All Ph.D. and Master's Plan A degree candidates must submit an electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) as part of their graduation requirements. The purpose of this page is to provide general guidance with which to format, convert, and upload your ETD. The process involves converting a successfully defended, approved thesis/dissertation in final form into a Portable Document Format (PDF) file for subsequent upload(s) to the OhioLINK website.
The publication style is primarily governed by the academic discipline of your program. In the absence of a program-specific determination, the applicable style manual for dissertations at Case Western Reserve University will be limited to the latest version of one of the following: A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Thesis and Dissertation by Kate L. Turabian, published by the University of Chicago Press; The MLA Style Sheet, published by the Modern Language Association of America; or the APA Publication Manual, published by the American Psychological Association.
If you need something that is not on this page, it may be in the FAQs.
Order of Contents
The organization of the dissertation must follow the order below:
Committee Approval Sheet Copyright page (only if copyrighting)
Dedication page (optional)
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations (optional)
Typeface and Font
Any standard type face is acceptable; font size should be 12. The font size may be reduced for captions on figures and tables.
The margins on the left side of all pages must be 1.5 inches. Top, bottom and right margins should be 1 inch. All photographs, charts, tables, graphs, drawings, etc. must fit within these specified margins. Double-check margins for accuracy.
Double-space all text. Long quotations, captions, footnotes, and endnotes may be single-spaced.
The numbering of pages should, at the very latest, begin with the Table of Contents. Roman numerals (iii, iv, v…) are acceptable for the front pages. However, Arabic numbers (3, 4, 5…) should begin no later than the first page of regular text. You should number consistently throughout the document (i.e. page numbers should be all at the top or all at the bottom).
The title page must contain the following information: Title, Name, Degree, Department, University Name, Month and Year of Graduation. The month of graduation will either be January, May or August. See the sample title page.
Committee Approval Sheet
A Committee Approval Sheet must be included as the second page of your PDF document. This form should only have the typed names of your committee, not signatures. See the sample committee approval sheet.
Tables and Figures
If you use tables, figures, and/or illustrations, you must include an itemized/numbered list of each. Please separate these lists on different pages.
Dissertation abstracts must not exceed 350 words, thesis abstracts 150. See the sample abstract.
You must include a complete bibliography at the end of the ETD that includes all works cited. Please follow the format most commonly used by your department.
You must have the format of your thesis/dissertation checked and approved by the School of Graduate Studies before you upload to OhioLink. You can do this by emailing a copy of the entire PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your department or program name and the words "format check" in the subject line. Notice of approval (or corrections) will be sent back via email. Any ETD uploaded to OhioLink without prior approval will be deleted.
Doctoral Graduation Fee
The School of Graduate Studies is no longer assessing a graduation fee.
It is a requirement of Case Western Reserve University to publish all doctoral dissertations through UMI/ProQuest. Please note that electronic dissertations will be submitted to UMI/ProQuest on behalf of CWRU by OhioLink. The doctoral graduation packet contains a form which contains detailed information about electronic publishing.
Authorship automatically and implicitly confers a copyright to the author, without any additional fee. However, a copyright can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, which will provide additional legal protections for your rights regarding your dissertation, for an additional fee. Graduate Studies is no longer processing these requests. If you do choose to copyright, please insert a "copyright page" into your document. If you are not copyrighting, then leave out this page.
Although you will submit your thesis/dissertation electronically, you may need to make printed copies for the members of your defense committee. It is the student's responsibility to deliver to each committee member a copy of the thesis/dissertation at least ten days prior to the defense examination date. Some departments may also require a copy of the thesis/dissertation for deposit in the department. Students should consult their advisers or department chairs concerning departmental requirements.
Some students wish to have copies bound for their own use. Contact the University Bookstore (368-2650) for information on its binding service.