Graduate School Formatting Guidelines

When you submit your disquisition to the Graduate School, the disquisition must meet certain requirements in formatting and construction. These requirements are intended to maintain a high academic quality among all disquisitions and to make sure that your disquisition reflects well upon your work as a student. 

It is recommended that you download and review the .pdf of our formatting guidelines before you format your disquisition.

Download Formatting Guidelines

If you need information about general disquisition requirements, including the required order of elements and a submission checklist, visit the General Requirements page.

Note: The Graduate School does not review disquisitions for content, so your disquisition must be complete before you begin the review process. If you make noticeable changes in the content of your disquisition after initial review, the review process will be delayed.

 

NDSU Disquisition Templates

Disclaimer

NDSU’s Disquisition templates are designed to provide assistance in completing graduate dissertations, theses, and papers. However, using these templates to create a document does not guarantee that the document will meet NDSU’s format guidelines. The Graduate School does not require that you use templates, and there is no extra technical support for these templates beyond the standard Microsoft Word technical support provided by the TLMC. If difficulties occur while using templates, we recommend that you choose another method to format your dissertation, thesis, or paper.

How to Use NDSU's Disquisition Templates

TEMPLATE - Non-Numbered Headings

TEMPLATE - Auto-Numbered Headings

Disquisition Section Formatting

Below you can find explanations of the various sections and requirements of the disquisition.

Title Page

The Title page must appear on the first page of the document.

Download the Title page template file and type your information into the appropriate fields. Then, you can copy and paste the file into your disquisition.

Additional requirements:

  • Alignment – All content on the Title page must be center-aligned. Do not indent the center alignment.
  • Font – The font on the Title page must be the same type as the rest of your disquisition. However, you may set the font to be up to two sizes larger than the text in the body paragraphs.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers should NOT be visible on the Title page
  • Required information – The following information must be personalized on the Title page:
    • Title of disquisition – Centered at the top of the page,double-spacedd (line spacing 2.0), and in ALL CAPS. Do not force a line break in the title, but allow it to naturally extend to the margins.
    • Type of disquisition – Identify whether it is a thesis, a paper, or a dissertation.
    • Your full name – No abbreviations or initials. This is for identification purposes.
    • Type of degree – Such as “Master of Arts”, “Master of Science”, “Doctor of Philosophy”, and so on. Written in ALL CAPS.
    • Major department or program – Use “Major Department:” or “Major Program:”, then identify your department or program on the line underneath the label. Only include a degree option if you have an official degree option granted by your department.
    • Month and year of final examination.

Disquisition Approval Page

You must submit two separate copies of the Disquisition Approval page. Copy 1 is kept in the Graduate School files, and Copy 2 is included in the disquisition.  

Copy 1 (for Graduate School files) 

Copy 1 of the Disquisition Approval Page requires the original signatures of your committee and the chairperson of your department, and your student ID number. Copy 1 must be submitted to the Graduate School before you submit your disquisition for review.

After you have completed all of the revisions that are required for your Final Examination, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the appropriate version of the Disquisition Approval Page from the links below. 
  2. Type the required information into the appropriate fields, and then collect the signatures of your committee members and department chair.
  3. Submit Copy 1 of the Disquisition Approval Page to the Graduate School.

 

Copy 2 (within disquisition) 

Copy 2 of the Disquisition Approval Page contains the same information as Copy 1, but do not include signatures or your student ID number on Copy 2. Instead, you must type the names of your committee members, the name of the department chairperson, and the date of approval in the appropriate fields. This is for personal identity security.

After you have completed all of the revisions that are required for your Final Examination, and after you have submitted Copy 1 of the Disquisition Approval page to the Graduate school, complete the following steps:

  1. Based on your degree type, download the appropriate version of Copy 2 of the Disquisition Approval Page from the links below. 
  2. Type the required information into the appropriate fields, including the names of your committee members, the name of your department chair, and the date of approval.
  3. Insert Copy 2 of the Disquisition Approval page into your disquisition as the second page, immediately after the Title page.
    • Font and Margins – The font on the Disquisition Approval page must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
    • Page numbers – Do not include a page number on the Disquisition Approval page.

Abstract

The Abstract is a brief summary of the content of your disquisition, including your research question or argument and your conclusions. It should be written with brevity and clarity in mind.

Your abstract could be read by people who are both inside and outside of your field of specialty, and they will use the abstract to determine if the rest of your disquisition is beneficial to them. Therefore, you should write the Abstract with a general audience in mind and use plain language (without jargon or unnecessary technical terms). It should summarize the main points of your disquisition, including the primary arguments that are made and the conclusions that are reached.

For more information about how to write an abstract, refer to the style manual of your discipline, or contact the Center for Writers.

  • Font and Margins – The font that is used in the Abstract must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Abstract appears after the Disquisition Approval page and begins on page iii.
  • Spacing – The line spacing and indentation of paragraphs must be consistent with the rest of your disquisition.
  • Word length – Abstracts for dissertations must use 350 words or less. Abstracts for papers or theses must use 150 words or less.
  • Example Download an example abstract in the correct format.

Acknowledgements

This is an optional section.

The Acknowledgements section can give thanks to people who provided assistance or support while you researched or wrote the disquisition. If you received funding from an outside source, you can use this section to give credit to that source (when such a statement is required by the funding source).

  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Acknowledgements section appears after the Abstract, and must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – The line spacing and indentation of paragraphs must be consistent with the rest of your disquisition.
  • Example – Download example acknowledgments in the correct format.

Dedication

This is an optional section.

The Dedication usually gives a brief statement that dedicates the disquisition to a few significant people.

  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Dedication appears after the Abstract (and the Acknowledgements, if used), and must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – The line spacing and indentation of paragraphs must be consistent with the rest of your disquisition.
  • ExampleDownload an example dedication in the correct format.

Preface

This is an optional section.

The Preface can provide an autobiographical account of how the disquisition came to be, or include a significant quote that drove your research.

If you quote or refer to an outside source in the Preface, you must provide citations for those sources. For more information about citations, see References/Works Cited on this page.

  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Preface appears after the Abstract (and the Acknowledgements or Dedication, if used), and must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – The line spacing and indentation of paragraphs must be consistent with the rest of your disquisition.
  • ExampleDownload an example preface in the correct format.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents lists the major headings that appear in the disquisition and outlines the hierarchy of subheadings that appear in the text.

All major headings that appear in the disquisition must be included in the Table of Contents, except for the Title page, the Disquisition Approval page, and the Table of Contents. You are not required to list all subheadings in the Table of Contents; however, once you include one subheading of a particular level, then you must include all subheadings of that same level that appear in the disquisition.

  • Alignment and Indentation – All main headings must be aligned flush against the left margin. Subsequent levels of headings must be indented beneath the major heading that precedes them. Alignment and indentation must be consistent for all headings of the same level. To avoid awkward gaps between words, do not justify the alignment.
  • Dot leaders – Use dot leaders to connect the last word of each heading with the page number where that heading appears.
  • Entries – The headings that are included in the Table of Contents must be identical to the headings that appear in the text. This includes wording, punctuation, and capitalization. If you use numbered headings in the text, the headings must also be numbered in the Table of Contents. Do not allow headings to extend into the page number column. You might need to force a line break.

The Table of Contents should not have an entry for itself.

  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Table of Contents appears after the Abstract (and additional prefatory material, if used), and must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing between headings in the Table of Contents. If the title of a heading is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of that heading.
  • Automated Table of Contents – Microsoft Word can create an automated Table of Contents. If you do use an automated Table of Contents, make sure that you follow the guidelines that are listed here. For more information about how to create an automated Table of Contents, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).
  • ExampleDownload an example Table of Contents in the correct format. 

 

List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

If you use tables, figures, schemes, equations, or other non-text items in the chapters of your disquisition, then you must also include a list of those items in the prefatory material. Other non-text items for which a list could be created include (but are not limited to) maps, illustrations, photographs, cartoons, etc. Tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items should be integrated into the text of your disquisition. For more information, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc on this page.

For more information about how to create lists for non-text elements, refer to the style manual that is used in your discipline.

All tables, figures, schemes, and non-text elements that appear in the text must be included in the prefatory lists. A List of Equations is optional unless you use a large number of equations.

Do not combine multiple types of items into the same list. For example, if you use both tables and figures in your disquisition, then you must include a List of Tables and a List of Figures.

If you use tables, figures, schemes, and non-text elements in the appendix or appendices, then you must create a List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, Etc. as well, which identifies those items that appear in your appendices. Do not include appendix items in the normal Lists of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

If you use a large number of equations in the disquisition, you should include a List of Equations in your prefatory material. For more information, see Equations on this page.

ExampleDownload an example List of Tables, List of Figures, and List of Schemes in the correct formats.

  • Alignment – Numbers for items must be aligned flush against the left margin. Page numbers must be aligned flush with the right margin. To avoid awkward gaps between words, do not justify the alignment.
  • Dot leaders – Use dot leaders to connect the last word of each title with the page number where that item appears.
  • Entries – The titles that are included in the lists must be identical to the titles that appear in the appendices. This includes wording, punctuation, and capitalization.
    • Do not allow headings to extend into the page number column. You might need to force a line break. If the title for an entry is longer than one line, indent the subsequent lines to align with the first word of the title. Subsequent lines for an entry should not align with the number for that entry.
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Numbering – Items must be numbered sequentially based on the type of item (such as “Table A1” and “Figure A1”).
    • If you use only one appendix, then non-text items should be numbered sequentially within the appendix, and distinguished with the letter “A” that precedes the number (such as A1, A2, A3, and so on).
    • If you use multiple appendices, then use letters that correspond with the letter of the appendix. For example, the first table that appears in Appendix B would be numbered “Table B1”.
  • Order – The lists of appendix material appears after the List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information, see Required Order of Elements.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing between entries in the lists. If the title of an entry is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of that entry.
  • Automated Lists – Microsoft Word can create automated lists. If you do use automated lists, make sure that you follow the guidelines that are listed here. For more information about how to create automated lists, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC), or review their "Thesis Formatting Resources" on their website.

 

List of Abbreviations/Symbols

If you use a large number of abbreviations or symbols, you should include a List of Abbreviations or List of Symbols.

This type of list identifies the abbreviations or symbols that are used in the body and appendices of the disquisition, and provides a definition for each item. This is for the benefit of those who will read your disquisition at a later date.

If you include a large number of both abbreviations and symbols, you should create a separate list for each type of item.

All abbreviations or symbols that are used in the text and appendices must be included in the list.

The List of Abbreviations/Symbols must appear after the List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information, see Required Order of Elements.

  • Alignment – Abbreviations and symbols must be aligned flush against the left margin. Use dot leaders to connect the abbreviation or symbol with the definition. 
    • When the definition of an item is longer than one line, subsequent lines should be aligned with the first word in the definition.
    • To avoid awkward gaps between words, do not justify the alignment.
  • Dot leaders – Use dot leaders to connect the abbreviation or symbol with its definition.
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Order – The List of Abbreviations/Symbols appears after the List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information, see Required Order of Elements.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing between entries in the lists. If the definition of an item is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of that definition.
  • ExampleDownload an example List of Abbreviations/Symbols in the correct format.

 

List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

If you tables, figures, schemes, and other non-text items in your appendix (or appendices), then you must create a List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. Other non-text items for which a list could be created include (but are not limited to) maps, illustrations, photographs, cartoons, etc.

The Lists of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. appear in the prefatory material, after the List of Tables and List of Figures (which identify the non-text items that appear in the disquisition chapters). All tables, figures, schemes, and non-text elements that appear in the appendices must be included in the prefatory lists.

Do not combine multiple types of items into the same list. For example, if you use both tables and figures in the appendices of your disquisition, then you must include a List of Appendix Tables and a List of Appendix Figures.

Do not combine the appendix items into the Lists of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information about how to format tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items in the entire disquisition, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

  • Column headings – Each prefatory list must include two column headings that appear under the major heading and above the entries in the List: the name of the items being listed (like “Table” or “Figure”), and the page numbers on which the items appear (“Page”). The item column must be flush against the left margin, and the “Page” column must be flush against the right margin of the page. Do not add “Appendix” to the column headings, as the major heading of the List is descriptive enough.
  • Alignment – Numbers for items must be aligned flush against the left margin. Page numbers must be aligned flush with the right margin. To avoid awkward gaps between words, do not justify the alignment in the entries.
  • Dot leaders – Use dot leaders to connect the last word of each title with the page number where that item appears.
  • Entries – The titles that are included in the lists must be identical to the titles that appear in the appendices. This includes wording, punctuation, and capitalization. 
    • Do not allow headings to extend into the page number column. You might need to force a line break.
    • If the title for an entry is longer than one line, indent the subsequent lines to align with the first word of the title. Subsequent lines for an entry should not align with the number for that entry.
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Numbering – Item numbers that appear in the descriptive column (“Table”, “Figure”, etc.) must be identical to the item numbers that appear in the disquisition chapters. For example, if the first figure that appears in the first appendix is named as Figure A1, then the item number for that entry in the List of Appendix Figures must be A1.
    • If you use only one appendix, then non-text items should be numbered sequentially within the appendix, and distinguished with the letter “A” that precedes the number (such as A1, A2, A3, and so on). For more information about using non-text item in an appendix, see Appendix/Appendices.
    • If you use multiple appendices, then use letters that correspond with the letter of the appendix where the item appears. For example, the first table that appears in Appendix B would be numbered “Table B1”. For more information about using non-text items in appendices, see Appendix/Appendices.
  • Order – The lists of appendix material appears after the List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information, see Required Order of Elements.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material, and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing between entries in the lists. If the title of an entry is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of that entry.
  • Automated Lists – Microsoft Word can create automated lists. If you do use automated lists, make sure that you follow the guidelines that are listed here. For more information about how to create automated lists, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).
  • ExampleDownload an example of List of Tables, List of Figures, and List of Schemes in the correct format.

 

Chapters

The chapters contain the main content of your disquisition.

You are not required to use the label “Chapter” in the title of each chapter. However, each chapter must begin with a major heading and appear at the top of a new page.

You are not required to number each chapter unless you use numbered headings. For more information about numbered headings, see Headings.

Tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items should be integrated into the text of your disquisition. For more information, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

  • Content – The content of each chapter must follow the Paragraph requirements that apply to all sections of the disquisition.
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Headings – Only the title of each chapter can appear as a major heading (centered, written in ALL CAPS, appears at the top of a new page). You may not have more than one heading level formatted as a major heading.
    • If each chapter is an individual paper, study, or experiment, only the title of the paper or study can appear as a major heading (such as “PAPER 1. THE EFFECT OF RAINFALL ON SUGARBEET PRODUCTION”). The section headings within the paper (such as “Abstract”, “Introduction”, “Literature Review” and so on) must appear as subheadings under the major title heading.
  • Naming – You are not required to use “Chapter” in the name of each chapter.  If you use individual papers, studies, or experiments for each chapter, then you can name the chapters “Paper 1”, “Study 1”, “Experiment 1”, and so on. However, the naming must be consistent for all chapters of such content.
  • Numbering – If you use numbered headings, then the heading number must precede the chapter title (such as “1. INTRODUCTION”).
    • If you choose not to use numbered headings, but still want to use numbers in the chapter titles, then you must integrate them into the chapter title (such as “CHAPTER ONE. INTRODUCTION” or “CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION”). If you use a number in a chapter title, either written or numeric, you must use a period after the chapter number.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered the body of your disquisition and must use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, and so on).
    • The first page of your first chapter must be numbered as page 1.

Font

All elements of the disquisition must appear in the same font. Exceptions include the font that is used within figures, illustrations, equations, or other special elements. (Tables are not included as special elements.)

All font in the disquisition must be the same color.

Do not use italic font for the title of the thesis or dissertation.

To ensure proper conversion to .pdf format, disquisitions must use one of the following fonts:

  • Arial (size 10)
  • Century (size 11)
  • Courier New (size 10)
  • Garamond (size 12)
  • Georgia (size 11)
  • Lucida Bright (size 10)
  • Microsoft Sans Serif (size 10)
  • Tahoma (size 10)
  • Times New Roman (size 12)
  • Trebuchet MS (size 10)
  • Verdana (size 10)

If you are writing a doctoral dissertation or a master’s thesis, you must embed all fonts when you convert your disquisition to a .pdf file. For more information about how to embed fonts, see Creating PDFs on the UMI ETD Administrator site.

Margins

All pages of the disquisition must use the following margins:

  • For all text, images, figures, tables, and other elements, the margins must be at least 1 inch from all edges of the page. This means that all text must appear at least 1 inch away from the edge of the paper.
  • For page numbers, the margins must be at least 0.75 inches from the bottom edge of the page.

For information about how to set up margins, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).

Paragraphs (Line Spacing, Blank Space, etc.)

All paragraphs in the disquisition must meet the following requirements.

  • Alignment – All paragraphs in the disquisition must be aligned along the left margin of the page, except on the Dedication page. Do not justify the text alignment.
  • Blank Spaces – Do not leave blank lines between paragraphs, except when they prevent orphaned or widowed text, or when you insert a major heading on the next page. For more information about major headings, see Headings.
    • When you insert a table or figure into the text, make sure to minimize the amount of space that appears above and below the item. Do not leave large amounts of space on the bottom of a page when a table, figure, or non-text item appears on the next page. You might need to shift some lines of text in order to accommodate non-text items. For more information, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc..
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Indents – Make sure that the first lines of all paragraphs in the disquisition are indented one tab (by default, this is 0.5 inches). Headings are exempt from this rule.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing throughout the disquisition (line spacing 2.0), except where the Format Guidelines specify otherwise.
  • Widowed and Orphaned Text – Avoid separating the first or last line of a paragraph from the rest of the paragraph because of a page break. These separated lines are called orphans and widows. In Microsoft Word, you can turn on “Widow/Orphan Control” to automatically prevent this from occurring in your document. For more information about widowed and orphaned text, see the Microsoft Word Help documentation, or contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).
  • ExampleDownload an example of paragraphs formatted in the correct style.

Headings

Headings identify new sections of your disquisition and must be easy to distinguish from the paragraph text. If you use several levels of headings, the different levels must be easily identifiable from both the text and from the various heading levels.

  • Font and Margins – The font for all headings must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Formatting – If you use special formatting for headings (including capitalization, italics, and numbering), that formatting must also be used in the entries for those headings in the Table of Contents. Only bold format is exempt.
  • Orphaned text - Make sure that headings are not orphaned at the bottom of a page, and separated from the first paragraph of content. For more information about orphans, see Paragraphs.
  • Running headers – Do not use running headers at the top of each page in the disquisition. Headings should appear only at the beginning of each section.
  • For more information about heading styles, refer to the style manual of your discipline (such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
Major Headings
 

Major headings are used at the beginning of the main sections of the disquisition, such as the prefatory material (like the Abstract, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, etc.), the first page of each chapter, and the appendix (or appendices).

Major headings must use the following format:

  • Appear at the top of the first page of a major section.
  • Use center alignment.
  • Use ALL CAPS in the same font type as the rest of the disquisition.
  • Use a font size no larger than two font sizes larger than the paragraph text of the disquisition.
  • Must be included in the Table of Contents.
Subheadings
 

Subheadings appear between paragraphs of text and do not use the same formatting that is used for the major headings. If you use several levels of subheadings, the different levels of subheadings must be easily identifiable.

You can distinguish subheadings through the use of italics, underlining, bold font, and the use of title case (capitalize all major words in the subheading) or sentence-case (capitalize only the first word in the subheading).

You do not have to include every level of subheading in the Table of Contents. However, if you include one subheading of a particular level, you must include all subheadings that appear in the disquisition that are of the same level. For more information and examples of subheadings, see Table of Contents.

Subheadings must meet the following requirements:

  • Not begin a new page, unless the heading appears at a natural page break.
  • Not use identical formatting as major headings. Only major headings can use all capital letters.
  • Not be orphaned from the first paragraph in the section.
Numbered Headings vs. Non-numbered Headings
 

Heading numbers are optional. However, when you use heading numbers for one level of heading, all headings in the disquisition must be numbered.

If you use heading numbers, a period must follow the numbers in the text and in the Table of Contents. For example, the first subheading in the second chapter would be numbered “2.1. Subheading”.

Download examples of numbered headings.

Download examples of headings without numbers.

Equations

When you use several equations in your disquisition, you might want to number the equations within the text. However, if you number one equation in the text, then you must number all of the equations that appear in the disquisition.

 You can number the equations sequentially according to the chapter in which they appear (such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and so on), or you can number them in order of appearance, regardless of chapter or section (such as 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on). However, you cannot have two equations labeled as “Equation 1”, for example.

To number an equation, include the equation number in parentheses and place it to the right of the equation. For an example of how to insert an equation into the text, and how to number equations, download this example document of non-text items.

For additional information about how to format equations, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, Etc. 

If you use a large number of equations in your disquisition, you might want to include a List of Equations in the prefatory material. For information about how to format lists, see List of Tables, Figures, Schemes, Etc.

Page Numbers

Page numbers must appear on each page of the disquisition, except for the Title page and the Disquisition Approval page.

  • Font – Page numbers must use the same type and size of font as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Margins - Margins for page numbers must be at least 0.75 inches from the bottom edge of the page, but they must not intrude into the text of the body of the disquisition. For more information about page numbers, and for help to set up page numbers in your disquisition, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).
  • Location - Page numbers must be located at the bottom center of the page, and in portrait orientation.
    • If you have a table or a figure that uses landscape orientation, then page numbers must still appear in portrait orientation. This ensures that if your disquisition is printed, all of the page numbers appear consistently throughout the document.
  • Appearance – In the prefatory material (such as the Abstract, Table of Contents, List of Tables, etc.), page numbers must use lower-case Roman numbers (such as iii, iv, v, and so on).
    • In the body of the disquisition (including Chapters, Tables, References, Appendices, etc.), page numbers must use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, and so on). The first page of the first chapter must be identified as page 1.

Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc.

Tables, figures, schemes, and other non-text items should be integrated into the text of your disquisition. Ideally, a non-text item should be inserted on the same page where the item is first referenced in the text, or as close as possible to the first in-text reference.

For information about how to format tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items, refer to the style manual for your disquisition.

Additional requirements:

  • Citations – Academic honesty is essential in all disquisitions. If you use a table, figure, or non-text item that is not your original design, you must cite the original source of the item. You may use an in-text citation in the text of the title or caption of the item, or as a footnote under the item, or add an endnote to the end of the item title with an appropriate citation in the References/Bibliography section. Refer to the style manual of your discipline for more information about citations of non-text items.
    • If you have adapted the design of a figure or non-text item from another source’s original design, then you must include the citation of the original source in the title or caption of the image. You must also state that your figure or image has been adapted from the original source.
  • Font – The font of the item titles must be same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. If the title for a non-text item is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of the title.
    • Within tables, the font must be the same type as the rest of your disquisition. The size can smaller if required to fit the table in the page margins.
    • Within figures, schemes, and other non-text items, the font can be different than the rest of your disquisition.
  • Margins – Tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items must fit in the required 1-inch margins. Non-text items that are too wide to fit in the margins of the page in portrait orientation can be placed on their own page in landscape orientation. However, the page numbers must still appear in portrait orientation. (This requirement ensures that when your disquisition is printed, all of the page numbers will appear consistently and correctly.) For an example, download the example document above.
  • Numbering – All tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items must be numbered sequentially based on the type of item (such as “Table 1” and “Figure 1”). For example, you can have a “Table 1” and a “Figure 1”, but you cannot have two tables named “Table 1”.
    • You can number the items sequentially according to the chapter in which they appear (such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and so on). Alternatively, you can number the items in the order that they appear, regardless of chapter or section (such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on).
    • If you have tables, figures, schemes, etc. in your appendix or appendices, then the item number must begin with the letter of the appendix, and the numbering should begin from the start of each appendix. For example, the first table in Appendix A would be numbered as "Table A1". For more information about numbering appendix items, see the "List of Appendix Figures, Schemes, etc."
  • Spacing – Minimize the amount of blank space that appears before and after tables, figures, schemes, and other non-text elements. However, tables and figures and the titles for those items should be clearly distinguishable from the paragraph text.
    • Try to insert an item as close to its first in-text reference as possible (but not before), and at a natural break on the page (at the top or bottom of a page, between paragraphs, or between pages). Do not insert items in the middle of a long paragraph when there is another natural break where it can be inserted. For examples of where to place items, download the example file above.
  • Titles – All tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items must have a title and a number (such as “Figure 1”), and must be included in the appropriate lists in the prefatory material. For information about how to format titles for non-text items, including punctuation and location of titles, refer to the style manual of your discipline.
    • When the title for a table, figure, scheme, or other non-text item is longer than one line, you may use single-spacing between the lines of the title, unless otherwise directed by the style manual of your discipline. 

References/Works Cited

Whenever you use information from another source or reference data that you did not create or discover, you must cite the original source of the data. This includes, but is not limited to, text, tables, figures, and other forms of data.

Academic honesty is essential in all disquisitions. For more information, see the NDSU Policy on Academic Responsibility and Conduct.

  • Citations – For in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes, or other citation formats, refer to the style manual of your discipline (such as MLA, APA, Chicago, and so on).
    • When you include a URL in a citation (such as citations for internet sources), make sure that the URL is not underlined or otherwise appear as a hyperlink.
  • Copyright – In some instances, copyright permission might be required to reprint content in its entirety. In some cases, copyright permission might be required to reprint your own previously published work. For more information, see General Requirements.
  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the body of your disquisition and must use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, and so on).
  • References sections – If each chapter in your disquisition is a self-contained study or experiment, then you should insert a References or Works Cited section at the end of each chapter that lists the sources used in that chapter. Otherwise, you should insert a References or Works Cited section after the body of the disquisition, but before the appendix or appendices (if used).
    • For detailed information about how to format a References or Works Cited section, and where to place the section in the disquisition, refer to the style manual of your discipline.
  • Spacing – The line spacing should follow the directions of the style manual that is used in your discipline. Spacing must be consistent throughout the References or Works Cited section.
    • For more information about how to use the style manual that is used in your discipline, contact your advisor or the NDSU Center for Writers.

Appendices

An appendix (or appendices, if you have more than one) is used to include additional material that is not integral to the body of the disquisition. Although an appendix contains supplementary material and must be numbered differently from the normal chapters, it should be considered similar to the chapters of the disquisition.

An appendix (or appendices) is an optional section.

  • Citations – If you use or reference material that is not your own, use scholarly citation practices that are consistent with the rest of the disquisition and with the style manual of your discipline. For more information, see References/Works Cited and Style manuals.
  • Font and margins – The font of the paragraph text in the appendix must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Headings – Headings in the appendices must use the same formatting, style, and size as the equivalent headings in the disquisition chapters. If headings are numbered in the disquisition chapters, then appendix headings must be numbered as well, where the letter of the appendix is used instead of the chapter number (like B.1. for the first first-level subheading in the second appendix).
  • Major headings for each appendix - The first page of each appendix must include the major heading “APPENDIX” and be formatted like other major headings in the disquisition. If you have one appendix, do not number or letter the appendix. If you have multiple appendices, each appendix must be labeled with a capital letter (see section below about multiple appendices).
  • Subheadings – Subheadings in the appendices must share the same formatting as equivalent subheadings in the disquisition chapters, including numbering, font size, and additional formatting. If you use numbered headings in the disquisition, then use the letter of the appendix in place of the chapter number (for example, the first first-level subheading in Appendix B would be numbered as B.1.).
  • Entries in the Table of Contents – Each appendix must be included in the Table of Contents as a major heading, just like the disquisition chapters. If you include chapter subheadings in the Table of Contents, then you must also include the subheadings that appear in the appendices. Do not identify your appendices in a list that is separate from the Table of Contents.
  • Page numbers – Page numbers must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the body of your disquisition and must use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, and so on). Page numbers should be continuous from the preceding chapters; do not restart page numbers at the beginning of each appendix.
  • Spacing – The line spacing and indentation of paragraphs must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition.
If you have one appendix

 

  • The appendix must be labeled – The major heading on the first page of the appendix can consist of simply “APPENDIX”, or can have an additional title (like “APPENDIX. SUPPLEMENTARY TABLES”). Do not include an additional letter for the appendix (like “APPENDIX A” – that method is for multiple appendices, as mentioned in the next subsection).
  • Tables, figures, non-text items – If you include multiple non-text item in the appendix, the number of each item must begin with “A” to indicate that it is an appendix item. Do not continue item numbering from the chapters (see the section below). You must also include a List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information about non-text items in the appendix, see the related section below.
If you have multiple appendices

 

  • Each appendix must be labeled with a capital letter – If you have more than one appendix, each appendix must use a different letter in the title (“APPENDIX A”, “APPENDIX B”, and so on). If each appendix contains only one type of item, such as Research Compliance forms, then you may include that information in the major heading for that appendix, like “APPENDIX A. RESEARCH COMPLIANCE FORMS”. 
    • Note: When you have multiple appendices, highly consider adding a title to each appendix that describes the content of that appendix. Then, the corresponding entries in the Table of Contents provide more information to your reader about your appendix material. For more information about labeling and titling multiple appendices, refer to the style guide of your discipline.
  • Tables, figures, non-text items – If you include multiple non-text items in an appendix, the number of each item must begin with the letter of the appendix to indicate which appendix it appears in. Do not continue item numbering from the chapters (see the related section below). You must also include a List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. For more information about non-text items in the appendix, see the related section below.
Tables, figures, schemes, and non-text items in appendix material
  • Numbering – Non-text items that appear in an appendix must include the letter “A” in the number, or, if you have multiple appendices, use the letter of the appendix in which the item appears. Numbering must also start from the beginning of each appendix (and not be continued from the chapters). 
    • For example, the first table in the first (or only) appendix would be entitled “Table A1”. The first table in the second appendix would be labeled as “Table B1”, and so on. For more information about numbering non-text items in appendices, see List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, Etc.
  • The appendix contains a single non-text item – If a particular appendix consists of only a single non-text item, then you can integrate the title of the item into the major heading for that appendix and the item does not require an additional item title (if the style manual of your discipline allows). For example, if Appendix B consists of a single table about crop blight, then the appendix heading would read as “APPENDIX B. FREQUENCY OF CROP BLIGHT IN NORTH DAKOTA FIELDS”. If an appendix consists of a single non-text item and the item title is integrated into the title of the appendix, then the item should not be included in the appropriate List of Appendix items.
  • List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc – If you include tables, figures, schemes, or other non-text items in an appendix (or appendices), then you must include a List of Appendix Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc. in the prefatory material, after the normal List of Tables, List of Figures, List of Schemes, etc. These lists of appendix items must contain information only about the non-text items that appear in the appendices. For more information about how to organize the prefatory material, see General Requirements.