Biology Thesis Submission Guidelines

These formatting suggestions MUST be approved by all members of your examining committee (excluding the Chair), as they deviate from the Grad School's guidelines for final thesis submission. Note that these formatting options are designed to save paper and to make work easier for the thesis examiners only. When you submit the final copy of your thesis you MUST conform to the Graduate School's regulations.

At initial thesis submission prior to your defence, you are required to send a pdf to the Graduate School so they can check for formatting. The Graduate School is aware of that submissions from Biology may have the formatting listed below, so you just need to add a note to say that these will be changed on final submission.

1. In the interests of saving paper you may submit your thesis using any of the following:

  • print on both sides of the paper
  • use 1.5 line spacing or even single spacing
  • submit as pdf and avoid printing altogether [note that this does not save paper if an examiner is going to print it out anyway, but some examiners prefer not to have a printed copy at all]

2. To make it easier for examiners to provide comments and corrections, you may include line numbers in the margins. This is an easy option in most word processors and we suggest using continuous line numbers incrementing by 2 or 5. Such line numbering greatly facilitates commenting on pdfs and allows the examiners to provide you with a detailed list of comments and corrections at the exam.

3. Put Figure captions below figures or all on a single page at the end of each chapter (manuscript) and NOT each on a separate page facing each figure. You should be doing this anyway, as instructed in the Graduate School guidelines—the facing page caption format is a holdover from the days of the typewriter.

4. Use recycled paper, available from the General Office.

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley