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Regulations Concerning Thesis Submitted by Candidates

A.   The Graduate Committee has approved the following statement on the nature of the Master’s thesis required at Fisk University:

The Master’s thesis will typically represent research that contributes new knowledge.   The Master’s thesis must also represent more than an assembling of factual data and of other people’s opinions.  The document must show the student’s ability to recognize and interpret the research material so as to arrive at a conclusion.  This conclusion may, of course, be tentative, but it should be well supported and of some significance.

B.   University regulations provide that the subject of the thesis must be approved by the thesis mentor, thesis committee, and the Director of the graduate program not later than December 3 of the academic year in which the candidate expects to take the degree.  Programs may set an earlier date for approval of the thesis subject.                                                                            

C.   A minimum of three copies should be made for the University; the University Library takes responsibility for the binding of these three copies. Two of these will be retained by the University ( one for Special Collections, and one for General Circulation), and one will be returned to the student. Additional copies desired by the student must be bound at the student’s expense.         

D.   In order to receive the degree at a given Commencement, a student must submit the three  finished copies of the thesis to the Library for final checking and approval at least three weeks before Commencement. Naturally, this version of the thesis will already have been approved by the thesis committee, and the corrections requested by that committee already made, as affirmed by the approval sheet that accompanies each copy of the thesis.


A.   The  format  of the thesis, includes the sections given in the following list, and in the  sequence shown:         

*1.  Title Page.  The title page includes the title of the work, which states the      subject of the thesis;  the designation of the faculty, and the institution to which the thesis is presented;  the degree for which the thesis is submitted;  the full name of the candidate; and the month and year in which the degree is to be received.                                         

**2.  Approval Sheet.  The page following the title page is the form sheet for signatures of approval by the student’s thesis committee, and by the Director of Graduate Studies for the Program           

3.   Acknowledgements.  (if desired)                                                                                    

4.   Table of Contents.                                                                                                                       

5.   List of Tables.  (if any).                                                                                                              

6.    List of Figures.  (if any).  This may be subdivided into charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.   

7.  Text of the Thesis.           

8.   Bibliography.  (for Psychology thesis, the title References is used for this section.  See APA Publication Manual for form and arrangements.           

 9.   Appendix or Appendixes.  (Appendices, if any).                                                                       

10.  Index.  (if any).                                      


A.   Print.     Font size should not be smaller than Times New Roman, font 12.                  

B.   Paper.  All copies must be typed or reproduced on bond paper (100% Rag or cotton content preferred, but not less than 50%).

C.   Ink.   A laser jet printer or a letter quality printer should be used.

D.   Strike-Overs.  Strike-overs are not acceptable under any condition.

E.    Page Specifications.  Twenty-five (25) double spaced lines, or their equivalent, are all that should be placed on any page.  If, however, any deviation from the twenty-five double spaced lines is necessary,  not more than one single-space above or below that limit is permissible.  If, for example, in typing footnotes at the bottom of the page, the footnotes runs beyond the limit of twenty-five double-spaced lines, it should not be allowed to go more than one single-space beyond that point.  If, it ends before the twenty-five double-spaced line is reached, the page should be so proportioned that it will not end more than one single space preceding that limit, unless it is the last page of a chapter or a section.                             

F.    Margins.  The left margin should be set one and one-half (1 ½) inches from the left edge of the paper (room is required for binding).   All other margins should be one inch.

G.   Indentation.  A line of indentation, which is constant for all indented material, is established five (5) spaces to the right of the left-hand margin.  This distance is kept constant whether it is for a paragraphs of the text, a paragraph of quoted material, or a footnote.

H.   Footnotes.  The line dividing the footnote from the text should be sixteen (16) spaces in length, beginning at the left-hand margin of the page.  Footnotes are generally single-spaced.  (Note:  Footnotes should be used very sparingly, if at all, for thesis in psychology).                  

I.     Pagination.  Every page in a thesis is assigned a definite number, although not every page has a number placed thereon.  The first page of any section will not have a page figure, on it, but a number will be allowed for that page.

Page numbers are placed on the fifth single-spaced line from the top of the page and aligned with the right-hand margin.  There must be a triple space between the page number and the first line of writing.

All of the pages of  that portion of the thesis preceding the first page of Chapter I will be numbered in small Roman numerals, as a separate unit of the thesis.  These numbers are centered at the bottom of the page and on the title page or Approval Sheet, although they should be counted in the pagination.

J.     Spacing Between Lines.  The major portion of the thesis will be double-spaced, but there are several places where triple-spacing is needed.  For example, there are three single-spaces between the chapter number and the title of the chapter.  Below the title of the chapter, three single-spaces are allowed before the first line of the manuscript is typed.  Furthermore, preceding any under-scored introductory caption in a paragraph, three single-spaces intervene between the last line of typed material and such centered caption or a paragraph caption.

K.   Alignment of Roman numerals and Page Numbers.  When Roman numerals are arranged in an outline form, the right-hand margin is aligned, as in the case of Arabic numerals.  This will make the left-hand margin uneven, but it is the accepted form for thesis work.  Due allowance must be made when starting a page to provide spaces for the larger numerals; for example- XXIII.  A column for these figures appear in the following alignment:







L.    Proofreading.  The entire thesis should be proofread before having the final copy printed to turn in to your advisor, and it should be read in its entirely by the writer after the final copy has been printed.  Words, the spelling of which may be unfamiliar to the student, should be confirmed in a dictionary or via spell-check.  The syllabic division of the hyphenated words at the end of lines should be very carefully checked by the student.

All pages must be properly assembled in each copy, so that the type impression will conform throughout;  and that each chart, table , illustration, etc.., is included in each copy and in its proper place.

M  Final Responsibility.  The final responsibility for the acceptability of the thesis rests with the student;  therefore, it is of the utmost importance that he/she check every detail himself/herself and not depend upon the printer or his/her advisor for such details.

Presentation of the Final Thesis Copies.  The final theses should be turned in with each copy in a separate manila folder, and with a blank sheet of bond paper in front of and behind the first and last pages, respectively

NOTE: The Handbook for Graduate Studies provides additional details about the THESIS DOCUMENT