College of Business {College of Business}

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Graduate Students : MBA : 895 Guidelines


General Directions

It is expected that as a graduating MBA candidate, your research project should be professionally executed. Clear thinking, accurate research, and esthetically pleasing format should be of top priority. These guidelines should aid you in the final preparation of your research project.

Number of Copies

The final written project in a three-ring binder must be ready when the candidate reports for his/her Oral Presentation. The Final written project will be collected at that time and housed in the Graduate Business Office (DTC 552). Please consult with your supervising instructor about whether or not she/he wants a copy of your paper.


Ordinary laser-print quality paper is acceptable for the 895.

Style and Format

Correct form, mechanical style, consistency in text and bibliographic organization is essential. Again, consult your supervising instructor for specifics about style and format. Suggested manuals for writing are Kate L. Turabian's "A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations." Another source is William G. Campbell's "A Manual for Writers of Term papers, Theses and Dissertation."


The left margin is 1 1/2 inches; the right is 1 inch. The top and bottom of page margin is a minimum of 1 inch


The paper should be double-spaced throughout.


All corrections must be completed before turning in the paper. Corrections made by Liquid Paper, pen, pencil, or in different fonts are not acceptable.


The original copy of your research project should be filed in a black 3-ring binder.

End Papers

A blank sheet of paper (of the same brand) must be included at the beginning and end of the project. These sheets are not counted or numbered in any way.

Title, Certifiation of Approval, and Abstract Pages

These pages must be exactly as shown on the sample forms following these guidelines.

Download sample pages:

Pagination (Page Numbering)

  • Title Page - Roman numeral i, but not typed
  • Certification of Approval - Roman number ii, but not typed
  • Abstract - Roman number iii, but not typed
  • Starting with Table of Contents page number is Roman Numeral iv, typed
  • The Page numbering on first page of the paper should begin with number "1"

Order of Research Project

  • Title Page
  • Certification of Approval
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Symbols
  • Text of project
  • Bibliography or References
  • Appendix


  • Find out early in the semester when your first reader wants to see your final draft. You need time to make changes before turning the paper in. No final draft ever goes directly to approval. There are always changes, so give yourself enough time to make them before the deadline.
  • Be completely clear about second-reader participation. Some want to be more involved than others. Find out at the beginning of your project.
  • When you have printed out your final draft, generate the Title page, Certificate of Approval and the Abstract.
  • Fill out a Report of Completion (available from our office) including the "Degree Title" box in the upper-right-hand corner, SFSU Student ID #, and Emphasis or concentration.
  • Both readers must sign the Report of Completion and The Certificate of Approval. The first reader alone signs the Abstract.
  • All paperwork must be dated the actual deadline date.
  • When signed, punch 3 holes in the paper and insert it in a 3-ring black binder.
  • Turn the project in to Graduate Business Office (DTC 552).
  • If you are using proprietary information and don't want the paper on display, attach a large note to your final copy and we will hold it in the office for you to pick up in 3 months.
  • 895s receive a letter grade. If you registered for the 895 in a previous semester and have already received a "Report in Progress" (RP), you must fill out a Grade Change Petition and have the first reader sign it to change the grade from "RP" to a letter grade. This won't happen automatically.
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