Style Policy

It is the student’s responsibility to edit and prepare a final manuscript that meets the style requirements of both the Graduate Division and his or her graduate program. The Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations provides general guidelines on the physical format of the manuscript.

Graduate Division Requirements

The margin settings and the title page of the thesis or dissertation MUST conform to Graduate Division requirements. Students who submit pages that do not meet these specific requirements or that contain spelling errors will be asked to reformat the pages.

Margin Settings

The Graduate Division requires standardized margins on every page of the manuscript. The left margin must be 1½ inches from the edge; all other margins must be 1 inch from the edge. The only exception is facing pages, which should have the 1½ inch margin on the right side. The entire content on the page, including page numbers, must fall WITHIN the margins specified. The page number can be bottom center or top right.

Title Page

Please pay special attention to the following features on the title page:

  • Use of Kahako- and Okina — Include a Kahako- over the first “a” in “Mānoa” and an okina before the last “i” in “Hawai‘i.” The okina is NOT an apostrophe. To insert the “okina,” use the command “Insert > Symbols” or “Insert > Special Characters” in your word processing program.
  • Official Degree Name — Indicate your degree and graduate program (e.g., Master of Science in Zoology). Use only the official degree name from the list of Board of Regents approved degree titles. No other titles will be accepted for a dissertation or thesis title page. Certain graduate programs offer specializations in which students receive their degree. In general, specializations are not included on the title page. Below is a list of specializations that may be included, with permission of the graduate program:

Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
Marine Biology
Neurosciences
Chinese, Japanese or Korean
Tropical Medicine

To include the specialization, follow the examples below:

Botany (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)
Zoology (Marine Biology)
Microbiology (Neurosciences)
East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese)
Biomedical Sciences (Tropical Medicine)

  • Date of Graduation — Indicate the month and year of graduation (December, May, or August). Do not separate the month and year of graduation with a comma. Do not use the date you completed or submitted the thesis/dissertation.
  • Names of Committee Members — List the names of the committee members. Customarily, the name of the university representative is given last.
  • Use of Titles — Do not include titles such as Dr. or PhD for committee members or for yourself. However, the chair should be designated by the word “chairperson.”

Graduate Program Requirements

For the rest of the manuscript, it is at the discretion of the graduate programs to require or suggest their own professionally acceptable style. Students are advised to consult with their committee chair regarding an acceptable style and familiarize themselves thoroughly with it, before they begin to prepare their manuscript. In general, the style should conform to the major professional or scientific journals in the student’s discipline. For certain disciplines, suitable style manuals are readily available and may be used. Graduate programs in disciplines where no style manual exists may wish to develop their own.