Looking for resources to help format your thesis or dissertation? Is a blank document in Microsoft Word staring back at you? Never fear—Milner Library and the Graduate School are here to help.

The Graduate School has made significant effort to help make the formatting process for theses and dissertations easier by creating a Microsoft Word template that includes much of the formatting requirements. However, due to the nature of Microsoft Word, students still need some advanced knowledge of the application.

“After all of the effort, course work, and writing, formatting the thesis or dissertation document should not be the most stressful component of the entire experience,” said Jennifer Sharkey, head of Information, Use, and Fluency at Milner Library. “Unfortunately, for many students it is because of the layout requirements of the Graduate School’s document.”

Students now have access to a suite of “how to” videos for formatting their thesis or dissertation. The videos, available all day and all night, are accessible on the Graduate School’s website and YouTube channel. Simply go to Grad.IllinoisState.edu; on the right hand side click on Thesis/Dissertation Help; scroll down to How To Videos. The list of videos are on the Thesis/Dissertation Writing page.

The goal of the video series is to make what for many is a daunting task less overwhelming and stressful. The videos provide a step-by-step walk-through of the template and how-to instructions for using the required formatting features of the document. Being available 24/7, it allows students to access the videos when and where they need help. The series can be watched straight through or a video accessed as needed for a specific formatting component.

“My two pieces of advice to students is to start writing within the template document from the beginning and to reach out for help sooner rather than later,” Sharkey said. “By using the template from the beginning, much of the time and frustration with formatting is eliminated.”

As partners of student success, the Graduate School and Milner Library collaborate on workshops, videos, resources, and more to make the graduate school experience for students at Illinois State University as seamless as possible.