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10 Basic Points to Know About the PhD Thesis Format

Preparation of a PhD thesis is a very important task. This work shows your knowledge, academic skills, and research abilities. Apart from the content of your dissertation, it is also necessary to pay attention to its design. If your PhD thesis lacks in structure or page format, you will have to redo it. Moreover, you might lose points if you ignore the requirements.

Thus, to avoid possible mistakes and fulfill your task correctly at once, you should be acquainted with some basic issues regarding the format of your PhD thesis. Here are some points you should know, in order to organize the text properly:

  1. A thesis should be 100-300 pages long.
  2. If it contains about 400 pages, break it down into two volumes.

  3. The dissertation should be divided into sections
  4. In case of a very long dissertation, include also chapters and divisions.

  5. All pages count; not all of them need to be numbered.
  6. Do not number the title and copyright pages, however, they count. Use small Roman numerals for pages from abstract to preface. Number the following pages with Arabic numerals, starting with number 1. Make at least half-an-inch distance from page numbers to the edge of the page. If there’s a chapter heading at the top of the page, omit the page number.

  7. An abstract should contain up to 350 words.
  8. Place the advisor’s and the author’s names at the top. The advisor’s name should be flush left, the author’s – flush right. Make the title of your thesis centered. Full justification is unwanted.

  9. The order of sections is fixed.
  10. Keep to the following order of sections:

    • Title page
    • Copyright page
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents
    • Front matter (acknowledgement/dedication pages; a list of illustrations/tables; a glossary of terms; epigraphs)
    • Body of text
    • Back matter (appendixes; bibliography; index)
  11. Font should be legible.
  12. Use 10-12-point font for the text to be understandable.

  13. The whole text should be double-spaced.
  14. Note that within one entry, you may single-space the footnotes, bibliographies, and block quotations, but double-space between the entries. For table of contents, long tables, and lists of tables, figures, or illustrations, single spacing is appropriate.

  15. All margins should be at least 1-inch wide, apart from the 1.5-inch left margin.
  16. Table and figures are provided after they are mentioned for the first time.
  17. If there is no other text on the page, center the table or figure. Indicate the heading above the table/figure.

  18. Consistency in page design is obligatory.
  19. Keep to one format of page numbering, heading placement, and spacing. Remember it throughout the text.

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