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Thesis & Dissertation Template

Template

The Graduate College offers a thesis/dissertation template that contains all required content and formatting. You can either write your document from within the template or apply the template’s formatting to your previously created work.

Before You Begin

The first time you download the template, save the template file to your computer before you begin work on your document. This is important if you are composing your thesis/dissertation within the template or if you are copying and pasting your content into the template. You may need the original template file in the future.
Saving the template to your computer
  1. Download the Boise State Template.
  2. Show the downloaded file in the Downloads folder
  3. Right click and select Open
  4. Enable Content
  5. Click File > Save As and name the file, for instance, Boise_State_Template.dotm (note the extension is “.dotm”) and Save as type:  Word Macro-Enabled Template (*.dotm).  It is recommended locating this file on your desktop – it may come in handy if you need to reattach the template to your document in the future (see below).
  6. Close this file.
Two helpful tips for the start of each work session:
  1. Access the Styles menu by clicking the lower-right corner of the styles box on the Home tab in Windows. Keep this menu open on the side of your screen, or on a second screen, and apply the styles to your document as you work. To make the document styles behave, use the styles in the template. For example, for all Heading 1s, use the Heading 1 style, which will automatically insert a break and a 2 inch margin, etc. As long as the styles are used, the document should behave appropriately, and the table of contents will include the headings once updated. To modify the Table of Contents, click once to highlight the table in gray, right-click and select “Update Entire Field.”
  2. Show formatting marks as you work in your document.  Click on the File tab, then Options, Display, and click on the box “Show all formatting marks” and OK.

Overview


These instructions are divided by the ways in which you will approach the formatting of your document: using the template from the beginning or applying the template to a previously created document. Note that even when using the template from the beginning, there may be certain formatting elements (such as the pagination of landscape pages) that need to be done manually.

In order for your thesis, project, or dissertation to be uploaded correctly in the ETD system (ScholarWorks), the document must be in a single file. This single file can be a .DOC file, a .DOCX file, or a .PDF file.


LaTeX Users


If you are writing your document in LaTeX, please see the instructions provided by your department. If a LaTeX template is not provided by your department, you may use the template developed by the Department of Computer Science which has been approved by the Graduate College.
A link to the template and instructions may be found here:
Thank you to Dr. Amit Jain

Writing Your Document within the Template


Writing your document within the template is recommended as it requires the least amount of work from students.
Downloading the Template

Download the Boise State Thesis and Dissertation Template and save it to your computer. See instructions above under “Before you Begin.”

Starting your document
  1. Locate this .dotm file you saved in the downloading step above.
  2. Right-click on the file and select New, which will open a new document based on the template as a regular .docx document.
  3. File > Save As this file with your chosen file name, i.e.: My_Name_Draft_One.docx. This is the document you will work in.  You only need to open this file each time you work on your document.
Replacing Content

Replace the names, dates, and gendered pronouns on the Title page, Copyright page, and Electronic Approval page with your information. Replace the template content with your own work.

Applying Styles

To work within the template, styles are applied throughout the document. These styles can be found by clicking the arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Styles section in the Home tab. To apply a style, simply highlight the text that you wish to format and click the appropriate name from the styles list.

Important: When entering your own work into the template, be sure to apply the following styles to the appropriate parts of your document. Failure to do so will mean that your Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables will be incorrect.

  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3
  • Heading 4
  • Figure Caption
  • Table Captions
  • Appendix Heading 2
  • Appendix Heading 3
Formatting Landscape Pages

When setting pages of your document to landscape orientation to accommodate large figures or tables, you must reformat their page numbers so that they will still be visible after binding.

  1. Open the landscape page’s header by double-clicking within the header.
  2. Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. Repeat this step for the page following the landscape page.
  3. Delete the landscape page’s current page number.
  4. Click Insert→Page Number (in the Header & Footer section)→Page Margins.
  5. Select Landscape Page Numbers.

Note: If your other pages’ pagination disappears after inserting landscape page numbers, you likely did not turn off Link to Previous. Undo your changes to the page numbers and restart the instructions.

 

Replacing Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables

After your writing and editing is complete, you will need to replace the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables.

  1. Right click the existing TOC, LOF, or LOT.
  2. Click Update Field.
  3. Select Update entire table and click Ok.

Note: All other lists (such as a List of Abbreviations or List of Graphs) are not automatically-updateable. Instead, the template includes examples of manually- created lists that can be altered to fit your needs.

Attaching the Template to a Preexisting Document

If your document is at or near completion, it may be easier for you to attach the template to your existing file than to paste your document into a new template.
Formatting Styles and Applying Styles

Before attaching the Thesis/Dissertation template to your document, you must first apply the following styles to the appropriate sections of your work. It does not matter how these styles look – when you first apply them they will not look right – only that the names of the styles match those in the following list exactly. After you have applied all the styles and attach the template the document will be formatted correctly.

These styles can be found by clicking the arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Styles section in the Home tab. Leave this menu open while you work through the document. To apply a style, simply highlight the text that you wish to format and click the appropriate name from the styles list.

Word Styles and the Sections to Which They Should Be Applied

Style NameText to which you should apply the style
Title of Document*ONLY the title of your thesis/dissertation
Title Page*All content on the title page other than the work’s title
Copyright Page*All content on the copyright page
Approval Page*All content on the approval page (you may need to adjust alignment and text size after applying this style)
Table of Contents*The Table of Contents page’s title only
Table Caption*All table captions
Figure Caption*All figure captions
Heading 1Chapter and Appendix titles

Titles for all front matter pages except
Title page
Copyright page
Approval pages
Table of Contents
Heading 2All Heading 2s, including Appendixes’ subtitles
Heading 3All Heading 3s
Appendix Heading 2*All Heading 2s in the appendices except the subtitle listed on each appendix’s title page
Appendix Heading 3*All Heading 3s in the appendices

*These styles will not exist in your original document and thus will have to be created. See instructions below.
Attaching Styles
  1. Access the Styles menu by clicking the lower-right corner of the Styles box on the Home tab in Windows. Keep this menu open on the side of your screen and apply the styles to your document as you work.
  2. Highlight the text you wish to format (it is often only necessary to “click in” the section you wish to format)
  3. Click the appropriate style from the Styles menu

Note: If the style you are looking for is not included in the list you may need to create the style (see next).

Creating Styles

Some required styles will not be listed in the premade styles, thus you will need to create them yourself.

  1. Highlight the text that you wish to format
  2. Right click the text and select Styles→Save Selection as a New Quick Style.
  3. Enter the appropriate style name and click OK.

Note: Remember, it does not matter how these styles look at this time, only that the style names match the names listed in the table above.

Attaching the Template

After applying styles to your document, you can attach the template, which will fix most of your document’s formatting issues.

  1. Download the Boise State Thesis and Dissertation Template and save it to your computer. See instructions above under “Before you Begin.”
  2. Open the Word document containing your thesis/dissertation, click the Developer tab, and select Document Template.
  3. In the Document Template section, click Attach.
  4. Navigate to the folder in which you saved the template and select it.
  5. Click Ok.
  6. Important: Check the box labeled “Automatically update document styles.”
  7. Click Ok.

Note: If the Developer tab is not visible, follow the following instructions:

  • Word 2007: Click the Office Button→Word Options→Popular→Show Developer tab in the Ribbon→Ok)
  • Word 2010:
    1. Click the File tab→Options→Customize Ribbon→
    2. Select Developer from the list of options and click Add.
    3. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.
Adjusting Margins
  1. Place the cursor at the beginning of your document.
  2. Click on the Macros button
    • Word 2007: Located in the Code section of the Developer tab (if the Developer tab is not visible, click Office Button→Word Options→Popular→Show Developer tab in the Ribbon→Ok)
    • Word 2010: Located in the Macros section of the View tab
  3. Select Margins and click Run.

Note: Sometimes section breaks (such as between front matter and body text or before landscape-oriented pages) interfere with the macro’s command. If so, place the cursor somewhere on the unaffected page, and repeat steps 2-3.

Setting Page Numbers

Be careful that you set section breaks between front matter and body text and also between portrait and landscape-oriented pages (see Manually Formatting Your Document for instructions on setting page breaks). Each has a different way of formatting their pagination.

Front Matter
  1.  Set a continuous section break immediately before the Heading 1 on the first page that follows your approval pages.
  2. Set a continuous section break immediately before the title of Chapter 1.
  3. Open the footer on the first page following your approval page by clicking the Footer button in the Header & Footer section of the Insert tab and selecting Edit Footer.
  4. Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. This step is only necessary for the first numbered page in the front matter.
  5. Insert page numbers. Front matter page numbers should be in lowercase Roman numerals and should be centered at the bottom of each page.
Body Text
  1. Double-click inside the footer of the first page in Chapter 1.
  2. Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. This step is only necessary for the first page in the body text.
  3. Delete the page numbers from the footer.
  4. Open the header on the same page by double-clicking inside the header.
  5. Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab.
  6. Insert alpha-numeric page numbers, starting with 1, into the upper right-hand corner of the pages.
Landscape Pages

When setting pages of your document to landscape orientation to accommodate large figures or tables, you must reformat their page numbers so that they will still be visible after binding.

  1. Open the landscape page’s header by double-clicking within the header.
  2. Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab.
  3. Repeat step 3 on the page following the landscape page.
  4. Delete the landscape page’s current page number.
  5. Click Insert→Page Number (in the Header & Footer section)→Page Margins.
  6. Select Landscape Page Numbers.

Note: If your other pages’ pagination disappears after inserting landscape page numbers, you likely did not turn off Link to Previous. Undo your changes to the page numbers and restart the instructions.

Inserting Table of Contents and Lists of Figures or Tables

Finally, after your document’s content is complete, you will need to create the Table of
Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables.

  1. Place the cursor on the first line of text after the Heading 1 of the section you are about to create.
  2. Click on the Macros button
    • Word 2007: Located in the Code section of the Developer tab (if the Developer tab is not visible, click Office Button→Word Options→Popular→Show Developer tab in the Ribbon→Ok)
    • Word 2010: Located in the Macros section of the View tab
  3. Select the appropriate macro (each macro contains a description of its function) and click Run.

Note: The template does not include macros for automatically generating other lists such as a List of Abbreviations or List of Graphs. However, it does include example lists that can be copied, pasted, and altered to meet your needs.