Before beginning

The HUB Lab offers a self-guided course on academic graduate writing. The course is offered through Canvas and covers: 

  • Key features of good writing 
  • Writing as a process 
  • Plagiarism and patchwork plagiarism 
  • The consequences of academic dishonesty
  • Key resources for writing on the USask campus 

If you are interested, you can self-enroll! 

Enter the Hub Lab

What makes a good write up?

The write up serves as: 

  • Evidence that a student is able to explain the project process and describe how it contributes to the field of study;
  • Description of why the work was undertaken, justifies the methods used, and provides an interpretation and analysis of the results;
  • Preparation for the student to undertake further research in the field of study and to apply their knowledge from coursework in a real-world context. 


The formatting below is general advice but be sure to check with your instructor or your course syllabus. Your program requirements may be different from the guidelines below.  

The title page should contain the following information:

  • Title of the castone;
  • Name of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies;
  • Name of the degree for which the project is submitted;
  • Name of the academic unit;
  • Name of the institution;
  • Full name of the author;
  • Copyright notation, reflecting month and year of successful defence

No other information should appear. Keywords and the supervisor's name should not appear on the title page.

If possible, students should use word substitutes for formulae, symbols, superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, etc. 

The abstract should identify clearly and succinctly the purpose of the research, the methods used, the results obtained and the significance of the results or findings. A maximum of 350 words (1 word = 5 letters or spaces) is suggested for the Abstract.  A figure or figures may be included in the abstract.

The Table of Contents must list and provide page references for all numbered elements of the capstone and indicate chapters, sections, and important subdivisions of each section. 


  • The numbering and format of material in the table of contents must be identical to the way this material appears in the text. 
  • The title of each chapter or section may be written in full capitals with no terminal punctuation. 
  • The title of a subdivision of a chapter or section should be in small letters, with the exception of the first letter of significant words. 
  • Dots between titles and page numbers are optional. 
  • Page numbers should be right-justified.

Layout of a Table 

  • Each table has a number and a title. The first number refers to the chapter number and the second refers to the table number in that chapter.
  • The number and title of the table should appear at the top of the table.
  • Tables must conform to the margin requirements of the project format. They should be centered between the left- and right-hand margins and, as appropriate, between top and bottom.
  • It is strongly recommended that oversized tables be reduced by photocopying in such a way that they remain clearly legible. Tables should not be folded.
  • The title of the table should be as short as possible but should indicate the major focus of the table.
  • Ordinary rules of referencing and footnoting apply. The numbering of footnotes in the table is independent of that followed in the text.

List of Tables 

The list of tables follows the Table of Contents. This list includes the number of each table, the title, and the page number. It should have the same format as the Table of Contents.

Layout of a Figure

  • Each figure must have a figure number and a title.
  • Each figure has a number and a title. The first number refers to the chapter number and the second refers to the figure number in that chapter.
  • The number and title of the figure appear at the bottom of the figure in the figure legend.
  • Both axes of the figure must be properly labelled. If a figure shows more than one relationship, each relationship should be properly labelled with the appropriate axis.
  • Figures must conform to the margin requirements of the thesis format. They should be centered between the left- and right-hand margins and, as appropriate, between top and bottom.

List of Figures –

The list of figures follows the list of tables. This list includes the number of each figure, the title, and the page number. It should have the same format as the Table of Contents.  

  • This list includes all non-standard abbreviations used in the text.
  • It follows the list of figures.

  • The method chosen to organize the body of the write up should be discussed with your instructor and in accordance with the course syllabus/assignment instructions. 

The main body of may normally contain: 

  1. A statement of objectives;
  2. A description of the environment and relevant stakeholders; 
  3. A critical review of the relevant literature;
  4. An analytical framework;
  5. Results;
  6. Discussion of results;
  7. Conclusions.

The nature, the relative size, and the placement of each one of these components will be determined by the problem under investigation and by the current practices in the discipline involved.

Appropriately credited references to other works may form an integral part of this presentation and are likely to take several forms: 

  1. The idea may be written in the student's own words with the original author referenced.
  2. A direct quotation of less than three lines may be incorporated into the text using quotation marks.
  3. If the quotation is more than three lines it should be arranged in the following format: indented one and one half (1.5) centimetres from the left margin and typed in a single space format without quotation marks. 
  4. Any borrowed thoughts or expressions, or use of non-original material, must be acknowledged and documented

The purpose of an appendix is to contain those research materials which are pertinent to the project, but which are not essential to an understanding of the work which the student has done.  The types of material which may be contained in an appendix are:

  • Proof of equations;
  • Raw data for analyses, figures, or tables;
  • Details of methods used on a specialized topic not of crucial importance to the discussion;
  • A lengthy debate on a topic of secondary importance to the issues discussed;
  • Computer programs;
  • Illustrative material.


  • Appendices should be numbered consecutively using capital letters of the alphabet. 
  • Pages of the appendices are numbered consecutively respecting the overall pagination of the thesis. 
  • Tables, if included, should be numbered A.1, A.2, etc.

The fundamental rule of good scholarship is that the basic research be complete, reliable, correct, with all sources duly acknowledged. The purposes of a reference are to acknowledge the contributions of other authors and to enable readers to locate sources easily. 


  • This list must contain every reference cited, mentioned or used in the text. 
  • The references in this list should be arranged either alphabetically or numerically, in order cited in text. 
  • References not cited must not be listed in the bibliography. 
  • Departments and disciplines usually have a preference for the way in which references are cited. Students should consult with their supervisors or department heads to obtain information on the style manual approved by the department. 
  • The format used for references must be consistent throughout the write up.                  

< Researching         4. DRAFTING         Presenting >


roadmap_iconunpacking.png  roadmap_iconcrafting.png  roadmap_iconresearching.png   roadmap_icondraftingi.png  roadmap_icondefending.png  roadmap_iconsubmitting.png