Format, Language & Content

Format & Language

The thesis is typically a written manuscript, except in the case of a thesis prepared for an MFA degree. The dissertation is typically a written manuscript in book form. The final product must be a document that is professional in appearance and suitable for publication. With advance approval by the graduate program and the Graduate Division, alternative formats may be permitted. The thesis or dissertation may be written in English or in Hawaiian. However, students who plan to publish their thesis or dissertation with ProQuest must submit an abstract in English.

Subject Approval

The subject of a thesis or dissertation must be approved by the student’s committee. Approval of the thesis or dissertation proposal is reported to the Graduate Division via the submission of Form II. Upon approval by the Graduate Division, the student may enroll in Thesis 700 or Dissertation 800. When the research involves human subjects, animals, recombinant DNA, radioactive substances, scuba diving or hazardous materials, special approval from the appropriate office(s) is required before the research is undertaken. See Research & Publication > Compliance & Ethical Standards.

Inclusion of Previously Published Material

The thesis or dissertation may not have been published previously in its entirety. With the written approval of the committee chair, a student may include previously published material in the manuscript. Such material, however, must be the product of the thesis or dissertation research conducted by the student while enrolled in the graduate program, and may not have been used to obtain another degree. Publication references for the material must be included in the manuscript. Typically, it is not the actual publication but the material from the publication that is incorporated into the manuscript. If the actual publication is to be included the following conditions must be met:

  • The publication must be logically integrated into the manuscript in a coherent manner. Binding reprints of the publication to the manuscript is unacceptable.
  • The manuscript must contain an introduction or preface that clearly integrates the publication into the general theme of the manuscript.
  • The abstract for the manuscript must be “comprehensive” in the sense that it covers the manuscript as well as any publication to be included.

In general, the student should be the sole or primary author of any published material to be included. Co-authored material may be included only if the student has made a primary contribution, in terms of both research and writing, and that the nature of the contribution is clearly defined and indicated in the introduction or preface of the thesis or dissertation. Written permission shall be obtained from all copyright owners of the co-authored material and attached to the publication agreement of the thesis or dissertation as applicable.