Understanding The Doctoral Dissertation Format: General Tips

Dissertation reports on research project or study or an extended analysis of a topic for an academic degree. Doctoral thesis is not meant to be a one-time pursuit but rather an endless enquiry. It’s a morsel of a larger knowledge base in a particular discipline or across disciplines. It helps the candidates to explore and establish the connection between their dissertation topics and the larger knowledge base. In other words we can say that the main purpose of writing thesis or doctoral papers is to help the student to secure the degree. Each thesis or dissertation is unique but all share common elements.

Dissertation must comply with certain formatting guidelines:

  • Length: Most doctoral dissertations are 100 to 300 pages in length. All academic papers should be divided into appropriate sections, and long papers may need chapters, main divisions, and even subdivisions.
  • Margins: Margins requirement apply to all materials included in the doctoral papers including figures, tables, etc. The margins of all the pages must be 1inch on the left and 1 inch on the top, right and bottom.
  • Paper: A doctoral paper must be written on watermarked 100% cotton paper. It must be free from alkaline. Conventional photocopy paper is acceptable, but should be sufficient opacity that the image on the next page will not show through.
  • Pagination: Every page in the doctoral paper must contain number, including appendixes, tables, maps, figures, etc. but the title page and vital page would not contain page number. Lowercase Roman number and Arabic numerals were used to number the page.
  • Size and spacing: Font size must be between 10 and 12. While writing doctoral pieces, leave at least two blank lines between the headings of the abstract, preface, introduction, a chapter, the first and last line of the text, page number, etc. Writing should be double spaced. Long quotations should be single spaced with wider margins. Space for block quotation, footnotes and bibliographies should be single spacing within each entry.
  • Front material: Dissertation also encompasses the names of the section like title page, abstract, content of table, abstract, acknowledgement, reference, copyright, list of figure, text, appendix, glossary, etc.
  • Body: It basically answers the research question. It also explains the techniques for examining the available data with reference to the questions that need to be answered as a part of the research work. Its answer all the research questions. It contains a detail study of the thesis with a conclusion.
  • Bibliography or reference: It is the last page of the thesis or dissertation. It includes all the relevant sources which were used while writing doctoral dissertations.

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