Category: Theses and Dissertations

Dissertation, thesis, and report posts

EndNote Workshop at the Library

Save time by using EndNote software to manage your citations. No prior knowledge of EndNote is required for this workshop. The session will cover: how to create and build an EndNote library, how to add references from online databases and PDFs, best practices for organizing your citations and incorporating references into a Microsoft Word document using EndNote’s “cite while you write” tool. The workshop is at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 in Library 242 Register here.


Nominations open for the 2018 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Please submit nominations to the Graduate School no later than 4pm, June 8, 2018, following our online instructions. This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering
  2. Social Sciences (note: history is classed within the humanities and is not a field of competition in 2018)

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, are eligible. The fields of competition for 2019 will be humanities/fine arts and biological and life sciences.

Nominations must be delivered to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. on June 8, 2018; e-mail nominations to gradschool@mtu.edu are preferred.  Contact Debra Charlesworth (gradschool@mtu.edu) if you have any questions about the competition.


Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: May 22, 2018, 1 – 5pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Fisher 139; (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 1 – 2pm – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 2 – 2:45pm – Formatting 101: Using the Guide and Word Template
    Learn how to find what you need in the Guide and use a Word template to create a perfectly formatted document the first time. LaTeX resources will be referenced, but not emphasized.
  • 2:45 – 3pm: Break
    Enjoy snacks and network with other attendees
  • 3 – 4pm: Formatting 102: Copyright for your dissertation, thesis, and report
    Learn how to use copyrighted materials in your document, including papers you have published as well as materials created by someone else.
  • 4-4:45pm: Formatting 103: Checking and fixing your document
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat to check your document to ensure it meets our formatting requirements and correct it without recreating the PDF.
  • 4:45 – 5pm: Final questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.

Using the Redaction Tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro

One of the requirements for a Thesis, Dissertation, or Report to pass our formatting checks to make sure that all signatures in your document are properly obscured to protect the identity of the signer.  To help you figure this out, we’ve created a step by step blog post on how you can use the Redact tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro to remove signatures.

To begin, you will need to open your document or the letter which you need to redact a signature from in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Make sure that you are using Acrobat Pro as the redaction tool is not available in Adobe Reader.

Example
We will use this example letter to guide you through the redaction process.

Once you have the document open in Adobe Acrobat Pro, you will want to locate the Actions menu on the right side of your screen. This is often just a small arrow as pictured below.

Expand Actions Menu
Expand the Actions Menu to see all of the Actions that Adobe Acrobat Pro has to offer.

Once this menu has been expanded, click on More Tools to find the Redact tool.

More Tools
Clicking on More Tools will give us access to the Redact tool.

To find the Redact tool you will need to scroll to near the bottom of the page. Redact is located under the Protect & Standardize section of tools. Once you have located the tool, click on Add.

Add Redact
Add the Redact tool to your Actions menu for easy access in the future.

To navigate back to your document now you will need to click on the tab with the document name at the top of the screen as seen below.

Return to Document
Adobe Acrobat Pro has tabs to make navigating between menus and documents easy.

To start the Redaction process you will want to go to your Actions menu on the right and click on Redact. Then you will see the Redact toolbar appear at the top of the screen.

Redact menu
The Redact toolbar has all of the tools you need to redact a signature in one centralized location.

Now we are ready to actually Redact information. The first step is to click on Mark For Redaction. When a dropdown menu appears, choose Text & Images.

Mark for Redaction
The Mark for Redaction tool lets us choose what text, images, or objects we need to redact from the document.

When the message appears telling you there are two steps to Redaction, go ahead and click on OK.  Click “Don’t show again” if you don’t want this reminder to display the next time you use the redaction tool.

2steps
We added the Mark for Redaction and Apply Redaction tools to our toolbar in the beginning of this post.

Next we will want to go ahead and select the area of the document we want to redact. This will box the selected area/text in red. Once you have selected your text/images to be redacted, you can click on the Apply Redaction tool which will generate the message as seen below reminding you that this will remove content from the document. Click on OK.

Apply Redaction 2
Applying the redaction will permanently remove information from your document. Do not proceed until you are sure you’re ready to redact.

Once the redaction has been applied, you will get a message saying that you have successfully redacted information from your document and asking if you would like to remove hidden information. We recommend that you click Yes. This scan may take a while if your document is large. When it is complete, you have successfully redacted information!

Remove Hidden Info
Removing the hidden information from your document makes sure that there are no traces of personal data attached that may be confidential.

If your document looks like the one below at the end of the redaction process, congratulations! You successfully redacted information from your document.

Success
Redacting is very important to protect the identity of those whose signatures are in documents. Failure to redact a signature will result in your document being rejected during formatting review.

We hope that you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions feel free to email us at gradschool@mtu.edu or stop by our offices on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building.


EndNote Workshop

Save lots of time by using EndNote software to manage your citations! No prior knowledge of EndNote is required for Thursday’s workshop. During the session, we will cover how to create and build an EndNote “library,” add references from online databases and PDFs, and best practices for organizing your citations.

How to incorporate references into a Microsoft Word document and changing output styles will also be covered.

The workshop is at 5:05 p.m. Thursday (March 29) in Library 242 Register here.


Thesis/Dissertation/Report Formatting Workshops- Spring 2018

Are you working on formatting corrections for your dissertation, thesis, or report? Do you need help? Are you unsure where to submit your dissertation, thesis, or report?

Join the Graduate School (gradschool@mtu.edu) for group work hours. These workshops are provided at no charge to students working on a dissertation, thesis, or report. Staff will able to help with the changes required by the Graduate School for these documents in MS Office. Assistance will also be available for converting documents to PDF from Word and how to make simple corrections and check your document in Adobe Acrobat. The workshops will be in rooms with PCs with University software, or you may bring your own laptop. Distance students may contact gradschool@mtu.edu about remote assistance during these times via web conferencing.  If you need additional help outside of these times, please contact the Graduate School.  On a limited basis, one-on-one assistance may be available. Please contact the Graduate School for more information.

All workshops will be held from on the following dates at the mentioned time:

  • Thursday, April 5, 2018 | 1:30-3:30pm | Dillman 208
  • Thursday, April 12, 2018 | 10:00am -12:00pm | EERC 0723-Last Day to Submit A Post-Defense document is April 16!
  • Friday, April 20, 2018 | 1:30-3:30pm |EERC 0723
  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | 10:00am -12:00pm | EERC 0723
  • Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 1:30-3:30pm | Dillman 208-Last Day to Submit Final Revisions is May 4!

Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: January 23, 2018, 1 – 5pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Forestry G002; the Forestry Atrium will have snacks and seating for breaks or live online (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 1 – 2pm – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 2 – 2:45pm – Formatting 101: Using the Guide and Word Template
    Learn how to find what you need in the Guide and use a Word template to create a perfectly formatted document the first time. LaTeX resources will be referenced, but not emphasized.
  • 2:45 – 3pm: Break
    Enjoy snacks in the Atrium and network with other attendees
  • 3 – 4pm: Formatting 102: Copyright for your dissertation, thesis, and report
    Learn how to use copyrighted materials in your document, including papers you have published as well as materials created by someone else.
  • 4-4:45pm: Formatting 103: Checking and fixing your document
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat to check your document to ensure it meets our formatting requirements and correct it without recreating the PDF.
  • 4:45 – 5pm: Final questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.

Checking Your Margins Using Double-Side Formatting

Welcome back to the Michigan Tech Graduate School Newsblog. Since Thesis, Dissertation, and Report writing season is in full swing now we thought it might be helpful to give you a brief reminder on how you can check your margins before submitting your document to the Graduate School.

There are two ways described in “The Guide” to format your dissertation, thesis, or report: Single Side and Double Side formatting. In the post below we will walk you through how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro to check your margins in a Double Side formatted document. If you’re using Single Side formatting, click here to access our previous post on that topic.!

Turning on Grids and Rulers

If you know how to turn on Grids, you may notice that Adobe defaults to a 3×3 grid. Since we have a binding edge margin requirement of 1.5″ and a non-binding edge requirement of 1″ it really isn’t all that helpful if our grid is in 1/3 inch increments. To improve functionality we need to change the grids to 4×4 (this gives us 1/4″ grid lines). To do this, you will want to go to Edit> Preferences. That’s (Ctrl +K) for you keystroke people. Once in Preferences, you will see a white box on the left side called Categories. In this box, you should scroll down until you see Units & Guides (near the bottom) and then click on Units & Guides. Within Units & Guides you will see three sections. In the middle section, Layout Grid, you will want to change the Subdivisions from 3 to 4. In this section you can also change several other features of the grid so please be sure that you do not change any of the other settings or you risk checking your margins incorrectly. If you happen to have trouble, reset your measurements so that they match the image below and you will be all set.

When turning on the Grid, always be sure to double check that you have 1 inch between the lines (Height and Width) and 4 subdivisions. Otherwise your margin checks won’t match ours.

Adobe allows us to turn on both  Grids and Rulers so that we can check our margins with ease. Once you have changed the Grid preferences as described above, you will next want to turn on the Grids. To do this, you will need to go to View> Show/Hide> Rulers & Grids> Grid. If you’re more of a keystroke person you can also use Ctrl+U to quickly turn grids on and off.

Turn on Grids
You can quickly turn the Grid in Adobe Acrobat Pro on/off  by using the Ctrl+U keystroke.

Once your grids are turned on you will also want to turn on Rulers. Turning Rulers on is much simpler than turning on Grids. For the keystroke crowd, simply use Ctrl +R. If you prefer to click, use the following path: View> Show/Hide> Rulers & Grids> Rulers. This is shown in the image below.

Turn on Rulers
You can quickly turn on Rulers in Adobe Acrobat Pro by using the Ctrl+R keystroke.

Setting Page Orientation For A Double Side Document

Changing the Orientation of Landscape Pages

Once you have your Grids and Rulers turned on you will next want to check your page orientation. If you do not have any landscape pages, please proceed to the next section, Changing the Orientation of Alternate Pages. If you have Landscape pages you will need to rotate them 90 degrees counter clockwise before checking the margins. To do this, first click on the Rotate icon. This can be found in the “Quick Tools” bar at the top of your screen. If you do not see a Rotate icon, right click and choose “Customize Quick Tools.” When this dialog box opens, click on the “Organize Pages section(seen below) and choose either the “Right” Rotate tool and then click on the small arrow on the right side of the box. Now Rotate should appear in your “Quick Tools.”

Customize Quick Tools
You can customize your Quick Tools menu to gain access to lots of useful tools with a simple click. One of these tools, is the Rotate tool.

After you click on Rotate from your “Quick Tools” menu and the Rotate Pages box appears, choose “Counter Clockwise 90 degrees” in the Direction box. Under Page Range be sure to select “All”. Under Rotate, choose “Even and Odd Pages” in the top drop-down box and “Landscape Pages” in the second drop-down box. Before selecting OK, please be sure your box matches the image shown below.

Landscape Rotate
Landscape pages should always be rotated Counterclockwise 90 degrees prior to checking margins.

 Changing the Orientation of Alternate Pages

In double side formatting, the binding edge margin alternates from the left side to the right side on every other page. To account for this when checking your margins we need to rotate every even page by 180 degrees. To do this, first click on the Rotate icon. If you do not see this icon in your toolbar, please see the section above for instructions on how to add this tool. Once you see the Rotate Pages screen (as shown below) you will want to make some changes. First, change the Direction to “180 degrees.” Next, under the Page Range section, be sure that “All” is selected. In the last section, Rotate, be sure that the first box reads “Even Pages Only” and the second box reads “Pages of Any Orientation.” See the image below to verify that you have made the correct selections. Once your screen looks correct, click OK.

DoubleSide_Page Orientation

Checking Your Margins

Now that you have turned on the Rulers and Grids and rotated any Landscape pages you may have you’re ready to check your margins. To do this, Zoom in to 125% and follow the instructions below.

 Checking the Binding Edge Margin

As we mentioned previously (and you already know from reading Section 3.2 of The Guide) the rule for the Binding Edge (left) margin that it must be at least 1.5″ and not more than 1.6″. To check this, we recommend placing your cursor on the 1.5″ grid line and then proceeding to scroll (don’t cheat and use Page Down or you will miss stuff) through your document. If you have a lot of pages, this can be time consuming but it’s better to get it right the first time than to be scrambling to figure it out right before the deadline. When you’ve completed this, proceed to the Non-Binding Edge margins.

Checking the Non-Binding Edge Margins

The other three margins in your document (right, top and bottom) are all considered Non-Binding Edge margins. These must adhere to the guidelines of at least 1″ but no more than 1.25″ as per Section 3.2 of The Guide. To check the right margin, place your cursor on the 7.5″ grid line and scroll down. For the Top and Bottom margins, you should Zoom out to between 85% and 100% and scroll through your document making sure that there is nothing in the margins. One word of caution is to carefully check the location of your page numbers. These are the most common item that we find in the bottom and top margins when reviewing documents.

Wrapping Up

If you have successfully checked your margins and not found anything then your document is one step closer to being ready to submit. If you have any questions or we can be of further assistance, feel free to contact us at gradschool@mtu.edu or stop by our office on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building.


Checking Your Margins Using Single Side Formatting

Welcome back to the Michigan Tech Graduate School Newsblog. Since Thesis, Dissertation, and Report writing season is in full swing now we thought it might be helpful to give you a brief reminder on how you can check your margins before submitting your document to the Graduate School.

There are two ways described in “The Guide” to format your dissertation, thesis, or report: Single Side and Double Side formatting. In the post below we will walk you through how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro to check your margins in a Single Side formatted document. If you’re using Double Side formatting, check out our post on that here!

Turning on Grids and Rulers

If you know how to turn on Grids, you may notice that Adobe defaults to a 3×3 grid. Since we have a binding edge margin requirement of 1.5″ and a non-binding edge requirement of 1″ it really isn’t all that helpful if our grid is in 1/3 inch increments. To improve functionality we need to change the grids to 4×4 (this gives us 1/4″ grid lines). To do this, you will want to go to Edit> Preferences. That’s (Ctrl +K) for you keystroke people. Once in Preferences, you will see a white box on the left side called Categories. In this box, you should scroll down until you see Units & Guides (near the bottom) and then click on Units & Guides. Within Units & Guides you will see three sections. In the middle section, Layout Grid, you will want to change the Subdivisions from 3 to 4. In this section you can also change several other features of the grid so please be sure that you do not change any of the other settings or you risk checking your margins incorrectly. If you happen to have trouble, reset your measurements so that they match the image below and you will be all set.

When turning on the Grid, always be sure to double check that you have 1 inch between the lines (Height and Width) and 4 subdivisions. Otherwise your margin checks won’t match ours.

Adobe allows us to turn on both  Grids and Rulers so that we can check our margins with ease. Once you have changed the Grid preferences as described above, you will next want to turn on the Grids. To do this, you will need to go to View> Show/Hide> Rulers & Grids> Grid. If you’re more of a keystroke person you can also use Ctrl+U to quickly turn grids on and off.

Turn on Grids
You can quickly turn the Grid in Adobe Acrobat Pro on/off  by using the Ctrl+U keystroke.

Once your grids are turned on you will also want to turn on Rulers. Turning Rulers on is much simpler than turning on Grids. For the keystroke crowd, simply use Ctrl +R. If you prefer to click, use the following path: View> Show/Hide> Rulers & Grids> Rulers. This is shown in the image below.

Turn on Rulers
You can quickly turn on Rulers in Adobe Acrobat Pro by using the Ctrl+R keystroke.

 Checking Page Orientation

Once you have your Grids and Rulers turned on you will next want to check your page orientation. If you do not have any Landscape pages in your document, you may skip to the next section; Checking Your Margins. If you have Landscape pages you will need to rotate them 90 degrees counter clockwise before checking the margins. To do this, first click on the Rotate icon. This can be found in the “Quick Tools” bar at the top of your screen. If you do not see a Rotate icon, right click and choose “Customize Quick Tools.” When this dialog box opens, click on the “Organize Pages section(seen below) and choose the “Right” Rotate tool and then click on the small arrow on the right side of the box. Now Rotate should appear in your “Quick Tools.”

Customize Quick Tools
You can customize your Quick Tools menu to gain access to lots of useful tools with a simple click. One of these tools, is the Rotate tool.

After you click on Rotate from your “Quick Tools” menu and the Rotate Pages box appears, choose “Counter Clockwise 90 degrees” in the Direction box. Under Page Range be sure to select “All”. Under Rotate, choose “Even and Odd Pages” in the top drop-down box and “Landscape Pages” in the second drop-down box. Before selecting OK, please be sure your box matches the image shown below.

Landscape Rotate
Landscape pages should always be rotated Counterclockwise 90 degrees prior to checking margins.

 

Checking Your Margins

Now that you have turned on the Rulers and Grids and rotated any Landscape pages you may have you’re ready to check your margins. To do this, Zoom in to 125% and follow the instructions below.

 Checking the Binding Edge Margin

As we mentioned previously (and you already know from reading Section 3.2 of The Guide) the rule for the Binding Edge (left) margin that it must be at least 1.5″ and not more than 1.6″. To check this, we recommend placing your cursor on the 1.5″ grid line and then proceeding to scroll (don’t cheat and use Page Down or you will miss stuff) through your document. If you have a lot of pages, this can be time consuming but it’s better to get it right the first time than to be scrambling to figure it out right before the deadline. When you’ve completed this, proceed to the Non-Binding Edge margins.

Checking the Non-Binding Edge Margins

The other three margins in your document (right, top and bottom) are all considered Non-Binding Edge margins. These must adhere to the guidelines of at least 1″ but no more than 1.25″ as per Section 3.2 of The Guide. To check the right margin, place your cursor on the 7.5″ grid line and scroll down. For the Top and Bottom margins, you should Zoom out to between 85% and 100% and scroll through your document making sure that there is nothing in the margins. One word of caution is to carefully check the location of your page numbers. These are the most common item that we find in the bottom and top margins when reviewing documents.

Wrapping Up

If you have successfully checked your margins and not found anything then your document is one step closer to being ready to submit. If you have any questions or we can be of further assistance, feel free to contact us at gradschool@mtu.edu or stop by our office on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building.