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Checklist of Common Formatting Errors

  • Title Page

    • Is the entire page double-spaced?
    • Is your title in ALL CAPS? Did you check spelling of each word?
    • Does your study title match the original study title on your RTAF? And if not, is it just a change in title that better reflects the content of your study versus a title that reflects a significant topic change in your study?
    • In the middle section, is “in” on the 3rd line lowercase?
    • In the bottom section, does your name match the rest of the document, including middle initials vs. middle names?
    • Do you list your graduation month and year, not defense date? It should only be December, May, or August, plus the year.
    • Omit any page number on the title page
    • Does your font size and style match the rest of your document and is it consistent with your style guide? Most style guides recommend Times New Roman, 12-point font.

    Copyright Page (this page is optional - disregard if you do not have a copyright page)

    • Is the information at the bottom of the page?
    • Do you only list the year after the copyright symbol?
    • Does your name match your title page, signature page, and abstract, including middle names vs. middles initials?
    • Do you list All Rights Reserved?
    • Is the page number at the bottom and centered, using a lowercase Roman numeral ii?

    Signature Page

    • Is this page single spaced?
    • Only have School of Graduate Studies and Research, omit The prior to School
    • Do you have the proper department listed?
    • Does your name match your title page, copyright page (if included), and abstract, including middle names vs. middle initials?
    • If there is no copyright page, does your page numbering begin on this page, at the bottom, centered, and in lowercase Roman numerals, with ii?

    Abstract Page

    • Omit the word Abstract
    • Is the top portion single spaced?
    • Is your title in title case, with only major words (if MLA) and words with 4 or more letters (APA) capitalized?
    • Does the second line of your title align with the first word of the top line of your title?
    • Is there a blank line of space before your Dissertation Chair?
    • Is there a blank line of space before your Committee Members are listed?
    • Did you replace your committee members’ degrees with Dr. or Mr./Ms./Mrs.?
    • Is the body of your abstract double-spaced?
    • Is the abstract 150 words for theses or 350 words for dissertations? If more, ProQuest will cut off extra words.

    Acknowledgements Page (optional)

    • Make sure Acknowledgements is not bold or underlined, but is in ALL CAPS
    • You can do anything you would like in the Acknowledgements section

    Table of Contents

    • Is this section single spaced throughout?
    • Is TABLE OF CONTENTS in ALL CAPS, but not bold?
    • Do you have Chapter and Page column headings on each page of your TOC?
    • Is there at least one tab between the chapter numbers and chapter titles?
    • Are chapter titles in ALL CAPS?
    • Is there a blank line of space above and below the chapter title?
    • Are you using dot leaders (as formatted by Word)? Do not just hold the period button down as this causes a lot of formatting issues. Do not use dashes.
    • If you are including headings in your TOC, are the first level headings aligned with the chapter title, the second level indented a few spaces, third level indented a few more spaces, etc.?
    • Do your headings match the capitalization within your document, as defined by your style guide?
    • Do your headings match word-for-word including punctuation? What is listed in the body of your document? Do not include italics, underlining, or bolding in the TOC.
    • Do your page numbers match?
    • Are References/Works Cited in ALL CAPS and under the chapter heading?
    • Is Appendices in ALL CAPS and under the chapter heading?
    • Do you list your Appendices as Appendix A – Title, Appendix B – Title, etc. and are they aligned with your other first level headings? Even if you have only one Appendix, this is how it should be formatted.

    List of Tables

    • Is this on its own separate page?
    • Is LIST OF TABLES in ALL CAPS, but not bolded?
    • Do you have Table and page column headings on all pages of your LOT?
    • Are your table numbers separated from your table titles?
    • Are your table titles in title case with all major words capitalized (if APA, words with 4 or more letters)?
    • Do long table titles allow approximately one inch between the words and the page number?
    • Do your table titles match word-for-word what is listed in the text, including capitalization and punctuation?

    List of Figures

    • Is this on its own separate page?
    • Is LIST OF FIGURES in ALL CAPS, but not bolded?
    • Do you have Figure and page column headings on all pages of your LOT?
    • Are your figure numbers separated from your figure captions?
    • Are your figure captions in sentence case with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized?
    • Do long figure captions allow approximately one inch between the words and the page number?
    • Do your figure captions match word-for-word what is listed in the text, including capitalization and punctuation?

    Body of Your Document

    • Is your entire document double-spaced?
    • Does Chapter 1 begin on page 1?
    • Chapter numbers and chapter titles are in ALL CAPS and are not considered a level of heading
    • Omit all extra spacing between paragraphs (right-click on your document, select paragraph, In “Spacing” make sure Before and After each say 0 pt and click on the box that says “Do not add spacing between paragraphs of the same style”
    • Do you follow your style guide for headings, in-text citations, table and figure formatting, etc.?

    References

    • References are not in ALL CAPS or bold
    • Do your references match your chosen style guide?
    • There should be spaces between initials (APA)

    Appendices

    • Do not include a title page with APPENDICES
    • An Appendices header is not needed anywhere above the first Appendix
    • Format your Appendices as you do the rest of your chapters
    • If you include tables or figures here, they are not required to be in your LOT/LOF, but they must be properly formatted and cited
    • Make sure your provide proper documentation and citations for any forms, surveys, or work you used from someone else
    • Include any and all permissions and email exchanges for use of proprietary information