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Clemson University Graduate School

Revising Your Thesis or Dissertation

Usually within 1–2 business days after you submit your manuscript, we’ll send you an email requesting formatting revisions to your digital manuscript, or indicating that your ETD is approved with no revision needed. The review process may take a little longer as graduation deadlines approach and we have many manuscripts to review.

Often, Graduate School ETD manuscripts require a minor revision or two — the appearance of your published, archived paper should be as polished and professional as your research.

For many graduate students, writing a thesis or dissertation is the first occasion that calls for formatting a table of contents, multiple chapters, an appendix and other complex elements. Don’t be discouraged if you’re asked for minor revisions to align with the University’s online publishing standards. If you’ve read through the format instructions, made use of the samples and templates hosted on the Templates, Links & Tools page and followed the final ETD checklist, you have probably avoided most of these common causes for revision. The Reviewer will include details for how to make revisions.

Common Items for Revision

  • Page setup (page size = 8.5 x 11 inches).
  • Page margins (1- to 1.25-inches all around, consistent).
  • Capitalization of paper title (all caps) and precise wording/spacing of title page text.
  • Missing or unevenly spaced title page rules and text.
  • Incorrect page numbering placement (bottom center of page).
  • Sequential, consistent page numbering throughout the manuscript.
  • Misaligned entry page numbers or missing ellipses (rows of leading dots) in table of contents/lists of figures and tables (this is such a common format issue that the Graduate School created a PDF “cheat-sheet” for it!).
  • Issues dealing with wide or oversized tables and illustrations.
  • Hyperlinks and URLs are inconsistent (black, no underline preferred, but colored links are fine as long as you’ve used them consistently).

Don't Forget: Manuscript Review Staff Can Help

If you receive revision instructions that are unclear, or if you have problems making requested revisions and can’t find help within your department, please contact the Manuscript Review Office staff via email at or stop by the office in E-106 Martin Hall. It’s perfectly legit to get hands-on help and we understand deadline anxiety.

The Next Step:

Finish Your ETD  

Once all revisions are approved, you will receive an acceptance email from Manuscript Review through the TigerPrints ETD portal, and you are finished — your work is done. Congratulations!

Finishing the ETD Process