Formatting and the Layout of a Dissertation

The supervisor or instructor is usually the one who decides the requirements of a paper. Some guidelines appear familiar to most programs, such as creating a table of contents and page numbers.

Spacing, font, and font size

Utilize a clear, professional font. Examples are Times New Roman, Calibri, and Verdana. The best size setting is 10 or 11.

In articles based on science, utilize a line spacing of 1.15 or 1.5 since it makes the text appear more readable, and the supervisor will be able to write down their comments in between the lines.

Figures and Tables

All illustrations, tables, and figures present in your dissertation should get numbered and provided with a vivid title. Therefore, the numbers make it easier for reference within the given text, and the title offers the reader the description of the graphic.


To help the reader easily differentiate between sections, subsections, and chapters in your paper, utilize different styles. You may decide to bold all the headings of a branch and italicize the subs.

After deciding on what scheme to use, you should consistently apply it to the whole dissertation. Use the ‘styles’ feature in Microsoft Word by highlighting the heading and selecting a type.


It is imperative to cite all sources appropriately and correctly since failing to do so will make you an accomplice of plagiarism. The reference must follow specific standards.

The commonly used standard is the APA style. You can use the generator to help you cite the works with much ease.

Paragraph marks

It can be a challenging job to create and maintain proper formatting in Ms. Word. By using the feature of ‘show paragraph marks’ can help you avoid making mistakes. A symbol will get shown after each paragraph and have a ‘hard return’ that will allow you to see the layout’s construction.

Headers and Footers

For a professional dissertation look, use headers and footers. It also makes the document clear to the readers. You can add a header or footer by merely double-clicking at the top or bottom of the page you are at in the paper. There is no stern rule of what to get included, but you can have;

  • The date
  • Your name
  • Page numbers
  • Institution name or logo
  • The dissertation title

Page Numbering

Page numbers get placed at the lower right corner of a page. You can add them by creating a footer. Do not include page numbering on the title page.

Title page

A well-presented and clear title page will give your dissertation the right finishing touch. You must include specific information by default on the page that houses the title. You can check our checklist for more details.


Ensure that everything in your dissertation follows the correct order and gets placed in the right corresponding chapter.

Printing of a dissertation

The final step of producing a dissertation is to have a hardcopy of your document printed out for presentation. The supervisor will give directives on what to include in the dissertation before submission. There are many issues to consider, for example, whether it will be single or double-sided.

Before you make a printed copy of your document, you should check at least one more time to ensure that the paper you have meets all the requirements as this article has presented. Be sure to include any necessary information as communicated by your supervisor not to miss any marks.

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