ETDR Word Template

The ETDR template is a sample Word document pre-configured with several features that will make formatting your ETDR quick and easier. For example, the template will automatically perform these functions:

  • Create your table of contents (including page numbers)
  • Number your table and figure captions
  • Create your List of Tables and List of Figures
  • Insert page numbers

In addition, the template contains other formatting required by the Graduate School, such as margins and line spacing.


The foundation of the template is a feature in Word called “Styles.” A style is a set of formatting characteristics that can be applied to text in your document. These characteristics include all aspects of the text’s appearance: font, font size, font weight, line spacing, text alignment, etc. Any number of characteristics can be combined into a single style and given a name. A style named “Heading 1” for example, might contain these characteristics:

  • 14 pt
  • Arial font
  • Flush left
  • Bold
  • Outline numbering

The template uses styles to help you create a “structured” document. This means that styles are used in a consistent manner throughout the document. For example, here’s how a few styles are applied in the template:

Document Section


All chapter headings

Heading 1

All 1st level chapter subheadings

Heading 2

All 2nd level chapter subheadings

Heading 3

All table and figure captions


All paragraph text


Using styles in a consistent way enables you to automate some otherwise tedious processes. For example, the template is configured to automatically create the table of contents from a specific group of styles.

You Can Customize the Template

The template comes pre-formatted with a specific set of styles, but it’s also very easy to change the appearance of any of the styles. Any changes you make to a style are applied throughout the entire document. For example, suppose your major professor suggests that you change all your chapter subheadings from centered to left-justified and change the font size from 14 pt to 12 pt. If you’re not using styles, this would require you change each subheading individually. A dissertation may contain 50 or more subheadings! If you’re using styles, you only have to change a single style and the change is applied to all occurrences of that style throughout your paper. See the “Modify a Style” section of the “Styles” page (Word 2010, Word 2007, Word 2003,Mac 2004, Mac 2008) for details on how to make changes to a style.

Do I Have to Use the Template?

No, you are not required to use the template, but your ETDR must meet the formatting requirements of the Graduate School (see Guidelines for Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and Reports (ETDR). You can meet these requirements without using the template, but it’s time-consuming and frustrating to try to write a long document in Word without using styles.

How Do I Work with the Template?

  • The template contains some sample text in order to illustrate its features. Simply replace the sample text with your text.
  • Title page(s): Replace the existing text with your information (name, title, graduation year, etc.) The page is preformatted to Graduate School requirements.
  • Table of Contents and Lists of Figures and Tables: Do not enter text in the Table of Contents! It will be created automatically. See “Table of Contents and Lists of Tables and Figures“ (Word 2010, Word 2007, Word 2003, Mac 2004, Mac 2008) for details on how to update your Table of Contents and Lists of Tables and Figures.
  • Captions for Figures and Tables: The template illustrates how to insert table and figure captions so they automatically create your lists of figures and tables.
  • Work with your entire ETDR as one file. If you break your ETDR into a single file for each chapter, for example, you will not gain the benefits of using styles. In addition, Word will not be able to perform many of the automatic operations that styles enable, such as generating a table of contents.
  • Start using the template from the very beginning.
  • Contact the IT Service Desk (Search the Knowledge Base, Submit a Ticket, or Start a Live Chat) if you have questions or run into problems. Word is a complex program and can be frustrating to use. Let us know if you’re having difficulties, and we can usually find a quick solution.