Capstone Report Guidelines

Main Content

Standards for the preparation of Ed.D. Capstone Reports are established by the graduate faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and the administration of the Graduate School. All revisions are subject to the approval of the Graduate School.

Guidelines for Preparation of Capstone Reports.

Educational Administration students are required to use APA or Turabian style manuals.

General Instructions

Filing of Ed.D. Capstone Reports with the Graduate School

Submit electronically through OpenSIUC. Upload your documents as a pdf.

Approval Forms: All Ed.D. capstone reports submitted to the Graduate School must have a capstone report approval form and oral defense form signed by the student's committee. These forms must be submitted to the Graduate School by the School of Education.

Human Subjects: If a Ed.D. capstone report study involved human subjects, then the student author must submit a copy of the IRB approval letter to John Russell.    

Deadline Dates for Submission: The dates are posted at the Graduate School for both deadlines to apply for graduation and the submission of papers. These deadlines are firm dates and no extensions will be given.

Organization Of Material

Download the Capstone Report Template to use for your paper. It contains all of the required formatting.

Organizational format should be as follows:

  1. Title page
  2. Copyright page (optional)
  3. Approval page
  4. Abstract (optional)
  5. Acknowledgments / Dedication (optional)
  6. Table of Contents
  7. List of tables with page references
  8. List of figures with page references
  9. Text
  10. Exhibits (tables, figures, photographs, etc. when not distributed in the text)
  11. Bibliography (or appropriate title prescribed by style manual chosen)
  12. Appendices (optional)
  13. Human subjects committee approval form (optional)
  14. Vita

Formatting Guidelines


  • Table heading and style of headings must follow the style manual chosen. Generally, table titles are above the table and figure titles are below the figure, but the placement selected must be followed consistently.
  • Spacing within the table may be single or double spaced based on the readability of the data.
  • Font style and size should be consistent throughout the document, unless a table requires a smaller size. Six (6) point font should be the smallest used. Titles should be consistent in size and style of font as used throughout the document.
  • There should be a judicious use of spacing to "set off" tables, charts, and figures; typically one or two double-spaces before and after the table. Again, once spacing is chosen, you must be consistent throughout.

MAPS: Oversize maps may be included as a supplemental file.  

APPENDICES: List of terms, definitions, questionnaires, and other supplemental information which is useful, but not essential, to the body of the paper may be included in an appendix. Page numbers need to continue within the appendix with the same font and the same position on the page as in the text. 

COLOR: Color is permitted.

ADDITIONAL FILES: You may upload multimedia files (video or audio files). Follow instructions at OpenSIUC.


  • Font style should be readable, standard, and not an unusual style such as Cursive, Script, or Italic. Suggested fonts to use: Ariel, Bookman, Courier, Times New Roman.
  • The body of the document should use a 10 or 12 point font. Headings and subheadings may go up one size and up to 14 point but must be of the same font style as the body of the text. 
  • Bold format may be used only as specified by the style manual chosen.
  • Italics may be used only as specified by the style manual chosen. In general, it may be used for Genera, species, letters, words or phrases cited as an linguistic example, and foreign words.


  • The body of the document must be double spaced.
  • Extended direct quotations should be presented consistently with the style manual.  



  • Charts, tables, and figures may have greater margins than listed but may not go into the required margins.
  • Paragraph indentations should be uniform five spaces. There should be no extra spacing between paragraphs.


The following guidelines are for the pages preceding the text, i.e. Abstract, Acknowledgments, and Table of Contents.

  • The pages preceding the text should be numbered in lowercase Roman numbers. The numerals should be located one-half inch up from the bottom edge of the paper and centered.
  • The first page of text starts with Arabic numeral 1.
  • Text pages, bibliography, and appendices should follow the style manual chosen. Numbers should consist of numerals only, without punctuation, embellishment, or running headers. Paging should be continuous including the bibliography, appendices, and vita.
  • The font style of page numbers must be consistent throughout the document.

Roles And Responsibilities

The Graduate Student's Responsibility

  • Subject matter and content
  • Organization and format
  • Editorial, linguistic, and bibliographic quality
  • Quality of text and figures
  • Quality of data, evidence, and logical reasoning presented
  • Presentation of the manuscript based on current style manual of the field and Graduate School guidelines

The Advisory Committee's Responsibility

  • Approval of the subject matter and methodology
  • Approval of the organization and content
  • Review of the quality of data and evidence, logical reasoning, and the editorial, linguistic, and bibliographic quality
  • Evaluation of the paper as a component of the requirements of the Ed.D. degree

The Graduate School's Responsibility

  • Counsel and advice regarding format aspects of paper preparation
  • Check of paper submissions to insure conformity with Graduate School guidelines 



Mr. John Russell, 618-453-4529
Student Services Building 325

KEYWORD: Be Consistent

  1. Write your paper following the Graduate School Guidelines and the program's style manual.
  2. Apply for graduation by the 4th week of the term you plan to graduate for Fall / Spring and by the 2nd week of the Summer term.
  3. Defend your paper.
  4. Review the format.
  5. Submit your paper to the submission site - OpenSIUC.
  6. You will receive an email with required format edits.
  7. Make required format changes as indicated.
  8. Submit your revised paper via the same OpenSIUC login account.
  9. Steps 6, 7, and 8 will continue until formating is approved.