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This checklist covers only the preparation phase of your thesis or dissertation.  Consult the Graduate School website at for specific deadlines and procedural requirements.

 IRB Inquiry Form submitted (a milestone requirement for ALL STUDENTS). Download the IRB Inquiry Form.

 IRB approval on record (if applicable)

Revisit the Guidelines for Preparing a Thesis or for Preparing a Dissertation at NIU or contact the Thesis Office for assistance if you are not absolutely sure that you have met the requirements for the items below. View and download templates and examples.

 Paper size is Letter (8.5" x 11"). 

 All margins conform to requirements. 

 The body of the paper is double-spaced throughout, except for block quotations.

 Paragraphs are indented 1 tab space.

 Block quotations are single-spaced and indented 1 tab space.

 All page numbers are formatted and positioned correctly, including the suppression of certain page numbers and numbers on landscaped pages (if any).

  The abstract and all front matter conform to the specific format requirements for each element, including pagination, spacing, capitalization, Roman numeral numbering, and the suppression of certain page numbers. 

Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, and List of Appendices match the wording of the headings, table titles, figure titles, and appendix titles in the text.

 The reference list and citations in the text conform to the APA, 6th edition, documentation style or another style appropriate to your field of study. Individual entries are single-spaced.

 All citations in the text correspond to items on the reference list. The spelling of names, the order of names of coauthors, and publication dates have been confirmed for accuracy.

 Headings and subheadings represent a logical system of internal division applied consistently throughout the document. 

All tables and figures are titled uniquely and numbered in order of first mention in the text.

Tables and figures are explicitly referenced in the text and placed immediately, e.g., at the next paragraph break or on the next page.

 Tables, figures, and appendices fit completely within the frame of margins.

  Landscaped pages conform to format requirements, including margins, orientation, and page number location/orientation.

 There are no large gaps of white space on any text page within a chapter. 

 Each appendix (if any) is preceded by a title page.

 Fonts are embedded.


Contact Us

Thesis and Dissertation Office
Graduate School
Adams Hall, Room 104
Northern Illinois University 
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-9405
F: 815-753-6366

Office Hours 

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
and by appointment

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