Dissertation Format

Dissertation Format

After months of mind-wobbling work, you finally think you are almost there. But suddenly again it dawns upon you that you are not done yet — you are yet to format your dissertation. You require at least two to three days for dissertation formatting. A correct dissertation format gives your tutors the impression that you have made genuine efforts to structure and organize your writing. So, we will walk you through the basics of dissertation formatting to let you know what is expected from you.

Ideal structure for your dissertation

Here is how you should arrange the pages of your dissertation. Italicized pages are optional:

Copyright Page: Count this page in pretext pages. Do not put a number on it

Signature page: Similar to copyright page, involve this page in pretext pages. And do not place a number on it

Dedication and/or epigraph: Same as copyright page; do not count it under normal numbering

Acknowledgements and/or preface: Start Roman numerical at the bottom of the page. Page numbers should be placed at the center of the page

Abstract: Continue Roman numbering that started from acknowledgement and/or preface

List of table: Roman numbering continues on this page

List of figures: Continue pretext numbering with lowercase Roman numerical

List of illustration/maps/slides: Lowercase Roman numerical continues

Text: All the pages from the first page of text through the Vita should be numbered consecutively. Start numbering with Arabic numerals ‘1’ at the bottom of the page.

Appendix: Continue page numbering with Arabic numeral

Bibliography: Instead of writing bibliography, you can choose title like ‘reference list’ or ‘work cited’. Continue the page numbering with Arabic numeral. As this is the last page of dissertation, it should also be listed at the end in the tables of contents

Vita: A brief biographical sketch of the author. If it is included in your dissertation, it should be at the end of your dissertation, and listed last on the table of contents.

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Almost all universities create their specific dissertation formatting guidelines. Moreover, few universities have their own guidelines for tables of contents; some even demand their students to link the titles and sub-titles in tables of contents to the text. There are several other issues like that. With dissertation formatting services, you will end up having a fully formatted dissertation in your hands.

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Page format and layout of a dissertation

  • Font

A single legible font should be followed throughout your dissertation. Only the exceptions can be made in the table of contents, graphs, figures, appendices and supplementary files. Heading should be bold, not more than 2 points than the rest of the text.

  • Margins

Your dissertation should maintain minimum 1.25 inches margin. This should be consistent throughout the paper.

  • Spacing and page arrangement

Your dissertation should be double-spaced or 1.5 spaced. Single spaced can be used in tables of contents, glossary, footnotes, endnotes, charts, graphs, tables, figures, captions and bibliography.

  • Numbering of pages

As mentioned earlier, all the preliminary pages preceding the actual text should be numbered as ‘i’ ‘ii’ ‘iii’ and so on. If you don’t include acknowledgement and preface page, the first will be abstract page. The first page of the text should begin with ‘1’ and goes on until the bibliography page. The page number should be aligned at the bottom of the text right in the middle.

  • Tables and illustrations

All types of tables, figures and illustration and other type of examples that you include in your dissertation writing should be numbered for identification. There are mainly two ways of numbering: consecutively throughout the document (Table 1, Table 2 and so on) and number that reflect their locations, (the third figure of chapter 9 can be numbered as 9.3, or A2 as the second figure of Appendix A). Captions in figures tables can be placed either at the bottom or above the tables, graphs and illustrations.

  • Oversize pages and plates

Graphs, plates and charts that are oversized should be given as supplemental files

  • Table of contents

You can adopt a variety of acceptable ways to format table of contents. The tables of contents should be replaced in the document immediately before any pretext lists of tables, figures, illustrations etc. The table of contents should reflect all the major sub-headings of your text.

A dissertation format sample

Copyright page:



Your full name



Master’s signature page:

Thesis or (report) committee for (Write your official UT name)

The Title of Dissertation

Approved by Supervising Committee

Supervisor’s Name, Supervisor

Member’s name, Co-Supervisor


Doctoral signature page

The Dissertation Committee for (Insert the official UT name)

The Title of Dissertation


Supervisor’s Name, Supervisor

Member’s name, Co-supervisor

Member’s Name

Member’s Name

Member’s Name


Title page

Title of Dissertation


Full name of yours, (Previous Academic Degrees)

Presented to the Faculty of Graduate School

Name of your Educational Institution

In partial fulfillment

of the requirements

for the Degree(s) of

Name of Degree

Name of Educational Institution

Date, Month and Year



Title of Dissertation

By Full Name

The University Name

Supervisor: Number of Supervisor(s), no degree is required

The text in the abstract section should be double spaced or 1.5 spaced. Abstracts should be limited 350 words not more than that.


Table of contents

  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • Preface or acknowledgement (optional)
  • Text (Introduction – Literature review – Methodologies - Results – Discussions and findings – Conclusion)
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Vita

This is the ideal dissertation format for dissertation writing; the parameters can be changed according to the directions of university and college.

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