Using the Templates: Video

HSU Grad Studies Thesis Format- Introduction to Thesis Formatting

Creating Accessible Tables: Video

Making accessilbe tables

Tables, Captions, and Alternative Text: Video

HSU Grad Studies Thesis Format- Alternative Text and Creating List of Tables

Thesis/Project Help

Preliminary Formatting Course

Humboldt State offers a Thesis Formatting Canvas Course that will save you hours of correcting formatting errors. It is suggested that you enroll in this short Canvas course before starting major formats to your thesis/projects. You can enroll here:

Thesis Formatting Canvas Course

Thesis/Project Templates and Examples

These template files must be opened in Microsoft Word (version 2010 or higher). Make sure to download these files directly to your computer (a web browser will not be able to open these files).

Applied Anthropology, Biology, Education, Environment & Community, Environmental Systems, Kinesiology
Psychology
Sociology
Natural Resources

Using the Templates

Formatting Your Thesis/Project

Accessibility
    • All projects/theses must be formatted to be accessible to people of all abilities.
    • Contact the Scholarly Communications Team at 707.826.5602 or cfr@humboldt.edu for assistance with the following
      • Use built-in styles to create headings and subheadings.
      • Use the Insert Table tool to create accessible tables.
      • Add descriptions of all images, charts, and graphs as alternative text.
Style
Fonts
    • Theses and projects are typed in Times New Roman using 12-point characters.
    • You may reduce the font size to no less than 10-point within tables or figures to fit within margins.
    • Keep the font style consistent throughout your document.
Spacing and Justification
    • Text must be double spaced, except for quoted passages that may be indented and single-spaced for emphasis and within the Table of Contents or List of Figures/Tables when a heading or caption title wraps to a second line.
    • Text must be left aligned.
Margins, Headers, and Footers
    • Bottom and top margins of text: 1.3 inch (93.6pt) from the edge of the paper.
    • Left margin of text: one and one-half inch (108 pt) from the edge of the paper.
    • Right margin of text: one inch (72 pt) from the edge of the paper.
    • Set header at 1 inch from the top of the page and the footer at one inch from the bottom.
Page Numbers
    • The preliminary pages (preceding the first main section) must have lower case Roman numerals starting with the abstract page that is numbered “ii”.
      • The title page is unnumbered, but the implied number is “i”.
      • The lower case Roman numerals are placed within the footer (bottom center).
    • The first page of text (typically the Introduction) uses the Arabic number “1” and pages thereafter carry consecutive Arabic numbers, including the pages in the Appendices and References.
      • Arabic numbers are positioned in the upper right-hand corner, one inch from the top and one inch in from the right edge of the paper.
Headings and Subheadings
    • Use built-in formatting styles for headings. Define the format of headings and subheadings to match the general outline below or as required by your program.
    • Use built-in formatting styles for heading levels will allow for conversion to a tagged accessible PDF.
    • Each new primary heading must start on a new page.
Layout of Preliminary Pages

The thesis or project includes preliminary pages in the following order. The abstract, acknowledgments, table of contents, and list of tables/figures are heading level one.

    • Title Page: The title page is assumed to be page "i" but is not numbered. Your title is typed in all upper case. All text on the title page is center justified.
    • Abstract: The abstract should not exceed 250 words (approximately 1.5 pages). Literature citations and footnotes are not used. Double space down from the heading and center your title. Your title should be single-spaced if it is longer than a single line. Double space down and center your name (first and last name). Triple space down and start the text (left justified).
    • Acknowledgments: Optional, unless your study was funded.
    • Table of Contents: Double space down from heading. Insert linked table of contents. All headings and subheadings are capitalized and punctuated exactly as they are in the text. The table of contents is double-spaced except when a heading or caption wraps to a second line.
    • List of Tables (if applicable): Triple space down from heading. Insert "table of figures". Set caption label to "Table".
    • List of Figures (if applicable): Triple space down from heading. Insert "table of figures". Set caption label to "Figure".
    • List of Appendices (if applicable): Triple space down from heading. Insert "table of figures". Set caption label to "Appendix". 
Sample Layout - Main Body Document

The following presents a framework for a thesis or project. The information is offered as a general guideline. Please consult your committee or graduate coordinator regarding the specific primary headings in your discipline.

    • Introduction: Background, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, theoretical bases, limitations of the study, definitions of the terms, and organization of the remainder of the study.
    • Review of the Literature: Chronological, categorical or related theoretical viewpoints related to the topic.
    • Materials and Methods: Research design or approach (qualitative or quantitative), population and/or sample, collection and tabulation of data, and data analysis procedures.
    • Results: Present the findings of your research.
    • Discussion: Evaluate and interpret the implications of your results. Include similarities and differences between your results and the work of others. Present implications of your findings for practical application or future studies.
    • Conclusions, Recommendations or Summary: Summarize the entire research effort.
    • References or Literature Cited: Includes all sources used in the study.
    • Appendices: Include material too detailed or lengthy for inclusion in the body of the study (e.g., questionnaires, maps, photos, letters of permission). If your document has one appendix, use your main chapter heading and leave it in the Table of Contents. If your document has two or more appendices, alphabetically (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.) in the order they are referenced in your document. Insert a list of appendices following the list of figures in your preliminary pages.
Tables
    • Accessible Tables: Use the "Insert Table" tool to create accessible tables in your document.
      • Include clear column headings to provide context and assist in navigation of the table's contents. Identify the top row of the table as a header row by selecting "Repeat Header Row" in the "Layout" tab in Table tools.
      • Do not use tabs or spaces to make a table. It will not be accessible or readable by assistive technologies.
      • Do not merge or split cells
      • Do not use the "Draw Table" tool in Word to create tables.
      • Do not copy and insert tables as pictures or figures,
      • Do not use color (either through text or background fill).
    • Accessible Captions: Use the Insert Caption tool (Word) to create accessible captions for your tables.
      • Do not insert a text box.
      • Number tables consecutively with Arabic numerals in the order referenced in the text (Table 1, Table 2, etc.).
      • Place the number and caption above the table.
      • Capitalize the first word and proper nouns in the caption.
    • Table Location: Insert each table after the paragraph where it is first referenced.
      • Tables may be placed on a page with text or on a separate page.
      • Do not allow text to wrap around tables.
      • Tables may be placed horizontally or vertically within the page margins.
      • If placed horizontally, the caption should also be horizontal.
      • Keep tables from breaking across pages unless the table is too large for a single page.
    • Alternative Text: Add an alternative text (Alt Text) description to all tables to comply with the accessibility requirements.
      • Alternative text is a word or phrase that conveys the same essential information contained in the figure. It allows people using assistive technology to understand the content of your pictures, tables, charts, and graphs.
      • Keep descriptions as short as possible while still conveying equivalent information.
      • It is unnecessary to begin a description with "photo of" or "picture of".
      • If the information contained in the table is described completely in the document text or in the figure caption enter "refer to text" or "refer to caption" in the Alt Text description box.
Figures
    • Grouping: Any figure that is made up of multiple images and/or objects should be grouped using Word's object grouping function.
    • Accessible Captions: Use the Insert Caption tool (Word) to create accessible captions for your figures.
      • Do not insert a text box.
      • Number figures consecutively with Arabic numerals (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.) in the order they are referenced in the text.
      • Place the number and caption below the figure.
      • Do not use color alone to convey meaning or information.
        • Use patterns with or instead of solid colors or lines.
    • Figure Location: Insert each figure after the paragraph where it is first referenced.
      • Figures may be placed on a page with text or on a separate page.
      • Set the wrapping style to "In Line with Text". Do not allow text to wrap around figures.
      • Figures may be placed horizontally or vertically within the page margins. If placed horizontally, the caption should also be horizontal.
    • Alternative Text: Add an alternative text (Alt Text) description to all figures to comply with the accessibility requirements.
      • Alternative text is a word or phrase that conveys the same essential information contained in the figure. It allows people using assistive technology to understand the content of your pictures, charts, and graphs.
      • Keep descriptions as short as possible while still conveying equivalent information.
      • It is unnecessary to begin a description with "photo of" or "picture of".
      • If the information contained in the figure is described completely in the document text or in the figure caption enter "refer to text" or "refer to caption" in the Alt Text description box.
Quotations
    • Longer quotations should be block indented 0.5 inches left and right.
    • Please check with your advisor for specific requirements in your program.
Numbers and Abbreviations
    • The general rule governing the use of numbers in manuscript writing is to use words to express numbers less than 10. Numbers at the beginning of a sentence must be spelled.
    • An abbreviation or acronym should only be used if the full expression is excessively long or if the abbreviation is well known to researchers in your discipline. Define an abbreviation the first time it is used.
Optional Formatting Consultation

The Scholarly Communications Office is available to answer specific questions by appointment. Contact the Scholarly Communications Team by phone at 707.826.5602 or email cfr@humboldt.edu to schedule a consultation.

Research and Citation Resources