Additional Thesis Formatting Information


Acknowledgements are optional. However if you would like to thank individuals for providing assistance or support you may add an ackowledgements section to your thesis. If you received a grant to support your research you should recognize the grant provider in the acknowledgements. You are strongly encouraged to include an acknowledgements section to thank the people who supported you this great effort.

Tables and Figures

When using tables and figures be sure to insert and not copy and paste your tables and figures. Right click to label your table or figure appropriately. Using this method when you return to the list of tables or figures in the template and update your tables or figures will be linked to the list.

Captions and numbering

Be sure to number and caption each figure and table. Number them consecutively beginning with 1 or by chapter using a decimal system (i.e. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3)


Ideally tables and figures are placed immediately after their first mention. You may also elect to group your tables and figures at the end of each chapter. You may use appendices to include tables and figures that are not as central to the thesis. Always refer to the table or figure by its number, do not use a phrase like ‘the following table shows’ to reference a table or figure.

Citations, Footnotes, Works Cited and Reference Pages

Please use the appropriate style as dictated by your discipline to cite works that you reference in the thesis. Consult with your thesis supervisor regarding the most appropriate style guide for your work. The librarians at Penn State Libraries can also provide assistance regarding proper citation format. You may consider purchasing the the appropriate style guide manual. Once the style you will use has been determined follow the rules closely and consistently. In addition to citing works used within the paper, your thesis must include a bibliography. Again use the format that is appropriate for your discipline and consistent with the format you used for citing works within the paper.


You may have other material that is relevant but not directly referenced in the text of the thesis or is too lengthy or detailed to include in the body of the thesis (raw data, procedural explanations, etc.). This material may be placed in an appendix. Appendices should be designated A, B, C (not 1, 2, 3 or I, II, III). If there is only one appendix, call it simply Appendix, not Appendix A. Titles of appendices must be listed in the table of contents. Appendix pages must be numbered consecutively with the text of the thesis (do not number the pages A-1, A-2, etc.).

Academic Vita

The academic vita is required and must be the last page of the document. Do not give the vita a page number and do not list it in the Table of Contents. The title – Academic Vita – and the author’s name should appear at the top. A standard outline style or a prose form may be used. This should be set up similar to a résumé. Do not include your GPA.


Thesis  Templates
Thesis Submission Guidelines
MSP Thesis Submission Site
Thesis Deadlines