Tips For Creating A Solid Dissertation In The Doc Format
Writing your graduate dissertation may very well be the most challenging academic endeavor you will ever undertake. It’s the final required step before earning a master’s or doctoral degree in your discipline, and it often marks the milestone between your academic and professional life. Getting through the research and writing the content only represents about two-thirds of the process. The final third is all about putting your work together in an approved format the graduate committee requires for acceptance. Here are some tips for creating a solid dissertation in the standard doc format that should meet most requirements across several disciplines:
- Dissertation Title Page
- Table of Contents (TOC)
- Lists of Figures and Tables
- Main Content Sections
- Bibliography Page
You should first check with your department before creating your dissertation title page. Even though these are pretty standard, your department may prefer (and sometimes require) a small detail that you should know about from the start. Generally, however, you can simply center your title, all caps followed by a brief statement pointing to the purpose of the document and finally your name and expected graduation date.
Your TOC is very important and should be checked thoroughly before submitting your document. Today, most word processors have a feature that automatically set your TOC accurately. Each Chapter Heading should be listed in the bold, all caps; each sub-heading should be indented 5 spaces and listed in non-caps without bold. All numbers should be listed flushed to the right margin.
Both the list of figures and list of tables should have separate pages immediately following the TOC. Generally you can label each item, provide a short title, cite its location within your document and given a page number, flushed to the right margin.
Your acknowledgements page should stand alone after each of the prior sections and just before the main section of your document begins. Title it ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS followed by a short paragraph, no more than 5 or 6 lines in which you list the people you would like name as having had a positive impact in the completion of your work.
Each content section should be title appropriately and start on a new page. The header should read “Chapter X” followed by the chapter’s title with a double space in between. This short title need not be included on any page in which the chapter begins since this information is redundant.
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