There are a number of steps, forms and resources to get you through writing your thesis and to a successful defence. All degree requirements are governed by Graduate General Regulations (1.9 - 1.11).

Sensitive or Classified Information in Theses

All theses must be published in the SFU online repository.

In some instances a portion of students' thesis or research might involve sensitive, proprietary, controlled, or classified information. Although some results might need to be summarized in a separate embargoed document, a completely embargoed thesis or project conflicts with scholarly values of peer review and promotion of knowledge and should be avoided.

All theses produced to meet Simon Fraser University’s degree requirements are subject to open publication, and should be capable of standing as academically-complete works.
Students are expected to seek guidance from their supervisory committee whenever there is a possibility that certain findings might be subject to embargo due to fear of persecution, patent pending, or pending publication. In coordination with their committee, students should communicate any anticipated or known restrictions on their research to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as soon as possible.

A pre-publication review should be conducted with the supervisor as early as is prudent to avoid the need for restrictions on publication, including acceptable separation of restricted findings into a separate embargoed document.

Before writing the first draft of your thesis, project or extended essay, consult the SFU Library's guide to preparing and submitting your thesis. These Library resources will save you much time in formatting and revisions:

SFU-SGSC Guidelines for use of a Proofreader in Theses

See Thesis Editing and Proofreading

While the student is ultimately responsible for writing quality and the thesis presentation, the use of a proofreader is acceptable for a thesis or dissertation and the proofreader must be acknowledged in the thesis, either on the acknowledgement page or at the end of a project or extended essay.

A student’s use of a proofreader should be discussed with the senior supervisor and written approval to use a proofreader must be obtained from the senior supervisor. 

Proofreading is defined as the correction of errors in spelling, grammar and sentence construction, referencing, and punctuation, and may include identifying passages that lack clarity or are poorly written. The proofreader must ‘track the changes’ and make liberal use of comment boxes in any electronic versions of the thesis.

The University expects that academic supervisors of theses will provide discipline-appropriate editorial comments including advice on the form, arrangement, thesis length, referencing, tables, figures, and headings. Supervisors should advise on whether the elements within the thesis are complete and consistent.

Additional reference: The Editor's Association of Canada guidelines for thesis editing, available at


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