Table of Contents > General Guidelines
A scholarly thesis or dissertation is an extended, written treatment of a subject, prepared as the culmination of the master’s or doctoral program. It should give evidence of your technical and intellectual mastery of the field of study, as well as your capability to perform original, independent research.
Both thesis and dissertations are subject to close scrutiny by scholars and laymen alike. They provide permanent, tangible evidence of the scholarly achievements and standards of the author, the advisor, and The University of Alabama. To a large degree, the reputation and quality of the University’s graduate program are measured by the quality of the theses and dissertations developed at this institution.
When writing a thesis or dissertation, you must be careful in using copyrighted materials. Generally speaking, you may make limited use of short passages from copyrighted material if proper credit is given to the owner of the copyright. Extensive use of the copyright, however, requires permission of the copyright owner. Permission to use copyrighted material in scholarly works is usually granted without payment or compensation to the copyright owner, but not always.
If the copyright owner grants permission to use the material, a letter of release must be obtained and included in the appendix of your manuscript. Likewise, the copyright owner should be given credit in the acknowledgments of your manuscript.
Under the copyright Law of 1976 (Title 17 of the United States Code), copyright for a work is automatically granted at the time of its creation; neither registration nor publication is required to secure a copyright. Registration, however, is often desirable as it provides a public record of a copyright claim and is usually required before a suit for copyright infringement can be initiated. Consult with your major professor to decide whether or not to register a copyright for your thesis or dissertation. More information on including registering your copyright can be found in the publishing agreements which can be obtained from the Graduate School office and from the Proquest web site.
Scientific research using human subjects has produced ample benefits, but it also produced some troublesome ethical questions. The University of Alabama’s Institutional Review Board’s mission is to ensure that research with humans is conducted lawfully and ethically manner. In order to comply with University and federal policies, submit all proposals for research with humans to the appropriate college’s human research review committee for review and approval before beginning your research. Any IRB certification should be included in the final appendix of your manuscript.
All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct, including cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information, and the like. Any form of academic misconduct will not be tolerated. As a researcher, you will be held to the highest professional standards.
For more information on the official policy on academic misconduct, including established disciplinary measures, refer to The University of Alabama Student Affairs Handbook, which is available in the Office of Student Life in the Ferguson Center and on the university’s website.
Generally, the same formatting and content requirements continue to apply. However, for ETD submissions the following important changes should be noted:
Otherwise, the manuscript will continue to conform to the general formatting and style requirements of an acceptable style guide.