Theses and Dissertations

Theses and Dissertations

The Value of Completing a Thesis or Dissertation: The experience of collecting, assembling and interpreting a body of information for a thesis is essential in developing the capacity to do independent work. This is a primary difference between graduate and undergraduate work. For capable graduate students, preparation of the thesis may be of great value. To be urged to write a thesis is a compliment to one’s ability. The presentation and oral defense of the thesis is designed to emphasize the importance of graduate student research in the academic environment and give public credit to the student’s achievements. The objectives of a graduate thesis at the master’s level include development of the ability to plan and execute a scholarly and/or analytical study and the development of expertise in a specific subject area. The thesis should illustrate that a graduate student has:

  • Comprehended the essentials of a selected subject area;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the problem selected;
  • Obtained working knowledge of research techniques appropriate to the Master’s or Ed.S. degree level;
  • Demonstrated the ability to write in a professional and scholarly style;
  • Produced a study which is of value to the subject field or professional education.

Roles and Responsibilities for the Thesis/Dissertation

The roles and responsibilities of the faculty serving on a student’s thesis/dissertation committee are manifold. In essence, the members of the committee help the student demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a scholarly and creative project while developing an expertise within the discipline. To this end, the members of the committee advise the student to ensure he or she has identified a project that will sufficiently challenge his or her skills, make use of appropriate disciplinary research and creative methods, and be completed using available resources in a timely manner. The members of the committee also ensure the highest quality of the published thesis/dissertation by requiring the student to submit a final thesis/dissertation that conforms to the preferred editorial guidelines of the discipline and Marshall University. The student assumes sole responsibility for ensuring the thesis/dissertation is free of errors of any form.


  1. Review due dates for graduation:
  2. Select a thesis/dissertation topic in collaboration with your committee.
  3. Contact the Office of Research Integrity regarding your project: Send a copy of the abstract in an email to Bruce Day.
  4. Obtain an approval letter (to be included in the thesis appendix) from the Office of Research Integrity.
  5. Conduct your research and write your thesis/dissertation following the style guide:
  6. Apply for graduation:
  7. Schedule a date for the oral defense of your thesis.
  8. Revise your thesis as required by your committee and convert to a PDF Document.
  9. Upload the PDF file to the ETD Administrator site:
  10. An ETD Reviewer reads your ETD and returns to you the ETD with notes for any corrections to be made.
  11. You resubmit the corrected ETD for a final check.
  12. Your ETD is published and you have met all requirements for graduation

Office Of Research Integrity

All Marshall University theses/dissertations are subject to federal audit. The absence of a documented approval of a thesis/dissertation project jeopardizes the ability of the institution to receive federal funding. Consequently, you MUST contact the Office of Research Integrity before starting ANY research project.

If the thesis/dissertation requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for human or animal research, the staff will refer you to the appropriate IRB coordinator for assistance.

If director of the Office of Institutional Research concludes your research does not involve human/animal subject research, you will receive a letter affirming this fact.

Every thesis/dissertation must include a letter indicating approval of the project. Present this letter in Appendix A of your thesis. We will not accept a thesis/dissertation without this letter.

Top 10 Issues with ETD submission

  1. Title page displays page number, incorrect format
  2. References and citations do not follow departmental style guide (APA, MLA, CSE etc.)
  3. Works cited in text are missing from the Reference section or Bibliography
  4. Chapter headings, table titles, and figure titles do not match Table of Contents
  5. Page numbers for figures and tables do not match the List of Figures or the List of Tables.
  6. Words are misspelled.
  7. Sentences begin with vague pronouns.
  8. Errors of subject/verb agreement
  9. General errors of punctuation.
  10. A letter from the Office of Research Integrity is missing.

ETD Review Team

The Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Review Team is comprised of a group of faculty librarians assigned to conduct a final review of your ETD submission. We look forward to working with you during this important step in your academic career. Feel free to contact us at

Eryn Roles, ETD Review Team Chair
Drinko Library 224

Review Team

Heather Lauer
Sarah Mollette
Katherine Murphy
Paul Turner