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10 Basic Dissertation Formatting Tips For University Students


The dissertation is an extremely important part of graduate study experience. It is what leads to the award terminal degree. It demonstrates the student’s in-depth knowledge of his or her subject. Furthermore, it demonstrates an ability to do the research and make the inquiries needed to bring forth highly usable knowledge. The research and discussion are not the only parts to this major project, however. The formatting is extremely important as well.

Academia has set standards for formatting the dissertation. Standard formatting lets the reviewers know what to expect as they begin to investigate the research that has been done. There’s also the possibility that the complete dissertation is going to be published in a journal. In the previous formatting makes it that much easier for the publisher. There are some basic tips to formatting. They can save an awful lot of problems if these are followed.

  1. The Fonts Must Be Legible. Gothic style print or other elaborate styles are not acceptable at all. They can turn into real headaches for anyone trying to read the text. 12 point New Roman is an example of a legible print that should be used.

  2. Directions May Call for Double Spacing. Depending on the format style required by the department, there may be a need to double space the content. Be sure you are aware of that and write accordingly.

  3. Pay Attention to the Margins. Ordinarily, these are 1 inch on the left and right hand side of the page. There may also be requirements for top and bottom margins. Page numbers may need to be in one of the corners or the center. These requirements may be a little picky, but follow them as requested.

  4. The Title Page May Have Special Instructions. This may include using the full proper names of people and not using abbreviations at all. Do not assume that you can get away with an abbreviation to check your directions. This is no place to making mistakes.

  5. Don’t Forget The Copyright Page. This should come right after the title page, and it is very important. Without the copyright page. Anybody could plagiarize your work without any adverse consequences.

  6. Take Your Time with the Abstract. This is a 250 to 300 word summarization of your dissertation. Take your time in writing this because it lets people know what the content of your work is going to be about.

  7. Be Careful about the Numbering of Pages. Not all pages in the work need to have page numbers attached to them. The Abstract is a good example of a page that does not need numbers.

  8. Pay Attention to the Footnotes. These can be at the bottom of the page, at the end of the paper itself, or the every chapter. It all depends on the instructions and the student needs to verify these.

  9. The Writing Style Is Important. This means things such as how quotations are to be used or phrases in the body of the work. Depending on what style is requested in the instructions, the student can look at a style manual for some ideas.

  10. Proof Everything At Least Twice. Be absolutely sure that your formatting is according to the directions that had been given to. If you fail to follow them, your dissertation can be handed back to you for reformatting. That is precious time spent because you did not follow the directions. You do not want that to happen.
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