Masters Dissertation Layout Format

Formatting Guidance


Thesis Manual

Formatting Checklist

iThenticate and Avoiding Plagiarism

  • As of September 1, 2014 all thesis/dissertations deposited at Purdue must be screened using the iThenticate program. Satisfaction of this requirement will be certified by both major professor & degree candidate signing in Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form [ETAF] 9. Please direct all iThenticate questions to Ashlee Messersmith, Manager of the Thesis & Dissertation Office.

Other Guidance

Copyright Information

Campus Resources


Templates


LaTeX Template (puthesis)

The Thesis/Dissertation Office recommends using puthesis.

  • Why should you use it?
    • Thousands of people have graduated using it. You won’t need to “reinvent the wheel.”
    • All formatting details are done automatically, you can concentrate of the content of your thesis instead of worrying about margins, typefaces, etc.
    • It is especially convenient for typesetting mathematics.
    • Many people think it produces a more attractive output than other systems.
    • All of the software needed is free and available for a wide variety of software and operating systems.
    • Some (especially engineering, mathematics, and science) journals use LaTeX.
    • You may be able to cut large chunks out of your thesis, change a few lines at the top of the resulting file, and send that to a journal.
    • Using LaTeX and BibTeX is very common in the scientific community. Sooner or later you may need to learn it anyway.

MS Word Template

Our Microsoft Word templates are designed to be used with Word 2013 (PC) and 2016 (MAC).

We are unable to support the use of these templates with older versions of Microsoft Word, Pages for Mac, or LibreOffice.
For troubleshooting, use Microsoft’s Help Pages.

Questions? Email thesishelp@purdue.edu with WORD TEMPLATE in the subject line.

Read the template instructions provided in each template before writing your thesis or dissertation.

Note: copy/pasting into templates may cause formatting issues that should be fixed before submitting to the Graduate School.


 

The only PhD Thesis/Masters Dissertation template for Microsoft Word you will ever need

As I start to move into the writing up stage of my thesis, I have started to focus on the structure and layout of the final document. I’ve been particularly keen to  minimise the amount of formatting and editing I have to do by automating as much of the process as possible. I also want my thesis to look professional, and not just another generic Word document. I know many scientists swear by LaTeX but I’ve always disliked writing in markup and to be perfectly honest I can be bothered to learn how to use it, especially when I am so familiar with Word. 

I spent some time looking for a good thesis or dissertation template. While many universities produce one; they were all incomplete in terms of automated functionality or ugly. Kayla Friedman and I have spent several months working out what makes a good looking thesis or dissertation and how to make it in Microsoft Word. The template we have created is an excellent starting point for any PhD Thesis or Masters Dissertation and is easy to use. It’s free for anybody to use, although an acknowledgment to Kayla and myself is appreciated.

If you are using the template please leave a comment below, we know that hundreds of people a month download the template, and we would like to hear feedback.

Template Download

The Template is in two forms a normal DOCX document which includes useful help information and a DOTX Word Template which can be applied to new and existing word documents.

DOCX Format Plain Word Document

DOTX Format Word Template

Microsoft Office Theme File – This contains additional font & colour information and can be used to style Excel and PowerPoint content in the same style as your Thesis/Dissertation.

Power Point on Word for Thesis Writing

The DOTX template can also be used by people using older versions of the Template. Go to:

Developer Tab > Document Template > Attach

Then select the DOTX template, and click Open. Also, tick the box market Automatically update document styles. Then click OK.


CSD Thesis Template by Kayla Friedman and Malcolm Morgan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Why use the PhD Thesis / Masters Dissertation Template?

The whole point of this template is that it is easy to use and automatic. If you want to put the minimum amount of effort into the styling your thesis, using this template will give you an excellent professional looking document, that won’t just look like a generic Word document. Kayla and I have put a lot of work into choosing fonts, layouts, and colour schemes, which give a professional academic appearance, and are easy to read on screen and especially on paper.

This makes a big  differenceto you when you come to submit. Even the quality of your work is outstanding, the presentation of your thesis or dissertation will have a big effect on how your examiners judge it. If your document looks good, and includes all the right parts in the right places the examiners are going to be more inclined to believe you know what you are talking about.

It will save you lots of time. The template comes built in with lots of features that takes ages to set up such as heading numbers, and lists of different content e.g figures, tables, appendices. Using the template means you don’t need to find out how to do these things, and then fret about it not working. A lot of templates for other sources are not automated, so they look good, but the moment you start using them they break.

However, if you want to express your own creativity it is easy to change fonts, colour schemes and layout options without having to loose all the automation benefits of using the template.

Sections Included in the PhD/Masters Template

Cover Page, Dedication (optional), Personal Statement/Quote (optional), Declaration, Summary / Abstract, Acknowledgements, Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, List of Abbreviations and Acronyms, Introduction, References, Appendices.

The template also included example content and information on how to use Word, how to use the PhD Thesis/ Masters Dissertation Template and Information and Requirements for Cambridge University and the Department of Engineering. If you are not at Cambridge you must check your own department’s rules as they may differ from the Cambridge rules. The template has been built to match Cambridge University’s rules.

Major Features of the Template Include:

  • Standard University of Cambridge cover page, with hidden blank inside page;
  • Two page margins, with wider margins on opposite sides of odd/even pages for balanced appearance when printed and bound.
  • Footers with page numbers on opposite sides for odd/even pages;
  • Footers with chapter titles automatically inserted;
  • Headers with Thesis title, author’s name, and month and year automatically added;
  • Roman Numerals for front matter page numbers, Arabic Numerals for other pages;
  • Automatically produced tables of contents, including headings, but excluding Appendices, and front matter;
  • Automatically produced lists of tables, figures, appendices
  • Customised styles, colours, and themes, to give a consistent appearance and professional feel;
  • Automatically numbered headings;
  • 1/3 page Chapter Headings with styled spacing and indented numbering;

The template is very loosely based on the Bartlett School of Architectures MSc Thesis Template and may contain  some of their original content.

The PhD Thesis/Masters Dissertation Template was created in Microsoft Word 2010 in the .docx and .dotx formats, but should also be fully compatible with Word 2007 and Word 2013. I have not checked it with Word for Mac. If you are using Word for Mac please comment on this post if you have any trouble as I would be interested to know.

I’m not promising any support or updates to the Template, but if you do have any suggestions or find any problems put them in the comments below, as it is not totally impossible that I might read them and make changes.

Known Issues

  • Some of the headers and footers may have an error message if the template is used in a non-English version of Office. This can be fixed by deleting the error message and manually adding the text for the headers and footers.
  • The formatting on the table of contents can go wrong, this can be fixed by right clicking and selecting update.

Update Log

 Updated PhD / Masters template to version 6 on 15/11/13

  • Fixed error with footnotes
  • Fixed error with list of figures

Updated PhD / Masters template to version 7 on 13/3/14

  • Tweaked appearance of footnote so that the take up less space
  • Updated content on how to use the template
  • Updated blog post with more information about the template
  • Added .dotx file support
  • Set default table appearance
  • Updated Footnotes and Endnotes support

Updated PhD / Masters template to version 8 on 09/05/14

  • Updated / Improved help text in the DOCX version
  • Improved headers, automatically produced by completing  the cover page
  • Improved headers, support for longer thesis titles

Updated PhD / Masters template to version 9 on 10/02/15

  • Changes base front from Cambria to Times New Roman to match new Cambridge University PhD requirements
  • Increased font size to 12 point, and increased line spacing to 1.5 to match new Cambridge University PhD requirements
  • Increased spacing and reformatted headers and footers

Update 15/11/16

Charles Weir is producing his own version of the template for Lancaster University at https://github.com/charlesweir/LUThesisTemplate 

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