II. Document Setup and Format Requirements

A starter template set up with the following guidelines may be downloaded in the appendix.


a. Margins

To preserve the legibility throughout the process of binding and/or photocopying, margins should be set as follows for all Letter size pages:

  • Left (binding edge): 1.5 inches
  • Top: 1 inch
  • Bottom: 1 inch
  • Right: 1 inch
  • ALL material, including figures, headers/footers, footnotes/endnotes, and full-page images should be within the margins.
  • Exception: Page numbers. Page numbers must be at least 3/4" from the edge of the page. If it looks too crowded at the bottom of the page for aesthetic purposes, the bottom margin of the main text can be moved up, as long as it is at least 1 inch.


b. Fonts

  • Fonts should be 12-point in size and should be roughly comparable in appearance to Times New Roman.
  • Font size should remain consistent and easily legible throughout the text.
  • Fonts for footnotes, figure captions, table data, references, and appendix can differ from the main text, as appropriate and with consistent application.
  • Italicized font may be used for non-English words and quotations.


c. Line Spacing

  • The manuscript must be consistently double-spaced throughout the front matter and main text, including the abstract, the dedication, the acknowledgements, and the table of contents.
  • Single-spacing should be used for footnotes, endnotes, references, lengthy quotations, lists, figures, table captions, and appendices. Use double-spacing between bibliography entries.
  • Line spacing between paragraphs should be consistent.


d. Text Alignment

  • The text of the dissertation/thesis should be left-aligned. Do not fully justify or right-align text.
  • Headings may be left-aligned or centered. Do not fully justify or right-align headings.


e. Document Sections

  • The main text must be divided into chapters, and the front and back matter must be divided into chapter equivalents and formatted as such. Examples of chapter equivalents include abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, and appendices.
  • All chapters and chapter equivalents must begin on a new page. (See link for help adding page breaks in Microsoft Word).
  • Subsections within chapters or chapter equivalents should not begin on a new page. If they fall toward the bottom of a page, they should have at least two lines of text following it.


f. Sequence & Pagination

See table below for pagination matrix.

  • Page numbers must be displayed on all pages except the title page, the signature page, and the copyright page.
  • All preliminary pages must be consecutively displayed with lower case Roman numerals (i.e., i, ii, iii, etc.), except for the title page, which is counted as page i, but not displayed.
  • All main text and back matter pages must be consecutively numbered with Arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.); back matter page numbers should continue from the main text. (If you are having difficulties separating Roman numerals with Arabic numerals in the same document, use the template available at the appendix that is already formatted, or see link on how to make section breaks before the link on how to restart page numbering.)
  • The first page of the main text must be numbered as page 1.
  • Page numbers must appear in the same location on all pages, even in pages with full page tables or figures.
Sequence Pagination
Title Page Count / Do Not Display
Approval Page Do not count / Do Not Display
Copyright Page Do not count / Do Not Display
Preliminary Pages Lower Case Roman Numerals
  Acknowledgements (optional) Count / Display
  Abstract Count / Display
  Preface (optional) Count / Display
  Table of Contents Count / Display
  List of Tables (if 5 or more) Count / Display
  List of Figures (if 5 or more) Count / Display
  List of Symbols and/or Abbreviations Count / Display
Text Arabic Numbers
  Body of Dissertation Count / Display
  Bibliography Count / Display
  Appendix (optional) Count / Display
  Index (optional) Count / Display