How To Choose An Appropriate Format For A Doctoral Dissertation

Your doctoral dissertation is crucial, especially because it determines whether or not you will receive your degree. For this reason, you do not want to lose points or have it rejected for a mistake as simple as improper formatting. To avoid this, follow these guidelines when formatting your doctoral dissertation.

Basic Formatting

You should print your paper out on 8.5” x 11” standard white paper. It should have margins of 1 inch on all sides. Additionally, you should use double spacing throughout, except for lengthy lists, Table of Contents, and References. You should also remember to number every page except the title page, beginning with 2 in Arabic numbering in the upper right-hand corner of the second page. Do not leave any pages blank.

Title Page

The title page of your doctoral thesis is very specific. It provides all of the information provided on a regular title page but also includes information that makes it very clear what you are getting your degree for. You will need to format this according to the requirement guidelines for your school.

Illustrations, Tables, Graphs, and Figures

In many cases, these visuals will be incorporated into the body of text. If you choose not to do this where they are discussed, then they should follow the text immediately. Do not place all of the visuals at the end of the chapter.

Formatting the Abstract

The abstract is a critical part of your thesis. It will summarize your findings and provide a condensed version of what the reader will find inside of your dissertation. In most cases, this will be less than 350 words. However, make sure that this is the accepted length for your specific degree. This will be the first numbered page, unless you have decided to include a copyright page with your thesis.

Optional Pages

There are several pages that are considered optional. These include pages for copyright, acknowledgement, preface, list of abbreviations, glossary, nomenclature, and dedication. You can add these if you choose, but be sure that it is acceptable under your specific guidelines.

Reference Page

The reference page of your doctoral dissertation will appear at the end of the document. It should include single spaced entries, with double spaces in between each entry. You should also use hanging indents for each new entry. Finally, be sure that the word “References” is centered at the top of the page.

Helpful Sites

Need help with thesis or dissertation? Try this dissertation writing guide or use some websites which can write your thesis online.