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Guidelines for Formatting Your ETDR

Your ETDR must follow specific formatting guidelines. The ETDR Handbook outlines these requirements and demonstrates how to correctly format your ETDR to meet Graduate School requirements. 

Required Sections

ETDRs consist of required and optional sections. The ETDR templates contain a framework of all sections arranged in the required order.

Doctoral students only:

  • Abstract title page - Title must be identical to title on title page.
  • Abstract – This page appears twice for doctoral students. This page should be no more than 350 words. Do not use any type of symbols on this page.
  • Continue as listed below

Master and doctoral students:

  • Title page – For doctoral students, title must be identical to title listed on the abstract title page.
  • Copyright page (Optional)
  • Abstract – This page should be no more than 350 words. Do not use any type of symbols on this page.
  • Table of Contents – All entries in the table of contents must match the text according to wording and page numbering.
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • List of Symbols
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Nomenclature
  • List of Supplemental Files (multimedia objects or files)
  • Acknowledgements (Optional)
  • Dedication (Optional)
  • Preface (Optional)
  • Introduction (Optional)
  • Text/Chapters –The text should be divided into parts and/or chapters.
  • Conclusion –Continue Arabic numbers.
  • References and/or bibliography
  • Appendix or Appendices, as needed
Page Numbering

Page numbers must appear centered or right justified. Pages must be numbered according to the chart shown below.

Table 1. ETDR page numbering requirements

ETDR Section

Page Number Displayed

Page Count

Preliminary pages (all pages before the Table of Contents)No. These pages are counted, but a page number is not displayed.Begins with the first page in your document.
From the first page of the Table of Contents up to but not including the first page of Chapter 1.Lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.).Continues from Preliminary pages
From the first page of Chapter 1 to the end of the documentArabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.).Begins with "1" on first page of Chapter 1

NOTE: If your ETDR has an Introduction, page numbering should begin with Arabic number 1 on the first page of the Introduction.


You must use a consistent font and type size, have proper line spacing, margins, include a title page and footnotes/endnotes within your ETDR. 


Standard 12 or 10-point font size is preferred, but non-standard fonts and size may be used if they are fully legible and acceptable to the committee and the Graduate School. The font and size should be consistent throughout the document. The font and spacing should be sufficient for someone reading the document on a computer screen. If the document is printed, the reader needs to be able to see what is shown without difficulty.

Line spacing

Standard double spacing for the text is preferred, 1. 5 is acceptable. Long quotations, footnotes, multi-line captions, and bibliographic entries may be single-spaced. Double spacing should be used between footnotes and bibliographic entries.


All margins should be 1". To allow for binding a personal paper copy, the left margin may be set to 1.5".

Title page

You must use the form of your name as it is recorded officially at Kansas State University. Author and title will appear in upper case. Greek letters, chemical names, and other unusual characters must be spelled out.


Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) or author/year may be used to indicate an in-text citation. Citations may be numbered consecutively throughout the entire manuscript or consecutively within each chapter. References or notes can be placed at the bottom of the page (footnotes), at the end of a chapter, or at the end of the document (endnotes). Numbering and placement must be consistent throughout the document.

A thesis/dissertation/report should be written in a style appropriate to the discipline represented.

The faculties of individual departments or programs may establish policies regarding style for their students. In the absence of detailed specifications, the student's committee is responsible for defining the style used.

Form, organization, and bibliographical style may be that of pertinent professional publications.

Published Materials
If approved by the student's committee, previously published manuscripts in the author's name may be incorporated, if it meets the general requirements for permanence, copying, and binding. Such printed material may be incorporated with supplementary typed or reproduced copy as needed. Any tables or figures in the previously published materials must be numbered in accordance with the rest of the dissertation. It must be paginated consistently with the rest of the document. Only one page number may appear on each page and that is the page number within the final document. Documents must not include material restricted from publication. Previously published chapters from yourself: If you plan to include in your ETDR a research article authored by yourself and published in a journal, it is likely you will need to obtain permission from the publisher in order to use the article in your ETDR. See the Prior Publication of a Chapter for details and a sample permission request letter.
As you write your ETDR, you will need to be aware of important issues regarding copyright.
Registering Your ETDR for Copyright

Your electronic thesis, dissertation, or report (ETDR) is an original work and is protected by copyright laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code). These laws give the copyright owner exclusive rights to (or authorize others to) reproduce, distribute, produce derivative works, display, or perform the work.

The ETDR template includes a copyright page. However, this page is not required unless you plan to register for copyright, either through the U.S. Copyright Office or as part of the submission process to ProQuest (doctoral students only). You can, however, include the copyright page even if you do not register for copyright. Technically, the copyright statement is not required for a work to be legally copyrighted. However, it is generally good practice to include the statement as a reminder that your work is copyrighted.
See Copyright Registration for more information on how to register for copyright.

Using Copyrighted Materials in Your ETDR

If you plan to include copyrighted material in your ETDR, be sure to review general guidelines for use of certain types of copyright materials in your ETDR. For a thorough overview of copyright issues, see the excellent manual, Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities written by Kenneth D. Crews. This paper gives a thorough overview of fair use and provides guidelines on when and how to obtain permission.

Additional resources and support are available through the K-State Libraries Copyright Consultation Service.

The purpose of sequestration is to delay for a limited time public dissemination of patentable or otherwise proprietary or sensitive materials. The student and his/her major professor may request that the University act to protect the student's rights concerning the dissertation, thesis, or report by temporarily sequestering the work. Approval must be obtained from the Dean of the Graduate School at least 30 days prior to graduation. To request possible sequestration, please complete the required Request to Sequester an Electronic Thesis, Dissertation, or Report (PDF).

If the dissertation, thesis, or report does not contain material believed to be patentable, the student's major professor must send a Request to Sequester (PDF) an ETDR form directly to the Graduate School. If the dissertation, thesis, or report does contain material believed to be patentable, the student's major professor notifies the University Patent Advisory Committee. The chairperson of the University Patent Advisory Committee notifies the major professor of the committee's decision. The major professor must send a Request to Sequester (PDF) an ETDR form directly to the Graduate School.

If approved by the Dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate School defers electronic submission of the dissertation, thesis, or report. In place of electronic submission, a disk or CD of the PDF file(s) is submitted to the Graduate School. The disk or CD is stored in a secure location in the Graduate School during the period of sequestration. However, this procedure involves no delay in the conferral of the degree. The student whose dissertation, thesis, or report has been approved for sequestration still deposits with the Graduate School the normal fees for graduation.

Sequestration is normally limited to four years. Nevertheless, under compelling circumstances that require continued protection, the Dean of the Graduate School may approve further sequestration at the student's or major professor's request on a year-by-year basis for an additional three years.

If the request for sequestration is approved, the Graduate School provides the student a preliminary receipt for the required disk or CD after it is submitted. After the sequestering period, Graduate School provides the student and major professor a receipt indicating the ETDR file(s) have been made available through K-State Research Exchange and submitted to ProQuest.

As long as the disks or CD remain in the secure location within the Graduate School, access to them may be obtained only with the student's and major professor's written permission authorizing the type of access. On each occasion when the document is reviewed, it will not leave the Graduate School and the user must sign a form on the same day on which he or she uses them indicating he/she had access to the document.

At the end of the sequestration period, the University has the right to disseminate information from the dissertation, thesis, or report as an original contribution to knowledge. For the dissertations, publication normally will be accomplished by electronically submitting the work to ProQuest for microfilming.


The patent system in the United States, as elsewhere, has as its purpose "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." This is certainly a goal of higher education as well and in no way conflicts with the purposes of Kansas State University. The filing of a patent application opens the door to commercial use, whereas the simple act of disclosing the invention to the public frequently acts as a bar to commercialization. The interests of the public are best served in many cases by the act of obtaining patent protection so that the invention may be developed for public use.

The policies of the Kansas Board of Regents provide that all inventions developed under university auspices belong to the university, except as reserved through agreements with outside sponsors. To handle such matters the Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) was established, and it retains counsel for patent prosecution, executes licenses for production, and distributes royalties to inventors. Additional information about Kansas State University’s policies related to Patents and Marketable Software are available in Appendix A of the University Handbook.  Those who may have questions about the potential patentability of their work should consult with the KSURF, 2005 Research Park Circle, Suite 105, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS  66502. The phone number is (785) 532-5720.

Supplemental Files

With ETDRs it's possible to submit additional files, such as audio, video, datasets, etc., along with the text of your paper. See the Supplemental Files for ETDRs page for recommended file formats.


ETDR Handbook

The ETDR Handbook will take you step by step through the formatting process. Use the interactive table of contents to jump to specific sections. 

Thesis, dissertation ETDR walk-in workshops

November 19 & 20, 2015
  • Thu, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 407 Hale Library
  • Fri, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 407 Hale Library