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Thesis Preparation Guide: Formatting & Citing

Formatting your thesis

The following  are general guidelines for theses and dissertations regardless of the style guide used. 
Double-check with your department for specific thesis preparation requirements.  


  • for electronic submissions: 1" margins on all sides
  • for hard copy submissions to the library: 1,5" on the left-hand margin in order to accommodate binding


  • Manuscript, including abstract, dedication, acknowledgements, table of contents, and body: Double-spaced
  • Long quotations (four or more lines), captions, tables/graphs/charts, and lists: Single-spaced
  • References: single-spaced within the reference, double-spaced between references.

Running Heads

Do not use running heads.


Page numbers are placed at the upper right corner. 

  • Preliminary pages: Small Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.), beginning with ii. The title page counts as page i but the number does not appear.
  • No page number on the Copyright Statement.
  • Remainder of the manuscript including references and appendices: Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), beginning with 1. 

Any legible font except script, italic, or ornamental fonts equivalent in scale to 12 point Times New Roman.


  • The title should be a meaningful description of the content of the manuscript.
  • Use word substitutes for formulas, symbols, superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, and so on.
  • Your title should be identical on all the pages on which it appears: title page, approval page, abstract and copyright statement.


  • There is no word limit on the abstract. 

List of References

  • The reference list appears after the body of the thesis and before any appendices.
  • Prepare all references according to the style required by your department.

Charts, Graphs, Tables

  • Insert charts, graphs, and tables in the text. If they take up a full page, locate them on the page as close to first mention of them in your text as you can.

Citing help

Style guides