shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Format & Style Guidelines

Page address:

Students Studying Art

Theses and dissertations can be submitted online to ProQuest/UMI Publishing at There is currently no charge to students for electronically submitting a thesis or dissertation. Printed copies are not required by the College of Graduate Studies and Research if the document is submitted to ProQuest/UMI electronically. Whether a thesis or dissertation is submitted as an electronic version or as paper copies, the thesis/dissertation will be available from the Memorial Library.

Preparation of Final Paper (Thesis/Dissertation)

Style Manuals. The style manual to be followed for citations and documentation of sources should be recommended by the academic department. Students should familiarize themselves with the appropriate style manual prior to beginning their research. In most cases, the approved style manual will meet with the approval of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

Frequently Recommended Style Manuals:

  • Chicago Manual of Style. University of Chicago Press
  • Form and Style: Research Papers, Reports, Theses. By Carol Slade
  • A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. By Kate Turabian
  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. By Joseph Gibaldi
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Manual). American Psychological Association

Whatever style is used, it must be used consistently throughout the entire document. Minnesota State Mankato margin requirements may vary from those listed in the manuals of style. If a discrepancy regarding margins exists between a specific manual of style and these guidelines, the student should follow the guidelines specified below.

Font Size and Style. No particular typescript is required. A 12–point print size is recommended, with a font that is clear and easy to read. With the exception of appendices, the same font and print size must be used throughout the paper. Typing must be on one side of the paper only and double–spaced.

Margins and Page Number Placement. Margins and page number placement should be as follows.

Left margin: 1.5 inches
Right and bottom margins: 1 inch
Top margin: Page numbers should be placed one inch from the top and right, with text beginning a double space below the page number. However, the margin for the beginning of each chapter should be 1.5 inches from the top of the page.

Pagination: All pages of the text should be numbered, including the references pages and the appendices. Page numbering with Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) should begin with the first page of actual text and continue through the end of the paper.

Tables and Figures. These should fit within the margins if they are part of the main text. They can be a slightly smaller font, but still readable. For printed papers, larger tables/figures may be included if absolutely necessary, and folded to measure not more than 7 by 10 inches, with sufficient margin on the left to allow for binding.

Title Page and Endorsement/Signature Pages. All theses and dissertations must include a title page and an endorsement (signature) page. The title page shall contain the following information: complete title, author, identifying legend ("A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of [Master of Arts in Sociology], for example, at Minnesota State University, Mankato"), location of the University, and month and year of graduation. See Format of Title Page.

The endorsement/signature page shall include the following: the date of approval of the thesis or dissertation, title, student's name, a statement of approval, and signatures of the members of the student's examining committee*. The names and titles of the committee members shall be printed below their signature lines. See Format of Endorsement/Signature Page

  • *For online submission, an unsigned endorsement page shall be included after the title page. The advisor's and committee members' names should be listed, but no signatures. A signed endorsement page is then required to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
  • *For printed copies, each copy of the thesis or dissertation must include a signed endorsement page, placed immediately after the title page.

Abstract Page. This is required and shall be inserted in the thesis/dissertation immediately preceding the table of contents. It does not require a page number and it is not counted when numbering the pages of the thesis/dissertation. The abstract should be no more than 350 words in length and include the following: title, name of author, degree program involved, name and location of the University, year; and, statement of problem, procedure (methods employed), findings (conclusions).

Optional Non–Textual Components Pertaining to Printed Copies.

CDs/DVDs.  Include self-adhesive CD pockets for each copy of the thesis or dissertation.

Photographs. Photographs should be printed on archival-quality paper specific to photographs. 

Postcards and Brochures (typically for art and music students). Affix these to a full sheet of appropriate paper or provide self-adhesive pockets for them to be included in the thesis copies.

Submission of Final Document

All papers, whether submitted online or delivered to the College of Graduate Studies, are reviewed to ensure that margins, paper, typing, printing, neatness, etc. meet University requirements and that all Graduate College policies and procedures have been followed. Visual quality must meet acceptable standards. It is the student's responsibility to carefully proofread and examine all copies of the paper before submitting it to the Graduate Office. All submitted materials must meet the approved manual of style for the student's program. After the examining committee has approved the paper and signed the endorsement/acceptance page, and the Graduate Office staff has ascertained all requirements have been met, the paper will be accepted and approved by the Graduate Dean.

Online Submission of Thesis or Dissertation

Theses and dissertations can be submitted online at There is currently no charge to students for electronically submitting a thesis or dissertation. Refer to the following site for a guide to submitting online: Students can arrange for a bound copy to be printed, but bound copies are not required by the College of Graduate Studies and Research if the document is submitted to UMI via the Internet. An electronic copy of the final approved thesis/dissertation will be stored in the Memorial Library. See for prior theses and dissertations submitted online.

Submission of Printed Copies

If printed copies are chosen as the submission option, a minimum of four copies of the thesis/dissertation are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies Office for review and binding. Please visit our web pages to determine deadlines for submitting papers for each semester. The payment for binding, currently $20 per copy, shall accompany the copies when they are submitted to the Graduate Office.

All copies of the paper must be printed with a laser printer. The paper must be opaque, white, 20# or 24# paper, of at least 25% cotton content, with a visible watermark. The watermark indicates archival-quality paper. The original printed copy may be reproduced or photocopied by other processes if copies are legible, permanent, and on the same kind of paper as the original copy. Copies on standard copier paper will not be accepted.

The paper must be submitted unbound with no punch holes or other mutilations. No corrections with pen or pencil are acceptable.

Binding and Distribution of Copies. Binding is arranged by the College of Graduate Studies after the submission is approved. The College of Graduate Studies will distribute bound copies as follows: 1) one copy to the University library, 2) one copy to the University archives, 3) one copy to the major advisor, and 4) one copy to the student. The College of Graduate Studies is not responsible for papers that are lost in the mail or if the address provided is incorrect. Please notify the College of Graduate Studies if you prefer to pick up your final bound copy rather than having it mailed.

Each thesis is bound in a maroon color. Examples of previously approved theses are available on the shelves of the University Library.