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Reading Sample Theses
As you prepare for your thesis, you might want to get a sense of what you can accomplish in your finished product. Reading past theses can show you the scope and nature of well-done undergraduate projects. Because theses in different areas of psychology often look quite different, it will help you to examine several in the same general area you plan to conduct your research in.
The Psychology Undergraduate Office has hard copies of several prize-winning theses from the past five years that you may sign out to see what the best undergraduate work looks like. Above, you can browse the titles of past undergraduate theses to give you an idea of the topics of theses students typically write.
Only hard copies of recent prize-winning theses are currently available.
Please note: Recent theses stored in the Social Relations Library (which recently closed) are unavailable. Inquirers needing a thesis that is not listed in HOLLIS should contact the authors of theses directly to attempt to obtain a copy.
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Start with HOLLIS (HarvardKey login required for some full text, including theses & dissertations)
- Those presented for graduate degrees
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How do you know if it's available online?
- “View Online” button links out to full text.
- If there's no "View Online" button, the work probably has not been digitized.
What Harvard theses and dissertations can you expect to find online in full text? How do you get to them?
- Follow the links in HOLLIS.
- Not a Harvard affiliate? log in through the library of your academic institution OR
- you can usually purchase directly from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Express.
- undergraduates are not required to submit theses or prizewinning papers to DASH
- Harvard Extension School ALM theses 2012-2016 were not entered into DASH.
- Under certain circumstances dissertations may be embargoed by the author; DASH may be the only place this information is given.
If the work hasn't been digitized:
You can order PDFs or photocopies of most Harvard theses and dissertations (unless they're available through the Proquest database linked above) from 1873 through November 2011 (and ALM theses to 2016)
- See our Reproduction Requests page to register
- When you submit the online order form, Imaging Services staff will reply with cost and delivery information.
- Questions about the online ordering process or pricing? Contact Imaging Services staff directly for additional information at 617/495-3995 or [email protected] (M-F, 9-5 Eastern)
For Extension School ALM theses check out our Library Guide for Harvard Extension School theses page
Want to view a dissertation or thesis at the library? Check with the archival collection location listed in HOLLIS.
Wondering what dissertations and theses have been submitted in the recent past? Use DASH .
For more on undergraduate theses and dissertations, see our " How can I locate a Harvard undergraduate thesis?" FAQ.
Looking for non-Harvard theses & dissertations? See our "How can I find theses and dissertations?" FAQ.
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- Developing A Thesis
Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."
An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)
A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.
Steps in Constructing a Thesis
First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)
Once you have a working thesis, write it down. There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.
Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction. A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.
Anticipate the counterarguments. Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)
This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.
Some Caveats and Some Examples
A thesis is never a question. Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.
A thesis is never a list. "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.
A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational. An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.
An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim. "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."
A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible. Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."
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Printed versions of all HBS Doctoral theses are available for use in Baker Library Special Collections.
Written by HBS Doctoral students in their final years at HBS, these original works typically include presentation, analysis, and evaluation of unique data yielding significant, relevant, and independent research conclusions in major fields of study. Focus areas include managerial performance; economic, behavioral, psychological and administrative theory; formulating, executing, and evaluating strategy; the use of economic analysis and statistical methods for dealing effectively with management problems; and applied business fields such as capital markets, financial institutions, corporate finance, experimental and behavioral economics, business strategy and industrial organization. Research themes include innovation, entrepreneurship, organizational learning, and networks.
Printed copies of HBS Doctoral theses are available for use in Baker Library Special Collections.
Electronic versions are available through the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (HU PIN required).
Since 2015, electronic copies are also available through DASH , Harvard's open access repository.
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The HBS Archives include the records of Harvard Business School from its founding in 1908 to the present day. The archives are a rich resource to learn about subjects such as: the development of the case method, changes in curriculum, the intersection of the School and innovations in business, and the global impact of Harvard Business School.
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Doctoral Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines
Preparing to Submit the Dissertation/Thesis
Application for the Degree Dissertation Defense/Oral Final Examination – Signature Page
Online Submission of the Dissertation/Thesis
ETDs @ ProQuest ORCID Harvard Author Agreement Redaction Embargoes Surveys
Distribution of the Dissertation/Thesis
Open Access After Submission Bound Dissertation Fee Additional Bound Copies
Copyright and Publishing Considerations
Understanding Your Copyright and Fair Use Copyright Registration Acknowledging the Work of Others Use of Copyrighted Material Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work
Text Embedded Fonts Margins Pagination Title Title Page Abstract Body of Dissertation Figures and Tables Footnotes Bibliography Supplemental Material
Citation & Style Guides
Dissertation Submission Checklist
INTRODUCTION All SD degree candidates at the Harvard Chan School are required to successfully complete and submit a dissertation to qualify for degree conferral. All DrPH degree candidates at the Harvard Chan School are required to successfully complete and submit a thesis to qualify for degree conferral. This website provides information on the requirements for how to format your dissertation, how to submit your dissertation/thesis, and how your dissertation/thesis will be distributed. Please follow the submission and formatting guidelines provided here. Back to top
PREPARING TO SUBMIT THE DISSERTATION/Thesis The electronic submission of your dissertation/thesis and the original Signature Page are due on the dates specified on the Harvard Chan School’s Academic Calendar Summary for each degree awarding period (November, March, and May). These items must be submitted using the ETDs @ Harvard tool in order for the degree to be voted. No exceptions will be made to this rule. Back to top
Application for the Degree There are three degree granting periods: November, March, and May. To apply for graduation, students must complete the Application for Degree on the my.Harvard portal by the deadline posted on the Harvard Chan School’s Academic Calendar .
Deadline extensions are not possible. Students who miss the deadline must apply for the subsequent degree conferral date (November, March, or May). The student is responsible for meeting submission deadlines. Back to top
Dissertation Defense/Oral Final Examination — Signature Page All Research Committee/Doctoral Committee members are required to sign the Signature Page at the time of the dissertation defense or Doctoral Final Oral Examination indicating their final approval of the dissertation/thesis.
A scanned copy of the Signature Page should appear before the title page of the PDF online submission of the dissertation/thesis; no page number should be assigned to the Signature Page. The title on the Signature Page must read exactly as it does on the title page of the dissertation/thesis. The Signature Page will be included in all copies of the dissertation/thesis.
Click here for instructions on how to merge the Signature Page into the dissertation PDF.
The Signature Page for SD students must be formatted as follows:
This Dissertation, [ Title of Dissertation ], presented by [ Student’s Name ], and Submitted to the Faculty of The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of [ Science or Public Health ] in the Department[ s] of [ Department(s) Name(s) ], has been read and approved by:
(typed name below line – signature above)
Date : [ Dissertation Defense Date (month day, year) ]
The Signature Page for DrPH students must be formatted as follows:
This Doctoral Thesis, [Title of Doctoral Project], presented by [Student’s Name], and Submitted to the Faculty of The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Public Health, has been read and approved by:
______________________________________ (typed name below line – signature above)
________________________________________ (typed name below the line – signature above)
Date: [Doctoral Project Official Approval Date (month day, year)]
Back to top
ONLINE SUBMISSION OF THE DISSERTATION/THESIS
ETDs @ ProQuest All SD/DrPH candidates are required to submit a digital copy of the dissertation/thesis to the Registrar’s Office as a PDF file using embedded fonts via ETDs @ ProQuest by the deadline established for each degree conferral date. Dissertations/theses must be submitted in their final format, as described in the section Formatting Guidelines . Students must check their formatting carefully before submitting. Formatting errors will prevent the students’ dissertations/theses from being accepted and approved.
The online-submission tool can be found at: http://www.etdadmin.com/hsph.harvard
A how-to video for submitting a thesis/dissertation via ETDs is available on the Countway Library website .
ORCID ETDs @ Harvard supports ORCIDs. ORCIDs are persistent digital identifiers that link you to your professional activity. You may register for an ORCID either before or during submission if you do not yet have one. To do so, you may go here . Back to top
Harvard Author Agreement When submitting work through ETDs @ ProQuest, you will be consenting to the Harvard Author Agreement , which grants the University a non-exclusive license to preserve, reproduce, and display the work. This license, which is the same the Harvard Chan School faculty use under the School’s Open Access Policy, does not constrain your rights to publish your work subsequently. Back to top
Redaction Very few dissertations require redaction, which is the process of obscuring or removing sensitive information for distribution. ETDs @ ProQuest does support redacted versioning for these very rare cases where there is sensitive or potentially harmful material in the dissertation (e.g., commercially sensitive information, sensitive personal data, risk of harmful retribution, etc.).
If your work is one such rare instance, then you may select the “I think I need to submit a redacted version of my dissertation” on the file upload screen. You will then be prompted to contact the Office for Scholarly Communication, which will help you with your request. Back to top
Embargoes To forestall any potential challenges that a student may face in the publication process (e.g., if the candidate has a publication pending with a publisher or has previously published some of the content in the dissertation and there is a publisher’s embargo that must be honored), the Harvard Chan School has instituted a default one-year embargo for submissions through ETDs @ ProQuest. The embargo starts on the date of the dissertation/thesis submission deadline. With an embargo, the full text of the dissertation/thesis will be unavailable for view or download for a limited period of time. The citation and abstract for the work, however, will be publicly available.
If a student would like to make her/his work available immediately by opting out of the embargo process, she/he may do so by selecting the No Embargo option during the submission process.
If, due to extenuating circumstances, a student is required to embargo part or all of their work beyond one year, she/he must request an extension during the submission process. An extension can be requested for up to two years. This request is subject to the approval of the student’s department chair(s) and the University Librarian.
Any embargo applied to the DASH version of the dissertation will be applied to the Countway Library and Harvard Chan School department versions of the work.
Students do not need to take any action to remove an embargo. The embargo will automatically be lifted in DASH at the end of the selected and approved period. If a student would like to change the duration of his/her embargo request, then please contact the Registrar’s Office at [email protected] or 617-432-1032. Back to top
Surveys The School of Public Health is asked to participate in the Survey of Earned Doctorates. This is an annual census of research doctorate recipients in the United States. Data collected from these surveys are used to make federal policy decisions regarding graduate education.
Students are required to upload the Survey of Earned Doctorates completion confirmation email or certificate via ETDs @ Harvard.
Please click here to complete your survey.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE DISSERTATION/THESIS
Open Access For information on open access, we recommend the Office of Scholarly Communication’s (OSC) Director Peter Suber’s brief introduction . He has also written about providing open access to theses and dissertations . The OSC has produced several videos of Harvard faculty and students discussing open access. Two may be of particular interest: the first features Professors Gary King and Stuart Shieber , and the second features a recent Harvard graduate, Ben Finio . Back to top
After Submission Once you have applied for your degree and submitted your dissertation/thesis online, it is checked for compliance by the Registrar’s Office and, if accepted, is piped to the following downstream systems:
- DASH : Your work will be sent to DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), Harvard’s open access repository. Search engines index DASH, which means your work will be more discoverable and more frequently cited. You will be making DASH access decisions for your work at the point of submission. This will be the access copy of the dissertation.
- HOLLIS : The metadata about your work will be sent to HOLLIS . This will make your work discoverable through the Harvard Library catalog.
- DRS2 : Your work will be stored in Harvard Library’s digital preservation repository, DRS2 . This will be the preservation copy of the dissertation.
- Countway Library Archives: Countway Library will receive a bound copy of the dissertation/thesis. The copies at Countway Library do not circulate and generally are not available for research use. This is the record copy of the dissertation/thesis.
By default, dissertations/theses will be made available through DASH one year after students submit their dissertations via ETDs @ Harvard for degree completion (see Embargoes ). DASH is operated by Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication and is the University’s central service for openly distributing Harvard’s scholarly output.
Note that any embargo applied to the DASH version of the dissertation/thesis will be applied to the Countway Library and department versions of the work. Back to top
Bound Dissertation/Thesis Fee Currently we are not receiving bound dissertation/thesis copies. Doctoral students will not be charged bound dissertation/thesis fees. Back to top
Additional Bound Copies Students may secure extra copies of their work for their own purposes. These additional copies may be purchased through Acme Bookbinding . or through ETDs @ ProQuest . Back to top
COPYRIGHT AND PUBLISHING CONSIDERATIONS
Understanding Your Copyright and Fair Use The Office for Scholarly Communication has created copyright-related resources for your reference.
The first addresses your copyrights and identifies some considerations when publishing (see “ Planning to publish? ”). It is important that you envision any future use you may like to make of your work. Any publishing contract you sign can affect your potential future uses, such as use in teaching, posting your work online on either a personal or departmental website, or any potential future publication. Before you sign a publication agreement, you can negotiate with a publisher to secure licensing terms that best suit your needs. It is important that you read any contract you sign and keep a copy for your own records.
The second resource discusses fair use (see “ Fair use ”), what it is, the laws that have determined its shape over time, and tips for ensuring that use of third-party material (including quotes, images, music, film, etc.) in your dissertation is fair. Back to top
Copyright Registration Your work is copyrighted as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form. You are not required to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office to enjoy protection of your work. However, if you choose to do so, you may register your work with the Copyright Office online . Back to top
Acknowledging the Work of Others Students are responsible for acknowledging any facts, ideas, or materials of others used in their own work. Students should refer to the statement on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in the Harvard Chan School’s Student Handbook . Back to top
Use of Copyrighted Material A dissertation is a scholarly work, and as such use of third party material is often essential. Fair use applies to the reproduction of any third party material, including your own previously published work, that you may use in your dissertation.
If you have questions about copyright and fair use, please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication . Back to top
Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work When submitting an article for publication that you intend to use in your dissertation, you should secure permission to do so (along with permission to reuse your own work as you would like) from your publisher in your publishing agreement. If the default contract does not let you retain these rights already, then you should use an author addendum to secure these rights (see “ Planning to publish? ”).
You may use your own previously published material as part of your dissertation with the permission of the publisher. Again, refer to your publication agreement for details. If your contract does not specify these rights, then contact the publisher to negotiate this use. Back to top
FORMATTING GUIDELINES The following are instructions on how to format your dissertation/thesis. If, after reading the instructions here, you have additional questions about the requirements, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (617) 432-1032; [email protected] Back to top
Text All text should be double-spaced on one side of the page with footnotes single-spaced. The font size should be at least 10 point, but no larger than 12 point. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Embedded Fonts For printing and viewing purposes, fonts must be embedded in dissertations/theses submitted through ETDs @ ProQuest. If fonts are not embedded, non-English characters may not appear as intended. ETDs @ ProQuest runs a check on every uploaded primary document and will flag works that have not yet embedded all fonts. Click here for instructions on how to create embedded fonts in Microsoft Word. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Margins The margins of the dissertation must be 1 inch on all sides. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Pagination Students’ dissertations/theses must follow the pagination guidelines as illustrated below. It is customary not to have a page number on the page containing a chapter/paper heading. Drawings, charts, graphs, and photographs should be referred to as figures and should be numbered consecutively within the text of the dissertation with Arabic numerals. Each figure should carry a suitable caption; e.g., Fig. 42. Arrangement of Experimental Equipment. Check pagination carefully and account for all pages.
All page numbers should be consecutive and centered at either the bottom or top of the page. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Title The title of the dissertation/thesis should be brief and should indicate the general subject treated. Nine words are usually sufficient to describe the investigation. Students are strongly encouraged to embed keywords into their title, so that the title will be retrievable on computerized listings. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Title Page The title page must contain the following information, well-spaced and centered on the page:
For SD students:
TITLE OF DISSERTATION
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Science
in the Department[ s ] of [ insert department(s) affiliation ]
Date (month in which degree will be awarded, year in which degree will be awarded)
For DrPH Students:
TITLE OF DOCTORAL THESIS
A Doctoral Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of
for the Degree of Doctor of Public Health
Date (the month in which degree will be awarded, year of graduation (e.g., May 2021)
A sample of the page layout can be found here .
Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Abstract The abstract should not exceed 350 words. It should immediately follow the Title Page, and should state the problem, describe the methods and procedures used, and give the main results or conclusions of the research. The abstract should be double-spaced. The author’s name and the title of the thesis, as well as the name of the thesis advisor, should be included on the abstract page. The author’s name should be right justified, the title of the dissertation centered, and “Thesis Advisor: Dr. ____________” should be left-justified at the top of the abstract page. Dual-degree candidates may list two advisors if needed.
Thesis Advisor: Dr. [Advisor’s name] [Author’s name]
[Title of thesis]
The text of the abstract, not to exceed 350 words, should be double-spaced. The first line of each paragraph is indented. Full justification of the text is not recommended.
Students will also be required to submit a text version of the abstract via the online-submission tool. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Body of Dissertation The dissertation should consist of manuscripts suitable for publication in a scientific medium appropriate to the candidate’s field and/or approved reprints of the published work(s) (see Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work and Use of Copyrighted Material ).
Technical appendices should be added where necessary to demonstrate full development of the dissertation material. Papers published under joint authorship are acceptable provided the candidate has contributed a major part to the investigation. The degree candidate is expected to be senior author on at least one of the papers. In the case of manuscripts published under joint authorship, the co-authors or the advisor may be consulted by the readers or the CAD to clarify the nature and extent of the candidate’s contribution. In addition to evaluating the quality and significance of the work, those responsible for accepting the dissertation [the Department(s) and the Research Committee] may determine whether the format is suitable for publication in a scientific medium appropriate to the degree candidate’s field(s). Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Figures and Tables Figures and tables must be placed as close as possible to their first mention in the text. They may be placed on a page with no text above or below, or they may be placed directly in the text. If a figure or table is alone on a page with no narrative, it should be centered within the margins of the page.
Figures and tables referred to in the text may not be placed at the end of the chapter or at the end of the dissertation. Figure and table numbering must be either continuous throughout the dissertation or by paper (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2). For example, there cannot be two figures designated in a dissertation as “Figure 5.”
Headings of tables should be placed at the top of the table. While there are no specific rules for the format of table headings and figure captions, a consistent format must be used throughout the dissertation. (See Citation and Style Guides )
Captions of figures should be placed at the bottom of the figure. If the figure takes up the entire page, the figure caption should be placed alone on the preceding page and centered vertically and horizontally within the margins. Each page receives a separate page number. When a figure or table title is on a preceding page, the second and subsequent pages of the figure or table should say, for example, “Figure 5 (Continued).” In such an instance, the list of figures or tables will list the page number containing the title. The word “Figure” should be written in full (not abbreviated), and the “F” should be capitalized (e.g., Figure 5). In instances where the caption continues on a second page, the “(Continued)” notation should appear on the second and any subsequent page. The figure/table and the caption are viewed as one entity and the numbering should show correlation between all pages. Each page must include a header.
Horizontal figures and tables must be positioned correctly and bound at the top, so that the top of the figure or table will be at the left margin (leave a 1 inch margin on the long edge of the paper above the top of the table).
Figure and table headings/captions are placed with the same orientation as the figure or table when on the same page. When on a separate page, headings/captions are always placed in vertical orientation, regardless of the orientation of the figure or table. Page numbers are always placed as if the figure were vertical on the page.
Figures created with software are acceptable if the figures are clear and legible. Legends and titles created by the same process as the figures will be accepted if they too are clear, legible, and run at least 10 or 12 characters per inch. Otherwise, legends and captions should be printed with the same font used in the text. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Footnotes Footnotes are reserved for substantive additions to the text and should be indicated by an asterisk in the text. Extensive use of footnotes is not encouraged. The footnote should be placed at the bottom of the page. A horizontal line of at least two inches should be typed above the first footnote on any page. Footnotes should be placed so that at least one inch is left at the bottom of the page. Use single-spacing within footnotes. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Bibliography To document the sources of information, a bibliography must be included at the end of the papers or dissertation. References may be numbered or listed alphabetically. If references in the bibliography are numbered, then corresponding in-text references should be indicated by listing the number in parentheses after the name of the author.
23. Gibbs, C.S.: Filterable virus carriers. J. Bact., 23, 1932, 113.
“. . . as Gibbs (23) has stated.”
The initial number should be omitted if references are listed alphabetically.
Within any bibliographic section there should be consistency and adherence to an acceptable journal style for a bibliography. Each reference in the bibliography must contain the name of the author, title of the paper, name of publication, volume, date, and first page.
More than one publication by the same author in the same year should be indicated both in the bibliography and in the text by the use of underlined letters, etc., after the date of publication. The standard system of abbreviation used by the Quarterly Cumulative Index should be followed for the abbreviations of journal titles.
If students’ individual papers have different bibliographic styles, then it is not necessary to change the bibliographic style of one to match the other. Consistency within each bibliographic section is the most important element. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
Supplemental Material Supplemental figures and tables must be placed at the end of each chapter/paper in an appendix. If additional digital information (including text, audio, video, image, or datasets) will accompany the main body of the dissertation, then it should be uploaded as supplemental material via the ETDs @ Harvard online submission tool. Back to top | Back to Formatting Guidelines
CITATION & STYLE GUIDES
- The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
- Crews, Kenneth D. Copyright Law and the Doctoral Dissertation. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, 2000.
- Day, Robert A. and Barbara Gastel. How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper. 6th ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006.
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. Strunk, William. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2005.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.
- Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago
- Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. 7th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
DISSERTATION SUBMISSION CHECKLIST ☐ Is the Signature Page unnumbered and positioned as the first page of the PDF file? ☐ Is there a blank page after the Signature Page? ☐ Does the body of the dissertation begin with Page 1? ☐ Is the pagination continuous? Are all pages included? ☐ Is every page of the dissertation correctly numbered? ☐ Is the placement of page numbers centered throughout the manuscript? ☐ Is the Title Page formatted correctly? ☐ Is the author’s name, in full, on the Title Page of the dissertation and the abstract? ☐ Does the author’s name read the same on both and does it match the Signature Page? ☐ Is the abstract included after the Title Page? ☐ Does the abstract include the title of the dissertation, the author’s name, and the dissertation advisor(s)’ name? ☐ Is the title on the abstract the same as that on the title page? ☐ Are the margins 1” on all sides? ☐ Is the font size 10-12 point? ☐ Are all charts, graphs, and other illustrative materials perfectly legible? ☐ Do lengthy figures and tables include the “(Continued)” notation? ☐ Has all formatting been checked? ☐ Is the Survey of Earned Doctorates completed? ☐ Has the Survey of Earned Doctorates’ confirmation email or certificate been uploaded to ETDs @ Harvard?
Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers Trace intellectual trends and currents across time, learning from Harvard's best and brightest in this collection at the Harvard University Archives William Boyd (Harvard College Class of 1796) mathematical thesis. View Details Harvard University Archives
A HarvardKey is required to access and download digital theses. Some theses during these years were still submitted in paper only (analog theses). HOLLIS also includes analog theses submitted from early-1900s to 2012. The GSD History Collection includes theses submitted in the 1930s and 1940s.
2001 (PDF)/ 2000 (PDF) / 1999 (PDF) List of Prize-Winning Theses, 2001 - Present. Reading Sample Theses. As you prepare for your thesis, you might want to get a sense of what you can accomplish in your finished product. Reading past theses can show you the scope and nature of well-done undergraduate projects.
DASH - Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard - DASH is the university's central, open access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard. Most PhD dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH.
You can order PDFs or photocopies of most Harvard theses and dissertations (unless they're available through the Proquest database linked above) from 1873 through November 2011 (and ALM theses to 2016) See our Reproduction Requests page to register.
Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction. A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction.
HBS Theses. Written by HBS Doctoral students in their final years at HBS, these original works typically include presentation, analysis, and evaluation of unique data yielding significant, relevant, and independent research conclusions in major fields of study.
Browsing HBS Theses and Dissertations by Keyword. Branding, Symbolic Consumption, Consumer Identity, Luxury Marketing, Status Signaling, Authenticity, Consumer Well-being. 
All SD/DrPH candidates are required to submit a digital copy of the dissertation/thesis to the Registrar’s Office as a PDF file using embedded fonts via ETDs @ ProQuest by the deadline established for each degree conferral date. Dissertations/theses must be submitted in their final format, as described in the section Formatting Guidelines.