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What is a pre-submission consultation?

  • A pre-submission consultation gives you a preview of the formatting revisions that will be required for your manuscript before your official submission. Most students who set up pre-submission consultations have far fewer corrections to make once they have officially submitted their manuscripts.
  • Most people prefer online consultations, but walk-in consultations can also be arranged. Each student is allowed one pre-submission consultation (either online or walk-in, not both) per semester.
  • A pre-submission consultation is in no way a formal review and there is no guarantee that all formatting errors will be addressed during a pre-submission consultation.
  • Pre-submission consultations can cover a broad range of formatting topics and problems. If you have a few specific questions, you can call or email any time and we will be happy to help you.

When are pre-submission consultations available?

  • Pre-submission consultation periods begin two weeks before the opening date of each submission period and continue for two weeks after that opening date (for a total of four weeks). After this time, the evaluators need to concentrate on evaluating manuscripts formally submitted for that semester. 
  • Upcoming pre-submission consultation periods are:
  • Spring 2020 – February 7 to March 6
  • Summer 2020 – May 25 to June 22

How does an online pre-submission consultation work?

  • Send an email to with your manuscript as an attachment either as a Microsoft Word document or an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. If you have specific questions about formatting or any problems you've encountered in formatting your manuscript, be sure to include those questions in your email.
  • One of the evaluators will read through ten to twenty pages of your document, look closely at two or three tables and/or figures and read through at least one page of your references or bibliography. The rest of the document will be spot-checked.
  • The attachment you sent to the Thesis and Dissertation Office will be returned to you with comments about formatting rules and revisions. 
  • You can send your entire manuscript or just parts of it. Generally, people send their preliminary pages, their introductory chapter and literature review chapter, some tables or figures, and the references list or bibliography. Since this is not a formal review of your manuscipt, it does not have to be the final version approved by all committee members. It should be formatted to the best of your ability with a chapter structure.
  • Once you've received the attachment with comments, please email us with any further questions or if any of our comments need clarification. However, due to workload issues, we cannot read through your manuscript again once you make the corrections we've noted (until it's officially submitted to the ProQuest site).

What are the requirements to set up a walk-in pre-submission consultation?

  • Call or email the Thesis and Dissertation Office to make an appointment.
  • Walk-in appointments last a maximum of twenty minutes, so bring a list of any questions you have to make the best use of our time together.
  • You must bring a copy of your manuscript (or the section of the manuscript you want to discuss). 
  • Set aside enough time to arrive on time to the Thesis and Dissertation Office for your scheduled appointment. Consider the time it takes to get to campus, find parking, and get to the Library from your parking area. If you are late for your appointment, we cannot guarantee a full twenty-minute consultation if another appointment has been scheduled directly after yours.
  • During walk-in appointments, we discuss your questions first. With any remaining time, we read through pages of your document and point out any revisions needed.
  • Please let us know as soon as possible if you find out you cannot make your appointment or will be arriving late for your appointment. You can reschedule once per semester.

How can I maximize the benefits of a pre-submission consultation?

  • Before setting up a consultation, review the formatting information on our Format Guide web page, particularly the University Guidelines Manual (PDF) and the Mini Manuscript (PDF). The answers to many of your questions can be found there.
  • Have specific formatting questions ready. Include them in your email for online consultations or make a prioritized list for walk-in consultations to be sure your most important questions are answered.
  • Prepare the preliminary pages (abstract, title page, signature page, table of contents, etc.) for us to read through. These pages have very specific formatting and can be challenging.
  • You do not have to have the complete document or one that has been approved by all the members of your committee. If you can provide examples of your preliminary pages, a few tables and/or figures, at least one chapter, one appendix, and your references list or bibliography, we should be able to advise you about any major formatting revisions needed that you can apply to other parts of your manuscript.