling the Thesis

A thesis will be a valuable source for other scholars only if it can be located easily. To locate a thesis, modern retrieval systems use the words in the title and sometimes a few other descriptive words. It is essential that the title be meaningful and descriptive of the content of the work. If possible, students should use word substitutes for formulae, symbols, superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, etc. The title as it appears on the thesis certification page, title page, and thesis cover must be identical. On the front cover of the thesis, each line in the title must not exceed 26 characters including spaces. When planning the title of their theses, students should bear in mind that most book binders charge extra for overly long titles.

* Sample title page: PDF / Word

When a thesis title is lengthy, a short title not exceeding forty characters including spaces is needed for the spine of the bound thesis. This should follow the wording of the original title as closely as possible. The object of the short title is to facilitate easier recognition of the thesis on the library shelf. The author's last name, initials, and year of convocation should also appear on the spine.

2. Copyright and Subsequent Use of the Thesis

The author of a thesis claims copyright on the title page by using the appropriate notation. It is understood that any copying or publication of the thesis in any manner in whole or in part for financial gain requires the permission of the author.

To remind readers that the thesis is protected by copyright, students must insert the paragraph statement of "Permission to Use" immediately after the Title Page.

Students hold copyright to their thesis even when agreements have been reached with other parties regarding ownership of some parts of the research material. Careful attention must be paid to any previous agreements signed regarding ownership of research findings. Consultation with the Office of Research Services and the CGSR is recommended if there are any questions regarding patentable or commercializable material.

Students are reminded that they are required to respect standards of academic honesty and intellectual property in the case of all material used in the thesis. In order to do this, it is usually sufficient to use notes and bibliographical references. When use is made of a substantial part of a source work, it is necessary to obtain prior permission from the author. Definition of a "substantial part of a work" depends on several factors, principally the quantity and quality of the portion taken and the economic impact of the ability of the copyright owner to profit from the exploitation of the work. In some instances, copying even a short excerpt may be sufficient to constitute infringement.

Remember at all times that plagiarism is a serious offence and could jeopardize an entire academic career. Plagiarism is the representation as one's own of any idea or ideas, expressions of an idea, or the work of another author.


3. Equations

Each equation in a chapter is to be numbered consecutively using a decimal system appearing flush with the right-hand margin. For example:

.......y = mx + b ...................................................................................................................(5.1)

The numbers in parentheses are the chapter number and equation number respectively. Every new symbol used in the thesis text for the first time must be explained. When a large number of special symbols are used, it is permissible to collect them in a table or in a special appendix.


4. Notes

Following the advice of their supervisor, students may use any appropriate combination of footnotes at the bottom of pages in the text, endnotes at the end of each chapter, and direct reference to the bibliography. The method chosen must be used consistently throughout the thesis. The font used in notes should be the same in form and size as that used in the text.

Any change in the level of the argument, such as a change in the rigor, a change in terms of empirical content, or definitions of key words or concepts should be put in the form of a note. Any cross referencing of the material contained either in the main body or in appendices should also be indicated with the help of a note.

The general place of a footnote is as follows. Beneath the text, leaving one double space, a solid line extending approximately five (5) centimetres from the left-hand margin is drawn. The footnote number as shown in the text appears one single space below this line. The first line is indented. One half space below and one space to the right, the text of the footnote is typed using a single spaced format. Footnote numbering must be done consecutively and separately for each chapter.

Endnotes should appear at the end of each chapter. They should be single spaced with double spaces left between notes. Endnote numbering must be done consecutively and separately for each chapter.

5. Referencing

The fundamental rule of good scholarship is that the basic research be complete, reliable, correct, with all sources duly acknowledged. The format used for references must be consistent throughout the thesis. Students are expected to use the style manual or convention approved by their department in their choice of format for notes and bibliography.

The purposes of a reference are to acknowledge the contributions of other authors and to enable readers to locate sources easily.

6. Layout of a Chapter

Each subsection in a chapter should be numbered and arranged in a manner so as to maximize the clarity for the reader. The following format is suggested:

.....1. Marbles
........1.1 Introduction to Marbles
........1.2 Marble Colours
...........1.2.1 Blue Marbles
...........1.2.2 Red Marbles


The numbering system used for different sections denotes the following: the first number refers to the chapter number, the second number refers to the primary section number, and the third number refers to the secondary section number. Thus, the number 2.4.1 denotes chapter 2, primary section 4, secondary section 1. All chapters should begin on a new page and should have a top margin of five (5) centimetres, with the page number centred at the bottom.


7. Layout of a Table

Each table has a table number and a title. The first number refers to the chapter number and the second refers to the table number in that chapter. The number and title of the table appear at the top of the table. Tables must conform to the margin requirements of the thesis format. They should be centred between the left- and right-hand margins, and, as appropriate, between top and bottom. Contents of the table must be preceded and followed by a single solid line. Similarly, solid lines must appear at other appropriate places horizontally inside the table. Tables should not be folded. It is strongly recommended that oversized tables be reduced by photocopying in such a way that they remain clearly legible. The title of the table should be as short as possible but should indicate the major focus of the table. Ordinary rules of referencing and footnoting apply. The numbering of footnotes in the table is independent of that followed in the text.

* Sample layout table: PDF / Word

8. Layout of a Figure

Each figure must have a figure number and a title. The same numbering system for tables is used for figures. The number and title of the figure appear at the bottom of the figure in the figure legend. Both axes of the figure must be properly labelled. If a figure shows more than one relationship, each relationship should be properly labelled with the appropriate axis. (See section 2.6 "Illustrative Material" for advice on the presentation of figures. See also sample figure, page 31). Figures must conform to the margin requirements of the thesis format. They should be centred between the left- and right-hand margins and, as appropriate, between top and bottom.

* Sample figure: PDF / Word

9. Including Previously Published Papers in your Thesis (Manuscript-style thesis)

Please click here to see guidelines for including previously published papers in your thesis.