Skip to content


Block quotation

A single quotation that is greater than three lines in length. Block quotes are block indented from the left and either single or double spaced. They are not enclosed in quotation marks. 

Body Text

The narrative or descriptive text that comprises most of your manuscript. This is all text that is not: headings, subheadings, figure captions, table titles, figure or table notes, footnotes, endnotes, equations, algorithms, and so forth. 

Double space

Extra space between lines of text. The majority of this handbook is double-spaced. In this glossary, there is a double space between each entry 

Em/En dashes

Punctuation that can be used in place of commas, parentheses, or colons. In many style guides, an en dash is used to indicate a range (e.g., 10–20) or to give equal weight between two items (e.g., a London–Chicago flight). An em dash is used similarly to a comma or colon to amplify a digression from the text (e.g., Studies—published and unpublished—are included). Consult your style guide for exact uses. An em dash (—) is longer than a hyphen (-) or en dash (–).


A period of time after your manuscript has been accepted for publication before it is released to the public. 

Final Reading Approval form

This is one of two forms gathered electronically by the OnBase manuscript submission system when the defended manuscript is submitted to the Thesis Office for format approval. The supervisory committee chair signs to indicate that a final reading has been performed and no more content changes are required. The department/college/school chair/dean signs to indicate that all the appropriate departmental procedures and policies were followed. The signature also indicates that the manuscript is free from grammatical and format errors. The Thesis Office obtains the signature of the dean of The Graduate School after the editing process is completed. 

Format approval

Indicates that the thesis/dissertation may be uploaded to ProQuest to begin the thesis release process.

Format approval process

Refers to the back-and-forth process in which students 1) submit a document, 2) receive corrections from an editor, 3) make the edits and resubmit a revised document to the editor. This process is repeated until format approval is granted. 

Freestanding subheading

A subheading that appears on its own line.

Gaps (see white space)

Spaces between text that have no relation to the end of the chapter, margins, or spacing scheme, for example, an extra space between paragraphs and a large margin or white space at the bottom of the page when it is not the end of a chapter. Some word processing programs may have a default to automatically add a gap between each paragraph. This paragraph setting should be turned off. 

Heading space

A space that is larger than the double spaces used in a document. Heading spaces are used below main headings and above subheadings. Regardless of the word processing program being used to write the document, the heading spaces must be created consistently throughout the document so that they are always the same size. 

Headline style

A capitalization scheme in which the first letter of all major words is capitalized. For example: This Is Written in Headline Style. Some style guides differ on which words should be capitalized in headline style, check your style guide for details. Subheadings, figure captions, and table titles must consistently use either headline style or sentence style capitalization. 


Punctuation used between compound terms, compound adjectives, and syllable breaks at the end of a line of text. Please note that words with common prefixes (e.g., non, re, anti, pro, post, pre, micro, multi, etc.) should be treated as one word except when preceding a capitalized word or number (e.g., post-1970, pre-Renaissance) or when the word could be misunderstood (e.g., un-ionized would be confused with unionized). Hyphens are also generally used when the prefix ends and the base word begins with the same vowel (e.g., meta-analysis). 

Local numbering

Numbers given to subheadings, tables and/or figures, equations, etc. to indicate the chapter and number within that chapter of a given subheading, table, or figure, etc. For example, a table numbered 2.3 would indicate that it is the third table to appear in Chapter 2. 

Main headings

Headings that indicate a new chapter or main section of the document. Examples include ABSTRACT, CHAPTER 5, SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY, LIST OF FIGURES, and chapter titles (or main sections if not using chapters). Main headings always start on a new page, centered 2 inches from the top, and are in all capital letters. 

Main section

The main divisions of a manuscript. These divisions can also be called chapters. Main section titles are main headings. 

Paragraph subheading

A subheading level that serves as the first sentence of a new paragraph and does not require a heading space above. The paragraph subheading can be in either sentence style or headline style capitalization. 

Part-title page 

A page that contains only the title of the next element (i.e., section, appendix, chapter, part, or a large figure or table). The text or element that follows begins at the 1” top margin of the next page. 

Period leaders

Evenly spaced periods placed closely together to align information in a list. Period leaders are used most commonly in the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables. 

Preliminary review

A cursory review of a document in which the editor addresses only formatting issues such as margins, spacing scheme, placement of tables/figures, gaps/white space, use of main heading, subheadings, etc. Preliminary reviews are performed by the Thesis Office at the student’s request prior to a defense and can be performed on a single chapter). 


Previously published material included in a thesis/dissertation as it appears in its published form. Permission from the copyright holder and multiple author releases from coauthors are required to reprint any previously published material.

Sentence style

A capitalization scheme in which only the first letter of the first word is capitalized (also proper nouns and acronyms). For example: This is written in sentence style. Subheadings, figure captions, and table titles must consistently use either sentence style or headline style capitalization. 

Single space

Text with no additional space between lines of text. The individual entries in this glossary are single-spaced but are separated from other entries by a double space.

Spacing scheme

The size of single spaces, double spaces, and heading spaces within a document. All of these spaces must be of consistent size, that is, all single spaces are the same size, all double spaces are the same size, and all heading spaces are the same size. 

Statement of Approval form

A form that takes the place of the Supervisory Committee and Final Reading Approval forms in a thesis/dissertation. It is placed after the copyright page and before the abstract. The student’s name, the committee members’ names, the dates of their approval, the name of the department/college/school chair/dean, and the student’s department are typed on the form. This form does not get signed. 

Style guide

A manual/journal used to determine the writing style of a document. Manuals of style include IEEE, ACM, AIP, Turabian, ACA, and APA among others. Academic journal author guides are also accepted. Students must follow a style guide approved by their department when writing the manuscript. The style guide determines the method of in-text citations, references, and the use of numerals, terms, etc. The Thesis Office must be informed of which style guide was followed. Chapters prepared for or submitted to journals may use different style guides. 


Headings that divide chapters or main sections into subsections. Unlike main headings, subheadings are not in all capital letters and can have several levels, including paragraph subheadings. 


Smaller sections within chapters or main sections. Subsections are indicated by subheadings. 

Supervisory Committee Approval form

This is one of two forms gathered electronically by the OnBase manuscript submission system when the defended manuscript is submitted to the Thesis Office for format approval. The Supervisory Committee Approval form indicates that 1) the committee has read the thesis/dissertation, 2) the content and style of the thesis/dissertation are acceptable, and 3) by majority vote, the manuscript has been found to be satisfactory. 

Thesis release

Issued in the student’s file in Graduate Student Tracking on Campus Information Services when the final upload to ProQuest has been approved. 

White space (see gaps)

Parts of a page that contain no marks, text, tables, figures, etc. White space is usually used to indicate margins and the end of chapters. Large white space should not appear on the top or bottom of the page except a) when the page is used only for figures or tables (i.e., no text appears on the page), b) when a subheading at the bottom of a page has to be moved to the top of the next page because there is not room for at least two lines of continuous text following the subheading, or c) at the end of the chapter. It is incorrect to have a large white space between text and figures or tables. 

Last Updated: 8/23/22