Dissertation clearance: Common mistakes

Back in December, Nicole wrote an excellent blog post about the new dissertation process. This past month, I reviewed a total of 24 dissertations and I thought that I’d share a few of the most commonly made mistakes that I’ve caught. I hope that this will help expedite your dissertation clearance process when you finally submit your dissertation!

  1. Page numbers. Be sure that you use Roman numerals (e.g. iii, v, xi, etc.) for things like your dedication page, abstract, and table of contents. Arabic numbers (e.g. 1, 3, 9, etc.) begin on the first page of the first chapter.
  2. Multiple citations in one set of parentheses should be placed in alphabetical order. Here’s an example: (Chow, 2014; Hughes, 2014; Sacks, 2015; Schiff, 2014; Schmidt, 2015)
  3. Tables should be listed within the body of your document. It should be placed right after the paragraph that first mentions the table.
  4. Appendices should be presented in the same order that they are mentioned in the text of the document. If you have Appendices A, B, and C, they all need to be mentioned in the main text of your document in alphabetical order. That is, you must refer to Appendix A before you can mention B and you must refer to Appendix B before you can mention Appendix C.
  5.  Reference list.  Be sure that all of your references are in alphabetical order.

If you need additional help, feel free to contact your campus dissertation clearance librarian:

  • Fresno: Louise Colbert-Mar (lcolbert@alliant.edu)
  • Irvine: Erin Schmidt (eschmidt@alliant.edu)
  • Los Angeles: Tiffany Chow (tchow1@alliant.edu)
  • Sacramento: Nicole Hughes (nhughes@alliant.edu)
  • San Diego: Scott Zimmer (szimmer@alliant.edu)
  • San Francisco: Joe Tally (jtally@alliant.edu)

Happy writing!


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