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The Format Review

The document that you submit for the format review should be relatively free of formatting errors. You have spent many months on your applied dissertation. During that time, you were expected to master—with the guidance of your committee—the style and format rules established by the College of Education.

The writing and preparation of a dissertation requires a meticulous attention to detail. Strict adherence to the guidelines of the College of Education’s Format Guide for the Applied Dissertation and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) is required. To assist you, the webpage "Resources for Writing and Preparing the Applied Dissertation" contains an array of supplemental information about writing style, APA style, and word processing. The format review focuses on a student’s adherence to the Format Guide for the Applied Dissertation. Adherence to APA style is the sole responsibility of the student and the applied dissertation committee.

The format review involves a brief examination of your manuscript; consequently, it is designed to identify only a small number of minor errors in format and style. It is not intended to be a page-by-page or line-by-line edit or proofreading. You and your dissertation committee are responsible for ensuring that the manuscript is in compliance with required guidelines. Your committee chair may suggest that you obtain the services of a professional editor before the dissertation is recommended for final approval (see "Finding an Editor or Typist").

Following committee approval, your manuscript is examined for format. You will receive one of three possible determinations in the format review:

  • (a) “Revise and resubmit”—you will need to make all requested changes and resubmit the manuscript for a new format review,
  • (b) “Approved with minor revisions”—you will need to make the requested minor changes in your final copies, or
  • (c) “Approved”—no changes are required.

Format reviews are entered in the ADRIANA tracking system. You and your committee chair will be notified by e-mail that the review is available. The message is sent to your NSU e-mail address. If the review indicates "Approval with Revisions," you need to complete the changes in the final copy that you will subsequently send.

We hope that you are able to move quickly through the approval process and that the end result is a document for which you and the university can take great pride.

Tips for a Successful Format Review

From the beginning of your doctoral program, you should study the required text for style: the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The use of the Mastering APA Style workbook—a supplement to the Publication Manual—is an invaluable resource for enhancing your APA-style skills. The College of Education’s Format Guide for the Applied Dissertation is the primary resource for dissertation formatting requirements (margins, typeface, spacing, pagination, preliminary pages, etc.).

The Applied Dissertation website should be checked on a regular basis for information related to the dissertation process. The "Writing Guidelines and Resources" section on the Research and Dissertation Resources page contains the following sections:

  • Format Guide
  • Statement of Original Work
  • Plagiarism
  • Format Review
    • Shows the current turnaround time for review of manuscripts (the displayed number is an estimate).All submissions—including revisions—are examined in the order in which they are received for review
  • APA Guidelines
  • Abstract Descriptors
  • Writing Resources
  • Word Processing Help
  • Finding an Editor or Typist
Dissertation templates will assist you in organizing the components of your dissertation and in formatting the manuscript according to doctoral requirements.

At any point in the dissertation process, your committee chair may suggest that you seek the assistance of a professional editor for style and format issues. Be sure that you hire an editor who has successful and verifiable experience working on manuscripts for College of Education doctoral students.

You must be an active participant in all facets of the dissertation process. Therefore, your editor (if you have hired one) should not communicate directly with the format reviewer. You are responsible for ensuring that the manuscript is correct in all respects.

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