Preliminary Pages

Preliminary pages must appear in this order:

Abstract

The abstract:

  • is a concise and accurate summary of the thesis
  • should state the problem, the methods of investigation, and the general conclusions
  • must not contain tables, graphs or illustrations
  • must not exceed 350 words
  • should contain keywords that will facilitate automated information retrieval
  • must be the only abstract in the thesis

350 words is the maximum allowed by online bibliographic listings; anything beyond 350 words will be arbitrarily cut off. The abstract in your thesis and the one you enter online at final submission must be identical.

Please do not put a list of keywords with your abstract.

Lay Summary

Effective May 2017, all theses and dissertations must include a lay summary.

The lay or public summary explains the key goals and contributions of the research/scholarly work in terms that can be understood by the general public. It must not exceed 150 words in length.

Preface

For detailed information about what to include in a Preface, see “Structure of Theses and Dissertations”.

Sample Prefaces

Table of Contents

Every thesis must have a table of contents.

The only exceptions to the requirement for a table of contents are musical recitals and some Master of Fine Arts theses. If you think your thesis does not require a table of contents, contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Thesis Section to confirm this.

The accuracy of the table of contents will be checked at final submission.

For additional information on formatting a table of contents (including lists of tables and lists of figures) see Formatting Requirements/Table of Contents.

List of Tables

  • tables must be listed with their numbers, titles, and page numbers
  • each entry must have leader lines (dots) between entry and page number
  • the list must start at the top of a new page

List of Figures or List of Illustrations

  • must appear after the List of Tables
  • figures / illustrations must be listed with their numbers, titles, and page numbers
  • each entry must have leader lines (dots) between entry and page number
  • the list must start at the top of a new page

Other Lists

  • must appear after the List of Figures or List of Illustrations
  • each list must start at the top of a new page
  • items that appear in the thesis only once must have a page number and leader lines for each entry
  • items that are used throughout the thesis do not need page numbers for each entry

Lists of Symbols, Abbreviations, Acronyms, Glossary, or Other

  • must appear after the List of Figures or List of Illustrations
  • each list must start at the top of a new page
  • Must be listed in alphabetical order

Acknowledgements

In this section you can:

  • acknowledge the extent to which assistance has been given by members of staff, fellow students, data technicians, editors, and/or others
  • recognize the supervision and advice given by your supervisor and committee members
  • acknowledge colleagues with whom you have written journal articles

Dedication

The dedication is usually quite short, and is a personal rather than an academic recognition. You can use any font or language you wish for the dedication page.