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Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Formatting Print Page

Style Requirements


  • Title page
  • Acceptance page
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of contents
  • Dissertation
  • Appendicies


  • 11 or 12-point type
  • Use the same style or size throughout
    • Tables, captions and footnotes may be smaller, less than 10-point is not recommended
    • Chapter and section headings may be bolded - no more than 2 points larger than text size


  • Double-space
  • Single-spacing may be used in TOC, footnotes, endnotes, charts, graphs, tables, quotations, captions, glossary, appendicies, and bibliography


  • At least 1" on all sides


  • Running headers and footers are not acceptable


  • 0.75" down from top or up from bottom
  • Appear on every page consecutively
  • Title page is the ONLY page NOT numbered
  • Blank numbered pages must have the statement "Page left intentionally blank"


  • ALL pages must be 8.5" x 11" portrait-oriented

Example Outline

Chapter 1:      Introduction

 A.        What is the central issue the dissertation addresses?

B.        What is the central argument (thesis) of the dissertation?

If it is not clear (1) what issue the dissertation addresses, and (2) what central proposition the dissertation stands for, then the dissertation will not pass. You must be able to state clearly in a few sentences: “This dissertation is about _____________________. The argument is __________________.”


Chapter 2:      Review of the Literature

A.        What is the essential background information about the topic?

B.        What have other scholars and practitioners said about the topic?

The dissertation should give the key information needed to put the issue and argument in context. Why is the issue and argument important and relevant? To what countries, groups, and/or persons are the issue and argument relevant?

Simply put, why does the dissertation matter – what is the point of it, in the sense of being original?

What is the conventional wisdom about the topic? Is the argument of the dissertation in support of, or against, the conventional wisdom?


Chapter 3:      Reason(s) in Support of the Argument


Chapter 4:      Reason(s) in Support of the Argument

Chapters 3 and 4 are the heart and soul of the dissertation. In them, the argument is stated and defended. There should be no less than two, and preferably three, distinct reasons in support of the argument. (If an extra Chapter is needed to elaborate on the reasons, then that is fine.)


Chapter 5:      Summary and Conclusion

A.        Review the central issue the dissertation addresses.

B.        Review the central argument the dissertation makes.

C.        Review the reasons in support of that argument.

D.        Identity the issues the dissertation leaves unanswered, and that are in need of further research. That is, extend the dissertation into the next publication project – what would be the next publication that logically would follow from this dissertation.


Note:   This Outline may be modified to suit the needs of a particular dissertation.


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