• "Best Dissertation Writing Tips"
  • "Master's Thesis Writing Advice;

Mastering The Proper PhD Dissertation Format: The Main Elements

Your PhD dissertation is undoubtedly the most important paper you will ever write in your academic life. The perfect PhD dissertation sees a number of factors come together in harmony. A good topic is a must, as is a passion for your work. There is one factor, however, which acts as a vehicle for every other factor in your PhD dissertation. That is, the format. As you progress further and further through the education system, format becomes increasingly important in your essays. While formatting a PhD dissertation can be daunting at first, here you will see that it is in fact as easy to master as riding a bike.

  1. Number of pages
  2. A PhD dissertation will be far longer than any other paper you have had to write. It is not uncommon for dissertations to reach 500 hundred pages.

    This doesn't meant that your dissertation has to be 500 pages, but it is a good way to gage how many pages you should be writing. All pages in your dissertation should be numbered. Any page not part of the main body of text should be listed as a Roman number.

  3.  Title page
  4. Your dissertation title cannot simply be written on the top of your first page. You must dedicate one complete page to your title.

    It is difficult to describe what a dissertation title page should look like, but a quick Google search will find you a picture of a sample title page.

  5. Font size
  6. In college, they are extremely fussy about font size; especially when it comes to a PhD dissertation.

    Unless you are specifically told to do otherwise, you should write your dissertation in font size 12. Anything bigger will make your dissertation unsightly and give it the feel of a children's book.

  7. Footnotes
  8. Now we're getting professional. If you list a source in your writing prior to your bibliography, it should be placed in the footnotes section.

    Don't include too many footnotes per page as it will make your work appear crammed and messy.

  9. Bibliography
  10. As with every other academic paper, your dissertation should include a bibliography listing all of your sources. This way, you can steal as much material as you want and get away with it.

    Your bibliography should be placed at the end of your PhD dissertation and include all sources used, even if you listed them in the footnotes.