Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies

ETD Resource Center
Current ETD Deadlines
ETD Workshops & Help Sessions
Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Awards
ETD Process Requirements
Registration & Submission Requirements
ETD Plagiarism Check (Required)
ETD Processing Fees
MFA (Creative Writing) Student Info
Use of Previously Published Materials
Copyrights & IRB/IACUC Approvals
ETD Process Checklists
Process Checklist | Thesis
Process Checklist | Dissertation
Process Checklist | MFA Creative Writing
ETD Formatting Requirements
Formatting | General ∨
Formatting | Section Specific ∨
Additional Information
Writing & Additional Copyright Resources
Approved ETDs (Scholar Commons)
Frequently Asked Questions
ETD Quick Links
Apply to Graduate (via OASIS)
ETD Process Registration
USF ProQuest Login
Certificate of Approval Form
Certificate of Approval Form (MFA ONLY)
Plagiarism Check Instructions
Survey of Earned Doctorates (Doctoral)
Commencement Website

Contact Us
Download ETD Guidebook (PDF)

Table of Contents (Section Formatting) *Required
Examples: First Page || Continuing Pages || Setting Tabs


The Table of Contents is a mandatory and vital section of your thesis/dissertation. While Microsoft Word has some tools to assist with the creation of a TOC, the formatting settings can be extremely difficult to change, so we strongly suggest setting up your TOC from scratch.

If the TOC is being set up manually, the tab stops and formatting should be set before any text is written. This way, the section will automatically format as it is written.

Setting up the Format
  1. Create the "Table of Contents" heading (2" from the top of the page, styled as a 1st level heading).
  2. Set page spacing to single-spaced.
  3. Click on the bottom right of the Paragraph tab to open the Paragraph Settings window.
  4. Click on the Tabs button at the bottom left of the window.
  5. Set the first tab to 0.5" (Align LEFT; Leader NONE).
  6. Set the second tab to 1.0" (Align LEFT; Leader NONE).
  7. Continue adding tabs 0.5" further in for additional heading orders that your ETD contains.
  8. Set a final indent to 6.5" (Align RIGHT; Leader DOTTED - if you want to have a dotted leader line).
  9. Click Save on the Tabs window and then close the Paragraph settings window.
  10. Click and move the right indent to 6.0" so that any long headers will wrap to the next line.

Consistency in the Format
General Formatting
Section Heading Formatting
Content Formatting