Answered By: Ben Murphy
Last Updated: Mar 18, 2020     Views: 48

For honors theses, certain structural elements are required, such as the title page, certificate of approval, table of contents, etc. Seniors have the option to use a formatted thesis template which includes the required elements and is designed to facilitate proper formatting and pagination in Microsoft Word. Use of the template is recommended but not required. If you plan to make your thesis open access and make a bound copy available in the Allen Room, use of the template is highly recommended.

Download the Thesis Template (MS Word)

If you do not have Word, you can download it from Office 360 website. Students can log in with their Whitman email and password and download Microsoft Office on up to five computers and five mobile devices. If you do not want to download Office/Word, you can also use Word Online, log in with your Whitman Email address and password and upload the template there.

Formatting

The thesis should follow requirements set forth by the home department or developed in consultation with the thesis advisor. Generally, one of the formats described in the Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual of Style, American Psychological Association or other standard style manuals should be used. See Style Guides.

Page Size

Unless approval by the departments and the Library is granted because of a need for a different format, the thesis page size must be 8½ × 11 inches.

Margins, Spacing, and Type

The left margin must be at least 1 ½ inches wide. All other margins must be at least 1 inch wide. The text should be double-spaced, but extended quotations may be single-spaced if indented slightly from each margin. Text should be in a standard font, no larger than 14 points and no smaller than 10 points. For digital only submissions, it is permissible to standardize the margins to 1 inch, but if you are printing your thesis, the left-hand margins must be 1 ½” for binding, and the digital copy must stay the same to maintain consistent pagination across digital and physical versions.

Pagination

For preliminary pages (table of contents, etc.), use lower case Roman numerals at the bottom center of the page. Include the title page in the count but do not number it.

For the text (thesis, appendices, etc.), use Arabic numerals at the bottom center of the page. Include the first page of the text in the count but do not number it. First pages of new sections (bibliography, chapters, etc.) should also be numbered at the bottom center. If you’re not using the template this can be difficult; please see this explainer from Office Support.

Other styles of pagination such as MLA or APA may be used if approved by the department or thesis advisor.

Images, Audio, Video, and Other Media

Theses including such materials should be prepared according to the special instructions below. Additional questions on special materials may be referred to the Archivist & Head of Digital Services at archives@whitman.edu.

Illustrations

Digital images, maps, charts, and graphs, unless otherwise specified by academic department or thesis advisor should have a resolution of a minimum of 300 dots per inch (dpi) and should be in TIFF (preferred) or JPEG file formats. For help with creating, scanning, formatting or otherwise preparing images, maps, charts, or graphs, please contact the WCTS Multimedia Development Lab(MDL) in Hunter at mdl@whitman.edu.

Media

Supplementary media materials should be included with each copy of the thesis deposited with the library. Media contents shall be formatted in accordance to guidelines set by the academic department and/or thesis advisor. The library strongly encourages formatting that facilitates long term preservation and use.

Layout

The usual make-up of the thesis is as follows:

1. Title page

In order to ensure consistency among Whitman theses, the title page should closely follow the sample with respect to order, spacing, and capitalization. In general, abbreviations should not be used. The author’s name must be typed in full as it is to appear on the commencement program.

2. Certificate of approval

The completed thesis must be approved by the professor under whose direction the work was done. Use the sample certificate of approval form as a guide. The certificate of approval must be signed by the thesis advisor and given to Kathleen Hutchison in Penrose Library room 213 no later than Reading Day of spring semester, or placed in the thesis following the title page if bound. NOTE: This is not the same form as the Honors in Major Study Application for the department/committee chair due to the Registrar’s Office immediately after the October break.

3. Table of contents

Depending on departmental requirements, most theses must have a table of contents immediately following the certificate of approval. It must list all the principal topics or subdivisions of the thesis and their initial page numbers.

4. Abstract

An abstract in your thesis helps users identify, retrieve, and use the thesis. See the appropriate style guide for your discipline for instructions on writing an abstract. While the Library does not require your thesis to contain an abstract within it, we do require an abstract be submitted to us as part of the digital submission form. If you choose to include an abstract within the contents of your thesis, you may copy and paste this into the digital submission form. If you do not have one already in your thesis, a simple paragraph describing your paper is all that is needed. This description will be shown on ARMINDA.

5. List of illustrations

All figures, tables, charts, graphs, drawings, plates and other illustrations are to be listed on a page following the table of contents, numbered consecutively in either Arabic or Roman numerals in the order in which they appear in the thesis. The number of the illustration(s) should appear at the left of each entry, and the page number on which each illustration appears should be indicated at the right of the entry.

6. Text Format (Discipline Specific)

Text should follow the style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) of the thesis discipline. For more information, see “Formatting” and consult your thesis advisor.

7. Bibliography

The bibliography shall be placed following the text in a form approved for use by the academic department. See Style Guides.

Copyright information

If you are the author of all the text, image, audio, and/or video files contained in your honors thesis, you hold copyrights and can grant full permission to post a digital copy online. If portions of your materials have been produced by others, these portions must be in the public domain or fall within the parameters of fair use. If the material does not fall within either of those categories, authors must receive permission from the copyright owner to include that material in their digital thesis. If you are unable to get permissions, consider restricting access to Whitman-affiliates only. For more information, see the library’s tutorial on copyright at Whitman or contact Dalia Corkrum, Library Director, at corkrum@whitman.edu.