Smith College School for Social Work BannerWeb
Curriculum Objectives
Course Requirements
Developing the Thesis Project
Human Subjects Review
Implementing and Completing the Study
Writing the Thesis Report
Manuscript Preparation
List of Appendices
Thesis Guidelines

800 - Manuscript Preparation

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010) is the reference to be used on matters of form and style for the thesis document. The following guidelines for preparing and typing the manuscript are meant to be a readily available first reference source for the student. Since they are not inclusive, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The APA Manual will be available at the Smith College Bookstore each summer.

It is the student's responsibility to produce a thesis document which is professional in style and content. The advisor is available to answer questions about style and format, but the responsibility for the appearance of the final product rests with the student.

800.1 - Parts of the Manuscript

800.1a - Preface Sections

Abstract. Smith requires that one copy of the abstract precede the title page of each copy. One additional copy of the abstract on regular paper is required for use in the Smith College Studies in Social Work journal for publication in an upcoming issue. The abstract may also be longer than APA allows, up to a maximum of 250 words. Naturally, additional thesis copies need only have one abstract included.

If the thesis is the result of an independent investigation, no agency name is listed (see Appendix A for sample adapted from a previous thesis). In the case of studies carried out in agencies, the agency name and address (city and state) should be given in parentheses under the author's name (see Appendix A for sample adapted from a previous thesis). This listing corresponds to the author's affiliation, which the APA format includes on the title page. The APA abbreviations for the names of states are given in the APA Manual.

Title page. The title page should be prepared in accordance with the examples given in Appendix B (a non-agency based thesis, or an Agency-related thesis). The name of the School, city, state, and zip code, and the year must be included. An agency affiliation is given only when the project used clients or staff of the placement agency as sources of data.

Acknowledgments. A page with acknowledgments may be included in the thesis if desired. The contents of such a page are single-spaced and presented in paragraph style. An example appears as Appendix C.

List of tables and figures. These lists should be prepared and entries numbered in order of their appearance in the manuscript. Whenever 4 or more tables and figures appear in the text or in the appendix, lists should be prepared. (See Appendices E and F for examples.)

8001b - Text Sections

In preparing all text, the "Expression of Ideas" and "Editorial Style" chapters of the APA Manual should be consulted. All texts must conform to standards of usage, punctuation and style.

Divisions of the text. Suggested text divisions for reports of empirical projects are given in the APA Manual and in these Guidelines. Each of these major sections should be considered a thesis chapter (e.g. CHAPTER II). The major text divisions of a non-empirical report should be determined by the nature of the work, in consultation with the advisor.

Headings. It is usually necessary to break down chapters or major text sections into sub-sections. This practice helps writer and reader to be clear about the flow of ideas. Decide how many levels of text division you will need and follow the instructions given, always using a two-line, double-spaced heading for the titles of chapters. Use Roman numerals to number the chapters. Most theses would require at least three levels of headings. Check the "Headings" section in the APA Manual. Also check the "Headings" section of these Guidelines (below) for examples of heading formats.

(The above level added for purpose of the thesis. The following level headings follow APA.)

Research Purpose and Question

Instruments used in study. The instruments used in this (continue with rest of paragraph)
Q-sort measures. Such measures have been (continue with rest of paragraph)
Life history calendar. A life history calendar can be used to (continue paragraph)
Specific life history calendar. Provide description of this calendar and continue with rest of paragraph)

Tables and figures. All tables must, of course, be typed. This rule applies as well to all headings and other information accompanying a figure (illustration). Tables and figures are numbered in order of appearance as part of their titles. Table or figure headings need not be typed double-spaced. An example is included as Appendix I. You may use smaller font sizes in tables, or use a “landscape” rather than “portrait” page format.

Instructions for preparing tables and figures are given in the APA Manual. It is permissible to arrange tables or figures either broadside on the page (having the top on the long edge of the paper) or in the same manner as the text. The choice should be based on ease of presentation.

It is recommended that each table and figure be prepared on a separate page and placed immediately following the page of text on which reference is made to it. The reader should be directed to it by table number. This method of preparation is usually cheaper than mixing tables and text on a page. However, if a table or figure is small, it may be placed on the same page as text if desired. It is also permissible to put two tables or figures on a page if they fit within the margin requirements (see below).

If the thesis contains large or numerous tables or figures, or if the author prefers, tables and figures may be placed at the end of text in the Appendix, following the References. This method of manuscript preparation is usually simpler and cheaper for author, typist and journal although a little more tiresome for the reader. The proper placement of these tables and figures in the text should be indicated as shown in the APA Manual or with an instruction directing the reader to the Appendix and page.

800.1c - Appended Sections

The reference list (entitled "References"), any footnotes (content or copyright permission notes), and, if desired, tables or figures appear following the text. Other supportive documentation, such as instruments or consent forms, may be appended as well. Appendix pages are numbered sequentially in series after the text. Each appendix section must have its own title.

Reference list. All works referenced in the text must be listed in the reference list. Detailed instructions on how to list all kinds of sources are given in the APA Manual. Suggestions on how to cite various types of works in the text are also given in the APA Manual. An example is included in Appendix G, with World Wide Web citations in Appendix H. Many questions are raised about how to make reference to work cited by others; APA does not normally support this practice as only primary, not secondary sources should be quoted after review by the author. All in-text citations should be checked against the reference list to be sure that they are correct and that the list is complete.

Appendices. If several types of materials are appended, such as instruments and tables, each appendix section should be lettered (e.g., Appendix A: Tables) and listed in the Table of Contents with its starting page number. Level 1 headings should be used. See the APA Manual on typing headings for Appendices.

800.2 - Preparing the Thesis for Final Submission

Generally, the text of a thesis report is at least 50 pages long. Preparing a manuscript of that length is a major project. Be sure to allow sufficient time for manuscript preparation. Please note:

The most recent edition of the APA Manual requires the use of bold and italics throughout the thesis, rather than underlining. If in doubt, consult with the Thesis Coordinator. The APA Manual explains why some print and type is unacceptable. The entire manuscript should be double spaced, throughout.

800.3 - General Formatting Instructions

General instructions covering paper, spacing, use of numbers or numerals, page numbers, paragraphs and indentation, upper- and lower-case letters, underlining, quotations and footnotes are given in the APA Manual.

Typeface. The APA Manual gives examples of acceptable typefaces.  Any typeface that is unusual in appearance is not acceptable. However, if such type occurs in a block quotation, it may be included with a statement in brackets [ ] noting that the bold or italics were in the original.

Placement of page numbers. Page numbers must appear on all pages and should be in the same place throughout the manuscript (either bottom center or upper right-hand corner). The following exceptions apply: (a) the Abstract and Title Page are not numbered and (b) pages in the preface section, should have lower-case Roman numerals.

Placement of sections. Each major section of the report (i.e., Title Page, Acknowledgments, Table of Contents, and Chapters) should begin on a new page The Abstract, References and Appendices also have a regular 1 inch top margin. The first page of each chapter should start 2” from the top. At the end of major sections, avoid instances in which the final page contains only a line or two of text.

Running head.A running head is not used on pages of the thesis.

Double-spaced text. The text of the abstract and chapters should be double spaced (not one and one-half spacing). (Also, refer to these Guidelines' appendices on the use of single spacing for various samples [i.e., Acknowledgments, List of Figures or Tables, and Tables]).

Block quotations. Quotations of 40 words or longer should be in block form and they need to be double-spaced.

Abstract. The abstract can be 250 words long and must be typed double-spaced. Your name (exactly as it appears on the Title Page) and thesis title should be typed in upper and lowercase letters. (See Appendix A - examples for proper setup.) Please also make a copy of your abstract on a CD or disk as required for submission. This abstract will be used for publication in an upcoming issue of the Smith College Studies in Social Work.

Title page. The thesis title should be centered, double spaced, bold and all in caps. The paragraph that appears, in the center of the page, should be indented to have a justified left margin, single spaced and can be three to four lines (not two) of type. Note carefully: There should be only one space after your name and one space before year of graduation (see sample in Appendix B).



(The above level added for purpose of the thesis. The following level headings follow APA.)

Research Purpose and Question
Instruments used in study. The instruments used in this (continue with rest of paragraph)
Q-sort measures. Such measures have been (continue with rest of paragraph)
Life history calendar. A life history calendar can be used to (continue paragraph)
Specific life history calendar. Provide description of this calendar and continue with rest of paragraph)

Margins. Margins should be 1” on all sides with the exception of the first page of each chapter. A visual view of the margin guidelines is found in Appendix K.

Where printed documents do not conform to these margins, a useful technique is to have them copied in an 85% to 90% reduction. You may then paste the reduced image onto a correctly formatted page and add the necessary headings and thesis page numbers.

Right justification. Right justification of margins may NOT be used because it can create problems of uneven or excessive spacing between words or at the end of lines.

Hyphenation. While the APA Manual does not allow hyphenation at the end of lines, some word processors automatically introduce them. Every effort should be made to keep the division of words between lines to a minimum; in no case may proper nouns be hyphenated.

Tables and figures. For large tables or figures, fold-out pages are not permitted. Large tables or figures may be photo reduced or may be divided and presented on sequential pages. If tables or figures are placed at the end of the text, they must follow the references in Appendix sections, unlike APA article format. Table or figure headings need not be typed double-space and may employ smaller fonts than does the text

Proofreading. Proofreading of the final, typed manuscript should be done by the author and errors corrected prior to submitting the draft to your advisor for final approval. It is often advisable for someone else other than the writer to assist in proofreading, since it is often difficult to detect errors in one's own work. It is also necessary to check each copy after copying as well, to detect imperfect page copies or omitted pages. The advisor should review the whole draft document before typing, to assist with formatting.

A Worksheet for Thesis Submission has been developed to assist students and advisors in identifying key proofreading and formatting issues. This worksheet appears as Appendix M.

Corrections to the manuscript are noted on a Correction Sheet by the advisor, who specifies both page and paragraph of needed changes. An example of the Correction Sheet is found in Appendix L.

800.4 - Submitting the Thesis

The research advisor must approve the entire thesis manuscript prior to submission. Both a signed Correction Sheet and a Worksheet for Thesis Submission must be presented along with the thesis (see Appendices L and M). These sheets should either indicate that all format and proofreading changes have been made or should enumerate the corrections to be made. Remember, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to see that all format requirements have been met.

Number of Copies. If the project is an "independent investigation", then one (1) copy on regular paper is to be submitted. If the project is agency-based, then (2) two copies are to be submitted. The typed or printed copies must at least be on high quality (20 lb.) paper. All copies must be submitted with a manila clasped envelope fitting each copy. In addition to the Abstract submitted with each copy, please remember to submit one (1) additional copy of the Abstract for listing in the Smith Studies and email one (1) copy of your thesis and abstract (in PDF and WORD) to the Administrative Assistant for the Research Sequence. For formatting and pagination tips in Word, see Moodle SSW 997.

In the case of an agency project, the second copy must be bound by the copier (spiral binding) or placed in some other cover. (Note: You can complete this process by the correction deadline. It is to your financial advantage not to have this copy bound until all final corrections are made.) A manila clasped envelope to fit thesis and cover must also be supplied. Also submit the agency name and correct address so that the address label and cover letter can be made up. The department will mail the copy to the agency.

If the thesis will require correction after submission, it is permissible to submit a single copy to meet the deadline. This copy may be made on regular photocopy paper. The final copies must be submitted to the Administrative Assistant for the Research Sequence when corrections are due.

Things to Check before Submission. Each student is responsible for seeing that the thesis manuscript is in correct format. A Worksheet for Thesis Submission has been developed to help students and advisors review the manuscript for format. Not all APA rules appear on it; these Guidelines and the APA Manual contain the rules in detail. This worksheet simply mentions the most important format/printing issues that will affect every thesis (see Appendix M). This worksheet, initialed by both student and advisor, must be submitted along with the FINAL correction sheet.

The Administrative Assistant will verify that the format of the Abstract and Title Page are correct. The Administrative Assistant will also verify that the spelling of the author's name and the thesis title are identical on the Abstract and the Title Page. It is the Administrative Assistant’s responsibility to log in the thesis and thus certify that the deadline has been met. She issues a "blue slip" or receipt to document this fact.

Evaluations. By the thesis deadline students must complete the evaluation of the winter/summer advising experience (done on-line via Banner Web).

Corrections after the Deadline. In the event that there are additional corrections needed after the submission deadline, errors and changes to be made must be described on the Correction Sheet as certified by the advisor. When corrections are made after the deadline, it is permissible to submit only one copy of the thesis on regular photocopy paper. Submission with pending changes is only permitted in the week prior to the Thesis deadline. However, final submission of the corrected pages must be made by noon of the Friday of the week after the final deadline. Arrangements for delivering the corrections and copies must be made in advance with the Research Sequence Administrative Assistant. It is the student's responsibility to place the corrected pages in previously submitted copies of the thesis.



Updated 4/5/13