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Back to Theses and Dissertations Overview

Most Graduate School manuscripts will require a few minor revisions — the appearance of your published, archived paper should be as polished and professional as your research.

Once you’ve uploaded your manuscript PDF and clicked the “Submit” button, the Manuscript Review staff receives an automated message that your paper is ready for review. Usually within 24 to 48 hours after you submit, we may send you an email requesting formatting revisions to your digital manuscript; the review process may take a little longer as the submission and revision deadlines approach and we have many manuscripts to review.

For many graduate students, writing a thesis or dissertation is the first occasion that calls for formatting a table of contents, an appendix, and other complex front- and back-matter elements. Most manuscripts will require a few minor revisions simply to conform to Clemson University’s Graduate School online publishing standards. If you’ve read through the FORMAT section (under “Thesis and Dissertations” at the Graduate School website), made use of the formatting samples and templates you’ll find on the Forms, Links, and Tools page, and followed the Final ETD Checklist, you have probably avoided most of these common causes for revision requests (outlined below in the order in which they usually occur in a manuscript):

Page setup (page size)

Your ETD document size must be U.S. Letter Standard (8.5″ x 11″). This is the finished size of printed and bound manuscripts available from UMI/ProQuest. If you have used word-processing software or a LaTeX template provided by a non-U.S. source, the default page size may be A4 (8.27″ x 11.69″). When you revise your page size, the content of your manuscript may reflow (move from page to page), so you’ll need to check and update all entries in your table of contents and lists of tables and figures after you do.

Page margins

Please set your page margins throughout your document to 1.25″. It’s OK to set your page numbers below the bottom text margin; just make sure they are at least .25″ from the bottom. Margin changes may cause text and graphic elements to reflow (move from page to page), so please re-check and update all page numbering in your table of contents and lists of tables and figures after you have made all other format revisions.

Capitalization of paper title and title page elements

On your title page, please set the thesis title in all-capital letters. It’s OK to break the title to multiple lines of roughly equal length. Use of capitalization and wording in title page text should match what’s in the Sample Title Page.

Missing or unevenly spaced title page rules and text

The four horizontal rules that divide the five sections of your title page text should be of equal length and weight, center-aligned on the page, and with equal space above and below each. All five sections of title page information must be included, and may be single-spaced to fit the page.

Page numbering placement

For online publication, since your paper will not have left- and right-hand facing pages as it would in a print-only work, please center your page numbers at the bottom of each page. Also for online publishing, running heads — chapter or unit titles set in small type at the top or bottom of every page – and ornaments added to page numbers are not necessary or desirable.

First visible page number

On your title page, please delete or hide the visible page number (i). First visible page number should be ii on your Abstract page. It’s OK to paste a blank, white text box over the visible (i) so your pages don’t automatically renumber, if you find that easier than creating a new section start on page ii.

Your front matter (abstract, dedication, acknowledgments, and content lists) should use lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.). These page numbers should also be lower-case in your table of contents, even if your entry titles are in all caps.

Ellipses in table of contents

In tables of contents, if you make your leader or ellipsis dots between entries and page numbers by typing a row of periods to the page number, it’s nearly impossible to get your page numbers to align neatly on the right. MS Word will let you create nice, evenly spaced leader dots/ellipses and perfectly aligned page numbers using tabs. This is such a common format issue that the Graduate School created a PDF “cheat-sheet” for it — please refer to this link for instructions.

Continued headings on content pages

On continued page(s) of your table of contents and lists of tables/figures, please add the appropriate heading, “Table of Contents (Continued)” etc., at the top left, and continue the “Page” column head over the page numbers at top right of all content pages.

Body text page numbering

Your manuscript’s body text should begin with Arabic-numbered page 1, rather than continuing from the Roman-numbered front matter numbering. In Word, scroll your document to your Introduction/Chapter 1 opener page, and go to the Insert tab; select Page Number > Format Page Numbers from the dropdown menu; then at the bottom of the resulting popup window you may enter the new section start page as 1. Back matter elements like appendixes and references should continue the body text page numbering. Please remember you’ll need to update your Table of Contents if you’ve renumbered pages.

Wide or oversized tables and illustrations

While it’s OK for wide tables or figures to extend slightly into your page margins, be advised that if such elements extend too close to the edges of the page, they may be cut off or hidden in the center binding of a printed copy of your paper. It’s preferable to either rotate the oversized element 90 degrees counterclockwise on the page (so that the top of the table or figure is at left and the bottom is at right), or to rotate the actual page 90 degrees to “landscape” orientation. If you do the latter in Word, make sure your page number stays at the bottom center of the rotated page, and that the following page number is still correct. Page rotation may insert a section break that re-starts page numbering.

Appendices divider page

If your paper has multiple appendices, you must add a numbered divider page with APPENDICES centered on it (styled like a chapter title) and begin Appendix A on the following page. Be sure to add the “Appendices” divider page to your table of contents, and update the individual appendix-opener page numbers in your Table of Contents.

Hyperlinks and URLS

In your appendices and/or references, please change web and email addresses (URLs) — other than those that are embedded in graphics — to normal, black text without underline; the links will still work in your published paper but will not draw undue attention.

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, by phone at (684) 656-5338, or stop by the office in E-106 Martin Hall.

Once all revisions are approved, you will receive an acceptance email, and your work is done. Congratulations!

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