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How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes

Title Page

  • Get the name of your major absolutely correct (e.g., Psychology, not Clinical Psychology).
  • The thesis/dissertation title must be in all CAPITAL letters and double-spaced, and the date must be the month and year of your graduation.
  • Doctoral candidates: use “dissertation” instead of “thesis” throughout the document.

Front Matter (the section before the text of the thesis)

  • Front matter must be numbered with lower case Roman numerals.
  • In the table of contents, do not list the title page, committee page, abstract, or vita. Do
    include the list of tables, list of figures, acknowledgements, chapters, references or
    bibliography, and appendices (with titles).
  • Chapter titles in the table of contents should match the actual chapter titles in the text.
    Number chapters consistently (e.g., Chapter I, Chapter One, or Chapter 1).
  • No signatures should appear in the document (the committee page is not for signatures).
  • The committee page should be an exact list of those entered on the eTD submission, but do
    not list any name twice
    even if a professor has two roles (e.g., advisor and department head).

Page Numbers

  • The text must begin on page 1 and be numbered from beginning to end without breaking
  • Do not use running headers, and do not embellish page numbers (e.g., -1-, Page 1, 125a).

General Advice

  • There should be no blank pages in the thesis/dissertation.
  • Submit the format review as early as possible, but do not submit a second format review
    (even if you don’t finish until the next semester, a second format review is not necessary).
  • Carefully complete each step outlined in the format review.
  • When naming your pdf file, do not use special characters (e.g., /, ?, &), and do not make
    the file name extremely lengthy by using the entire thesis title.
  • Doctoral candidates: include a copy of the title page and abstract with the ProQuest/UMI Agreement.
  • Remember that, after approval of the final eTD by the Office of Theses and Dissertations,
    no further changes can be made.
  • Most importantly, carefully read and follow the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook.

Thesis and Dissertation Information

This page was generated on May 24, 2024 at 10:54 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.