Dissertation and Manuscript Preparation Processes​

Welcome to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology's Dissertation and Manuscript Preparation Process ​site, the institution's central dissertation and thesis resource. Faculty and students can find information regarding the 5-step manuscript preparation and additional tools and guidelines.

Refer to the Institutional Dissertation Documents page for access to The Chicago School's​ Dissertation Manual, Forms, Templates, Checklists, and Rubrics. 

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 measureable goals 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 Committee Request, students can request a Chair, as well as a Reader(s). Refer to Chapter 2 of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology 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 of Professional Psychology Dissertation Manual​ and Your Program Guidelines.

Step 2: Proposal Development and Defense - Click to Expand

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. The Rubric for Evaluation of Dissertation is to be used for evaluation of the quality of the thesis or dissertation at the proposal and defense stage. Students should carefully consider the rubric to maximize successful demonstration of the necessary elements.

Along with completing the proposal, the committee Chairperson should conduct the plagiarism check through Turn It In before data collection begins. This may be completed through a Canvas drop-box in the Dissertation Maintenance course or through Turnitin.com directly. For both cases, the Chairperson must set up an account for Turnitin.com. There are no percentage requirements. Instead, committee members should examine the similarity index report. To learn more about Turn It In, please review the instructor guide for further information on how to set up a Turnitin.com account.  To access account information, login to the Student Gateway and go to Your Program GuidelinesFor instructions on how to set up Turnitin.com in Canvas, click here.

Research Resources​

TCSPP Library Resources

TCSPP Libraries
TCSPP 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.

For additional help with the dissertation:

Methodology Support
Contact: ​[email protected]

The Methodology Experts (MEs) provide methodological support for the dissertation research. You may receive up to 2 hours of methodology consultation provided by a Methodology Expert (ME). Students have found it helpful to use a ME to break up the consultation in 30-minute cycles: preparing the methodology, analyzing the results, and presenting the findings. In addition to the 2 hours of methodology consultations, upon request you are entitled to one-time written feedback on chapter 3 before the proposal defense and chapter 4 once it is completed.

Social Science Ethics Expert (SSEE) services:

IRB Application Review and Consultation Options

The Social Sciences Ethics Expert is available to offer you a review of your IRB proposal before you submit to the Chicago School of Professional Psychology Institutional Review Board (IRB). This IRB review will consider alignment and consistency within your proposal, writing mechanics, and APA format and style.

Please click here to begin the submission process for a IRB review. Also, here is a helpful checklist to guide you through some of the main IRB application requirements.

During the IRB Review process you will receive unlimited e-mail support, and one full review of your IRB Q&A Form and supplemental application forms. You may also request up to two follow-up reviews to address the implemented changes and suggestions from your first review.

You also have the option for three 30-minute consultations via phone or GoTo Meeting to discuss alignment and consistency within your proposal, writing mechanics, and APA format and style. 

If you submit your draft prior to 11:59 p.m CST. Sunday night, your application will be returned by the following Friday (approximately within 12-15 days). Your application will be returned to you via email (with your chair copied) and here in the Canvas classroom.

Any questions, please email [email protected]

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

Formatting Resources

Click here for Dissertation Documents

 See below for a list of other recommended resources. 

Step 3: Institutional Review Board (IRB) Submission - Click to Expand

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.

Step 4: Dissertation Review and Oral Defense - Click to Expand

After completing results or findings (Chapter 4) and discussion, limitations, and conclusions (Chapter 5), the dissertation is ready to be submitted for final review. The dissertation committee may use the Rubric for Evaluation of Dissertation to evaluate the dissertation for the final time. 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 to Turnitin.com for another plagiarism 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.​

Step 5: Manuscript Preparation, Submission, and Format Review - Click to Expand

When the oral defense is passed, students undergo manuscript preparation, formerly copyediting. To initiate the process, the department manager or Dissertation Designee must submit the Dissertation Processing Tracking Form​​. Before transitioning to the manuscript preparation phase, students and the department must ensure the manuscript fulfills all committee required components and revisions. Once the department has submitted the Dissertation Processing Tracking Form to Dissertation Processing ([email protected]), Dissertation Processing will notify students to proceed with manuscript processing. Department managers and designees do not submit the thesis/dissertation for students.

Writing Specialists review manuscripts for APA style, formatting, and grammar issues, and prepare them for publication via ProQuest. They do not review for content in theses and dissertations. The entire manuscript preparation process, including revisions, could take up to 60 days after students upload to ProQuest as an Initial Review.​

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 manuscript processing.  When a TCSPP manuscript preparer reviews the final draft and highlights required changes, students are responsible for accurate transcription of the document presented and for uniformity of alignment, grammar, citations/references, and all other mechanics of typing.

Any errors will result in additional costs and will delay final approval of the manuscript.

Before final submission, it is students' responsibility to ensure the manuscript is ready for publishing and adheres to the TCSPP Style and Format Manual. Students must remain continuously enrolled in their degree program to complete manuscript preparation​. From Planning to Post Defense, students will find information here to guide them toward fulfilling the manuscript preparation requirement.​ The Manuscript Preparation Institutional policy can be found in the policy section of the student ha​ndbook.​ Additional resources and guides for preparing the manuscript:

Formatting Resources

All-But Dissertation Survival Guide 
APA Style Resources
Bold-Ed Papermaker Program 
How to Format Reference List Video-Presented by Purdue OWL 
OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Dissertation Format Checklist
Empirical Research Exam ple
Style and Format Model Pages

TCSPP Style and Format Manual

The Filing Process

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

Manuscript Preparation Electronic Submission process:

​ STEP 1
After successful oral defense (if oral defense is required), the Department Manager or Dissertation Designee e-mails the Dissertation Processing Tracking Form in a Word document to Dissertation Processing ([email protected]), signaling a student's readiness to enter Manuscript Preparation, formerly copy editing.

Upon receipt of the Tracking Form, Dissertation Processing e-mails a welcome letter to students, informing them to create a profile in ProQuest and upload the manuscript for review.

On the Monday following initial submission of a manuscript to ProQuest, Dissertation Processing assigns students a Writing Specialist, who contacts students to begin the manuscript preparation process.

Writing Specialists confirm receipt of a manuscript, review each submission of revisions, and return via email, indicating areas of APA writing and formatting.​

 ​STEP 5
After final review of a manuscript, Writing Specialists return it in a Word document via email for students to make final changes, convert to PDF format, and provide instructions for final submission to ProQuest.

Students upload final PDF of manuscript to ProQuest. Writing Specialist approves manuscript and emails completed Dissertation Processing Tracking Form to student, Chair, Department Manager or Dissertation Designee, and campus registrar, signaling students' completion of manuscript requirements. Manuscript Preparation office delivers manuscript to ProQuest for binding and publishing.


Ready to submit your dissertation? Click on the Library Pass logo below to get started:

 Click here to watch a sample upload.


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.

TCSPP h​as no publishing preference, and each work submitted is housed in The Chicago School of Professional Psychology 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 312-379-1611.

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 at The National Center for Teaching and Learning 

Email: [email protected]​

Phone: 312-379-1611​​​​​

Co​ntact ​Us
Ericka Sanders
Manager, Academic and Dissertation Excellence​
[email protected]