Dec 03, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog and Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog and Handbook

Thesis and Project Manual



Format and Structure for Science and Engineering

All students writing a thesis or formal project must follow the directions provided in this manual and the guidance of their advisor, where noted. Questions on format and content should be directed to the student’s advisor or the Office of Graduate Programs.

 

Content Requirements

At a minimum, the following elements must be included in all manuscripts:

  • Title Page
  • Signature/Approval Page
  • A single abstract of the complete thesis or project report 
  • A common Table of Contents.
  • A common introduction covering the entire work.
  • A common List of Tables/Figures (if used). 
  • A List of References section(s). These will either appear at the end of each chapter or at the end of the document.

 

Thesis and project report formatting requirements must be observed throughout the entire manuscript, and all chapters must use the same formatting.

Sections-in-brief

 

Section Name

Section Type

Required/Optional

Numbering

Title Page

Front matter

Required

Count but do not number

Thesis Approval Page

Front matter

Required

Count but do not number

Dedication Page

Front matter

Optional

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

Acknowledgments

Front matter

Optional

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

Table of Contents

Front matter

Required

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

List of Tables

Front matter

If any tables are present

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

List of Figures

Front matter

If any figures are present

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

List of Abbreviations

Front matter

If any abbreviations are present

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

List of Symbols

Front matter

If any symbols are present

Lower case Roman numerals i. ii. iii. iv. etc

Abstract

Front matter

Required

Count but do not number

Introduction

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Literature Survey

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Research Methodology

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Results

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Discussion

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Conclusions

Body content

Required

Arabic numerals

Future Work

Body content

Optional

Arabic numerals

Appendices

Back matter

Required

Arabic numerals

References

Back matter

Required

Arabic numerals

 
 

Format - General Principles

  • All pages, unless otherwise is stated below, should be single-column double space.
  • 1 inch all around.
  • Add one extra inch on the top margin of the first page of each chapter, title page, the first page of the table of contents, acknowledgments page, dedication page, the first page of references, and the first page of each appendix.
  • The body font is Serif font with size 12 pt. No less than 10pt font for any subscript or superscript text.
  • The text must have left justification or fill justification, but not right justification.
  • Headings should not appear by themselves at the end of a page.

 

Page Numbering

  • The numbering of all the front matter pages should be in lowercase roman numbers except for the title page and the thesis approval page. The title and thesis approval pages don’t have numbers. Use Arabic numerals as the page number for the rest of the pages. Start the page numbering with the first page of chapter 1 to be page number 1.

 

Paragraph

  • Every paragraph’s first sentence must start with an indentation of 0.5 inches except for the first paragraph following each heading (chapter, section, subsection, and title).

 

Captions

  • All caption numbers for tables, figures, and illustrations use Arabic numerals.
  • The caption of any figure should be directly below the figure and on the same page as the figure. The table’s caption should be directly above that table and on the same page as the table.
  • The captions should be centered.

 

Quotations

  • Quotations should be limited. Paraphrase what you want to quote in your own words, and make sure to include the reference.
  • If eliminating the quotation is not possible, then use the double quotes (“) to surround the quotation if the quotation’s size is less than three lines or use the block quotation the quotation is more than three lines. For block quotation, use a separate paragraph or paragraphs with a single indentation for the whole quotation without surrounding it with double quotes.

 

Footnotes

  • Use Arabic numerals for the footnotes.
  • Footnotes should appear on the same page as their citers.
  • Footnotes, like the rest of the text, must follow the margins restriction.
  • A solid line separates the footnotes from the text.
  • On each page, the footnotes should not exceed two inches.

 

References and Citations

  • Use the IEEE style for formatting references and citations: IEEE-Reference-Guide. You can use other styles after consulting with your advisor for the recommended style that researchers use in your research field.
  • The references section should start with the beginning of the page, i.e., the title of the references begins at a new page.
  • Use single-spaced lines for the entries of the references. Use an empty line to separate them from each other.
  • Appropriately cite all used references.

 


Structure

Front Matter

 

Title page [unnumbered]
This is the first page of the thesis, and it contains the following information:
  • Thesis title (All uppercase)
  • Student’s Name (All Small Uppercase)
  • The degree name
  • The date and semester
  • Double-space throughout

 

Thesis Approval Page [unnumbered]
  • This page is similar to the title page with the signature from the committee and the graduate director.
  • This should be single-spaced to leave room for signature block.

 

Dedication Page [optional, roman number]
  • This is a short message from the student in tribute to a person or a cause. The dedication page TITLE (“DEDICATION”) should be all uppercase, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.

 

Acknowledgment Page [optional, roman number]
  • This is a page with a thank you statement from the student to recognize those who provided support or guidance or both. The acknowledgment page TITLE (“ACKNOWLEDGMENTS”) should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.

 

Table of Contents [Page Number: Roman Numerals]
  • The TITLE (“TABLE OF CONTENTS”) of the table of contents should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.
  • The entries for the table of contents must include the title of the major headings of the document, such as chapters, sections, subsections, acknowledgments page, dedication page, references, and appendices.
  • The entries for the table of contents must include the page number for each heading.
  • An optional and recommended formatting attribute is to make the entries for the table of contents as hyperlinks that take the reader directly to the page of the clicked heading.

 

List of Tables [Page Number: Roman Numerals]
  • Each entry in the List of Tables should include the table number, the table caption, and the page number.
  • The TITLE (“LIST OF TABLES”) of the list of tables should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.

 

List of Figures (and Illustrations) [Page Number: Roman Numerals]
  • Each entry in the List of Figures should include the figure number, the figure caption, and the page number.
  • The TITLE (“LIST OF FIGURES”) of the list of figures should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body
  • Recommendation: If possible, use graphs instead of tables.

 

List of Abbreviations [optional, Page Number: Roman Numerals]
  • Each entry in the List of Abbreviations must include the abbreviation and its definition.
  • List the abbreviations in alphabetical order.
  • The TITLE (“LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS”) of the list of abbreviations should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.

 

List of Symbols [optional, Page Number: Roman Numerals]
  • Each entry in the List of Symbols must include the symbol and its definition.
  • The TITLE (“LIST OF SYMBOLS”) of the list of symbols should be all small caps, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the body.

 

Abstract
  • The abstract should be less than 450 words.
  • The abstract is a summary of the thesis’s purpose, hypothesis, used methods, and results.
  • The abstract section’s title (“Abstract”) should be title case, bold, underlined, and centered. Use a blank line to separate the title from the advisor(s) line.
  • The advisors’ line contains the list of advisors and co-advisors separated by commas. Use a blank line to separate the advisors’ line from the body.

 

Content (The Chapters)

Introduction [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • The introduction chapter should emphasize the purpose of the study and summarize the background and importance of this research. This chapter should also clearly state the hypothesis and the objectives of the research. Finally, this chapter should introduce the user to the outline of the thesis.

 

Literature survey [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • The literature review will summarize the existing research in the field with references to these research studies and their authors. At the end of the literature review, clearly state the identified gaps in the existing research solutions and address these gaps by this thesis. In other words, you are introducing the reader to your work in the next chapter.

 

Research Methodology [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • This chapter will provide details on the chosen methods, designs, measures, and philosophy behind these choices. In addition, this chapter should include a description of any conduct experiment.

 

Results [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • This chapter contains the result of the thesis. If possible, organize the thesis’s results into figures. Otherwise, organize the results into tables. Finally, divide the results into sections and subsections based on the research questions they address.

 

Discussions [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • This chapter contains the analysis, explanations, and discussions of the results. It should also include statements whether the results support the hypothesis or not, with some reasoning if it does not.

 

Conclusion [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • This chapter should be a summary of the study indicating whether the study met its goals or not.

 

Future Work [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • This chapter is a recommended optional chapter. It will present the possible future research paths that will build on this study.

 

Back Matter

Appendices [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • Move any material that is not essential for the thesis to the appendices. Each appendix should have a number and a title-examples of the material to move to appendices: code, long tables, etc.

 

References [Page Number: Arabic Numerals]
  • Accurately and correctly generate a formatted list of all cited references in the text. Note that the bibliography is the list of general references, including the uncited references. As a recommendation, use only cited references and set the title of this section to be “REFERENCES.”

  • If you need to include a list of uncited references in the thesis, then set the title of this section to “BIBLIOGRAPHY.”

 

Important Note: The number of pages per chapter or section depends on the type of research that you are doing. However, usually, the background or literature review chapter will take the most considerable portion of the thesis, followed by the results analysis and discussion chapter.

 


 

Oral Examination - The Defense

 

Thesis writers must perform a public defense of their work. Project Report writers should consult with their Primary Advisor to determine whether a public defense is desirable; sometimes the projects contain proprietary materials/ideas and therefore does not lend itself to a public defense. If a defense is not desirable, the Project Advisory Committee may at their discretion require an alternate procedure in its place.

 

If defending, then upon approval of the Thesis Supervisor/Primary Advisor, students should announce their thesis oral examination (defense) or project defense at least one week prior to the defense date. In order to meet this requirement:

  • Prepare your announcement in consultation with your Committee Supervisor/Project Advisor. Most students simply use their abstract for the body of the announcement.
  • The announcement should include:
    • A formal defense announcement like: “Announcing the Final Examination of Ms. Susan B. Student for the degree of Master of Engineering.”
    • Date, time, location, and thesis/report title.
    • An abstract or summary of the thesis/report.
    • The student’s current major course of  study.
    • The student’s previously awarded degrees, including the year of conferment and the conferring institution.
    • A list of all members of the Thesis Committee or Project Advisory Group.
    • The date on which the Thesis Supervisor/Primary Advisor approved distribution of the announcement and that the public is welcome to attend.
  • Ask your Committee Supervisor/Primary Advisor to approve your announcement for distribution.
  • Once approved, contact the Graduate Division ogp@floridapoly.edu for distribution of your Defense date to all faculty, students, and staff.

 

Final Submission of Thesis or Project

Upon successful completion of the defense, students must submit a copy of the signature page only to the University Registrar.

Upon completion of any corrections required by the committee, one full copy of the thesis (or project report) must be submitted to the department chair for the degree and track of the discipline that awards your degree, and one copy must be submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies at ogp@floridapoly.edu.

 


 

Intellectual Property and Copyright Information

Students should review and familiarize themselves with Florida Polytechnic University policy FPU-1.0061P. This Intellectual Property policy details how the ownership of intellectual property is assigned at the University. Sections I and J reproduced below, Student Intellectual Property and Student Sponsored Projects, are particularly relevant for graduate students working on theses and projects:

 

Student Intellectual Property

The University respects the long-standing tradition that students own their academic work. In general, any Intellectual Property (including theses and dissertations, inventions, discoveries, creations and new technologies) conceived or first reduced to practice by a student at the University as a work product (e.g., homework assignments, laboratory experiments and special and independent study projects) of a “for credit” course will be owned by the Student Creator. Generally, undergraduate and graduate Students own any Intellectual Property that they create through enrollment in a University course for academic credit. However, the University owns such Intellectual Property when one or more of the following apply:

  1. When there is collaboration between a Student and University employee(s) to create works as part of a sponsored research project or faculty development activities.
  2. In certain courses or special projects where a Student is presented with the opportunity to participate in a project or activity in which the ownership of any resulting Intellectual Property must be assigned either to the University or to a sponsoring entity as a condition of the Student’s participation.
  3. When the Student is employed by the University, in which case the terms applicable to University employees shall apply.

Although a student retains copyright ownership to his/her thesis or dissertation or other Student-created Works, the Student grants the University permission to use, reproduce and publicly distribute copies of those Works.

 

Sponsored Student Projects

  1. Students are never obligated to participate in projects or activities that require the assignment of the Student’s Intellectual Property to the University or another entity. In these situations, Students must always be presented with two options to choose from:
    1. participate in a project or activity that does not require the Student to assign his/her Intellectual Property; or
    2. participate in a project or activity that requires the Student to assign his/her Intellectual Property.
  2. A Student’s grade and/or evaluation of performance in a University course shall not be affected by the Student’s decision to participate or not to participate in projects or activities requiring the assignment of the Student’s Intellectual Property. Students should consider that the assignment of Intellectual Property is a binding legal agreement and that they have the right to seek independent legal advice at their own expense prior to signing any agreement.
  3. Student project results are not the work of the University and any references either internally or to third parties shall clearly identify the source of the student project results as student research performed at the University without subsequent independent evaluation.

Because manuscript PDFs are archived and ultimately made available on the Internet, written permission is needed for use and electronic publication of copyrighted text, figures, tables, and objects. Please see Appendices for a sample copyright permission request. Also, it is wise to include a copyright page in all electronic theses or project reports. The copyright page should appear immediately after the title page. Proper format of this page is shown in the Copyright Page section of this manual. While it is not necessary to register copyright, students may do so through the U.S. Copyright Office.

 

Using Previously Published Or Pre/In-Press Work as Body Chapter

Sometimes, the student’s thesis research or project work is conducted as part of a major research grant or contract, or even as part of some collaborative program. The faculty advisors are likely to encourage these students to report their results as soon as possible, the result being that students may have the opportunity to publish material prior to preparing the thesis or project report. In such cases, pre-press, in-press or previously published materials may be incorporated into the thesis or project report if approved by the Thesis Committee or Project Advisory Group and formatted in accordance with all requirements specified in this manual. This format may include one or more full-length papers (published and/or to be published) that are joined through introductory and/or transition sections.

  • All articles/chapters to be included in a manuscript must have a common thread and must study a common problem; collections of unrelated papers are not acceptable.
  • The inclusion of any articles that are previously published, in press, or accepted for publication requires that the student obtain permission from the copyright holder. The copyright release/permission letter(s) should be included with the manuscript, in an appendix (see Appendix D for an example).
  • A statement disclosing previous publication must be placed at the beginning of or in a footnote on the first page of each chapter or section with previously published content.
  • The statement should include the author name(s), publication name, edition, and date of publication; pending publications should list anticipated edition and/or dates.

Co-authored material will only be considered if

  • The Graduate Thesis Committee or Project Advisors agree that the student is primarily responsible for the article’s content;
  • Those portions and materials contributed by the student are identified;
  • Permission is granted by the co-author(s); and
  • The program or department approves the inclusion of the articles in question.
  • No multiple-authored theses are acceptable.
  • Only articles that the student prepared while working as a Florida Poly student will be acceptable for inclusion in a manuscript.
  • A single abstract and introduction chapter for the manuscript are required, even if individual chapters have their own abstract and introduction.
  • References for previously-published sections can be collected by chapter or in one reference section at the end of the document.

 


 

Example Pages and Forms

Thesis-Project Title Page

(note margins, spacing, capitalizations, and font - 12pt Serif)

 

Thesis-Project Signature Page

(note margins, spacing, capitalization, and font - 12pt Serif)

(note signature is a 4-column table with gridlines under signature and date columns only)

 

Example Copyright Permission Letter

 

Example Non-remuneration Agreement Letter

 

For questions or assistance in preparing your thesis or project report, contact the Office of Graduate Programs, ogp@floridapoly.edu or the Academic Success Center success@floridapoly.edu.