Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines & Tools


Sam Houston State University's Directions on Form, Preparation, and Submission of Final Copies of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. (Updated Fall 2009; Effective Fall 2004)

These guidelines specify directions for graduate students who are submitting a thesis or a dissertation in partial fulfillment of degree requirements. The guidelines herein take precedence over those in the style manuals required by departments as well as earlier versions of the "Directions." Students should consult their thesis/dissertation directors as to the required style manual. Students should avoid using another thesis/dissertation as a model. Because of the updating of style manuals and SHSU thesis/dissertation guidelines, what was accepted in the past may now be unacceptable. The thesis/dissertation will be evaluated according to the current declared style manual and the current SHSU thesis guidelines.

Copyright Compliance And Permission Letter

Template: Sample Permission Letter to Reproduce Copyrighted Material in a Dissertation (SHSU) (Word document)

Extensive information about complying with the copyright law as you research and write your dissertation is provide in a booklet, Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities, by Kenneth D. Crews. Dr. Crews is the Director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University. An excellent sample permission letter is available for you use in Appendix A of this booklet (ProQuest provides an additional modified version of the sample permission letter in their Copyright Guide).

Securing Copyright Permission

"When U. S. Works Pass Into The Public Domain" is a chart that will help you determine if the material you want to place in your thesis/dissertation is in the public domain. If the material has not passed into public domain you must secure permission to reproduce the material in your thesis/dissertation. For more information about identifying the copyright owner and securing permission to reproduce copyrighted material in your thesis/dissertation, look at the website for Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office.

Copyright And Related Laws

Additional information about the copyright law can be found on the Library's web page on Copyright and Fair Use.

You may also wish to refer to the Berne Convention on Copyright.

Route Sheets

The Office of Graduate Studies provides route sheets for theses and dissertations.


Advanced thesis/dissertation templates and tools are coming soon. The following will be available or included:

  • 3 template versions (Standard, Creative, and Journal) complete with every section and necessary formatting
  • No need for manually formatting and typing up Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Figures
  • Several custom made macros for the development of your manuscript, each easily executable by your keyboard
  • General and specific tutorial videos demonstrating use of the template (find whatever you need to know and see it demonstrated for easy learning)

As of right now there are some usable templates for those currently working on or just beginning their manuscript. The goal is to reduce the time and effort needed to achieve the correct formatting in MS Word, leaving more time and energy for the quality of the manuscript content. Currently, the template tools are maximized for Windows and will work on Word 2010 and up, but will work best on Word 2013. A version specifically for Mac is not yet available. For more information please contact the following:

Brandon McCullough
Thesis Clerk

Room 207D on the 2nd floor of the Newton Gresham Library

“I know this process is stressful and, oftentimes, you will find yourself with a headache and a desire to smash your computer to pieces. My goal is to remove as many headache-causing stumbling blocks as possible from the formatting process, allowing you to better focus on the depth and clarity of your ideas. I want you to be able to do your best work.”—Brandon Mc.

Current available template materials:
Standard Template v3
Template Skeleton v3
Macro Keystrokes v3

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