Guidelines For Format and Presentation

Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Guidelines

Each graduate program that requires a dissertation or thesis has adopted a style used by scholarly publications in the field. The student and advisor are responsible for ensuring that this style is used consistently throughout the manuscript. The Graduate School provides general formatting guidance to ensure consistency across the university.

Download the USC Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Guidelines here.

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University Policy on Multiple Authors and Creators

When collaborative research products and creative works are disseminated, it is essential that the list of authors and creators accurately assigns credit among the collaborators for their intellectual and creative contributions (based on the standards/customs applicable to the field and/or the publication), and that appropriate means are also used to acknowledge others who have contributed to or supported the research or creative process.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Appropriate formatting also requires the correct acknowledgement of source material. According to the USC SCampus Student Guidebook, examples of plagiarism include:

  1. The submission of material authored by another person but represented as the student's own work, whether that material is paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form.
  2. The submission of material subjected to editorial revision by another person that results in substantive changes in content or major alteration of writing style.
  3. Improper acknowledgment of sources in essays or papers.

For more information, please refer to the USC SCampus Student Guidebook, Section 11.11.

Signature Page

A signature page is not required by the University for thesis or dissertation submission. Students who are required by their school, department or program to include a signature page should consult their committee chairperson and include the signature page in the uploaded PDF version of the thesis/dissertation manuscript.