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Tips to Format Your PhD Thesis in a Right Manner

PhD thesis is without a doubt the lengthiest and most complex of all thesis. This is mainly because of how tough PhD degree is. A student can only be successful if he deals with his Ph.D. with high patience and determination (Eazyresearch, 2020)

Given how important your Ph.D. thesis is it should be no surprise how formatting plays the main role in making your PhD thesis successful. In this post, you will be given PhD thesis help in terms of tips for formatting your thesis correctly. But before that take a look at what formatting generally is to clear out any misunderstandings.

What is Formatting?

Formatting is all about the appearance or the presentation of a written document. The majority of essays have a minimum of four different types of text:

  • Headings
  • Normal paragraphs
  • Quotations
  • Bibliographic references.

Writers can also include footnotes and endnotes. There are also guidelines regarding the fonts used and page numbering.

Tips To Format A PhD Thesis Correctly


The abstract is an isolated document from the manuscript, it is not attached to the thesis. The abstract should be printed on white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. You do not have to print any page numbers on the paper and only need one copy of it. Moreover, your abstract must have the original signatures of your faculty advisor. The maximum word limit of your thesis abstract is 250 words and this also includes the thesis topic.

Title Page:

Your title page should be printed on white, 8.5 x 11-inch paper and you must get all the original committee signatures on the title page.  The space between texts on the title page can be different depending on the length of the title.


You have to utilize the standard font throughout your PhD thesis. The font size needs to be between 10 to 12 for all the content including all the heading and titles. Students are allowed to change the font size in figures, tables, footnotes, captions, and appendix material. Remember to keep the same font wherever possible.

Italic is necessary. You can boldface the words for prominence as well as heading and subheading but make sure that you do not overuse boldface or italic throughout the thesis.


For this, you have to measure the top margin from the corner of the page to the first line of words. To measure the margin at the bottom of the page you have to consider measuring from the bottom the last line of words to the bottom corner of the paper.

Your page margins should at least measure one-half inch from up, down, left, and right. The margins on the ride side of the page are justified depending on what your departmental requirements are and your preference.

Numbering Pages:

You may write page numbers in lowercase Roman numerals for the preliminary pages for creativity purposes but you have to start numbering in English numerals on the first page of the text. PhD students have to number the pages consecutively throughout the rest of their thesis to confirm the format of a PhD thesis.


Usually, you will be required to make your entire thesis text double spaced but at the time the requirements can be different. This is why you are capable of drafting a single-spaced or one-half-spaced thesis as well depending on the requirement of your educational institute and the study department.

Students must use double spacing in chapter numbers, chapter names, and main section titles such as:

  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • Table of Contents
  • Tables Listing
  • Figures List
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Appendices
  • References

You should also give double space before every first–level and second-level header. You should also give double space before and after tables as well as figures present in the document.



Your department mostly determines the standards for organizing a PhD thesis into chapters and sections. Normally, if your thesis has a heading you have to add it to the table of contents.

Headings and Subheadings:

Making use of heading as subheadings to state briefly the content in the following section is the way to go in your thesis. Remember to be consistent with your choice of heading levels. As for the second-level headers, you should include them in the table of contents.


You only have to capitalize the first letter of important words, distinction, or highlight any text in the titles and headings.

If you still find formatting difficult consulting with your supervisor or taking help from an online thesis writing service will also help you out.


A PhD thesis act as a threshold into action research (Larrea, M., 2021). So if you want to make your PhD thesis successful format it correctly.

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