Writing and Formatting Your Honors Thesis
theses, certain structural elements are required,
such as the title page, certificate of approval, table of contents, etc. These
requirements are laid out below. You have the option to use a formatted thesis
template which includes the required elements and is designed to facilitate
proper formatting and pagination in Microsoft Word. Please consult with
librarians if departmental guidelines differ from formatting requirements
outlined below. If you plan to make your
thesis open access and make a bound copy available in the Allen Room, use of
the template is highly recommended.
Download the Thesis
Template (MS Word)
For a short guide to using the thesis template, consult our guidelines. For detailed instructions for common issues, consult our help page.
If you do not
have Microsoft Word, you can download it from Office 360 website. As a Whitman
student, you can log in with your Whitman email and password and download
Microsoft Office on up to five computers and five mobile devices.If you do not want to download
Office/Word, you can also use Word Online, log in with your
Whitman Email address and password and upload the template there. For more
information, please contact WCTS.
should follow requirements set forth by the home department or developed in
consultation with the thesis advisor. Generally, one of the formats described
in the Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual of Style, American
Psychological Association or other standard style manuals should be used. See Style Guides.
by the departments and the Library is granted because of a need for a different
format, the thesis page size must be 8½ × 11 inches.
Margins, Spacing, and Type
printing and binding, the left margin
must be at least 1 ½ inches wide. All other margins must be at least 1 inch
wide. The text should be double-spaced, but extended quotations may be
single-spaced if indented slightly from each margin. Text should be in a
standard font, no larger than 14 points and no smaller than 10 points.
pages (table of contents, etc.), use lower case Roman numerals at the bottom
center of the page. Include the title page in the count but do not number it.
For the text
(thesis, appendices, etc.), use Arabic numerals at the bottom center of the
page. Include the first page of the text in the count but do not number it.
First pages of new sections (bibliography, chapters, etc.) should also be
numbered at the bottom center. If you’re not using the template this can be
difficult; please see this guide from Microsoft Office
Other styles of
pagination such as MLA or APA may be used if approved by the department or
Images, Audio, Video, and Other Media
including such materials should be prepared according to the special
instructions below. Additional questions on special materials may be referred
to the Archivist & Head of Digital Services at [email protected]
maps, charts, and graphs, unless otherwise specified by your academic
department or thesis advisor should have a resolution of a minimum of 300 dots
per inch (dpi) and should be in TIFF (preferred) or JPEG file formats. For help
with creating, scanning, formatting or otherwise preparing images, maps,
charts, or graphs, please contact the WCTS Multimedia Development Lab
(MDL) in Hunter at [email protected]
media materials should be included with the thesis deposited with the library.
Files can be uploaded at the same time as the thesis PDF/A. Media contents
shall be formatted in accordance to guidelines set by the academic department
and/or thesis advisor. The library strongly encourages formatting that
facilitates long term preservation and use.
make-up of the thesis is as follows:
1. Title page
In order to
ensure consistency among Whitman theses, the title page should closely follow the sample with respect to order, spacing, and capitalization. In
general, abbreviations should not be used. The author’s name must be typed in
full as it will appear on the commencement program.
The completed thesis must be approved by the professor under whose direction the work was done. Use the sample certificate of approval form as a guide. The certificate of approval must be signed by the thesis advisor and given to Kathleen Hutchison in Penrose Library room 213 no later than Reading Day (May 13, 2020) of spring semester. It must be on archival paper, provided by the library. NOTE: This is not the same form as the Honors in Major Study Application for the department/committee chair due to the Registrar’s Office immediately after the October break.
3. Table of
departmental requirements, most theses must have a table of contents
immediately following the certificate of approval. It must list all the
principal topics or subdivisions of the thesis and their initial page numbers.
An abstract in
your thesis helps users identify, retrieve, and use the thesis. See the
appropriate style guide for your discipline for instructions on writing an
abstract. While the Library does not require your thesis to contain an abstract
within it, we do require an abstract be submitted as part of the digital
submission form. If you choose to include an abstract within the contents of
your thesis, you may copy and paste this into the digital submission form. If
you do not have one already in your thesis, a simple paragraph describing your
paper is all that is needed. This description will be shown on ARMINDA.
5. List of
tables, charts, graphs, drawings, plates and other illustrations are to be
listed on a page following the table of contents, numbered consecutively in
either Arabic or Roman numerals in the order in which they appear in the thesis.
The number of the illustration(s) should appear at the left of each entry, and
the page number on which each illustration appears should be indicated at the
right of the entry.
6. Text Format
follow the style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) of the thesis discipline.
The bibliography shall be placed following the text in a form approved for use by the academic department. See “Style Guides”
Submitting Your Thesis
Click on Thesis Submission Form to start your digital submission process
Theses are due
prior to the final examination period in the student’s last semester (except when the
student may be required to comply with departmental regulations for earlier
filing). Changes and/or exceptions in requirements or deadlines must be
approved by the Board of Review.
required to submit a digital version of their work to the Library. This is the
copy of record and will be stored in the college’s institutional repository
(ARMINDA). The digital copy must be a pdf/a
file. Create one by following the pdf/a instruction sheet while using
Adobe Acrobat XI on either of the two computers closest to the Penrose
Circulation Desk. Students with questions about digital formatting should
contact the WCTS
Multimedia Development Lab in Hunter Conservatory at [email protected].
Distribution license. The author of the thesis must complete a non-exclusive distribution license
and select a level of access, subject to thesis advisor’s approval:
1. Open: Worldwide distribution via the
2. Limited: Local distribution only to
authorized users of Whitman’s network (Current faculty, staff, and students)
3. Opt-out: Not available to anyone (but still
deposited). This is intended for cases where the topic or the treatment of the
topic are sensitive or should not be shared.
You may choose
to restrict electronic access to your work for up to two years from the date
the work is submitted to ARMINDA. When
the embargo expires, your work will automatically become available under the
conditions specified above unless an extension is requested and approved by the
If the thesis is co-authored, it is the responsibility of the primary author to notify all other authors, even those not earning honors designation. It is strongly encouraged that additional authors and/or thesis advisors sign the non-exclusive distribution license. If applicable, all thesis co-authors and thesis advisor(s) should sign the same license. The non-exclusive distribution license must be submitted with signatures to the Library by Reading Day (May 13, 2020).
When you’ve completed all the guidelines listed above, you’re ready to fill out the digital thesis submission form by Reading Day (May 13, 2020).
Please click: Digital Thesis Submission Form to start your digital submission process
Note: If your PDF file size is greater than 1GB, instead of uploading your PDF/A file, bring the file on a flash drive to Kathleen Hutchison in Rm. 213. A digital thesis submission form is still required.
Printed Version: What to print and submit (and where):
If you have chosen open access to your thesis, you are welcome to print a copy of your thesis to be bound and shelved in the Allen Reading Room. Printing procedures and requirements are explained below. Submit the printed copy unbound to Kathleen Hutchison in Penrose Library, room 213. This copy will be added to the Library’s circulating collection and be made available for circulation to other libraries through interlibrary loan. Be sure that your final printed thesis conforms to the formatting guidelines, paying particular attention to the Title Page and the need for signed Certificates of Approval.
How to Print:
one-sided, not two-sided “duplexed”,
on a laser printer, in black and white. The print copy may contain color
charts, graphs, etc. only if the
graphics are preceded by a blank sheet and they are printed on a color laser
approval is obtained by the academic department, the thesis must be 8½ × 11 inches in size. Library copies must be
printed on a minimum of 20-lb weight paper that has a minimum 25% cotton
content. Penrose Library will provide free, archival quality paper for seniors
submitting theses. Paper will be available approximately one week before the
deadline and stocked in the thesis printer on the main floor of the library.
Check with a librarian or the WCTS Help Desk in the library if you will be
Text must be in
Theses may be
printed on the designated thesis printer at the WCTS-staffed Technology Support
Desk in the Library.
Cost (if printed on College-owned laser printers)
changes made to printing in Spring 2019, you will only need additional funding
if you are printing over 20 pages in color. The request may be made by emailing
[email protected] with the name of the thesis advisor and the academic
department for which the thesis is being written. Color printing is charged at
the rate of $0.50 per single-sided page.
Personal Bound Copies
No matter what distribution access you have chosen, students desiring to have personal copies of theses bound at their expense can order copies for $18 each, including tax and shipping. There is no limit to the number of personal copies you may order. Provide one complete copy of your thesis for every personal bound copy ordered. Make sure that your left margins are set to 1 ½” for the printed copy, otherwise the binding might cover some of your thesis.
To order bound
copies, please fill out the online order form.
Payment can be made by charge to your student account or by check (made out to “Penrose Library, Whitman College”). Checks can be turned in to Kathleen Hutchison. Personal copies may be printed on any printer, without special paper requirement.