Some Guidelines for Proper Thesis Formatting

  1. Page numerals need to be at the 1-inch level, i.e., there needs to be 1-inch of white space from the bottom of the paper to the page number. Making this happen involves re-setting MS Word's header/footer default settings and may also require re-setting the size of the text block on the page.
  2. The permission-to-copy page and the signature page should not have page numbers. The first page with a number should be the Abstract, with the Roman numeral iii. This too can be tricky to set up in MS Word.
  3. Some students also have difficulty setting the margins and tabs to line up the numbers in table of contents and lists of figures/tables. I often need to have them correct this. The main difficulty is lining up numerals at the right with a tab setting for "right-justification," so the ones line up with the ones, the tens with the tens, etc. If you just insert a normal tab, it is left-justified and the lining up goes wrong. The correct tab symbol for lining numbers up in tables looks like a leftward-pointing capital T rather than a rightward-pointing one.

Students and their advisors may refer to the Requirements for Theses and Dissertations guide for specific formatting information and sample pages.