The Graduate School

Thesis and Dissertation Guide

Back Matter

Notes | References | Web Citations | Appendicies | Biographical Sketch

The back matter of your thesis consists of the Notes (if you have chosen to group your footnotes at the end of the paper), the References (Bibliography or Literature Cited), Appendices, and the Biographical Sketch (optional). The back matter is paginated consecutively from the last page of the text. The back matter, including the appendices, must meet the same margin requirements as the rest of the thesis.


If you use footnotes, you may

  1. (1) place them at the bottom of the page,
  2. (2) group them at the end of each chapter, or
  3. (3) group them at the end of the thesis, before your Bibliography.

If you choose to group them at the end of each chapter, begin the Notes on a new page, which is counted but not numbered. Following the first page of notes, number the rest of the pages. If you choose to group the Notes at the end of your paper, begin them on a new page, which will be counted but not numbered. Number the subsequent pages. Follow your style guide or journal for the numbering and format of footnotes. Although your guide may advise you to double-space the note, you may single- space within each note, double-spacing between them. Footnotes are indicated in the text and in the notes with superscript numbers. The number should appear at the end of the last word in the sentence. If you use footnotes, you must choose a computer software package, which prints superscripts.


Style guides and journals vary widely in the treatment of references cited. Your comprehensive list of references may be called "Literature Cited," "References," or "Bibliography," but certain requirements apply to the list of references no matter what it is called. You must become thoroughly familiar with the style of citations and references used by your journal or style guide, ensuring that your thesis conforms exactly to requirements. When you submit your thesis for format evaluation, the advisor will check carefully the format of your citations and the reference list (i.e., that every work cited in the text appears in the references), the order of references, and the completeness of entries. The first page of the references, like the first page of each chapter, is counted but not numbered.

World Wide Web Citations

Students in some cases may use sources in their research that include scholarly projects, reference databases, the texts of books, articles in periodicals, and professional and personal sites from the World Wide Web. Sources cited from the Web, like citation of printed work, must appear as an entry in the "Literature Cited," "References," or "Bibliography" and include the same information that would be provided for a printed source. An additional requirement, however, is retrieval information placed at the end of the reference. Retrieval information must include the date of retrieval because documents on the Web may change in content or site location. Guidelines for citing electronic resources located on the World Wide Web are available from the University Learning Center (Westside Hall, WE 1056). The site American Psychological Association provides detailed information on how to cite information from the World Wide Web, Email, Web discussions, Listserv messages, Newsgroup messages, Real-time communication, Telnet, FTP and gopher sites. The Modern Language Association of America provides information about documenting sources from the Internet. If citation questions arise that the Writing Center or the Web sites above do not address, consult your thesis advisor or the Graduate School.


Discuss with your committee the need for appendices, carefully considering the value of the material you propose to include. How does the material relate to the rest of your text? Would it be more useful to readers somewhere within the text? Does including the material violate any copyright? Some material often included in appendices may be so lengthy that placing it in the text would disrupt the reader's comprehension of your material.

To provide a clear break between appendices, designate each with a letter (Appendix A) and a title. The first page of the appendix is counted but not numbered. Subsequent pages are numbered as usual. The appendix is listed in the Table of Contents. The separate appendices do not have to be listed. All material in the appendices must meet the usual margin requirements.

Biographical Sketch

If you wish, you may include a brief Biographical Sketch in your thesis. The Biographical Sketch becomes the last page of your manuscript and is neither counted nor numbered. Do not list this page in your Table of Contents. It is double-spaced and should be written in the third person (i.e., Barbara Smith was born ...). The Biographical Sketch usually contains some or all of the following information: your full name; reference to early schooling; important events such as military, travel abroad, recognition of community services; undergraduate and graduate training, including where or when degrees were received; and special honors or awards. The Biographical Sketch should be presented in an academic and professional tone; you are simply providing the reader with relevant biographical information.

Additional information can be found on the Thesis and Dissertation FAQ webpage.

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