Formatting & Binding
The senior thesis and junior papers must meet certain formatting and binding requirements. Some of these are intended to assist faculty readers in giving your work full and fair consideration; others are imposed to permit the Library to archive your text. Please review and follow the instructions below.
Note that the formatting requirements have changed due to changes in copyright regulations: please follow these rules as posted, and do not rely on previous theses or junior papers for guidance.
- Junior Papers: Submit one copy of your Fall JP and Spring JP online. Gayle Brodsky will provide the submission links for each as the deadlines near.
- Senior Thesis:
(1) Submit two bound copies directly to the Department office (130 Corwin Hall), which must be logged in by a staff member, not merely dropped off.
[Your bound copies may use any generally available binding technology, provided it is sturdy enough to survive the handling it will receive during its reading. Hard-cover binding is no longer required, but some students still prefer it: instructions for hard-binding can be found under "dissertation/thesis formatting and binding instructions" on the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library website.]
(2) Submit one electronic copy in PDF format for Mudd Library archiving purposes. Gayle Brodsky will provide the online submission link as the deadline nears. Submitting an electronic copy of your thesis for the Mudd Library is a requirement for graduation.
NOTE: Do not submit any independent work to your adviser, as that submission will not be logged and you may incur late penalties.
The length of a junior paper or senior thesis can vary considerably with the individual subject chosen and should be worked out with your adviser.
If you use Microsoft Word, or a word processor that can read documents in Word format, you should consider using the Politics Senior Thesis Template (.doc), which can help you to format a Senior Thesis in an appropriate fashion automatically. If you don't know how to use a Word template to format a document, consult a Residential Computing Consultant.
The template is offered as-is; used properly, it can help you to format correctly, but it does not prevent you from formatting incorrectly. Use of the template is not required, and your adviser's preferences regarding formatting should also be taken into account.
Fonts and font sizes
Senior theses must be single-sided and double-spaced, printed in a 10-point or greater font. Junior papers can be single-sided or double-sided either of which is acceptable to the Department, but must also be double-spaced, and printed in a 10-point or greater font.
Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, are preferred because they are more easily readable, but Sans Serif fonts such as Arial are also accepted. The document should use only one style of font (exceptions will be made for graphs, charts, or pictures that are imported from programs that do not permit their own fonts to be altered).
Margins should be 1 1/2" on the left hand side and 1" on the other three sides.
Footnotes and references
Footnotes may be placed at the bottom of the page, at the end of the chapter in a senior thesis, or at the end of the entire document (check with your adviser for his/her preference). For the form of bibliographical references, you may wish to consult an appropriate style guide such as Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
Formatting with reference management software
If you are using a bibliographic reference management program such as EndNote or RefWorks , any of several included styles may be used: your adviser's preference should be your guide.
For the senior thesis, the title page should include the text shown in the Microsoft Word Senior Thesis template. Junior papers are not required to have a title page, but if you wish to create one, it should also follow this format, substituting the phrase "Junior Paper" for "Senior Thesis."
The Honor Code for independent work is: "This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations."
On the last page of your junior papers and each copy of your senior thesis, you must write or type the Honor Code and include your signature and date.
Tables, figures, photos and images
All material in the thesis (tables, figures, and exhibits) must be photo reproducible. Photographs may be included, but should be clear, glossy, and high contrast. Color graphics may be included but they should be clear when reproduced in gray-scale.