Part 6: Thesis Progress and Regulations

Master’s Thesis format regulations

This section presents the regulations for the format of the Master’s Thesis. All theses must abide by these regulations and, if they do not, can be rejected by the Thesis Examination Committee.

For spelling, punctuation, and bibliographic citations, use the style guide published by the American Psychological Association consistently.[1]

Use the style guide in conjunction with the following Master’s Thesis format regulations. Where there is a conflict between the style guide and the Master’s Thesis format regulations below, these regulations take precedence. The Master’s Thesis format regulations are organized alphabetically, by topic and should be used as a checklist by the graduate student.

If a student needs to deviate from the Master’s Thesis format regulations, the student must obtain written permission from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, before submitting the Request for Final Thesis Examination form (www.ulethbridge.ca/graduate-studies/forms).

Bibliography/reference list

Starts on a new page. The Master’s Thesis follows the bibliographic citation format in the approved style guide in use. This format is used consistently.

Changes

Corrections or changes made after the Master’s Thesis oral defence must conform to the original format and style of the Master’s Thesis. All corrections must be made using word-processing software.

Chapters

New chapters must always begin on a new page. A page break (not a series of blank lines) is used to create a new page.

Copyrighted material

Theses that use substantial portions of copyrighted works in ways not covered by statutory exceptions to infringement or University Library electronic resource license agreements must include Letters of Permission from copyright owners or their licensing agents. These Letters of Permission must accompany the Master’s Thesis when the final copies are submitted.

If the Master’s Thesis includes sections previously published by the Master’s Thesis author and the author did not retain ownership of copyright, then the author must obtain reproduction permission from the copyright owner.

If the Master’s Thesis includes material that the Master’s Thesis author co-wrote with others, then a Letter of Permission from the copyright owner or owners is required.

If the author is unable to obtain copyright owner permission and omitting this material will not detract from the sense of the text, then the author must remove the copyrighted material, and in its place insert a page that explains:

  • That the material has been removed because of unavailable copyright permission; and
  • The content of the omitted material and its original source.

If the author is unable to obtain copyright owner permission and omitting this material will detract from the sense of the text, then the author has two (2) options:

  • Do not finish or publish the Master’s Thesis until the copyright owner provides permission; or
  • Remove the copyrighted material and rewrite that section of the Master’s Thesis in a manner that does not change the sense of the text.

NOTE:      Obtaining Letters of Permission can take considerable time so begin this process well in advance of the target completion date for the Master’s Thesis.

Epigraph

An epigraph is a quotation that comes before a chapter or the body of the Master’s Thesis. The epigraph should be indented approximately 20 spaces from the left margin. The author and title must be cited below the quotation. The epigraph should be single line spacing, with one (1) line between the quotation and the author/title. 

Font

Any standard serif font is acceptable[2]. The font size must be 10 to 12 point. The font must be solid and black.

One (1) font size and style must be used consistently throughout the Master’s Thesis. However, text in tables or figures can be a different font from the rest of the Master’s Thesis. Headings can be in bold text, and italics can be used for emphasis.

Footnotes/notes/endnotes

Notes can be:

  • At the foot of the page (footnotes);    
  • Grouped at the end of a chapter (notes);
  • Grouped at the end of the Master’s Thesis, before the Bibliography/Reference List (endnotes).

One (1) type (footnotes, notes, or endnotes) are used consistently throughout the Master’s Thesis. Single line spacing is used for all types of notes.

Graphs

Labels and symbols, or colours are used to identify graph lines or bars. An example of symbols is cross-hatching.

Headers

The Master’s Thesis can contain page headers, but a horizontal line must separate the header from the page text.

Headings

Headings must be in the same font style and size as the rest of the Master’s Thesis text, but can be in bold text.

Justification

A Master’s Thesis can be left-justified or fully-justified. The justification must be consistent throughout the Master’s Thesis.

Language

The Master’s Thesis must be written in the English language.

Line spacing

Lines in the Abstract, Acknowledgement, and body of the Thesis must use double line spacing.

Single line spacing is used for footnotes/notes/endnotes, long quotations, and appendices.

In the Table of Contents, Bibliography/Reference List, and the List of Tables, List of Figures, List of Plates, List of Symbols, et cetera, single line spacing is used for each reference and double line spacing is used between entries.

Margins

Left margin: 3.8 centimetres  

Right, top, and bottom margins: 2.5 centimetres                           

The margins must be the same on all pages of the Master’s Thesis including prefatory pages, main body, Bibliography/Reference List, and appendices.

Page numbering

Prefatory pages:

  • The prefatory pages include the Title Page, Thesis Examination Committee Members Page, Dedication Page (optional), Table of Contents, Preface, (optional), et cetera (see Sequence of materials on p. 16);
  • Numbered consecutively, beginning with the Title Page, which does not have the page number on it. The remaining prefatory pages are numbered with a small Roman numeral centred at the bottom of the page.

Main body pages:

  • The main body pages begin at the Introduction or first chapter, and include the remainder of the document;
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals centred at the bottom of the page. Numbering starts at ‘1’.
  • The Bibliography/Reference List and Appendices are part of the main body, and so must be numbered consecutively with the preceding main body pages. Do not number Appendix pages A1, B1, et cetera.

Page orientation

The pages must be in portrait orientation. Illustrations, including figures, tables, and images, may be presented in a landscape orientation if required for clarity.

Paper size

The paper must be letter sized (21.5 centimetres × 28 centimetres).

The Master’s Thesis can include oversize pages (i.e., legal size) as fold-outs, folded so they are no more than 20 centimetres wide.

Photographs, coloured

A Master’s Thesis may contain colour photographs and/or figures.

 

Quotations

On long quotations, use single line spacing. Indent all single-spaced quotations and include the appropriate reference citation.

Sequence of materials

1.      Title page

See detailed example in Appendix One: Sample Thesis Title Page 

  • Has no page number, but is page i of the prefatory pages (see Page numbering, above)
  • Must include the universal copyright notice. For example: © John A. Smith 2001
  • Single line spacing

2.      Thesis Examination Committee Members page

See detailed example in Appendix Two: Sample and Example Thesis Examination Committee Members Page

  • Lists all members of the Thesis Examination Committee
  • Has no page number, but is page ii of the prefatory pages (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing
3.      Dedication page (optional)
  • Page iii of prefatory pages (see Page numbering, above)
4.      Abstract
  • Page iii of prefatory pages (or page iv if there is a Dedication Page) (see Page numbering, above)
  • Maximum of 150 words, mandated by University Microfilming Inc.
  • Double line spacing
5.      Preface (optional)
  • Prefatory page 
  • (see Page numbering, above)
  • Double line spacing
6.      Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Prefatory page (see Page numbering, above)
  • Double line spacing
7.      Table of Contents
  • Prefatory page 
  • (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing
8.      List of Tables (if any)
  • Prefatory page 
  • (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing
9.      List of Figures (if any)
  • Prefatory page (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing
10.   List of Abbreviations (if any)
  • Prefatory page 
  • (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing
11.   Main body
  • Beginning of the body of the Master’s Thesis.
  • Main body pages (see age numbering, above)
  • Double line spacing
12.   References
  • Main body pages (see age numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing for each reference
  • Double line spacing between references
13.   Appendices
  • Main body pages (see Page numbering, above)
  • Single line spacing

Spelling

British or American English spelling is acceptable. Whichever form is chosen, it must be used consistently throughout the Master’s Thesis. 

Tables and figures: 
Headings and captions

Centre all table headings above the table. Use single line spacing.

Centre figure captions below the figure. Use single line spacing.

Tables and figures: 
Numbering

The numbering of tables and figures must be consecutive, with no repeating of numbers. The numbering must be in Arabic numerals, and can be 1, 2, 3, et cetera, or by chapter (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 1.3…).

Tables and figures:
Size

Tables and figures must fit within the prescribed margins. Those that are larger than the letter size page must be reduced or folded so they fit within the margins of the page.

Thesis Examination Committee Members page

See Appendix Two: Sample and Example Thesis Examination Committee Members Page for a detailed example and sample.

Title page

See Appendix One: Sample Thesis Title Page for a detailed example.

Translated passages

For long passages of translation, use two (2) columns side-by-side, comparing the original and the translation.

Unusual format

To use an unusual format for the Master’s Thesis, the student must obtain written permission from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, before submitting the Request for Final Thesis Examination form (www.ulethbridge.ca/graduate-studies/forms). 


[1]Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: Fifth Edition, July 2001.

[2] Serifs are the small projections at the end of each stroke in a letter. Serif font is easier to read than non-serif font.