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  • You must publish a thesis! Yes, it can (and actually must) contain at least one published paper, and with permission from the paper’s publisher and as long as it conforms to graduate school formatting guidelines, can have chapters exactly the same as your published paper.
  • The general structure. An introduction, which provides general background (please be succinct!), and rationalizes why you did your work. Data chapters, which describe your tangible contribution(s) to the field. And a discussion, which speculates on how your work will shape future advances.
  • Meet with a writing coach! And other great resources available through the writing center
  • For each chapter you should have an acknowledgement page that describes work or materials contributed by others.
  • This website: contains thesis and dissertation formatting guidelines. They specify such details as page margins, font sizes, and how to submit an electronic copy of your dissertation. Gold star for you if you submit your electronic dissertation to the graduate school, and they don’t respond with required formatting changes.