Thesis Writing Tutorials

The Dissertation Manuscript Format: Simple Guidelines

By following a few simple guidelines, you can assure yourself some peace of mind that your dissertation manuscript will not have to be revised multiple times after you have submitted them.

A typical customary framework would include most of the below points.


Do not number the title page.

Make sure all other pages are numbered, except the above.

Format page numbers as (x of xxx) where (x) is the page number and (xxx) is the total number of pages.

Place them at the bottom or top of each page; just make sure it is consistent for the entire article.

Use different types of numerals to separate page type; numerals (1,2,3,4,...) for the main body, Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv,...) for appendices, etc. Again, be consistent.

Do not use suffixes (11.1.1, 11.1.2, 11.1.3, 11.1.4,...) as this only makes it more confusing to the reader.

Page Size & Page Orientation

Portrait is pretty much the standard orientation accepted by most institutions.

If you have to go landscape (for example, wide charts or diagrams), make sure all of these pages face the same direction. Pivoting the image counter-clockwise once makes it easier to read. Text on those pages should also be oriented in the same direction. But remember, the page number must still be in the exact same location as the rest of the document.

All the pages must be done on US Standard Letter Size (8.5” X 11”) unless you're specifically asked to do so otherwise.


A one-inch margin on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) makes the document look presentable.

The page number should be placed half an inch above or below the margin.

There should be no other items placed outside the margin.

Line Spacing

Usage of double spacing makes the document more comprehensible.

Do not use double space when it is uncalled for. (for example quoted text, notes, footnotes, tabulated data, etc.)


Do not go overtly artistic with fonts.

Only use professional looking or formal type fonts. Some universally safe options are Arial, Ms Sans Serif, Times New Roman and Verdana.


All pictorial illustrations should be enclosed within the one-inch page margin.

If you plan on scanning any images, use a good scanner and set the resolution to the best possible dpi (dots per inch).

Formerly Published Articles

If using formerly published research material, discuss with the person in charge beforehand about the acceptability of such materials.

As a general rule, when writing a dissertation, always stick as close as possible to the setup and composition (if provided) by your teacher or instructor.