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Tutorial for Dummies: A Simple Dissertation Formatting Guide

What are the different format styles for doing a dissertation?

  • APA format stands for American Psychological Association Citation Style.
  • MLA format is the Modern Language Association Citation Style.
  • Chicago format.

The dissertation should be written in either these writing format styles per your professor’s instructions and course requirements.  The student must ensure that they follow the guidelines, rules, and regulations of their course when completing their dissertation.

How to properly format a simple dissertation?

  • The dissertation must include an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
  • All dissertations have an Abstract.
  • All dissertations contain a Bibliography and List of References.
  • Depending on the subject of the dissertation, it can contain a Methodology section, Experiment and Test Results section, and Appendix Section.
  • Most dissertations have between 5,000 to 20,000 word counts.
  • Most dissertations are normally between 10 pages to 50 pages long.

Here are steps on how to begin to write one’s dissertation:

  • Step One: Make a list of potential topics for the dissertation.
  • Step Two: Narrow the potential topic list to the top five.
  • Step Three:  Have the chosen topic approved by one’s dissertation committee.
  • Step Four: Do an outline of the chosen topic to ensure that it is worth the time and energy to write the paper on it.
  • Step Five: Ensure that there is enough resources and sources on the selected topic to conduct research.
  • Step Six: Do the needed research on the topic and take enough notes on the topic for the dissertation.
  • Step Seven: Do an outline of the research that was gathered on the topic.
  • Step Eight: Use the outline to organize the information in the way it will be written in the dissertation.
  • Step Nine: Always check in with your supervising professor to check on the writing process of the dissertation.
  • Step Ten: Always ensure to check all drafts of the dissertation for grammar, sentence structure, and spelling errors.

How to properly format a dissertation?

  • The font of the paper should be Times Roman 12 point.
  • The margins of the dissertation must be 1 ½ inches all around.
  • The dissertation should be double spaced between each line.
  • Each page of the dissertation has to be numbered.
  • The dissertation should contain a Table of Contents.
  • The paper should have an Abstract that introduces the topic to the targeted audience.

Here are the sections of the Dissertation:

  1. Title Page;
  2. Abstract and Introduction page;
  3. Copyright page to protect one’s research and dissertation;
  4. Acknowledgment page;
  5. Table of Contents;
  6. Preface or forward page;
  7. Lists of figures, charts, tables, illustrations, graphs, etc.;
  8. The Body of the dissertation;
  9. List of References;
  10. Bibliography page; and
  11. Appendices if needed.

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