Thesis Manuscript

The Form of the Thesis Manuscript

Consult with your advisor or department on whether they require a paper copy of the honors thesis and on any specific requirements within your particular discipline.  In general, the following guidelines may be helpful when preparing your thesis:

Font

  • It is recommended that you use a font such as Times Roman, Palatino, or Courier in 12 point

Spacing and Pagination

  • Five spaces indentation is recommended for paragraphs in the double-spaced matter in the text and appendices; for footnotes and bibliography, three spaces indentation is suggested.
  • Page numbers and Arabic figures should appear in the upper right hand corner of the page in line with the text margin.
  • Pages should normally be numbered sequentially. Pages with charts, diagrams, illustrations, or photographs may be assigned lower-case letters after the number of the page they follow, e.g., 14a, but the thesis should be internally consistent in its treatment of such pages.
  • Each chapter or division should begin on a new page, the heading and title dropped about two inches from the top of the page, centered and written in full capitals.

Printing guidelines, if required by your department:

  • The honors thesis should be printed on 20 to 24 pound white bond paper of good rag or cotton fiber content (at least 25% to 50%), 8 1/2 X 11.
  • Printing should be on one side of the paper only, and the text should be double spaced throughout except that footnotes, bibliography, and quotations of five or more lines should be single-spaced.
  • The left margin should be two inches wide to allow for binding, the right, not less than one inch, and about 1 1/4 inches should be left at the top and bottom of the page.
  • All illustrations, tables, maps, etc., should come within the limits of the page margins; folding is permissible, but the folded page should be narrower than the thesis page so that it will not be caught in the binding (if it needs to be bound).

Number of Copies. A student should submit three copies of her honors thesis to her major department/examining committee who will, in recommendations for summa cum laude, submit one copy to the Academic Administrative Board for review. This copy will later be returned to the department. In addition, the honors thesis and any accompanying materials, e.g.: digital video, images, audio, should be submitted to Library, Information and Technology Services (LITS)

PARTS OF THE THESIS. The honors thesis should include a short abstract of the work, in English, preceding the title page. Parts of the thesis should be arranged in the following order: abstract; title page; acknowledgment; table of contents or outline; table of charts, figures, or diagrams, if any; preface and/or introduction; main text by chapters or parts; summary or conclusion; appendices, if any; bibliography or literature cited. Historically, print theses included a permissions sheet bound into the volume. The LITS e-thesis management system allows you to set access permissions to your work during the submission process.

SENDING THE THESIS TO THE LIBRARY. Only accepted honors theses which have culminated in a degree with honors should be submitted to Library, Information and Technology Services (LITS). By July 1, the corrected version of the honors thesis or other evidence (images, multimedia, etc.) are to be submitted to LITS. The honors thesis should be submitted according to the procedures defined by LITS [https://www.mtholyoke.edu/go/thesis]. Although the proprietary nature of many file formats makes it impossible to guarantee future access, LITS is committed to migrating file formats and preserving and providing access to theses over time. LITS procedures will also outline currently supported file formats at any given time. Successful honors theses are discoverable in the Five College catalog, in the OCLC international database, and in other discovery venues. It is the policy of LITS to follow the permissions for redistribution as selected by the student when she submits her thesis.