Recommended Format

A dissertation or thesis usually has three sections: the preliminaries, the text and the references. The order generally is as follows:

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Text
  3. References


Page numbers should be situated in the middle of the top of the page, in the middle of the bottom of the page, or in the upper right-hand corner, not on the left side.

Be sure to number each page except the title page and be consistent as to the placement of numbers. Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.) should be used for preliminary pages such as the preface and abstract, and Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) should be used in the remainder of the text.

Sample Title Pages


The abstract is a very important part of the thesis or dissertation as it is used by readers for guidance as to subject, treatment and results, and may appear in a publication separate from the text. Therefore, it must summarize the contents briefly and accurately and be comprehensible. Abstracts should not be more than 350 words. Do not include diagrams or other illustrative materials in the abstract. Equations imbedded in the text are acceptable. In general, the abstract should include statement of problem, procedure, results and conclusions.

Maintained by
Last modified: Jul 14, 2004, 09:46 EDT
[WPI] [Home]