Dissertation/Thesis and Manuscript ​​Preparation Processes​ 

​​Welcome to The Chicago School's Dissertation/Thesis Process and Manuscript Preparation ​site, the institution's central dissertation and thesis resource. Faculty and students can find information regarding the 5-step process as well as additional tools and guidelines. 

Refer t​o the Institutional Dissertati​on Documents page for access to The Chicago School's​ Dissertation Manual, Forms, Templates, and Checklists. 

Step 1: Project Planning, Developing a Topic, and Committee Selection​

Beginning a thesis or dissertation can seem like a daunting task. When starting, develop a topic of interest and research current literature of how others have progressed. Then formulate a specific plan by setting realistic, manageable, and measureablegoals for the thesis or dissertation. Establishing a plan may also serve as a guide for the selected Thesis or Dissertation Chair to follow when determining progress for assignment of credit each semester.

Then, choose a Thesis or Dissertation Chair, which is an important reference during the research process. Using Form A – Dissertation C​ommittee Request, students can request a Chair, as well as a Reader(s). Refer to Chapter 2 of The Chicago School Dissertation Manual and Your Program Guidelines​ for additional information on how to select a Committee Chair and Reader(s). After selecting a Committee, complete Form B – Dissertation Project Goals with the Committee Chair to confirm objectives for the thesis or dissertation process.

For more information on how to plan the thesis or dissertation and for further guidance, refer to The Chicago School Dissertation Manual​ and Your Program Guidelines.​


The dissertation proposal is comprised of the first three chapters: Chapter 1, an introduction to the study; Chapter 2, a comprehensive review of the literature; and Chapter 3, a research design and methodology. Also included are a Title Page, Table of Contents, References, and Appendices as warranted. Development of a proposal is an evolutionary process, and students should expect to complete revisions on early drafts of the proposal. Once the committee revises and approves the proposal, then it is ready to proceed to proposal defense. Formal approval of the proposal may be obtained through documentation with the submission of Form C – Proposal Review, and/or through a meeting attended by the student and each member of the committee. Form C should be completed in either instance. 

Along with completing the proposal, the committee Chairperson should conduct a similarity check through Turnitin before data collection begins. This may be completed through an assignment in a Dissertation Maintenance course.  

Research Resources​

The Chicago School Library Resources​

The Chicago School Libraries
The Chicago School Libraries provide access to information and materials that support the teaching, research, and public service programs of the school. The libraries support these programs by acquiring and managing scholarly information related to the theory, teaching, and practice of professional psychology, providing access to information only available elsewhere, providing reference and instruction, and exchanging information resources with other libraries around the world.

ProQuest is the location for​ doctoral dissertations and master’s theses published by students at the Chicago School and around the world.

Office of Student Writing and Learning

The OSWL ​offers:

  • Research writing resources
  • Formatting resources
  • APA Style and Plagiarism Prevention resources
  • One-on-one dissertation writing consultations

For additional help with the dissertation/thesis

For methodology and statistics support, students are encouraged to seek help from ​their chairs. ​

Click here for information about the IRB Office and the IRB Applic​​​​​​ation and Submission (Links to an external site​).​

Formatting Resources​

Click here for Dissertation​ Documents​​

See Step 5 below for a list of other recommended resources. ​


After completing the proposal defense, students must complete an IRB application to begin conducting research and gathering data. Please refer to The Chicago School Dissert​ation ​Manual for information on submitting to the IRB and visit the IRB website for application ​materials.​​


After completing results or findings (Chapter 4) and discussion, limitations, and conclusions (Chapter 5), the dissertation is ready to be submitted for final review. ​Form D – Dissertation Review should also be completed by the dissertation committee after final review of the completed dissertation. If revisions are needed, then an additional copy of Form D must be completed. After completing the final review, the dissertation must be submitted through Turnitin for another similarity check.

Next, students orally defend the thesis or dissertation, if required by the department, in front of the committee. Form E – Oral Defense is completed at this time.​​

If you would like to preview a similarity report of your document before submitting for final review, please use the TurnItIn Practice Submission assignment within the Office of Student Writing and Learning's Academic Integrity Seminar.  


When the oral defense is passed, students undergo manuscript preparation, formerly copyediting. To initiate the process, the Department Manager or academic department representative must submit the Manuscript Preparation Tracking Form through Maxient. Before transitioning to the manuscript preparation phase, students and the department must ensure the manuscript fulfills all committee required components and revisions. Once the tracking form is received, a student is notified via The Chicago School email within 24-48 hours by the Manuscript Preparation Office through Maxient to submit their document to ProQuest.

Departments do not submit the thesis/dissertation for students. 

Within 48 hours following initial submission of a manuscript to ProQuest, the NCTL Manuscript Preparation Office assigns each student a copyeditor, who will contact the student within 24-48 hours via email to request a Word version of the manuscript.Copyeditors review manuscripts for APA style, formatting, and grammar issues, and prepare them for publication via ProQuest; they do not review for content. The entire manuscript preparation process, including revisions, takes approximately 60 days after students upload to ProQuest.  

The final manuscript must be neat and clean, free of typing, grammatical, and format errors. Students are responsible for editing and proofreading the final thesis or dissertation before and during the manuscript preparation process. When a Chicago School copyeditor reviews the final draft and highlights required changes, students are responsible for the accurate transcription of the document presented and for uniformity of alignment, grammar, citations/references, and all other mechanics of typing. 

Any errors may delay final approval of the manuscript. 

Before final submission, it is the students responsibility to ensure the manuscript is ready for publishing and adheres to the The Chicago School​ Style and Format Manual. Students must remain continuously enrolled in their degree program to complete manuscript preparation. The Manuscript Preparation Institutional policy can be found in the policy section of the student handbook. Additional resources and guides for preparing the manuscript:


Formatting Resources

Word Track Changes Resources

The Manuscript Preparation Process

Students must upload the document in full text on the ProQuest website. Dissertations and theses are also viewable through the ProQuest ​website.

Manuscript Preparation Submission Process:

STEP 1-Department Sends Tracking Form to Manuscript Preparation Office.  
After a successful oral defense (if oral defense is required), the Department Manager, student representative, or​ academic department representative submits the Manuscript Processing Tracking Form to Maxient signaling a student's readiness to enter Manuscript Preparation.​​

STEP 2-Student Receives Submission Instructions and Uploads Manuscript. 
Once the tracking form is received, a student is notified via The Chicago School email within 24-48 hours by the Manuscript Preparation Office through Maxient to submit their document to ProQuest for review.

STEP 3-Student is Assigned A Copyeditor. 
Within 48 hours following initial submission of a manuscript to ProQuest, the NCTL Manuscript Preparation Office assigns each student a copyeditor, who will contact the student within 24-48 hours via email to request a Word version of the manuscript.

STEP 4-Student Begins Review and Revision Process. 
The copyeditor confirms receipt of the Word version of the manuscript within 24 hours via email. They review each submission of revisions, which are returned to the student via school email, indicating areas of APA writing and formatting via Word track changes. The process takes approximately 60 days and goes through 3 phases: 4 weeks for the initial phase, 2 weeks for the second phase, and 1-2 weeks for the final phase. 

STEP 5-Student Enters Final Review Phase and Prepares for Submission.  
After the final review of the manuscript, copyeditors return it in a Word document via school email for the student to convert the manuscript to PDF format. The copyeditor will provide the student instructions for final submission to ProQuest.

​​STEP 6-ProQuest Submission, Department and Registrar Notified. 
Student uploads final PDF of manuscript to ProQuest. The copyeditor approves the manuscript in ProQuest and notifies the NCTL Manuscript Preparation Office. The NCTL Manuscript Preparation Office emails the completion notification and Maxient tracking form through ProQuest to student, Department Chair and/or designee (Department Manager, Student Support Counselor), and the Office of the Registrar signaling student’s completion of manuscript requirements

STEP 7-Dissertation is Published, Student Enters Degree Conferral Phase. 

The Manuscript Preparation Office delivers the manuscripts to ProQuest for binding and publishing. Students enter the conferral phase. All questions regarding degree conferral go to the Registrar at The Chicago School [email protected]. Any inquiries regarding publishing and binding can be directed to ProQuest Author Relations at 1-800-521-0600. 

​Ready to upload your manuscript to ProQuest? Click on the Library Pass logo below to get started:


Hiring External Copyeditors

Please note The Chicago School does provide free copyediting services as part of the final dissertation/thesis process. It is not recommended you pay for external copyediting services. If you need writing assistance before oral defense, we suggest you take advantage of writing services through the Office of Student Writing and Learning. By using Chicago School resources, you will ensure formatting aligns with institutional requirements.  


Manuscript Preparation Expectations for Students by Ericka Sanders which includes tips and insight on how to prepare the dissertation or thesis for publishing.

Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Checklist and ProQuest Submission Walkthrough Webinar by Ericka Sanders and Robin Scholz, which provides insight on how to use the Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Checklist during the manuscript writing process and before entering copyediting and an in-depth look at the ProQuest manuscript submission steps and process.  

Publishing Options

As a condition of submitting the dissertation or thesis, all students must select a publication agreement with ProQuest.  Students may choose Traditional Publishing or Open Access Publishing. Traditional Publishing allows the dissertation or thesis to be available to the public for purchase, and students receive royalties from the profits. Open Access Publishing allows the work to be fully viewed and accessible through PQDT Open, ProQuest's subscription database, and major search engines, if applicable. However, if you choose Open Access, there is a fee.

The Chicago School h​as no publishing preference, and each work submitted is housed in The Chicago School Library Catalog with a link to the student's work in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.   

If there are any questions regarding the publishing process, please contact [email protected] or Ericka Sanders at 312-410-8953.

If you choose Traditional Publishing ​If you choose Open Access Publishing
Your dissertation will not be freely available in PQDT Open. Your dissertation will be freely available in PQDT Open.
You will not be charged a fee. You will be charged $95.00.
You will be eligible to receive royalties. You will not be eligible to receive royalties.​
Your dissertation will be available for purchase through ProQ​uest​. Your dissertation will be available for purchase through ProQuest.
Your dissertation will appear in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, a subscription database. Your dissertation will appear in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, a subscription database, and in PQDT Open.
A record for your dissertation (may include citation, abstract, preview, etc.) will appear in other ProQuest resources, in library catalogs and in indexes. A record for your dissertation (may include citation, abstract, preview, etc.) will appear in other ProQuest resources, in library catalogs and in indexes.


For more information, please contact:​​​​​

Ericka Sanders, MA 
Manager, Manuscript Preparation Office
The National Center for Teaching and Learning 

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 312-410-8953


Contact Us

Ericka Sanders
Manager, Manuscript Preparation Office​
[email protected]