HomeEducationDissertation Formatting - 7 Rules For Perfect Dissertation

Dissertation Formatting – 7 Rules For Perfect Dissertation


So, you have finally reached the end of the rope and completed the writing process of your dissertation and going to submit it. It is great to hear you have achieved this milestone but wait a bit, dear student. Is your dissertation in the right format? Have you followed all the formatting rules when writing your dissertation? It is pretty sad to hear that you are unaware of such a requirement. Hence, before submitting your dissertation, you need to ensure that your dissertation is perfectly formatted and does not contain any formatting issues.

To assist you in this, today’s article is here to explain the 7 golden rules that must be taken into account when performing dissertation formatting. Considering these rules can make your dissertation perfect and earn you a good grade. Looking forward to those rules, huh? Let’s start with defining the dissertation formatting and its importance.

What does it mean to format a dissertation? Explain with importance.

Most dissertations vary between 100 to 300 pages in length. It is a pretty large page count to cope with and difficult for the reader also. So, what do you do? You divide the dissertation into some sections and add some pagination, margins, chapter names, lists of tables and figures, and things like that to make it easy to read for the readers and perfect. Doing all this to a dissertation is called dissertation formatting.

Formatting your disseration makes it perfect. Although this point is enough to explain its importance, however, the formatting also makes the content of your dissertation understandable to the readers. Proper formatting and references send your readers and supervisor a message that your dissertation has followed all the ethical standards and that you give proper credit to the sources. Hence, all these points make the formatting of a dissertation important.

7 rules to follow when formatting your dissertation

The university or your supervisor often defines the rules of formatting. So, I would suggest going to your university website and checking the rules of formatting. However, if your institution and supervisor are quiet on this, hire dissertation writing services. The reason is that I am going to mention the standard rules here. Hence, a brief description of all the 7 standard rules that are in practice in the UK is as follows:

1.     Add the preliminary pages of the dissertation

Preliminary pages are the pages that come at the start of the dissertation. These pages include a table of content, copyright statement, dedication statement, acknowledgement statement, list of tables, and list of figures. Every perfect dissertation starts off with these pages. The reason is that these pages make navigating the dissertation easy for the reader. Hence, the first rule is to add all the preliminary pages discussed above.

2.     Text formatting rules

Next up are the text formatting rules. These rules tell you what your text should look like. For example, it tells you about the font style, font size, spacing, and alignment of the text of the dissertation chapters, like the introduction, literature review, methodology etc. The standard rule for this is that your text should be double spaced with a font size no of 12. The font style should be Times New Roman with at least 1-inch margins on each side of the page.

3.     Pagination rules

Pagination is an important aspect of dissertation formatting. Pagination means assigning page numbers to each page of your dissertation, except the dissertation acceptance certificate page. The page numbers of the preliminary pages should be in Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv) and so on. For the body text, that is, text in the introduction chapter onward, you must give Arabic numbers, i.e., 1, 2, 3, and so on. The page number’s location can be anywhere per your university guidelines. As a general rule, it should be in the centre.

4.     Tables and figures caption rules

The font size and style are the same for body pages and page numbers. There exists an exception for tables and figures. The captions of the tables and the figures should be at the bottom with a font size of 10 and Time New Roman Italic font style. Also, place the table or the figure as close as possible to where you have mentioned it in the body text. The table and figure numbers must be continuous and follow the chapter numbers, e.g., the figures in the first chapter would come as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and so on.

5.     Headers and footers

Headers and footers give your dissertation a professional look. These make it clear to the reader what dissertation he is reading or which chapter of the dissertation he is currently at. Headers and footers generally contain additional information and are a crucial part of the dissertation formatting process. This additional information can be the author’s name, the logo of the institute, or the footnotes. The standard font size for the header is 12, but it can vary as per the text length. The same is the case with the footer.

6.     Appendices rules

If your dissertation has appendices, there are also some rules to follow to write those. They must appear at the end of the disseration before the reference. It is their only place, and you must not put them anywhere else. If there are more than one appendices, give each appendix a number or show it with a letter. Include the appendices in the table of contents too.

7.     Referencing rules

Referencing is the most important thing in dissertation formatting. The reason is that it is where you credit the sources of your dissertation information and save yourself from lethal plagiarism issues. So, for reference, there are many styles in use. There is Chicago, Harvard, APA, and MLA style. It depends totally on the requirements of your teacher and which style you have to use. Normally, the APA style is used in dissertations. The references come in the last of the dissertation.


Dissertation formatting is very crucial because just writing the dissertation cannot earn you a good grade. Making it understandable for your audience and giving it a professional look is what can earn you a good grade. Therefore, pay close attention to all the rules mentioned above and format your dissertation as per those rules.

Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson
Sam holds an MBA and a journalism degree and has written about topics such as Okinawa travel guides, stories for Medium, and more for over five years. I have held several IT positions during my career, including Customer Support, IT Procurement, Infrastructure and Server Support, and IT Management.


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