Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

The Gradute School has very specific requirements for your first three pages

Your title page, copyright page, and abstract page must follow the Graduate School's templates. This is harder than you might think! The Formatting Guidelines section of the Graduate School's Thesis/Dissertation page has detailed instructions on how to fulfill their requirements. Contact the Graduate School at for help with any questions.

Neither the Libraries nor the Graduate School has an official opinion on formatting beyond the first three pages.

Here are the templates:

Accessibility guidelines

Accessibility refers to equal access for all users, including those with disabilities. While many conversations around accessibility center legal requirements, in reality, accessibility is both morally imperative and universally better practice. Greater accessibility enables greater reach for your scholarship, and UW Accessible Technology offers many resources for helping you make your ETD accessible.

ProQuest guidelines

ProQuest has some guidelines about what they prefer for general formatting, mostly based around creating a document that a) can be printed easily in the case that you or someone else orders a physical copy, and b) follows best practices for long-term preservation. Remember that while these guidelines are good practice, no one at the Graduate School or the Libraries will be checking the specifics.

Departmental requirements

A few departments have specific requirements for formatting theses and dissertations. Ask your Graduate Advisor whether these requirements exist. Here are examples of departmental requirements that have been published online:

Some additional suggestions

We know that it can be frustrating to not have more specific instructions.  If your department doesn't have guidelines, try to look at it as an opportunity - whatever you choose is correct!

Here are some suggestions you are free to follow (or not):

  • Maintain uniformity throughout the document - it's a gift to your reader!
  • Do not simply insert the publisher's version of a previously published article - the formatting will be inconsistent, and having the publisher's logo within the ETD will be confusing. Instead, copy the text and visualizations into the same template you are using for the rest of the work.
  • Look at other theses and dissertations in your department for ideas on what your discipline considers the standard.
  • If you are considering publishing any part of your work, look to the publisher's formatting guidelines to save yourself some time down the road

Need help formatting your citations? There's a guide for that!