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Thesis / dissertation formatting manual (2024).

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UCI Libraries maintains the following  templates to assist in formatting your graduate manuscript. If you are formatting your manuscript in Microsoft Word, feel free to download and use the template. If you would like to see what your manuscript should look like, PDFs have been provided. If you are formatting your manuscript using LaTex, UCI maintains a template on OverLeaf.

  • Annotated Template (Dissertation) 2024 PDF of a template with annotations of what to look out for
  • Word: Thesis Template 2024 Editable template of the Master's thesis formatting.
  • PDF Thesis Template 2024
  • Word: Dissertation Template 2024 Editable template of the PhD Dissertation formatting.
  • PDF: Dissertation Template 2024
  • Overleaf (LaTex) Template
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  • Last Updated: Feb 20, 2024 2:09 PM
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Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.

A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.

A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.

When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.

Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.

Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.  

Descriptive thesis (not arguable) 

While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
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  • Dissertation & Thesis Template

As a resource for graduate students, sample Word templates are available to assist with the initial formatting of doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Students are expected to fully format their dissertation/thesis according to the   " Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses ".

  • This template is a starting point and students may have to add or remove sections/text to accurately reflect their document and adhere to all requirements in the manual.
  • Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) does not provide technical support for any of the templates below.
  • If using these templates, students must still refer to the formatting manual for full instructions.

The below templates are in Word. If you prefer to use LaTeX, here is a recommended unofficial template . We are not able to provide technical support for LaTeX.

Note: opening the Word template in Google Docs may cause auto-formatting features to be lost or auto-formatting features may appear differently.

A sample template of a co-author permission letter and cover letter from the committee chair can be found here . For complete information on submission of permission letters, please see this page and/or refer to the full Manual . 

Master’s Degree Thesis

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Doctoral Degree Dissertation

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  • Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Published on 8 June 2022 by Tegan George .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process . It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation, such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)

In the final product, you can also provide a chapter outline for your readers. This is a short paragraph at the end of your introduction to inform readers about the organisational structure of your thesis or dissertation . This chapter outline is also known as a reading guide or summary outline.

Table of contents

How to outline your thesis or dissertation, dissertation and thesis outline templates, chapter outline example, sample sentences for your chapter outline, sample verbs for variation in your chapter outline, frequently asked questions about outlines.

While there are some inter-institutional differences, many outlines proceed in a fairly similar fashion.

  • Working Title
  • ‘Elevator pitch’ of your work (often written last).
  • Introduce your area of study, sharing details about your research question, problem statement , and hypotheses . Situate your research within an existing paradigm or conceptual or theoretical framework .
  • Subdivide as you see fit into main topics and sub-topics.
  • Describe your research methods (e.g., your scope, population , and data collection ).
  • Present your research findings and share about your data analysis methods.
  • Answer the research question in a concise way.
  • Interpret your findings, discuss potential limitations of your own research and speculate about future implications or related opportunities.

To help you get started, we’ve created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format. It’s easy adapt it to your own requirements.

 Download Word template    Download Google Docs template

Chapter outline example British English

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing the same words or sentence constructions, which can make your work monotonous and repetitive for your readers. Consider utilising some of the alternative constructions presented below.

Example 1: Passive construction

The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise.

Example 2: IS-AV construction

You can also present your information using the ‘IS-AV’ (inanimate subject with an active verb) construction.

A chapter is an inanimate object, so it is not capable of taking an action itself (e.g., presenting or discussing). However, the meaning of the sentence is still easily understandable, so the IS-AV construction can be a good way to add variety to your text.

Example 3: The I construction

Another option is to use the ‘I’ construction, which is often recommended by style manuals (e.g., APA Style and Chicago style ). However, depending on your field of study, this construction is not always considered professional or academic. Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure.

Example 4: Mix-and-match

To truly make the most of these options, consider mixing and matching the passive voice , IS-AV construction , and ‘I’ construction .This can help the flow of your argument and improve the readability of your text.

As you draft the chapter outline, you may also find yourself frequently repeating the same words, such as ‘discuss’, ‘present’, ‘prove’, or ‘show’. Consider branching out to add richness and nuance to your writing. Here are some examples of synonyms you can use.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.

The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .

Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract   in the table of contents.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

George, T. (2022, June 08). Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/outline-thesis-dissertation/

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Thesis templates

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Word thesis template and instructions, latex template.

Please note that all theses must be converted to PDF/A format for submission. See the guide Saving your thesis in PDF/A format for instructions on saving to PDF/A in Microsoft Word.

Thesis template

Thesis template help:, thesis template instructions, online tutorials: using the thesis template.

The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essays.  The template and instructions are .docx files, and have been tested in Word 2011 (Mac), Word 2013 (Windows), and Word 2016/365 (Windows and Mac). 

Please note that SFU Library does not provide technical support for LaTeX users.  However, the Library has worked with previous SFU graduate students to provide a template and LaTeX class that sets your thesis according to SFU's requirements and format  before submission.

Download the SFU thesis LaTeX template and class here.

Students with general questions about using LaTeX or problems are encouraged to consult one of the following resources:

  • LaTeX Wikibook
  • LaTeX StackExchange Q&A site
  • a "TeXpert" in or close to your department

The SFU thesis LaTeX project is a volunteer effort made by many SFU graduate students over the years. Thanks to the following students who contributed to the old template: Stephen Chan (1989), Margaret Sharon (1996), Pepe Kubon (1997-98), Greg Baker (2003-06), Chris McIntosh (2011), Bradley Coleman (2012), Juan Galvez (2012), Firuz Demir (2013), Ahmed Saad (2013), Reynaldo Arteaga (2014). Version 2.0 of the template was written by Ross Churchley (2014-15).

v2.2.1 (July 21, 2017): Version 2.2.0 tightened the spacing of chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines. Unfortunately, the code that fixed that issue had unexpected side effects when using \ref{} and \autoref{} with chapter and section titles, regardless of their lengths. This release fixes the spacing issue in a safer way. (Ross Churchley)

v2.2.0 (Summer 2017): Introduces a redesigned approval page, matching the Spring 2017 update to the official Word template; tightens spacing for chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines; separates footnotes from body text with vertical space instead of a dividing line; simplifies standard copyright disclaimer; documents the process for adding an Ethics Statement; adds helpful defaults, such as \frenchspacing, to the template's customization suggestions. (Ross Churchley)

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The templates below have been built to ensure a consistent look among most theses and dissertations submitted to the Graduate School. These templates should be used as a guide in formatting your thesis or dissertation with the understanding that your department may require modifications of the template to fit your discipline’s style. Please contact your department’s Format Advisor to discuss any necessary changes.

The Thesis & Dissertation Office recommends using the PurdueThesis.cls file.

Please take note that Overleaf SHOULD NOT be used for writing, editing, or publishing documents or research papers that contain data subject to EAR, ITAR, DFARS Clause 252.204-7012, and other controlled data designators due to the increased security required for these types of data.

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Please download the following template to begin your thesis/dissertation. Formatting within the template is already set up for your convenience.

You will need to select the appropriate answer for all dropdown boxes on page 1.  Ex. Thesis/Dissertation, Choose Degree, Choose Department, Choose Campus Location, Choose Graduation Term.

You will need to manually input your committee information on page 2. We ask that you only list your committee member's primary department. The name after "Approved by:" should match the name listed on your Form 9 as "Thesis Form Head".

Follow instructions within the template to complete the rest of your thesis/dissertation. Please be careful when making changes so that you do not override/change the template formatting.

Please contact us if your department is not listed, or with other questions. 

Last modified January 16, 2024.

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Thesis and dissertation 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.

Need help working in the template? Schedule an appointment today.

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.

Please note: We offer the Google Doc template for initial drafts of your thesis/dissertation to share easily with your committee chair. We do not accept Google Documents as the final document of your thesis/dissertation. Google Docs does not have the functionality we require for our final theses/dissertations. Please use the Google Doc template while keeping in mind that you will need to convert your document to Microsoft Word later.

Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (Word Doc) Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (LATEX) Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (Google Doc)

Word Template Last Updated: February 2021

Word Document Template Information

Download instructions.

  • Download the Boise State Template from the orange callout ribbon above.
  • Show the downloaded file in the Downloads folder.
  • Right click and select Open
  • Enable Content
  • 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).
  • Close this file.

Working Within the Template

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.

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.

  • Format a Heading 1 in all caps, and centered
  • Format a Heading 2 in title-caps, bold, and centered
  • Format a Heading 3 in title-caps, underlined, and aligned left
  • Format a Heading 4 in title-caps, underlined, and indented once
  • Format a Heading 5 in title-caps, underlined and indented twice
  • Figure Captions are bolded and centered in the template. They may also be justified.
  • Table Captions are bolded and aligned left in the template. They may also be justified.
  • 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.

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

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

Note: All other lists (such as a List of Abbreviations or List of Graphs) are not updated automatically. 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.

Attaching Styles

  • 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.
  • Highlight the text you wish to format (it is often only necessary to “click in” the section you wish to format)
  • 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.

  • Highlight the text that you wish to format
  • Right click the text and select Styles → Save Selection as a New Quick Style.
  • 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.

  • Download the Boise State Thesis and Dissertation Template and save it to your computer. See instructions above under “Before you Begin.”
  • Open the Word document containing your thesis/dissertation, click file, click options, click add-ins, and select templates from the Manage drop down menu at the bottom of the page. Click go.
  • In the Document Template section, click Attach.
  • Navigate to the folder in which you saved the template and select it.
  • Important: Check the box labeled “Automatically update document styles.”

Adjusting Margins

  • Click Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  • In the Home ribbon, click layout, click margins and select the mirror margin option that contains inside margin 1.5″, top and bottom margins 1.”

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

  •  Set a continuous section break immediately before the Heading 1 on the first page that follows your approval pages.
  • Set a continuous section break immediately before the title of Chapter 1.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Insert page numbers. Front matter page numbers should be in lowercase Roman numerals and should be centered at the bottom of each page.
  • Double-click inside the footer of the first page in Chapter 1.
  • 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.
  • Delete the page numbers from the footer.
  • Open the header on the same page by double-clicking inside the header.
  • Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab.
  • Insert alpha-numeric page numbers, starting with 1, into the upper right-hand corner of the pages.

Landscape Pages

  • Repeat step 3 on the page following the landscape page.
  • Click Insert → Page Number (in the Header & Footer section) → Page Margins.

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.

  • In the Home ribbon, select References , then select Table of Contents and choose the first option.
  • To build your list of tables or figures do the following: on the Home ribbon, select references, select Insert List of Table of Figures, on the options drop down select either table captions or figure captions depending on which you are creating. You will then have to manually insert the heading.

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.

Helpful Tips

  • 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.”
  • 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.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Suggestions or feedback?

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When Albert E. Almada PhD ’13 embarks on a new project, he always considers two criteria instilled in him during his time as a graduate student in the Department of Biology at MIT.

“If you want to make a big discovery, you have to approach it from a unique perspective — a unique angle,” Almada says. “You also have to be willing to dive into the unknown and go to the leading edge of your field.”

This is not without its challenges — but with an innovative spirit, Almada says, one can find ways to apply technologies and approaches to a new area of research where a roadmap doesn’t yet exist.

Now an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), Almada studies the mechanics of how stem cells rebuild tissues after trauma and how stem cell principles are dysregulated and drive conditions like degenerative disease and aging, exploring these topics through an evolutionary lens. 

He’s also trying to solve a mystery that has intrigued scientists for centuries: Why can some vertebrate species like fish, salamanders, and lizards regenerate entire body parts, but mammals cannot?  Almada’s laboratory  at USC tackles these critical questions in the musculoskeletal system. 

Almada’s fascination with muscle development and regeneration can be traced back to growing up in southern California. Almada’s brother had a degenerative muscle disease called  Duchenne muscular dystrophy — and, while Almada grew stronger and stronger, his brother grew weaker and weaker. Last summer, Almada’s brother, unfortunately, lost his battle with his disorder at the age of 41. 

“Watching his disease progress in those early years is what inspired me to become a scientist,” Almada recalls. “Sometimes science can be personal.” 

Almada went to the University of California at Irvine for his undergraduate degree, majoring in biological sciences. During his summers, he participated in the  Undergraduate Research Program  (URP) at the  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the MIT Summer Research Program-Bio (now the Bernard S. and Sophie G. Gould MIT Summer Research Program in Biology, BSG-MSRP-Bio ), where he saw the passion, rigor, and drive that solidified his desire to pursue a PhD. 

Despite his interest in clinical applications, skeletal muscle, and regenerative biology, Almada was drawn to the Department of Biology at MIT , which is focused on basic fundamental research.

“I was willing to bet that it all came down to understanding basic cellular processes and things going wrong with the cell and how it interacts with its environment,” he says. “The MIT biology program really helped me define an identity for myself and gave me a template for how to tackle clinical problems from a molecular perspective.”

Almada’s PhD thesis work was based on a curious finding that  Phillip Sharp , Institute Professor emeritus, professor emeritus of biology, and intramural faculty at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, had made in 2007 — that transcription, the process of copying DNA into a messenger molecule called RNA, can occur in both directions at gene promoters. In one direction, it was long understood that fully formed mRNA is transcribed and can be used as a blueprint to make a protein. The transcription Sharp observed, in the opposite direction, results in a very short RNA that is not used as a gene product blueprint. 

Almada’s project dug into what those short RNA molecules are — their structure and sequence, and why they’re not produced the same way that coding messenger RNA is. In two papers published in  PNAS  and  Nature , Almada and colleagues discovered that a balance between splicing and transcription termination signals controls the length of an RNA. This finding has wider implications because toxic RNAs are produced and can build up in several degenerative diseases; being able to splice out or shorten RNAs to remove the harmful segments could be a potential therapeutic treatment.

“That experience convinced me that if I want to make big discoveries, I have to focus on basic science,” he says. “It also gave me the confidence that if I can succeed at MIT, I can succeed just about anywhere and in any field of biology.” 

At the time Almada was in graduate school, there was a lot of excitement about transcription factor reprogramming. Transcription factors are the proteins responsible for turning on essential genes that tell a cell what to be and how to behave; a subset of them can even theoretically turn one cell type into another. 

Almada began to wonder whether a specialized set of transcription factors instructs stem cells to rebuild tissues after trauma. After MIT, Almada moved on to a postdoctoral position in the lab of  Amy Wagers , a leader in muscle stem cell biology at Harvard University, to immerse himself in this problem.

In many tissues in our bodies, a population of stem cells typically exists in an inactive, non-dividing state called quiescence. Once activated, these stem cells interact with their environment, sense damage signals, and turn on programs of proliferation and differentiation, as well as self-renewal, which is critical to maintaining a pool of stem cells in the tissue.

One of the biggest mysteries in the field of regenerative biology is how stem cells transition from dormancy into that activated, highly regenerative state. The body’s ability to turn on stem cells, including those in the skeletal muscle system, declines as we age and is often dysregulated in degenerative diseases — diseases like the one Almada’s brother suffered from. 

In a study Almada published in Cell Reports  several years ago, he identified a family of transcription factors that work together to turn on a critical regenerative gene program within hours of muscle trauma. This program drives muscle stem cells out of quiescence and speeds up healing. 

“Now my lab is studying this regenerative program and its potential dysregulation in aging and degenerative muscle diseases using mouse and human models,” Almada says. “We’re also drawing parallels with super-healing species like salamanders and lizards.” 

Recently, Almada has been working on characterizing the molecular and functional properties of stem cells in lizards, attempting to understand how the genes and pathways differ from mammalian stem cells. Lizards can regenerate massive amounts of skeletal muscle from scratch — imagine if human muscle tissue could be regrown as seamlessly as a lizard’s tail can. He is also exploring whether the tail is unique, or if stem cells in other tissues in lizards can regenerate faster and better than the tail, by comparing analogous injuries in a mouse model. 

“This is a good example of approaching a problem from a new perspective: We believe we’re going to discover new biology in lizards that we can use to enhance skeletal muscle growth in vulnerable human populations, including those that suffer from deadly muscle disorders,” Almada says.

In just three years of starting his faculty position at USC, his work and approach have already received recognition in academia, with junior faculty awards from the Baxter Foundation and the Glenn Foundation/American Federation of Aging Research. He also received his  first RO1 award  from the National Institutes of Health with nearly $3 million in funding. Almada and his first graduate student, Alma Zuniga Munoz, were also awarded the  HHMI Gilliam Fellowship  last summer. Zuniga Munoz is  the first to be recognized  with this award at USC; fellowship recipients, student and advisor pairs, are selected with the goal of preparing students from underrepresented groups for leadership roles in science.

Almada himself is a second-generation Mexican American and has been involved in mentoring and training throughout his academic career. He was a graduate resident tutor for Spanish House at MIT and currently serves as the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC; more than half of his lab members identify as members of the Hispanic community.

“The focus has to be on developing good scientists,” Almada says. “I learned from my past research mentors the importance of putting the needs of your students first and providing a supportive environment for everyone to excel, no matter where they start.” 

As a mentor and researcher, Almada knows that no question and no challenge is off limits — foundations he built in Cambridge, where his graduate studies focused on teaching him to think, not just do.

“Digging deep into the science is what MIT taught me,” he says. “I’m now taking all of my knowledge in molecular biology and applying it to translationally oriented questions that I hope will benefit human health and longevity.”

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  • Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples

Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples

Published on May 15, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

The table of contents is where you list the chapters and major sections of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper, alongside their page numbers. A clear and well-formatted table of contents is essential, as it demonstrates to your reader that a quality paper will follow.

The table of contents (TOC) should be placed between the abstract and the introduction . The maximum length should be two pages. Depending on the nature of your thesis , paper, or dissertation topic , there are a few formatting options you can choose from.

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Table of contents

What to include in your table of contents, what not to include in your table of contents, creating a table of contents in microsoft word, table of contents examples, updating a table of contents in microsoft word, other lists in your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the table of contents.

Depending on the length of your document, you can choose between a single-level, subdivided, or multi-level table of contents.

  • A single-level table of contents only includes “level 1” headings , or chapters. This is the simplest option, but it may be too broad for a long document like a dissertation.
  • A subdivided table of contents includes chapters as well as “level 2” headings, or sections. These show your reader what each chapter contains.
  • A multi-level table of contents also further divides sections into “level 3” headings. This option can get messy quickly, so proceed with caution. Remember your table of contents should not be longer than 2 pages. A multi-level table is often a good choice for a shorter document like a research paper .

Examples of level 1 headings are Introduction, Literature Review , Methodology , and Bibliography. Subsections of each of these would be level 2 headings, further describing the contents of each chapter or large section. Any further subsections would be level 3.

In these introductory sections, less is often more. As you decide which sections to include, narrow it down to only the most essential.

Including appendices and tables

You should include all appendices in your table of contents. Whether or not you include tables and figures depends largely on how many there are in your document.

If there are more than three figures and tables, you might consider listing them on a separate page. Otherwise, you can include each one in the table of contents.

  • Theses and dissertations often have a separate list of figures and tables.
  • Research papers generally don’t have a separate list of figures and tables.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

All level 1 and level 2 headings should be included in your table of contents, with level 3 headings used very sparingly.

The following things should never be included in a table of contents:

  • Your acknowledgements page
  • Your abstract
  • The table of contents itself

The acknowledgements and abstract always precede the table of contents, so there’s no need to include them. This goes for any sections that precede the table of contents.

To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, be sure to first apply the correct heading styles throughout the document, as shown below.

  • Choose which headings are heading 1 and which are heading 2 (or 3)!
  • For example, if all level 1 headings should be Times New Roman, 12-point font, and bold, add this formatting to the first level 1 heading.
  • Highlight the level 1 heading.
  • Right-click the style that says “Heading 1.”
  • Select “Update Heading 1 to Match Selection.”
  • Allocate the formatting for each heading throughout your document by highlighting the heading in question and clicking the style you wish to apply.

Once that’s all set, follow these steps:

  • Add a title to your table of contents. Be sure to check if your citation style or university has guidelines for this.
  • Place your cursor where you would like your table of contents to go.
  • In the “References” section at the top, locate the Table of Contents group.
  • Here, you can select which levels of headings you would like to include. You can also make manual adjustments to each level by clicking the Modify button.
  • When you are ready to insert the table of contents, click “OK” and it will be automatically generated, as shown below.

Table of contents example

The key features of a table of contents are:

  • Clear headings and subheadings
  • Corresponding page numbers

Check with your educational institution to see if they have any specific formatting or design requirements.

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Write yourself a reminder to update your table of contents as one of your final tasks before submitting your dissertation or paper. It’s normal for your text to shift a bit as you input your final edits, and it’s crucial that your page numbers correspond correctly.

It’s easy to update your page numbers automatically in Microsoft Word. Simply right-click the table of contents and select “Update Field.” You can choose either to update page numbers only or to update all information in your table of contents.

In addition to a table of contents, you might also want to include a list of figures and tables, a list of abbreviations, and a glossary in your thesis or dissertation. You can use the following guides to do so:

  • List of figures and tables
  • List of abbreviations

It is less common to include these lists in a research paper.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.

The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .

Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract in the table of contents.

To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:

  • Apply heading styles throughout the document.
  • In the references section in the ribbon, locate the Table of Contents group.
  • Click the arrow next to the Table of Contents icon and select Custom Table of Contents.
  • Select which levels of headings you would like to include in the table of contents.

Make sure to update your table of contents if you move text or change headings. To update, simply right click and select Update Field.

The table of contents in a thesis or dissertation always goes between your abstract and your introduction .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

George, T. (2023, July 18). Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/table-of-contents/

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Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

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Green Chemistry

Deep eutectic solvent as emerging green platform for synthesis of functional materials.

As a multifunctional solvent, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) possess numerous potential applications in a variety of fields due to their low vapor pressure, tunability, environmental friendliness, and the ability to dissolve a wide range of chemicals. DES serves as solvents, templates, and functionalization agents, among other functions, in the synthesis of functional materials, all of which are covered in this work. In addition, recent developments in the creation of different functional materials utilizing DES are reviewed, as is the mechanism of DES activity throughout the preparation process and its potential to control the material characteristics. The inherent features, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness of DES are highlighted in the study, and it is argued that this makes it a potential green platform. Finally, the potential, key problems, and limitations of DES are outlined for use in the materials sciences. It is anticipated that this study will work as a resource for proponents and users of green chemistry, assisting them in reducing pollution, boosting productivity, and reaping the rewards of DES progress.

  • This article is part of the themed collection: 2023 Green Chemistry Reviews

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Y. Ma, Y. Yang, T. Li, S. Hussain and M. Zhu, Green Chem. , 2024, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D3GC04289H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page .

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page .

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  1. Free Dissertation & Thesis Template (Word Doc & PDF)

    If you're preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples. The template's structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal ...

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    UCI Libraries maintains the following templates to assist in formatting your graduate manuscript. If you are formatting your manuscript in Microsoft Word, feel free to download and use the template. ... Word: Thesis Template 2024. Editable template of the Master's thesis formatting. PDF Thesis Template 2024. Word: Dissertation Template 2024 ...

  3. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  4. University Thesis and Dissertation Templates

    These templates also include placeholders for all front matter you will need to include in your thesis or dissertation, and may include guidelines for how to write these. Front matter includes your table of contents, acknowledgements, abstract, abbreviation list, figure list, committee page, and (sometimes) academic history or CV; everything ...

  5. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the central point of your paper or essay. It usually comes near the end of your introduction. Learn how to write a thesis statement with four simple steps, examples, and tips for different types of essays.

  6. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  7. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  8. Dissertation & Thesis Template

    Dissertation & Thesis Template. As a resource for graduate students, sample Word templates are available to assist with the initial formatting of doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Students are expected to fully format their dissertation/thesis according to the "Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master's ...

  9. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on 8 June 2022 by Tegan George . A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you'd like to undertake.

  10. Thesis templates

    Thesis template help: Thesis template instructions; Online tutorials: Using the thesis template; The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essays. The template and instructions are .docx files, and have been tested in Word 2011 (Mac), Word 2013 (Windows), and ...

  11. 18 Thesis Outline Templates and Examples (Word

    An thesis essay outline template is a template containing how an essay ought to be drafted, stored in a PDF version. As expected, such templates are stored in such a portal so as to enable ease of sharing among the interested parties [could be students, researchers, tutors etc]. crestmont.edu. Download.

  12. Templates

    The templates below have been built to ensure a consistent look among most theses and dissertations submitted to the Graduate School. These templates should be used as a guide in formatting your thesis or dissertation with the understanding that your department may require modifications of the template to fit your discipline's style.

  13. Thesis and Dissertation Template

    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. Please note: We offer the Google Doc template for initial drafts of your thesis/dissertation to share easily with your committee chair.

  14. PDF Thesis Templates

    Thesis Templates. Good writing requires a main thought or argument that will keep a paper's content focused. In academic writing, this main thought is known as a thesis and is represented by a phrase usually placed at the end of the introduction: this is called the thesis statement. The thesis statement consists of two sections - a claim ...

  15. Thesis Generator

    a definition. an interesting fact. a question that will be answered in your paper. some background information on your topic. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will state your thesis statement.

  16. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples)

    A thesis statement template focuses your arguments and ideas into a single sentence. Use it to present your essay's topic and to share your point of view regarding the topic. The thesis statement must tell the reader about the essay, help guide your writing process, and help you focus on your arguments.

  17. Thesis & Dissertation Title Page

    The title page (or cover page) of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper should contain all the key information about your document. It usually includes: Dissertation or thesis title. Your name. The type of document (e.g., dissertation, research paper) The department and institution. The degree program (e.g., Master of Arts)

  18. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  19. PDF THESIS OR PROJECT FORMATTING GUIDELINES FROM THE ...

    This template is an example of one format, but you may use other formats as directed by your department/College based on a citation. Check for correct page numbers before final submittal. ... • Line 2: THESIS OR PROJECT (must be bold and uppercase) o [Left align] Same line hit tab 3 times and enter your TITLE in uppercase no bold.

  20. What can super-healing species teach us about regeneration?

    "The MIT biology program really helped me define an identity for myself and gave me a template for how to tackle clinical problems from a molecular perspective." Almada's PhD thesis work was based on a curious finding that Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor emeritus, professor emeritus of biology, and intramural faculty at the Koch ...

  21. Helpful Tips for Faculty and Students

    Public Thesis Defense Tips. Please have the Public Thesis Defense Booklet PDF file completed a week before the defense date at latest (template will be provided after the student's Private Thesis Defense) For Public Thesis Defense food arrangements, see Food Order requirements in Ordering section. Happy Hour Requirements

  22. Cahuachi's Role in Nazca Culture Thesis Defense Presentation

    Create a perfect presentation for your next thesis defense by using this template now! Features of this template. 100% editable and easy to modify; Different slides to impress your audience; Contains easy-to-edit graphics such as graphs, maps, tables, timelines and mockups;

  23. Dissertation Table of Contents in Word

    Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples. Published on May 15, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on July 18, 2023. The table of contents is where you list the chapters and major sections of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, alongside their page numbers.A clear and well-formatted table of contents is essential, as it demonstrates to your reader that a quality ...

  24. Roadmap Infographics. Free PPT & Google Slides Template

    Brace yourself, marketing professionals! Our playful, minimal Roadmap Infographics template is just the tool you need. With its dominant beige tone, this PowerPoint and Google Slides template is perfect for mapping out your marketing strategies or presenting project timelines in a visually appealing way. It's time to take your PPT ...

  25. Research Proposal Example (PDF + Template)

    Proposal template (Fully editable) If you're working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful: Research Proposal Bootcamp: Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible. 1:1 Proposal Coaching: Get hands-on help with your research proposal.

  26. Deep eutectic solvent as emerging green platform for synthesis of

    As a multifunctional solvent, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) possess numerous potential applications in a variety of fields due to their low vapor pressure, tunability, environmental friendliness, and the ability to dissolve a wide range of chemicals. DES serves as solvents, templates, and functionalization a 2023 Green Chemistry Reviews