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Thesis and Dissertation

Directions on Form, Preparation, and Submission of the Final Copies of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

Abstract Page

All theses and dissertations must have an abstract at the beginning of the document that is formatted according to SHSU guidelines.  The abstract is a descriptive summary, no longer than 350 words, composed of three principal parts: 

  • Statement of the purpose
  • Methods
  • Findings of the thesis research

TIP: Click on the example Abstract below for more information about writing the Abstract.


NOTE FOR JOURNAL-READY THESES:  Don't confuse this abstract with the other abstracts that you will create for each section of a journal-ready thesis.  This main abstract ties together the entire document, summarizing all of the research and preparing readers on what to expect in your manuscript.  Unavoidably, this will duplicate some of the introductory material in each article. 


TIP:  A "Template -- without macros" can be found on the Home page and can be used by both PC and Mac computer users.  It has been preformatted to meet the SHSU requirements outlined on this page.


  • Title of document is the same as what appears on Title page and Approval page.
  • The title of document uses sentence-style capitalization.
  • Author's name is the same as what appears on Title page and Approval page.
  • The date listed reflects the current semester of publication.  Students graduating in a later semester must put the current semester of publication on their documents.
  • The correct Major is listed in the Abstract.
  • Key Words are listed at the end of the Abstract.  The first word of each term is capitalized.  (Assessment risk, Chemical reaction, Handbook, Optical illusion)

How it Should Look

Non-Template Instructions


  1. Lower case Roman Numeral (iii), centered, bottom of page.

  2. Margins:  Left margin 1.5 inch.  Top, Right, Bottom 1 inch.

  3. Font:  12 pt.  Use same font style throughout document.

  4. Title:  ABSTRACT -- ALL CAPS, bold, centered on first line.  (Use CHPT_HD font style).



The next line beneath the page's title consists of a single-spaced citation of your manuscript.  All theses and dissertations follow the same citation style for the abstract: 


Student, Isaac M., The title of the thesis goes here.  Master of Arts (<Your Major>), May, 2015, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.


The font should be 12 pt. and single-spaced for the citation, and it should be flush-left on the page.  Refer to the example abstract.



Use RegText to type the body of the abstract so that the first line of each paragraph is indented appropriately.  The body should be double-spaced throughout.  Refer to the abstract example for instructions on what to include in the text.



A list of key words appears on the next line below the text body.  KEY WORDS is typed flush-left in ALL CAPS, followed by a colon.  The font should be 12 pt. and single-spaced, and it should remain flush-left on the page.  Refer to the example abstract for more information on key words.

When finished, click on the Insert tab, and click on Page Break to start a new section.



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