how to write a dissertation

A Step-By-Step Dissertation Formatting Guide

Formatting is a crucial part of the dissertation and shouldn’t be ignored. This step-by-step guide will show you how to format your dissertation or even your next project. If there are specific elements of the format that are required by your instructor but not included in this guide, make sure you incorporate them. They are the most important of all because they are required.

  1. Double-space your work. All of your text should be double spaced. It makes it so much easier to read, and comments can be written in between the lines on a revision copy. Set double space as the default on the home page of your word processor. Long quotations should be single spaced, as should tables and footnotes.
  2. Dissertations that will be bound need a certain size of left margin. Check with your binding company to see if they have specific requirements for the type of binding you have chosen. Some markers prefer equal margins on both sides, so also check with your marker. Usually the margins are located within page layout.
  3. Fonts should adhere to whatever your dissertation requirements are. Some educational institutions are very picky when it comes to font style and font size. Above all, go with their recommendations. If no font is specified, it’s best to go with a serif font such as Times New Roman. It’s generally accepted for most publications.
  4. Page numbering can be simple; it’s not as difficult as it seems. Don’t number the preliminary pages such as title page etc. Only start numbering on the first page of your text. Page one should always be on the right hand side of the book. There is a left page and a right page whenever you open a book. Page one should start on the right page. The left page should be blank.
  5. When creating a table remember rows go from left to right and columns go up and down. All tables should be named with a title, and the page it’s located on should be numbered. That way you can always refer to the table from somewhere else in the dissertation if needed.
  6. A table of contents is pretty much required for all dissertations. Even if it’s not required, any lengthy paper with multiple chapters needs this important element. Most word processors make this task very simple and easy.
  7. Inserting images where needed. Some dissertations may have images and some may not. Even a diagram of an instrument or apparatus used in the research could be considered an image.

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  • Thesis Writing Guides

    Each part of the dissertation is crucial to the overall success of the entire paper. Therefore it’s important to pay close and careful attention to each one and not skimp anywhere.

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