Table of Contents

PRO TIPS

PAGINATION

FRONT MATTER

TITLE PAGE

ABSTRACT

COPYRIGHT PAGE

DEDICATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CITATIONS (FOOTNOTES & BIBLIOGRAPHY)

FOOTNOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

USEFUL EXAMPLES

 

Pro Tips:

  • Use a clear and easy to read font, Times New Roman 12pt is a good default for most writing.
  • Keep a list of the books/journals you refer to; this will make the bibliography and footnote section easy to do.
  • Have somebody else read through your final draft, if possible, to identify any spelling or grammatical errors.

 

You can find the following information along with a guide to submitting your thesis on the MIT Thesis Spec page https://libraries.mit.edu/distinctive-collections/thesis-specs/

 

PAGINATION

  • Front matter – title page, abstract, table of contents should all be numbered in Roman numerals
  • The body of your thesis should use Arabic numerals.

If you’re having trouble switching between numbering styles follow these instructions

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/add-different-page-numbers-or-number-formats-to-different-sections-in-word-for-mac-35e1d683-40e7-4b6a-b0a3-79893d6485de

 

 

 

 

FRONT MATTER

 

TITLE PAGE

This page is standardized, so just plug in your name, department, advisor, title, etc.

ABSTRACT

The abstract is a brief descriptive summary rather than a lengthy introduction to the thesis, generally less than 350 words, preferably one single-spaced page, but never more than two pages.

 

 

COPYRIGHT PAGE

As a Masters student, you own the copyright for your thesis whether of not you include a page stating that. If you want to include one, follow the example of the copyright page in any book in your house.

 

DEDICATION, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, PREFACE are all OPTIONAL

Refer to past theses to see how other students have handled these pages . Here is a link to all the theses from the Department of Architecture – https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7635

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Format all your pages the same way. Each chapter or section title should be formatted as Heading 1

To create the Table of Contents go to REFERENCES and click the TABLE OF CONTENTS option to populate yours with the chapter titles.

 

If you need to update your chapter pages later – which almost always happens – simply go to the upper left corner of your TOC and click update and it will do all the renumbering, etc. to reflect your current draft.

Producing LIST OF TABLES and LIST OF FIGURES is the same sort of process.

On the REFERENCE tab you can caption an image or a figure, and then click the Insert Table of Figures button.

You can refer here if you have questions about lists of tables and figures https://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=283073&p=1886010

CITATIONS (FOOTNOTES & BIBLIOGRAPHY)

Chicago style citation formatting is most widely used, especially in humanities writings. It’s also the one you’re probably most familiar with from college papers.

You can learn about the style guidelines here https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/chicago_manual_of_style_17th_edition.html

OR you can simply plug in your book data here: https://www.bibme.org/chicago and the program will format everything for you. Like this:

FOOTNOTES

To add a footnote, highlight the last word in a section and click on REFERENCES, where you can select INSERT FOOTNOTE. Word will do the formatting for you and will keep the footnote numbers accurate. Here’s an example of proper Chicago Style footnote formatting.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

This should include all books, films, journals, websites, etc. that you have cited or referenced in your thesis. The simplest way to do this is to cut and paste the citations from Bibme or another citation machine.

 

 

USEFUL EXAMPLES

MIT Thesis Guide https://libraries.mit.edu/distinctive-collections/thesis-specs/

 

 

If you want to see an example of a paper with all the right Chicago Style formatting you can do so here

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/cmos_nb_sample_paper.html

 

Examples of past ACT theses can be found on MIT’s D-Space https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7635

 

Genia, Erin. Wokiksuye : The Politics Of Memory in Indigenous Art, Monuments, and Public Space.
https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/123559

Zhang, Zhexi (Gary). The Aesthetics of Decentralization.
https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/123614