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Thesis / dissertation formatting manual (2024).

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UCI Libraries maintains the following  templates to assist in formatting your graduate manuscript. If you are formatting your manuscript in Microsoft Word, feel free to download and use the template. If you would like to see what your manuscript should look like, PDFs have been provided. If you are formatting your manuscript using LaTex, UCI maintains a template on OverLeaf.

  • Annotated Template (Dissertation) 2024 PDF of a template with annotations of what to look out for
  • Word: Thesis Template 2024 Editable template of the Master's thesis formatting.
  • PDF Thesis Template 2024
  • Word: Dissertation Template 2024 Editable template of the PhD Dissertation formatting.
  • PDF: Dissertation Template 2024
  • Overleaf (LaTex) Template
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  • Last Updated: Feb 20, 2024 2:09 PM
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  • Dissertation & Thesis Template

As a resource for graduate students, sample Word templates are available to assist with the initial formatting of doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Students are expected to fully format their dissertation/thesis according to the   " Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses ".

  • This template is a starting point and students may have to add or remove sections/text to accurately reflect their document and adhere to all requirements in the manual.
  • Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) does not provide technical support for any of the templates below.
  • If using these templates, students must still refer to the formatting manual for full instructions.

The below templates are in Word. If you prefer to use LaTeX, here is a recommended unofficial template . We are not able to provide technical support for LaTeX.

Note: opening the Word template in Google Docs may cause auto-formatting features to be lost or auto-formatting features may appear differently.

A sample template of a co-author permission letter and cover letter from the committee chair can be found here . For complete information on submission of permission letters, please see this page and/or refer to the full Manual . 

Master’s Degree Thesis

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Doctoral Degree Dissertation

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  • Dissertation & Thesis Manual

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

University Thesis and Dissertation Templates

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Theses and dissertations are already intensive, long-term projects that require a lot of effort and time from their authors. Formatting for submission to the university is often the last thing that graduate students do, and may delay earning the relevant degree if done incorrectly.

Below are some strategies graduate students can use to deal with institutional formatting requirements to earn their degrees on time.

Disciplinary conventions are still paramount.

Scholars in your own discipline are the most common readers of your dissertation; your committee, too, will expect your work to match with their expectations as members of your field. The style guide your field uses most commonly is always the one you should follow, and if your field uses conventions such as including all figures and illustrations at the end of the document, you should do so. After these considerations are met, move on to university formatting. Almost always, university formatting only deals with things like margins, font, numbering of chapters and sections, and illustrations; disciplinary style conventions in content such as APA's directive to use only last names of authors in-text are not interfered with by university formatting at all.

Use your university's formatting guidelines and templates to your advantage.

If your institution has a template for formatting your thesis or dissertation that you can use, do so. Don't look at another student's document and try to replicate it yourself. These templates typically have the necessary section breaks and styles already in the document, and you can copy in your work from your existing draft using the style pane in MS Word to ensure you're using the correct formatting (similarly with software such as Overleaf when writing in LaTeX, templates do a lot of the work for you). It's also often easier for workers in the offices that deal with theses and dissertations to help you with your work if you're using their template — they are familiar with these templates and can often navigate them more proficiently.

These templates also include placeholders for all front matter you will need to include in your thesis or dissertation, and may include guidelines for how to write these. Front matter includes your table of contents, acknowledgements, abstract, abbreviation list, figure list, committee page, and (sometimes) academic history or CV; everything before your introduction is front matter. Since front matter pages such as the author's academic history and dissertation committee are usually for the graduate school and not for your department, your advisor might not remember to have you include them. Knowing about them well before your deposit date means you won't be scrambling to fill in placeholders at the last minute or getting your work returned for revision from the graduate school.

Consider institutional formatting early and often.

Many graduate students leave this aspect of submitting their projects until it's almost too late to work on it, causing delays in obtaining their degree. Simply being aware that this is a task you'll have to complete and making sure you know where templates are, who you can ask for help in your graduate office or your department, and what your institution's guidelines are can help alleviate this issue. Once you know what you'll be expected to do to convert to university formatting, you can set regular check-in times for yourself to do this work in pieces rather than all at once (for instance, when you've completed a chapter and had it approved by your chair). 

Consider fair use for images and other third-party content.

Most theses and dissertations are published through ProQuest or another publisher (Harvard, for instance, uses their own open publishing service). For this reason, it may be the case that your institution requires all images or other content obtained from other sources to fall under fair use rules or, if an image is not considered under fair use, you'll have to obtain permission to print it in your dissertation. Your institution should have more guidance on their specific expectations for fair use content; knowing what these guidelines are well in advance of your deposit date means you won't have to make last-minute changes or removals to deposit your work.

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Thesis templates

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Word thesis template and instructions, latex template.

Please note that all theses must be converted to PDF/A format for submission. See the guide Saving your thesis in PDF/A format for instructions on saving to PDF/A in Microsoft Word.

Thesis template

Thesis template help:, thesis template instructions, online tutorials: using the thesis template.

The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essays.  The template and instructions are .docx files, and have been tested in Word 2011 (Mac), Word 2013 (Windows), and Word 2016/365 (Windows and Mac). 

Please note that SFU Library does not provide technical support for LaTeX users.  However, the Library has worked with previous SFU graduate students to provide a template and LaTeX class that sets your thesis according to SFU's requirements and format  before submission.

Download the SFU thesis LaTeX template and class here.

Students with general questions about using LaTeX or problems are encouraged to consult one of the following resources:

  • LaTeX Wikibook
  • LaTeX StackExchange Q&A site
  • a "TeXpert" in or close to your department

The SFU thesis LaTeX project is a volunteer effort made by many SFU graduate students over the years. Thanks to the following students who contributed to the old template: Stephen Chan (1989), Margaret Sharon (1996), Pepe Kubon (1997-98), Greg Baker (2003-06), Chris McIntosh (2011), Bradley Coleman (2012), Juan Galvez (2012), Firuz Demir (2013), Ahmed Saad (2013), Reynaldo Arteaga (2014). Version 2.0 of the template was written by Ross Churchley (2014-15).

v2.2.1 (July 21, 2017): Version 2.2.0 tightened the spacing of chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines. Unfortunately, the code that fixed that issue had unexpected side effects when using \ref{} and \autoref{} with chapter and section titles, regardless of their lengths. This release fixes the spacing issue in a safer way. (Ross Churchley)

v2.2.0 (Summer 2017): Introduces a redesigned approval page, matching the Spring 2017 update to the official Word template; tightens spacing for chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines; separates footnotes from body text with vertical space instead of a dividing line; simplifies standard copyright disclaimer; documents the process for adding an Ethics Statement; adds helpful defaults, such as \frenchspacing, to the template's customization suggestions. (Ross Churchley)

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Microsoft Word for Dissertations

  • Introduction, Template, & Resources
  • Formatting for All Readers
  • Applying a Style
  • Modifying a Style
  • Setting up a Heading 1 Example
  • Images, Charts, Other Objects
  • Footnotes, Endnotes, & Citations
  • Cross-References
  • Appendix Figures & Tables
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures/Tables
  • Chapter and Section Numbering
  • Page Numbers
  • Landscape Pages
  • Combining Chapter Files
  • Commenting and Reviewing
  • The Two-inch Top Margin
  • Troubleshooting
  • Finalizing Without Styles
  • Preparing Your Final Document

Help with Microsoft Word

Members of the University of Michigan community can get dissertation & thesis formatting assistance from the experts at ScholarSpace:

Please  visit this link to make an appointment , or send an email to [email protected].

We're here to solve any formatting problems you've run into, and can give you guidance about captioning figures, solving numbering issues, creating a List of Tables/Figures/Appendices, and more.

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Introduction to Word for Dissertations

Formatting your dissertation (or thesis) will likely take more time than you expect. But using the special features described in this Guide will save you a great deal of work , particularly if you use our template (available in the box below). The earlier you begin to use these tools, the more time you'll save and the less stress you'll have as your submission deadline approaches. Students at the University of Michigan are also encouraged to contact the experts at the Library's ScholarSpace anytime you run into a problem or have a question.

To meet  Rackham’s Dissertation Formatting Guidelines  you will need to modify the standard settings that Microsoft Word uses. This guide will show you how to use the tools to make the necessary modifications.  While we do follow the requirements from Rackham’s formatting guidelines to demonstrate the tools, in the end, you are responsible for verifying that your document meets the requirements that Rackham sets.

To save yourself time and effort , please consider using our Dissertation Template (link available in the box below). Many of the settings discussed in this Guide are already included in that document.

Please note that, as a University of Michigan student, you have free access to the Microsoft Office suite of tools -- including Microsoft Word. Visit this link to learn more and to download Office to your own computer.

Dissertation Template and other Resources

  • ScholarSpace Template for Dissertations This Microsoft Word document comes with many of the Rackham formatting guidelines built in, and can be used for dissertations and theses. Please note that this template doesn't follow the formatting direction of any particular Style Guide. It is your responsibility to make sure you are following the Style Guide predominant in your field, and to make any relevant formatting changes to heading styles, numbering, captions, etc... How to make many of those changes is described throughout this Guide.
  • Rackham Dissertation Handbook Rackham's Dissertation Guidelines and Handbook
  • Dissertation Formatting Checklist Rackham's list of formatting issues to watch out for in your dissertation.
  • Using Microsoft Word for Large Documents (non-dissertation specific) Handout (This document was written for an older -- much older -- version of Word, but nearly all of the information is still accurate and useful)
  • Guide to Copyright for Dissertations

A word about LaTeX

LaTeX is a writing and markup language often used in science and engineering documents because it allows for great control in creating complex equations and formulas. ScholarSpace does not maintain a template for dissertations created with LaTeX, and we can only provide very limited support for it. That said, there is a community of U-M folks who actively maintain  this LaTeX template to keep it in line with Rackham's guidelines .

Here are some other very useful resources:

  • Video recording of a  UM Library Workshop on Dissertation Formatting with LaTeX
  • Documentation for LaTeX and Overleaf
  • Bibiliography Management with LaTeX
  • How to Write a Thesis in LaTeX
  • A huge collection of LaTeX resources

Can I use Google Docs for my dissertation?

No. Google Docs can get you pretty far down the road to something that looks like what Rackham requires, however, it's going to take a lot more work to get that far, and as you approach the finish line there will be obstacles that Google Docs just won't be able to get around. The issue is that Google Docs was not designed for complicated documents like a thesis or dissertation. To get it to do many of the special things that Rackham requires, you'll have to do a lot of work that Word will just do for you . A few examples:

  • Rackham requires 1" margin on all pages, but a 2" margin at the top of each new section. You'll have to manually adjust every relevant page yourself in Docs to get this, but Word will just do it automatically.
  • Docs gives you three choices for how your Table of Contents will look, none of which are suitable for Rackham. While you can adjust the format, many aspects of it (such as spacing) will revert to the original every time you update it.  With Word, you're in charge of what your ToC looks like.
  • In Docs, you'll have to manually type in your figure numbers ("Figure 3.6") and change them every time you add or move them. But Word will manage numbering and caption placement for you, it will renumber figures or tables as you add or move them, and it will create your List of Figures/Tables automatically – correct page numbers and all. 
  • With Word's figure/table numbering, you can also insert cross-references so when you refer to "(see Figure 4.2)" but then you add some new figures before that, not only will Figure 4.2 renumber itself automatically, but anywhere you've referred to it will be updated, too. No more anxiety about whether you've updated everything accurately.
  • Page numbers: Rackham wants the first two pages to have no page numbers, the rest of the frontmatter to have small roman numerals, and the body of the document to have arabic numerals.  Docs just plain can't do that. 

If you're concerned about the learning curve of using Word, please know that this Guide goes over how to do everything, AND the Word template found here has nearly everything already set up for you. We also regularly offer a workshop that serves as an introduction to the most useful features, and you can set up a meeting with a ScholarSpace expert anytime you run into something that you can't figure out. 

Writing Assistance

This Guide is all about how to properly format your dissertation -- how to make it look the way Rackham wants it to look. But what if you need help with the actual composition  of your content? Our friends at the Sweetland Writing Center offer such assistance, through their Writing Workshop program. From their website:

These are just a few quick but especially important tips to help you get started. See our more expansive Tips & Troubleshooting section for suggestions that are a little more complex.

  • Save early , save often, and create backup versions as you go along. Consider setting up Microsoft OneDrive (you have free access with your umich login credentials). With this, you can turn on "Autosave" in Word to automatically save your document at regular intervals.

thesis template for word

  • Use our template (available above), it will save you lots of time. Nearly all of the difficult formatting stuff we discuss in this Guide is already built into the template. Consider doing all of your writing in it -- even if you're working in separate files for each chapter, you can use a copy of the template for each one of those chapters.
  • Set the margins including the two-inch margin for chapters titles  ( Setting Margins ) .
  • Define styles for Headings 1-3, Normal, Captions, and Quotes – these are most common; you may need others ( Working with Styles ).
  • If headings need to be numbered (for example, 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, etc.), define a multi-level list ( Automatic Numbering ).
  • If captions need to include the chapter number, define a multi-level list ( Automatic Numbering ).
  • Share your file(s) with your advisors using Track Changes ( Commenting and Reviewing ) .
  • If you use EndNote to manage your citations and create your bibliography, use only one EndNote library for your entire dissertation (see our EndNote Basics guide).
  • Did we mention that you really ought to try out our template (available above)?

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  • Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Published on 8 June 2022 by Tegan George .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process . It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation, such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)

In the final product, you can also provide a chapter outline for your readers. This is a short paragraph at the end of your introduction to inform readers about the organisational structure of your thesis or dissertation . This chapter outline is also known as a reading guide or summary outline.

Table of contents

How to outline your thesis or dissertation, dissertation and thesis outline templates, chapter outline example, sample sentences for your chapter outline, sample verbs for variation in your chapter outline, frequently asked questions about outlines.

While there are some inter-institutional differences, many outlines proceed in a fairly similar fashion.

  • Working Title
  • ‘Elevator pitch’ of your work (often written last).
  • Introduce your area of study, sharing details about your research question, problem statement , and hypotheses . Situate your research within an existing paradigm or conceptual or theoretical framework .
  • Subdivide as you see fit into main topics and sub-topics.
  • Describe your research methods (e.g., your scope, population , and data collection ).
  • Present your research findings and share about your data analysis methods.
  • Answer the research question in a concise way.
  • Interpret your findings, discuss potential limitations of your own research and speculate about future implications or related opportunities.

To help you get started, we’ve created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format. It’s easy adapt it to your own requirements.

 Download Word template    Download Google Docs template

Chapter outline example British English

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing the same words or sentence constructions, which can make your work monotonous and repetitive for your readers. Consider utilising some of the alternative constructions presented below.

Example 1: Passive construction

The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise.

Example 2: IS-AV construction

You can also present your information using the ‘IS-AV’ (inanimate subject with an active verb) construction.

A chapter is an inanimate object, so it is not capable of taking an action itself (e.g., presenting or discussing). However, the meaning of the sentence is still easily understandable, so the IS-AV construction can be a good way to add variety to your text.

Example 3: The I construction

Another option is to use the ‘I’ construction, which is often recommended by style manuals (e.g., APA Style and Chicago style ). However, depending on your field of study, this construction is not always considered professional or academic. Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure.

Example 4: Mix-and-match

To truly make the most of these options, consider mixing and matching the passive voice , IS-AV construction , and ‘I’ construction .This can help the flow of your argument and improve the readability of your text.

As you draft the chapter outline, you may also find yourself frequently repeating the same words, such as ‘discuss’, ‘present’, ‘prove’, or ‘show’. Consider branching out to add richness and nuance to your writing. Here are some examples of synonyms you can use.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.

The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .

Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract   in the table of contents.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

George, T. (2022, June 08). Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved 12 March 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/outline-thesis-dissertation/

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What’s Included: Introduction Template

This template covers all the core components required in the introduction chapter/section of a typical dissertation or thesis, including:

  • The opening section
  • Background of the research topic
  • Statement of the problem
  • Rationale (including the research aims, objectives, and questions)
  • Scope of the study
  • Significance of the study
  • Structure of the document

The purpose of each section is clearly explained, followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover. We’ve also included practical examples to help you understand exactly what’s required, along with links to additional free resources (articles, videos, etc.) to help you along your research journey.

The cleanly formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX.

PS – if you’d like a high-level template for the entire thesis, you can we’ve got that too .

Thesis Introduction FAQS

What types of dissertations/theses can this template be used for.

The template follows the standard format for academic research projects, which means it will be suitable for the vast majority of dissertations and theses (especially those within the sciences), whether they are qualitative or quantitative in terms of design.

Keep in mind that the exact requirements for the introduction chapter/section will vary between universities and degree programs. These are typically minor, but it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalize your structure.

Is this template for an undergrad, Master or PhD-level thesis?

This template can be used for a dissertation, thesis or research project at any level of study. Doctoral-level projects typically require the introduction chapter to be more extensive/comprehensive, but the structure will typically remain the same.

Can I share this template with my friends/colleagues?

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template in its original format (no editing allowed). If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, we kindly request that you reference this page as your source.

What format is the template (DOC, PDF, PPT, etc.)?

The dissertation introduction chapter template is provided as a Google Doc. You can download it in MS Word format or make a copy to your Google Drive. You’re also welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

What is the core purpose of this chapter?

The introduction chapter of a dissertation or thesis serves to introduce the research topic, clearly state the research problem, and outline the main research questions. It justifies the significance of the study, delineates its scope, and provides a roadmap of the dissertation’s structure.

In a nutshell, the introduction chapter sets the academic tone and context, laying the foundation for the subsequent analysis and discussion.

How long should the introduction chapter be?

This depends on the level of study (undergrad, Master or Doctoral), as well as your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. As a general ballpark, introduction chapters for Masters-level projects are usually 1,500 – 2,000 words in length, while Doctoral-level projects can reach multiples of this.

How specific should the research objectives be in the introduction chapter?

In this chapter, your research objectives should be specific enough to clearly define the scope and direction of your study, but broad enough to encompass its overall aims.

Make sure that each objective can be realistically accomplished within the scope of your study and that each objective is directly related to and supports your research question(s).

As a rule of thumb, you should leave in-depth explanations for later chapters; the introduction should just provide a concise overview.

Can I mention the research results in the introduction?

How do i link the introduction to the literature review.

To transition smoothly from the introduction chapter to the literature review chapter in a thesis, it’s a good idea to:

  • Conclude the introduction by summarising the main points, such as the research problem, objectives, and significance of your study.
  • Explicitly state that the following chapter (literature review) will explore existing research and theoretical frameworks related to your topic.
  • Emphasise how the literature review will address gaps or issues identified in the introduction, setting the stage for your research question or hypothesis.
  • Use a sentence that acts as a bridge between the two chapters. For example, “To further understand this issue, the next chapter will critically examine the existing literature on [your topic].”

This approach will help form a logical flow and prepare the reader for the depth and context provided in the literature review.

Do you have templates for the other chapters?

Yes, we do. We are constantly developing our collection of free resources to help students complete their dissertations and theses. You can view all of our template resources here .

Can Grad Coach help me with my dissertation/thesis?

Yes, you’re welcome to get in touch with us to discuss our private coaching services .

Free Webinar: Literature Review 101

Graduate Student Success Center

Thesis and dissertation template.

The Graduate College offers a thesis/dissertation template that contains all required content and formatting. You can either write your document from within the template or apply the template’s formatting to your previously created work.

Need help working in the template? Schedule an appointment today.

Before You Begin

The first time you download the template, save the template file to your computer before you begin work on your document. This is important if you are composing your thesis/dissertation within the template or if you are copying and pasting your content into the template. You may need the original template file in the future.

Please note: We offer the Google Doc template for initial drafts of your thesis/dissertation to share easily with your committee chair. We do not accept Google Documents as the final document of your thesis/dissertation. Google Docs does not have the functionality we require for our final theses/dissertations. Please use the Google Doc template while keeping in mind that you will need to convert your document to Microsoft Word later.

Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (Word Doc) Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (LATEX) Download Thesis and Dissertation Template (Google Doc)

Word Template Last Updated: February 2021

Word Document Template Information

Download instructions.

  • Download the Boise State Template from the orange callout ribbon above.
  • Show the downloaded file in the Downloads folder.
  • Right click and select Open
  • Enable Content
  • Click File > Save As and name the file, for instance, Boise_State_Template.dotm (note the extension is “.dotm”) and  Save as type:  Word Macro-Enabled Template (*.dotm) .  It is recommended locating this file on your desktop – it may come in handy if you need to reattach the template to your document in the future (see below).
  • Close this file.

Working Within the Template

To work within the template, styles are applied throughout the document. These styles can be found by clicking the arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Styles section in the Home tab. To apply a style, simply highlight the text that you wish to format and click the appropriate name from the styles list.

When entering your own work into the template, be sure to apply the following styles to the appropriate parts of your document. Failure to do so will mean that your Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables will be incorrect.

  • Format a Heading 1 in all caps, and centered
  • Format a Heading 2 in title-caps, bold, and centered
  • Format a Heading 3 in title-caps, underlined, and aligned left
  • Format a Heading 4 in title-caps, underlined, and indented once
  • Format a Heading 5 in title-caps, underlined and indented twice
  • Figure Captions are bolded and centered in the template. They may also be justified.
  • Table Captions are bolded and aligned left in the template. They may also be justified.
  • Appendix Heading 2
  • Appendix Heading 3

Formatting Landscape Pages

When setting pages of your document to landscape orientation to accommodate large figures or tables, you must reformat their page numbers so that they will still be visible after binding.

  • Open the landscape page’s header by double-clicking within the header.
  • Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. Repeat this step for the page following the landscape page.
  • Delete the landscape page’s current page number.
  • Click Insert → Page Number (in the Header & Footer section)→Page Margins.
  • Select Landscape Page Numbers.

Note: If your other pages’ pagination disappears after inserting landscape page numbers, you likely did not turn off Link to Previous. Undo your changes to the page numbers and restart the instructions.

Replacing Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables

After your writing and editing is complete, you will need to replace the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables.

  • Right click the existing TOC, LOF, or LOT.
  • Click Update Field.
  • Select Update entire table and click Ok.

Note: All other lists (such as a List of Abbreviations or List of Graphs) are not updated automatically. Instead, the template includes examples of manually-created lists that can be altered to fit your needs.

Attaching the Template to a Preexisting Document. If your document is at or near completion, it may be easier for you to attach the template to your existing file than to paste your document into a new template.

Formatting Styles and Applying Styles

Before attaching the Thesis/Dissertation template to your document, you must first apply the following styles to the appropriate sections of your work. It does not matter how these styles look – when you first apply them they will not look right – only that the names of the styles match those in the following list exactly. After you have applied all the styles and attach the template the document will be formatted correctly.

These styles can be found by clicking the arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Styles section in the Home tab. Leave this menu open while you work through the document. To apply a style, simply highlight the text that you wish to format and click the appropriate name from the styles list.

Attaching Styles

  • Access the Styles menu by clicking the lower-right corner of the Styles box on the Home tab in Windows. Keep this menu open on the side of your screen and apply the styles to your document as you work.
  • Highlight the text you wish to format (it is often only necessary to “click in” the section you wish to format)
  • Click the appropriate style from the Styles menu

Note: If the style you are looking for is not included in the list you may need to create the style (see next).

Creating Styles

Some required styles will not be listed in the premade styles, thus you will need to create them yourself.

  • Highlight the text that you wish to format
  • Right click the text and select Styles → Save Selection as a New Quick Style.
  • Enter the appropriate style name and click OK.

Note: Remember, it does not matter how these styles look at this time, only that the style names match the names listed in the table above.

Attaching the Template

After applying styles to your document, you can attach the template, which will fix most of your document’s formatting issues.

  • Download the Boise State Thesis and Dissertation Template and save it to your computer. See instructions above under “Before you Begin.”
  • Open the Word document containing your thesis/dissertation, click file, click options, click add-ins, and select templates from the Manage drop down menu at the bottom of the page. Click go.
  • In the Document Template section, click Attach.
  • Navigate to the folder in which you saved the template and select it.
  • Important: Check the box labeled “Automatically update document styles.”

Adjusting Margins

  • Click Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  • In the Home ribbon, click layout, click margins and select the mirror margin option that contains inside margin 1.5″, top and bottom margins 1.”

Setting Page Numbers

Be careful that you set section breaks between front matter and body text and also between portrait and landscape-oriented pages (see Manually Formatting Your Document for instructions on setting page breaks). Each has a different way of formatting their pagination.

Front Matter

  •  Set a continuous section break immediately before the Heading 1 on the first page that follows your approval pages.
  • Set a continuous section break immediately before the title of Chapter 1.
  • Open the footer on the first page following your approval page by clicking the Footer button in the Header & Footer section of the Insert tab and selecting Edit Footer.
  • Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. This step is only necessary for the first numbered page in the front matter.
  • Insert page numbers. Front matter page numbers should be in lowercase Roman numerals and should be centered at the bottom of each page.
  • Double-click inside the footer of the first page in Chapter 1.
  • Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab. This step is only necessary for the first page in the body text.
  • Delete the page numbers from the footer.
  • Open the header on the same page by double-clicking inside the header.
  • Deselect Link to Previous, located in the Navigation section of the Design tab.
  • Insert alpha-numeric page numbers, starting with 1, into the upper right-hand corner of the pages.

Landscape Pages

  • Repeat step 3 on the page following the landscape page.
  • Click Insert → Page Number (in the Header & Footer section) → Page Margins.

Inserting Table of Contents and Lists of Figures or Tables

Finally, after your document’s content is complete, you will need to create the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables.

  • In the Home ribbon, select References , then select Table of Contents and choose the first option.
  • To build your list of tables or figures do the following: on the Home ribbon, select references, select Insert List of Table of Figures, on the options drop down select either table captions or figure captions depending on which you are creating. You will then have to manually insert the heading.

Note: The template does not include macros for automatically generating other lists such as a List of Abbreviations or List of Graphs. However, it does include example lists that can be copied, pasted, and altered to meet your needs.

Helpful Tips

  • Access the Styles menu by clicking the lower-right corner of the styles box on the Home tab in Windows. Keep this menu open on the side of your screen, or on a second screen, and apply the styles to your document as you work. To make the document styles behave, use the styles in the template. For example, for all Heading 1s, use the Heading 1 style, which will automatically insert a break and a 2 inch margin, etc. As long as the styles are used, the document should behave appropriately, and the table of contents will include the headings once updated. To modify the Table of Contents, click once to highlight the table in gray, right-click and select “Update Entire Field.”
  • Show formatting marks as you work in your document.  Click on the File tab, then Options, Display, and click on the box “Show all formatting marks” and OK.

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Research Guides

Submit and publish your thesis.

  • The Graduate Thesis: What is it?
  • Thesis Defences
  • Deadlines and Fees

Formatting in MS Word

  • Formatting in LaTeX
  • Making Thesis Accessible
  • Thesis Embargo
  • Review and Release
  • Your Rights as an Author
  • Re-using Third Party Materials
  • Creative Commons Licenses for Theses
  • Turning Thesis into an Article
  • Turning Thesis into a Book
  • Other Venues of Publication

Thesis style template for MS Word is available on the School of Graduate Studies website . You are not required to use the template but using it will make some of the formatting requirements easier to meet.

►► Thesis template for  Microsoft Word​  (.docx)

For formatting instructions and requirements see the Formatting section of the SGS website .

MS Word formatting tips

Section breaks and page numbers.

One of the most common formatting items that causes difficulty is the page numbering, since the front section and the rest of the thesis use different characters and placement. The way to properly format these sections is to add Section Breaks in between the front matter and the Introduction or Chapter One and between each of the following chapters, including the Bibliography and Appendices sections.

Adding Section Breaks and Page Numbers in Word 2016

You will need to insert “Section Break – next page” in between all chapters and between the front matter and the first chapter as well as between the last chapter and the appendices and the references.

  • Click on the place where the break should be inserted and then go to the Layout tab.
  • Click on the arrow beside Breaks and choose Section Break Next Page from the list. This allows you to format sections individually of each other.
  • Go to the first chapter after the front matter, click in the header and footer area and in the Header & Footer tools, ensure that “Different First Page” is selected and then ensure that the “Link to Previous” option is not selected. This way, when you format the front matter with Roman numerals in the bottom centre, it won’t carry the formatting into the next section.
  • Use the Insert Page Numbers and Format Page numbers to insert the page numbers in the appropriate place with the appropriate formatting.

Using Document Styles

The template has Styles that can be used to format your entire thesis. To use a style, select the text to apply the style to, then choose the appropriate style from the Styles window.

If you don’t want to use the template (for example, if you don’t want to use the numbered headings, you can create your own styles. To do this, format the heading (or other element) the way you want, then click New Style in the style window. Insert a unique name for the style and click OK . You can then use that style for those elements going forward.

Table of Contents (TOC)

To automatically generate a TOC, apply the appropriate Styles to all headings. The template has styles created for this purpose. If you are not using the template, you can create your own heading styles to apply.

Auto-generate the TOC in Word 2016 on both Mac and Windows

  • Go to the References tab, choose Table of Contents and select Custom Table of Contents . Click OK .

       Using your own styles

  • If you have created your own styles with custom names, go to the References tab, choose Table of Contents and select Custom Table of Contents , then click Options .
  • Put numbers beside the styles you created that correspond with the level of heading they represent. Click OK , then OK again.

Manual formatting of TOC

To add right-aligned tabs with leaders:

  • From the Home tab, open the Paragraph settings and click on the Tabs button.
  • Enter the tab stop position, choose Right Tab and for Leader , choose the … option. Click Set (or the + sign on Mac), then click OK .
  • Type the TOC entry, press tab, then insert the page number.

Miscellaneous tips

  • Use page breaks instead of pressing Enter or Return
  • Use paragraph first-line indent or tab consistently throughout doc (best to use Styles)
  • Use consistent spacing around headers
  • Use Shift + Return/Enter to keep headings that run over 2 lines in the same paragraph
  • Ensure there are no Widow/Orphan headings or paragraphs
  • When inserting longer quotes, use margins to indent rather than tabbing in and inserting a hard return after each line
  • Always use tabs rather than spaces. Set tab stops so you aren’t using multiple tabs

Formatting issues and examples

When creating your own table of contents , be sure to format the space between the text and the numbers properly. Do not use multiple tabs or periods to separate them. This will result in a jagged right margin. You want to set a right-aligned tab with leaders in order to have the numbers properly aligned to the right margin. The auto-generate TOC feature does this automatically.

Table of contents incorrect and correct formatting examples. Discussion above.

When starting content on a new page, do not use the return key until you get to the next page. If you add content to that section later on, it will move everything down the page, even on the following page. Instead, use the Insert Page Break feature.

Page break formatting incorrect and correct example. Discussion above.

When formatting indented quotes, do not use tabs to indent the lines , or put a return at the end of each line. The test in the paragraph won’t flow properly if you need to add more text or change the margins. Instead use the margin controls in the Ruler to indent the paragraph on each side.

Indented quotes incorrect and correct formatting examples. Discussion above.

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  • Last Updated: Sep 15, 2023 3:23 PM
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  • Writing a Thesis Using MS Word
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MS Word Template

The template above provides a basic thesis layout, which meets the IIT thesis manual requirements. It consists of the following parts:

  • Acknowledgment
  • Authorship Statement
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Symbols
  • Bibliography plus
  • 5 Chapters each having 3 sections. (You may delete chapter and sections or add extra ones in case your thesis has a different number of chapters and sections; Chapter names are generic and you should use what is appropriate for your research).

Style Elements Template

This document  has includes several examples of figures, tables, and their captions for Microsoft Word. You can cut-and-paste one- or two-line figure titles and table titles and insert columns and rows as needed to formatted tables.

This template only provides a basic layout of what is required. Due to technical limitations, all of the following should be done manually (we hope to update this in the future):

  • Page numbers in the Table of Contents
  • Figure and Table label numbers and page numbers for the List of Figures or List of Tables
  • Provide bibliography parts and the relevant citations (the template is compatible with reference management software)
  • Revise the above items if any related changes are made (e.g. a figure/table/page is added or deleted)

The template below is an obsolete version, provided for reference purposes. We do not recommend using this template for your thesis. 

Download iitthesis2.dot

Learn more...

Mardigian Library Text Logo

  • Mardigian Library
  • Subject Guides

Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation with Microsoft Word

  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication, Acknowledgements, & Preface
  • Headings and Subheadings
  • Citations and Bibliography
  • Page Numbers
  • Tables and Figures
  • Rotated (Landscape) Pages
  • Lists of Tables and Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Some Things to Watch For
  • PDF with Embedded Fonts

Table of contents

If you created your headings and subheadings with styles, and numbered your pages as demonstrated in the Page Numbers tutorial, Microsoft Word can be used to automatically generate a table of contents. Automatic generation of the table of contents has 2 advantages:

  • You don't have to manually type the table of contents. Since the entries in the Table of Content must match exactly the headings, subheadings, and page numbers in the thesis, manually creating a table of contents can lead to unintended errors.
  • You don't have to go back and edit the table of contents if something moves from one page to another. A couple of clicks and Word will automatically update the table of contents for you.

Below is a tutorial demonstrating how to create the table of contents.

Note: You should create the table of contents last to avoid needing to update the table of contents too often.

  • << Previous: Front Matter Lists
  • Next: Lists of Tables and Figures >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 22, 2024 12:53 PM
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The following Microsoft Word templates are available for download and comply with all formatting requirements:

  • Introduction for dissertation  (.docx)
  • Introduction for thesis  (.docx)
  • Chapters and text body for papers option  (.doc)
  • Chapters and text body for non-papers option  (.doc)
  • LaTeX templates  (.zip)

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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See an example

thesis template for word

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
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  • Sunk cost fallacy

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, August 15). How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 12, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/

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Information Technology

Writing Your Thesis in Word

Follow these instructions and tips for successfully writing your thesis in the Word thesis template . Don't have the thesis template? Download it from our website .

CAUTION: DO NOT USE THE WORD THESIS TEMPLATE IN ANY DOCUMENT OTHER THAN WORD. (OPENOFFICE, NEOOFFICE, PAGES, GOOGLE DOCS, ETC). Make sure that you are using Word on the computer and NOT Word on a browser! Your formatting will break if you do so!!

Some of the instructions will vary depending on the version of Word you use. These instructions are for the current version, Word 2019. We've also documented exact steps for Word 2016  on Mac and Word 2016/2013  on Windows.

  • Applying Styles
  • Modifying Styles

Section Breaks

  • Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables

Deleting Optional Sections

  • Formatting Thesis to be Double-Sided (with mirror margins)
  • Copying and Pasting into Word from Another Document
  • Formatting Thesis to be Single-Sided

Rotating Pages

Inserting a really long sideways excel table into word.

  • Accidentally delete the Table of Contents, List of Tables, or List of Figures?

Writing Thesis with Multiple Languages

"Styles" are used in Word to easily apply a set of formatting attributes--such as font, font size, indentation, and spacing--consistently throughout a document.  When you apply a style to a paragraph, it is formatted with the attributes defined in the style.  The Word thesis template has many pre-defined styles for things like chapter titles, sub titles, main body text, quotes, figures, etc.  See the table below to learn what styles to use and where.

Pre-defined styles in the Word thesis template

Note: Word has many default styles that can't be deleted.  To avoid confusion from thesis-specific styles and Word's default ones, look for a comma after the name of thesis styles (e.g., Heading1,h1).

How to apply styles

See specific instructions for your version of Word:

  • Word 2016 & newer (Mac)
  • Word 2013 & newer (Windows)

How to modify styles

If you don't like the way a style is defined, you can easily modify it!

  • Go to the Format menu and choose Styles .
  • Select the style you want to modify from the lefthand side.
  • Click the Modify button.
  • Change the parameters you want. More options are available from the Format drop-down menu.
  • Click OK when you're done.

Tip: Want to change the font type in the entire thesis? Modify the " Normal " style.

How to copy styles from the template to another document

If your document suddenly loses styles from the template, you can readd them without worry!

  • Go to the Styles ribbon and select the bottom-right pop-out button for the Styles Pane to appear.
  • Select the Manage Styles  icon (may appear as an "A" with a checkmark button).
  • Click the Import / Export button located on the bottom-left.
  • Click Open File (on the right-side) and select the thesis template. Select missing styles.
  • Click Copy to copy the styles over to your current document.

The thesis template is designed for double-sided printing, so you need to insert an Odd Section Break at the end of each chapter.  This will ensure the next chapter falls on the right side (or odd page) of the document.  Odd section breaks should also occur at the end of each section in the front matter.

How to insert an Odd section break (on Mac)

  • Turn on hidden components so you can see when a section break is inserted (On the Home menu, click the ¶ button.)
  • Place your cursor at the end of the chapter.
  • Go to the Layout menu > Breaks > Odd Page

Section Break

Note: Have you converted the thesis template to single-sided? If so, you need to use Next page breaks instead of Odd.  

See specific instructions for your version of Word: 2016 & newer  (Mac); 2013 & newer  (Win)

How to delete section breaks

Multiple consecutive section breaks will create extra blank pages in your thesis. Delete them this way:

  • Use the show/hide button (¶) to reveal hidden components. 
  • Place your cursor just to the left of the section break.
  • Hold down the Shift key and the right arrow key to select it.
  • Press the Delete key.

Note: If that doesn't work, go to the View menu > Outline. Click on the section break to highlight it, and delete it.

Tips and Quick Fixes:

  • Use only one section break at a time.  Multiple consecutive breaks create erroneous blank pages. (Learn how to delete sections breaks above )
  • In some cases it may be necessary to force something to the next page (eg, an image). Use a page break for this (Insert menu > Break > Page Break)
  • Click the Show/Hide (¶) button to see what section breaks you already have.
  • Format menu > Document > Layout tab 
  • Section start: Odd page 
  • Check “Different odd and even” and “Different first page” 
  • Apply to WHOLE document 
  • See instructions for your version of Word: Word 2016 & newer  (Mac); 2013 & newer  (Win)

Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables

The Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables will automatically populate based on the styles you apply to certain text like chapter titles, figure titles, and table titles. Periodically, you will need to update the Table of Contents and other tables so it will populate this information.

How to Update the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables

  • Right-click (or control+click) on the gray shaded part of the Table of Contents (or List of Figures/Tables).
  • Choose Update Field .

Update entire ToC

  • Do NOT edit the Table of Contents manually!
  • Check that you applied the right style to the chapter title, figure title, or table title in the body of your thesis.
  • Have a long chapter title but need it to appear as a single entry in the TOC?  Press shift+return to force text to next line in the chapter title without creating a new paragraph. 

How to Add Another Table of Contents

If you want to add a new table of contents, follow these steps, which use a table of schemes as an example.

  • Select "New Style" in the styles pane
  • Basing the new style on "Figure Title" or "Figure Caption"
  • Rename the new style to something else (for instance, "Scheme Title" and "Scheme Caption")
  •  Apply these new styles to your scheme titles and captions
  • 2016 and newer (Mac)
  • 2013 and newer (Windows)
  • Select " No " if you are prompted "Do you want to replace the table of contents?". This prevents your first Table of Contents from being replaced with your table of schemes. 

There are specific pagination rules you must follow, all of which are outlined in the Senior Handbook. Some important ones to keep in mind:

  • Page 1 is the first page of the first chapter of your thesis (usually the Introduction).
  • The page number is hidden--not printed--on the first page of each chapter (including Introduction), even though those pages DO count toward the pagination.
  • Blank pages should not have a printed page number (but do count toward the pagination).

How to hide a page number on the first page of a chapter

  • Make sure the right kind of section break is inserted at the end of the previous chapter (e.g, Odd section for double-sided thesis)
  • Format menu > Document > Layout > Check ‘Different First Page’
  • Delete any page number that appears on the first page.

How to fix pagination on your own 

  • Page Layout View > double-click on the page number. Or from 'Insert', choose 'Page Numbers'.
  • If you are in your first chapter, normally your Introduction, click on 'Format..' and under 'Page Numbering' make sure that 'Start at:' is chosen, and manually enter 1. Then, click 'OK' and ensure that  'Show number on first page' is unchecked.
  • When you are not in your first chapter, normally after your Introduction, make sure the 'Show number on first page' is unchecked. Then, click on 'Format..' and under 'Page Numbering' make sure that 'Continue from previous section' is chosen. 
  • When pagination completely breaks, come to the Help Desk!

Inserting images is more than a simple copy and paste. Follow these guidelines:

  • Keep the image saved to your computer (don't copy and paste from a web page).
  • If you need to modify the image more than just a simple resize, do it in an application like Photoshop (not Word).
  • Follow the exact instructions below for inserting the image into the Word thesis template.

How to insert an image

  • Put the paragraph in the Figure style before inserting the figure
  • In Word: Insert menu > Picture > From File
  • Put the title of the figure in the "Figure Title" style (which will appear in the TOC)
  • If you have a caption, use the "Figure Caption" style.

How to leave space for a large figure

Sometimes you may need to insert a figure that takes up an entire page. To do this without causing any pagination errors, follow these instructions:

  • Insert the cursor where you want to add the figure page.
  • In the menu bar, go to Insert > Break > Page break.
  • Repeat step 2.
  • You should now have a blank page. When you print your thesis, remove this page and add the figure page you want.

There are a number of ways to insert tables into your thesis.

  • Consider creating the table within Word. Another option is to build it in Excel.
  • From Excel, you may need to it as an image or PDF and then insert it into Word.
  • Have a really long table that needs to be oriented in landscape mode? Don't rotate the page! See our guidelines below .
  • Though there is not particular style to use for the table itself, use the "Table Title,tt" and "Table Caption,tc" styles.

In order to insert a footnote in your thesis, follow these instructions: 

  • Insert the cursor where you want to add your footnote reference
  • Either, click on the "References" tab, and select "Insert Footnote" 
  • Or, click on "Insert" in the top menu bar (not the insert tab) and select "Footnote...", select footnote, and click insert again. 
  • You should now have a reference number where you placed your cursor and a footnote at the end of the page.

Footnote text should be in the "Footnote Text" style. The number within the footnote, as well as the in-paragraph reference number, should be in the "Footnote Reference" style. Footnotes should automatically be in the appropriate styles, but if you encounter any problems with your footnotes, checking the style is a good first step.

If your footnote numbering gets out of order, click on "insert" in the top menu bar, select "Footnote...", select "Convert...", and then "Convert all footnotes to endnotes" and select OK. Don't hit "Insert", instead hit "Convert..." again, and this time select "Convert all endnotes to footnotes" and select OK. Once that is done, select "close". 

Some of the sections are optional, such Acknowledgments and Preface. The trick is to delete the text and the corresponding section break or you'll end up with multiple blank pages.

  • Delete the text you don't need.
  • Delete the section break at the end of the chapter ( see instructions above ).

Double sided printing (with mirror margins)

Thesis needs to be formatted with mirror margins, here's how to do it (and see screenshots included).

  • Go to the Format menu (on top bar) > Document > Margins tab.
  • In the multiple pages drop-down box, select "Mirror Margins".
  • Make sure the margins above are 1" except "Inside" should be 1.5".
  • At the bottom, "Apply To": Whole Document.
  • "Section start": Odd Page
  • Check the boxes for "Different odd and even" and "Different first page" options.
  • Again at the bottom, "Apply To": Whole Document.
  • Click OK to save the settings when done.

margins

Copying and Pasting from Another Document

When writing a thesis in another sort of document (e.g. Google Docs, LibreOffice, etc), you'll have to eventually transfer this into the Reed-provided templates. However, the formatting on your documents might interfere with the Word template 

Here is how to copy and paste from Google Docs:  

Additional Considerations

Formatting the thesis to be single-sided (note: this is not the same as printing single-sided).

  • Uncheck Mirror Margins (Format menu > Document. Margins tab > uncheck 'Mirror magins'. Apply to: WHOLE document)
  • Format menu > Document. Layout tab > Section start: Even Page. Uncheck ‘Different Odd and Even’. Apply to: WHOLE document
  • Set page number header alignment: In the first section, like Intro, Insert > Page Number > set alignment

Though rotating a page in Word may seem like the right thing to do, DON'T DO IT.  Instead, leave these pages in a separate document; then insert them by hand after printing.  It's OK to display no page numbers on these pages, but they still must be counted in the pagination.  Insert a one blank page (using Insert > Break > Page Break) for each manually inserted page.

Here are four different methods for inserting a properly formatted, good quality version of a long excel table!

Adobe Illustrator :

  • Print the Excel table to PDF (File > Print > Save As PDF) Note: Make sure your table uses a standard font, like Times
  • Open the PDF in Adobe Illustrator (installed on the IRC computers)
  • Select all and copy (Select > All and Edit > Copy)
  • Create a new document in Illustrator (File > New)
  • Paste in the copied document and rotate (Edit > Paste and Object > Transform > Rotate)
  • File > Save as EPS
  • Insert the EPS into Word

Inkscape ( free download here! ):

Screen-Shot-2019-05-01-at-1.38.08-PM.png

  • Open Inkscape, then open the PDF. (File > Open... > Desktop > Thesis_Table.pdf) Select which page you would like to flip sideways and click Ok . Note: You can only do this one page at a time :(

hfhfhfhfhfhfhfhfhfhsshshshshshagagagagaga.png

  • Open Word and drag the SVG from our desktop onto the page. From there you can crop it, modify size and orientation. When you are satisfied, copy and paste it into your thesis.

Google Drawings:

  • Copy and paste the table into Google Drawings (from Word is best); resize in Google Drawings as needed
  • Export as an SVG (File >> Download >> Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg))
  • Insert as an image into Word, and now you can rotate the table!

If the quality of the image doesn't need to be extremely detailed, you can try this fourth method with Word :

  • Put the table in a separate word doc, using page setup to make it landscape Layout >> Orientation >> Landscape

Screenshot-2022-04-21-184051.png

  • Open in Preview (Mac)
  • Rotate pages
  • Export each page as a 150 dpi PNG
  • Insert into the thesis Word document as pictures

Whoopsie! Accidentally delete the Table of Contents, List of Tables, or List of Figures?

Here's how to add them back:

Table of Contents

  • Insert > Index and Tables
  • Select the Table of Contents tab
  • Click Options
  • Make sure 'Heading 1, h1' has a TOC level of '1'
  • Repeat for Heading 2-3, numbering their TOC level respectively.

List of Tables

  • Select the Table of Figures tab
  • Under the Caption label box, select Table
  • Check 'Style' and pick Table Title from the drop-down box

List of Figures

  • Under the Caption label box, select Figure
  • Check 'Style' and pick 'Figure Title' from the drop-down box
  • Before printing, update the Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables
  • Print to PDF (on Mac File menu > Print > Save as PDF)
  • Preview : View > Two Pages.
  • Adobe Reader : View > Page Display. Check "Two-up Continuous" and "Show Cover Page During Two-Up"

How to print a page range

  • Save as PDF first, then print the range of pages.

For seniors writing their theses using multiple languages, the line spacing may be inconsistent, especially if the body is copied and pasted from another document into the template. This can be fixed by selecting the paragraph(s) and clicking "body, b" in the Styles Pane, or by changing the font of the non-Latin characters to the ones listed below. For some languages that use non-Latin characters (e.g. Greek, Russian), simply switching the language on your computer's keyboard input (not Word) between English and the other language will generally preserve the correct line spacing.

Fonts that shouldn't mess up line spacing:

  • Chinese: PMingLiu, MingLiu, KaiTi, Kai (simplified only), BiauKai (traditional only)
  • Korean: Batang, Batangche

Library Subject Guides

4. writing up your research: thesis formatting (ms word).

  • Books on Thesis Writing
  • Thesis Formatting (MS Word)
  • Referencing

Haere mai, tauti mai—welcome! These instructions are designed to be used with recent versions of MS Word. Please note there is no template or specific formatting guidelines for a thesis at UC. Please talk to your supervisor and take a look at theses in the UC Research Repository to see how they are usually formatted.

  • Where to start
  • Show/Hide Formatting
  • Heading Styles
  • Navigation Pane
  • Table of Contents
  • Numbered Headings
  • List of Figures/Tables
  • Page/Section Breaks, Page Numbering & Orientation

Word Thesis Formatting workshops run throughout the year.

Some useful documents.

  • Word Formatting Instructions PDF This PDF contains the same instructions that are available on this page.
  • Sample Thesis Document with No Formatting This sample thesis file can be used to practise formatting. It is not a template for how to format a thesis. UC does not provide any guidelines on formatting a thesis.
  • APA 7th Edition Formatting Example This document is formatted according to APA 7th Edition formatting guidelines. It could be used as a template or as an example to follow. It contains some additional instructions for certain APA formatting in Word.

For more APA formatting advice see the APA Style Blog's excellent Style and Grammar Guidelines .

Finding Examples

Look at examples and ask your supervisor.

The best guide on how to format your thesis is a combination of:

  • Looking at previous theses in your discipline. Search the UC Research Repository  for your subject or department, and browse by issue date to get the most recent.
  • Asking your supervisor for recommendations on specific formatting and details. 

General Recommendations

The following is an example only of preliminaries to the thesis that could be included.

  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Abbreviations
  • Toggle show Home ->Show/Hide formatting

thesis template for word

Using styles for headings allows you to create an automatic table of contents.

  • Select major headings one at a time and choose Home ->Styles ‘Heading 1’

thesis template for word

  • Select subheadings and apply Home ->Styles ‘heading 2’ and ‘heading 3’
  • Modify a style by right clicking on it and choosing Modify in the styles pane at the top of the screen.

thesis template for word

The Navigation Pain is useful for seeing the outline of your document as well as providing links to quickly go to any section of the document.

  • View->check Navigation Pane

thesis template for word

In order to create an automatic table of contents heading styles must be used.

  • References -> Table of Contents -> Custom Table of Contents (no heading in table)

thesis template for word

  • Right click table of contents to ‘update field’ and choose ‘update entire table’

thesis template for word

  • Home->Multilevel list-> choose style with a number level for each heading level

thesis template for word

  • To change the heading level 1 number to say ‘Chapter 1’ right click on heading level 1 in the styles area Heading 1->Modify .

thesis template for word

  • In the modify screen click Format->Numbering.

thesis template for word

  • Then click ‘ Define New Number Format’.

thesis template for word

  • Then add the word ‘Chapter’ and a space before the ‘1’.

thesis template for word

To create automatic lists of figures or tables you first have to give a caption to all your figures and tables.

  • Right click figure or table and select Insert Caption

thesis template for word

  • Choose Label type eg. Figure, Table etc
  • Choose position above or below
  • Give the table or figure a title in the top box
  • Go to the headings for List of Figures and List of tables and then click References->Insert Table of Figures -> select caption label type (Figure or Table)

thesis template for word

  • On the following menu select caption label type (Figure or Table) and click OK

thesis template for word

This can be used to have different page numbering styles of different sections of your document or to have certain pages landscape to display a large table or graph.

  • Insert a section break (next page) at the end of the title page ( Layout -> Breaks -> Next Page )

thesis template for word

  • Insert a section break at chapter 1 ( Layout -> Breaks -> Next Page )
  • Insert page breaks for all other ‘heading 1’ headings ( Layout -> Breaks -> Page )

Adding Page Numbers

  • Insert -> Page Number and choose a position on the page

thesis template for word

  • Double click on title page header or footer (top or bottom of the page) and tick ‘ Different First Page’ in the Design ribbon that appears

thesis template for word

  • Click in second page header or footer, right click on the page number and select ‘ format page numbers ’

thesis template for word

  • Select Roman numerals eg. ‘i, ii, iii, iv’ etc
  • Select start at ‘i’ (start at ‘1’)

thesis template for word

  • Scroll to chapter 1 and change number style for this section back to ordinary numbers and start at 1

Change Page Orientation

  • Insert a section break before and after the pages you want to change to landscape orientation (See instructions above for inserting a section break)
  • Layout -> Orientation -> Landscape

NOTE:  A section break is usually only needed if page orientation or separate page numbers are required.

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Techniques for managing theses using Microsoft Word

Theses and other long documents (e.g., books, manuals, reports) can present challenges that shorter documents wouldn't. Theses are often more structured, contain several levels of headings, and may have numbered headings. It is more difficult to maintain a standard "look and feel" throughout a long document like a thesis.

Information on using the UWaterloo Thesis template .

Theses often contain components not found in shorter documents such as a Table of Contents, List of Tables/Figures, an Index, cross references, footnotes or endnotes. (The files used in the exercises below are: Nursery_Rhymes (.docx) and fiddle.bmp . The .jpeg version below can be saved and used.)

fiddle

University of Waterloo thesis requirements

uWaterloo thesis regulations for formatting requirements are outlined on the Graduate studies website .

Some details worth mentioning (as of April 2008):

  • The text of the thesis (main body) must either be double spaced or space and a half.
  • Captions related to figures: it is acceptable to have them single spaced on the same page (some disciplines do require the caption to appear on a separate page).

Accessibility Styles Heading styles Modifying styles (including a related exercise) Creating a new style (including a related exercise) Modifying a heading style (including a related exercise) Numbering headings (List style and legal style numbering) (including related exercises) Document templates (including accessing and using the uWaterloo Word Thesis template) Captioning and numbering of tables and figures (including related exercises) Footnotes and endnotes (including related exercise) Endnotes with square brackets ([1],[2],...) Bookmarks (including related exercise) Cross references (including related exercise) Outline view (including related exercise) Creating a Table Of Contents (including related exercise) Generating a list of tables and a list of figures (including related exercises) Page numbering/headers and footers (including related exercises) Inserting landscape pages (including related exercises) Creating your thesis from many small documents (including a related exercise) Enter document properties Hanging indents Inline references and bibliography PDF for electronic submission Electronic thesis submission  

Accessibility

All web pages, including, Word and PDF files on our websites, published as of January 1, 2012, will need to be accessible as per the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) by January 1, 2014 (WCAG 2.0 Level A). This may include theses on UWSPACE as well.

Review the following and follow the steps to ensure your thesis is accessible.

  • Ensure your file has a title ( File/Info, Properties, Title , see 'Enter Document Properties' below)

Styles: Headings

  • Using the Heading 1, 2, 3, etc. styles for your headings as described below.
  • For shorter documents only use the Heading 1 tag once.
  • For long documents, if you use the Heading 1 tag multiple times, ensure the document title is set in File/Info, Properties, Title.
  • Don't make headings too long
  • Do NOT underline headings or any other text (links will be underlined automatically)

Meaningful links

  • e.g. 'University of Waterloo Library Website' links to http://lib.uwaterloo.ca
  • Don't use links such as 'click here'; instead use a meaningful description of what the link is

Images/objects

  • Right click on the image/object
  • Choose Format... (or Format Picture , Format Object , etc)
  • A dialog box will appear. Click on the Alt Text tab. (In Word 2013 for images inserted by Insert>Pictures option, a side panel will appear. Select  Layout & Properties>ALT TEXT .)
  • Under Description or  Alternative text: , type a meaningful description
  • Avoid any 'floating' images/objects.
  • Select the image/object
  • Under the Format tab in the Arrange  section, click the Wrap Text button and select In Line with Text .
  • Put “” in the alt text description (null) OR
  • Mark image as an artifact so that screen readers skip them.
  • Use columns instead of text boxes or floating objects
  • Ensure you use the lists features in Word rather than manually typing your own bullets/dashes/numbers for an ordered or unordered list

Charts/graphs

  • Charts/graphs should have good colour contrast for those who are colour blind.
  • Colour Contrast Analyzer for Windows
  • Contrast Analyzer for Windows and Mac
  • right click on the chart/graph and select  Format Plot Area/Format Data Series .
  • In the side panel that appears, select  Chart Area from the dropdown box.
  • Select  Layout & Properties>ALT TEXT .
  • Under  Description  type a meaningful description of the graph
  • Or use the longdesc attribute
  • Provide the data information used to generate the graph in a table (beside/above/under it)
  • Place your cursor inside the header row.
  • In the Table Tools tab select Layout , in the Data section, click on Repeat Header Rows
  • Do not use nested tables (tables within tables)
  • Do not use tables for layout. If you must, make sure they are linearized.
  • Avoid blank columns and rows if possible (delete rows/columns not needed)
  • Make sure the order is correct when tabbing through a table
  • Right click on the table
  • Choose Table Properties
  • Select the Alt Text section
  • Under Description , type a meaningful description

Text boxes/floating objects

  • Avoid text boxes and floating objects
  • Use columns instead

Video/audio

  • Any videos/audio should include closed captioning and/or descriptive text

Avoid blank lines, extra spaces, empty table cells

  • Use page breaks, tabs, etc. instead

Checking for Accessibility in Word

Once your thesis is complete, or periodically as you write it, it is recommended that you check it for accessibility. Word 2010 has an accessibility checker that checks a variety of things to ensure your document is reasonably accessible.

The rules that Word follows for the Accessibly Checker are found on Microsoft's Accessibility Checker page .

Using Word's Accessibility Checker

  • From the File tab choose Info.
  • In the Prepare for Sharing (Word 2010) or Inspect Document (Word 2013) section, choose  Check for Issues>Check Accessibility .
  • A new pane will open to the right of your document that lists the issues it has found.
  • Take you to the spot in your document where they occur so you can fix them
  • View information on how to fix them under Additional Information at the bottom of the pane

The best way to ensure consistent formatting in a Word document is by consistent use of Word styles. Every paragraph in Word has a “Style” associated with it. A style is a collection of formatting that details the font, font size, font highlighting (bold, italics, etc.), paragraph alignment, paragraph indents, paragraph spacing, and so on. If a style is edited, and any of its attributes changed, the formatting of any paragraph to which that style was assigned will immediately change to reflect the modifications.

The style assigned to the current paragraph is indicated in the Home tab and in the Styles section.

Microsoft Word Styles options

If no style is highlighted in this area, you may need to scroll up or down using the arrows to find the assigned style.

A document can contain many different styles, but most documents will have paragraphs of “Normal” style, which are standard paragraphs, and one to three levels of headings (Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3).

It is important to use styles in all documents to carry out formatting of paragraphs of different types. This is especially true in longer documents where it is more difficult to apply standard formatting manually, and where the formatting requirements may change a number of times throughout the document production time. A unique style should be created for every paragraph type : normal paragraphs, indented paragraphs, etc.

You can create your own styles, or adapt one of the many styles that are pre-defined in Word. You can view the recommended style list from Word by simply scrolling through them using the arrows, but to see a complete list of styles:

  • Click on the button in the bottom right of the Styles section in the Home tab.
  • In the Styles window that appears, click on Options... in the bottom right.

Styles drop down

  • Now in the Styles window you will see many built-in styles you may use. You may modify them as you will see later in this document.

As you will see, there are a very large number of styles available. For practical purposes, you may want to show only Recommended styles.

You will note that clicking on the button in the bottom right of the Styles section in the Home tab, caused a floating Styles window to be displayed. If you want to close this window, simply click its Close button. When the Styles window is visible, you can click on any of the styles and that style will be applied to the selected paragraphs in the document.  

Heading styles

Amongst Word’s predefined styles are nine levels of heading styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9. Although you could make up your own styles to apply to headings in your document, there are several reasons why you should use Word’s built-in heading styles.

  • It becomes trivial to generate a Table of Contents of items tagged with heading styles.
  • Word’s outline view offers a powerful tool for structuring long documents, and it is driven by Word’s heading styles.
  • You can insert cross-references to headings created with Word’s heading styles.

To practice editing styles, we will use the file called Nursery Rhymes.docx.  

Modifying styles

If you do not explicitly assign a style to a paragraph, Word assigns the “Normal” style. Most other styles are based on this Normal style, so modifying the Normal style can have the effect of modifying other styles in the document.

To modify a style, right click on the style in the ribbon or in the Styles window and choose Modify.

For example, to change the Normal style to Arial, 11 point, with three points of white space following each paragraph, do the following.

  • Click on the File tab in the top left and choose Options .Click Advanced on the left and then scroll down on the right to the Display section. Beside Show measurements in units of: , choose Inches from the drop down menu and click OK.
  • Now open the file on your N:\ drive called Nursery Rhymes.docx

Styles 'Normal' option

  • The Modify Style dialog box will appear.
  • Under Formatting ,from the font drop down list, select Arial , and from the size drop down select 11 .

Modify styles option box

  • Select the  Indents and Spacing  tab.

paragraph spacing options box

  • Click OK  twice.

Creating a new style

You may need to create a new style that does not currently exist in Word. For example, you may want a paragraph that is indented half an inch from both the left and right margins, and has three points of white space after and three points before.

  • Click on the button at the bottom right of the Styles section of the Home tab to open the floating Styles window.
  • Click on the New Style button at the bottom of the Styles window. The  Create New Style from Formatting  dialog box will open.
  • In the  Name:  field, enter  Indp .

Create new styly formatting box

  • Click Format  and select Paragraph .
  • Under the Indentations  section, in the Left:  and  Right:  fields enter 0.5 .
  • Under the  Spacing  section, in the  Before:  and  After:  fields enter  3 .

paragraph formatting options box

  • Cli c k  Format  and select  Shortcut key .
  • Press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[I] (all at once - this will be your shortcut key combination).
  • Click Assign  and the  Close .
  • Click  OK .
  • Now go to the end of the Jack and Jill rhyme, press [Enter] to start a new paragraph, and type the second verse of Jack and Jill:
Up Jack got and off did trot, As fast as he could caper, He went to bed to mend his head, With vinegar and brown paper
  • clicking anywhere in the paragraph, and selecting Indp from the Style section of the Home tab or
  • pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[I] .

Modifying a heading style

As mentioned above, Word has nine levels of built-in heading styles, Heading 1 to Heading 9. You will probably use three or four levels in your thesis,  and likely you will want to change the format and appearance of them.

Steps to modify the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles are given below. Other heading styles can be modified in the same way .

  • Suppose we want Heading 1 styles to be in Times New Roman font (it is acceptable to have the body of a document in one font, usually a serif font, and the document headings in a different font, usually sans serif), 16 point , bold , and  centered . To do this, right click on the Heading 1 style in the Styles section of the Home tab and choose Modify . The Modify Style dialog box will appear.

Modify style options box

  • Now click the Format button, and choose Paragraph .

Alignment drop down

  • Widow/Orphan control: Prevents Word from printing the last line of a paragraph by itself at the top of a page (widow) or the first line of a paragraph by itself at the bottom of a page (orphan)
  • Keep with next: Prevents a page break between the selected paragraph and the following paragraph.

Generally speaking, all paragraphs should have Widow/Orphan control set. Also, all headings should have Keep with next set; otherwise a heading might appear all by itself at the bottom of a page, and that is not a desirable situation. Notice some other settings you can make on this dialog box. Keep lines together should be used if you have a paragraph that you want to prevent from being broken across two pages. The other option, Page break before, could be used perhaps for a Heading 1, if you always wanted Heading 1 to begin on a new page (this can be confusing sometimes, though, if you aren't aware of this setting and are trying to remove the page break).

  • (Note in this window, that a Heading 1 style will be followed automatically by a Normal style. That’s all right, unless we knew we had a document structure where a Heading 1 was always followed immediately by a Heading 2. In that case, we would choose Heading 2 as the default style to follow a Heading 1. We don’t think that is the case here, so we will leave it at Normal.)
  • Let's create a shortcut key for each heading style to make them easier to apply while typing. We'll use 1 for a Heading 1, 2 for a Heading 2, etc. Click the Format button, and choose Shortcut Key . Hold down the keys 1 all at once. Click Assign , Close and then OK.
  • Click OK again.
  • Now we want to modify a Heading 2 style. Our Heading 2 s should be Times New Roman font , 14 point bold , and left justified. Follow the above instructions (1. to 9.) to make these changes to the Heading 2 style (use 2 as the shortcut keys for a Heading 2). When you are done, click OK to return to the main modify style box, and then click OK to finish.

Some documents use the style “body text” for standard document paragraphs. If that is what you want, you should modify all other styles used in the document to make “Body Text” be the paragraph type to follow all other paragraphs and also the style other styles are based on.  

Numbering headings

Theses frequently have a requirement that all headings in the document be numbered. There are two types of numbering.

The first is list style numbering, where major headings are numbered with one style, perhaps I, II, III… second level headings in another style, perhaps A, B, C…etc. third level headings in yet another style, perhaps 1, 2, 3… and so on. Every time a new higher level heading occurs, the numbering of lower level headings starts at the beginning.

The other type of numbering is legal style numbering, where first level headings are numbered 1, 2, 3… (or perhaps I, II, III…); second level headings are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3…(or 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2… as appropriate); third level headings are numbered 1.1.1, 1.1.2.… and so on.

List style numbering

  • To number headings with a List style , first go to the top of your document by pressing (together) on your keyboard. (Similarly, pressing CTRL-End will move the insertion point immediately to the end of the document. Want to get back to the last place you were working? Try SHIFT-F5 .)

Multilevel list button

  • In the dialog box that appears, click the More >> button at the bottom left.
  • Choose the numbering style you want by selecting it from the Number style for this level: list, perhaps I, II, III, ... etc .
  • Modify the punctuation beside the number if you like, If you want the number followed by some other punctuation (or nothing) instead of a right parenthesis, click to the right of the punctuation beside the number/letter in the Enter formatting for number: box, and hit Backspace to remove the punctuation. If you want some other punctuation, type it now. If you don’t want the number followed by any punctuation, don’t type anything. (Ensure not to type over the letter/number but to only add/change the punctuation.)
  • Set Number alignment to Left , set Aligned at to 0 and set Text indent at to 0 . If you want to set these settings for all your levels, click the Set for All Levels ... button and (optionally) set all the values to 0 and click OK.
  • Under Link level to style : choose Heading 1 .
  • Set Follow number with: to Space .

Define new multilevel lists options box

  • Select a, b, c, ... from the Number style for this level: list.
  • Type the desired punctuation to follow the number style under Enter formatting for number: (ensure not to type over the letter/number but to only add/change the punctuation).
  • Under Link level to style: choose Heading 2 style.
  • Set Number alignment to Left , set Aligned at to 0 and set Text indent at to 0 .
  • Set Follow number with: to Space . 
  • Repeat the above procedure for levels 3, 4 and as many heading levels as you wish to have numbered in your document. In all cases, make sure that the restart numbering after higher list level is checked.

Note 1: If you are defining this numbering format to a document that already has headings with heading styles applied, make sure that the mouse is clicked at the very beginning of the document. This will cause the numbering styles to be applied from that point forward. The numbering will also apply to any subsequent headings that you enter.

Note 2: You could have selected a pre-formatted numbering style from the Multilevel drop down list; however, the procedure outlined above makes it clearer to you that you can attach any numbering scheme to heading level styles.

Legal style numbering

  • Go to the top of your document by pressing (together) on your keyboard.

Legal style numbering button

  • This may be all you need to do. If you want to change the alignment options or make the first level a roman numeral number (I, II, III, etc.), the steps below describe how to do this.
  • Make sure Level 1 is selected by clicking 1 under Click level to modify: , and choose I, II etc . from the Number style for this level: list., perhaps I, II, III, ...
  • If you want the number followed by some other punctuation (or nothing), click to the right of the punctuation beside the number/letter in the Enter formatting for number: box, and hit Backspace to remove the punctuation. If you want some other punctuation, type it now. If you don’t want the number followed by any punctuation, don’t type anything. (Ensure not to type over the letter/number but to only add/change the punctuation.)

Legal style numbering checkbox

  • Repeat this for level 3 and any other levels you are using
  • Make sure Level 1 is selected by clicking 1 under Click level to modify:
  • Click the Set for All Levels ... button and set the values as you like and click OK.
  • Set Follow number with: to Space or Tab (define the tab location beside Text indent at: )
  • Set Number alignment to Left , Centred , or Right

Left aligning multi-line headings

  • If you anticipate any of your headings will wrap to a second line, you may want to set up your numbering such that the first line and any subsequent lines will line up vertically. To do this we will set a specified position for the text that follows the number and follow the number with a Tab .
  • First go to the top of your document by pressing (together) on your keyboard.
  • Set Number alignment to Left , set Aligned at to 0 (or whatever position you want your number to be left aligned at) and set Text indent at to 0.5 (or a larger indent if your number is indented as well) .
  • Set Follow number with: to Tab
  • Repeat step 5 for each level you are using. Keep in mind that the Text indent must be larger than the Aligned at value by enough space to allow for your largest anticipated number (e.g. if you are using legal style numbering and anticipate a level 4 number like 23.12.11.1, you will need to make sure the Text indent is at approximately 0.8" or so larger than the Aligned at setting.
  • Click OK once you have set these settings for all levels you are using.

Document templates

Every document created in Word has a template associated with it. A template is a collection of formatting, styles, macros and possibly text. When you start Word 2010, it opens a blank document based on the “Normal” or “standard” template. When you go to create a new document by clicking the File taband choosing New , or open Word 2013, Word displays a variety of available templates from which you can choose, including the standard Blank document template which uses the Normal template. 

A template is simply a Word document, with a file extension of .dotx (regular template) or .dotm (a template that may contain macros) instead of .docx .

Saving and creating templates

Templates you create should be stored in the trusted templates folder:

  • C:\Users\userid\Documents\Custom Office Templates (Windows 8)
  • C:\Users\userid\Documents\Custom Office Templates (Windows 7)
  • C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates (Windows Vista/7/8)
  • C:\Documents and Settings\userid\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates (Windows XP)

Where 'userid' is the name of the computer account you are logged into.

Saving here tells Word that it is safe to open even if the template should contain macros or other code. Because macros can contain malicious code, Word is on the lookout against opening documents with macros. If your computer security settings are at the recommended level, Word will open any template file, but it will disable any macros it contains. For templates that are in the (Trusted) Templates folder, however, Word doesn't disable the macros. It assumes the files are safe, so be sure the files you store there are from a trusted source.

You may wish to create all the styles you think you will need, and set up some standard formatting, (margins, etc.) and save these settings as a template:

  • Choose File/ Save As
  • For Word 2010, select Microsoft> Templates (or Trusted Templates if you are using Windows XP) on the left side of the Save As window. (In Word 2013 the save location is automatically changed to the templates folder when step 3 is completed)
  • Beside Save as type: select Word Macro-Enabled Template or Word Template . Choose Word Macro-Enabled Template if your template has macros, as the UWaterloo Thesis template does .
  • Enter the File Name:
  • Click Save .
  • For Word 2010, click on My Templates and select your template. Click OK .
  • For Word 2013, click on  PERSONAL  and select your template.

Using the UWaterloo Thesis template

The UWaterloo Thesis template (dotm)   may be useful as-is for your thesis, or it may be a useful starting point for you to modify.

Exercise: Downloading and using the UWaterloo Word Thesis template

  • Download the  UWaterloo Thesis template (dotm) .
  • If prompted to confirm you want to open this file, click on the OK button.
  • When you first open the UWaterloo Thesis template, a yellow bar (Security Warning) will appear at the top, click Enable Content .
  • Choose  File/Save As
  • For Word 2010, select  Microsoft> Templates  (or  Trusted   Templates if you are using Windows XP) on the left side of the  Save As  window. 
  • Beside  Save as type:  select  Word Macro-Enabled Template.
  • Click  Save
  • Choose  File/New
  • For Word 2010, click on  My Templates  and select  uwthesis_word . Click  OK .
  • For Word 2013, click on  PERSONAL  and select  uwthesis_word .

Captioning and numbering of tables and figures

In a longer more structured document, you will frequently want to number and add captions to your tables and figures. You could do this manually, but a better idea is to let Word add these captions and automatically assign the numbers. You need this automated approach for a number of reasons.

  • If you want to easily make a cross-reference to the table or figure, Word must maintain the caption.
  • If you want to automatically create a List of Tables or List of Figures for your Table of Contents, Word must maintain the captions.
  • If you insert or delete tables or figures, Word will automatically renumber if it maintains the captions.

A caption consists of the word Table or Figure, whichever is appropriate, followed by a number. You may then choose to add punctuation, such as a period or a colon, and then the text you wish to have for the caption.

Captioning tables

You may want to add captions to tables already entered into your document or, alternatively, you may want to have captions automatically added to any new tables you create.

Adding captions to existing tables

If you have tables without captions in your document and wish to add captions, you can do so quite easily. For each table:

  • Click somewhere in the table
  • Click on the References tab
  • Click the Insert Caption button
  • In the Caption box, it will read Table 1 (if it reads Figure 1, choose Table from the Label: drop down list) and allow you to add further information. If you wish to have punctuation appear after the number, type it, and then type the text of the caption. Notice that the Position box lets you select Above or Below for the caption, but table captions are generally positioned above the table.

Repeat the above procedure for every table in your document. Word will automatically provide the correct table number.

Automatically captioning tables

Word can automatically add the caption to a table when the table is created. To do this:

  • Click on the AutoCaption button. You will be presented with a list of objects that can be captioned automatically. One of those is Microsoft Word Table . Click the checkbox beside this item. Confirm the Options below are what you want and click OK . Now every time you create a table, the caption Table followed by the appropriate number will be added automatically. You can simply click in the caption line, type any punctuation you wish, and then type the caption text.

Combining manual and automatic captioning

You can manually caption any existing tables, and then ask Word to automatically caption any additional tables you add. Word will handle the numbering properly.

Captioning figures

To caption an existing figure, select the figure and:

  • Make sure that Figure is selected in the Label box. The Caption box will read Figure 1 and permit you to type additional information. Type any punctuation that you wish to have after the number, and then type the text of the caption. Repeat this process with each figure in your document. Note that the caption appears by default at the bottom of the figure.

Automatic captioning is probably not a viable option for figures. Automatic captioning only works with figures inserted via an application that supports Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), that is, objects that can be inserted into a document via the Insert>Object command. Generally, most people insert figures from a variety of sources, so manually captioning is often necessary.

Step-by-step captioning and numbering of tables and figures

Now we will ask Word to automatically add captions to any additional tables that we create:

  • Our document already contains 1 table, and we will be adding more. We would like to add a caption to the existing table, and automatically add captions to any additional tables we create.
  • First, click anywhere inside the existing table.
  • In the resulting dialog box, make sure that Table is selected in the Label: box, and Above Selected Item in the Position box.

Caption field

  • Click on the References tab.
  • Click the Insert Caption button.
  • Click on the AutoCaption button.

Autocaption options box

  • Now go to the Jack and Jill rhyme, and click at the end of the text of the Jack and Jill rhyme, and press Enter to move to a new line.

Insert table options

Enter the following information into the table.

Note: The caption “Table 2” is created automatically, and you can click after the 2 and type a colon, and then type the caption “Result of Climbing Hill”.

Now we will add a caption to the Lamb figure that appears in “Mary had a Little Lamb”:

  • Click on the image of the lamb to select it, click on the References tab, and click the Insert Caption button.
  • In the label box, select Figure . Note that that causes the Position to be set to Below selected item .

Caption options box

Now we will add an additional figure near the top of the document. On your N : drive is an image file called fiddle.bmp .

  • Set the mouse pointer after the title of “Hey Diddle Diddle”, press enter>. Go to the Insert tab and click on the Picture (Word 2010) or Pictures (Word 2013) button. Select fiddle.bmp from the N drive .
  • Now click on the fiddle image to select it . Click on the References tab and then the Insert Caption button. Make sure that Figure is selected from the drop down list beside Label: . To the caption field add a colon , followed by “Cat’s Fiddle” and click OK . Note that the picture is captioned as Figure 1 because it appears first in the document, and the picture of the Lamb, which was Figure 1 has been renumbered to Figure 2.

Aligning the table and figure caption

The caption for both figures and tables defaults to left alignment. You may wish to have your captions centered, particularly if your tables and figures are centered on the page. Captions are inserted with the Caption style attached. To change the alignment:

  • Click on the button in the bottom right of the Styles section in the Home tab. In the Styles window that appears, click on the down arrow beside the Caption style and choose Modify

Modify caption style drop down

  • Scroll to find the Caption style in the style gallery and right click on it and choose Modify.

Caption style option

Since the same style is applied to Figure and Table captions, you cannot have different alignments for these two types of captions, unless you create a new style for one of the captions. This will work, but you must remember to apply that style manually to the captions, and if you are creating a List of Tables or List of Figures, you must remember to tell Word to use items of that style to build the list.

Concatenating chapter number to figure or table number

You may wish to have the chapter number appended to the table or figure number in the caption, such as Table 1.3, or Figure 3.8:

  • Choose Table in the Label box

Caption numbering options box

  • Choose Heading 1 beside Chapter starts with style and . (period) beside Use separator:
  • Click OK (note that the type of numbering you choose for your Heading 1s will be used)
  • Repeat the above, but choose Figure in the Label box.
  • Click  Close .

Captioning tables and figures in appendices

You likely want to caption your tables and figures in your Appendices using the Appendix letter and the number of the table/figure (e.g. A-1). I have found two ways to do this:

  • You can create a new label when captioning your tables and figures: When you are in Appendix A you would create a new label of Table A- and then the numbering will add the 1, 2, etc. The only issue with this is that it 'forces' a space after the '-' that you would have to remove manually or with a macro (or you could add a space between the 'A' and the '-' in the label so the spacing is even but that may not be consistent with the rest of your thesis). If you choose to do it this way, when you generate your list of Tables and Figures you would need to generate the list of table and figures in the appendices separately by choosing these other labels at the time of creating your lists of tables and figures.
  • You could use a heading style (for example Heading 9) for your appendix headings. You could base it on the Appendix style and then format it as you like it. You would then need to click on your first appendix title and go back into Format/Bullets and Numbering to link the level to style 'Heading 9' (rather than style 'Appendix'). You would also need to change all the Appendix titles to the Heading 9 style as well. At this point, you could use the built-in labels for Tables and Figures and click on Numbering and indicate to Include chapter number and Chapter starts with style, Heading 9 .

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes are handled in a similar fashion, except that footnotes appear at the bottom of the current page, and endnotes appear at the end of the document.

  • We wish to insert a footnote after the word fiddle in the rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle . Click your mouse immediately after the word fiddle and click on the References tab and then the Insert Footnote button. If you are in Print Layout view, you will be shifted to the bottom of the page and be able to enter your footnote text right away. If you are in Draft view, a new pane will appear at the bottom to allow you to type your footnote. In either case, to return to the same spot in your document, simply double click on the footnote number. (In Draft view you could also click on the close button on the right side.
  • Type the footnote text:
The instrument in question was really a violin. The rumour that it was a very expensive Stradivarius was simply that, mere rumour.

Footnootes/endnotes option box

Here you could make changes to the number format, restart the numbering, convert footnotes to endnotes, etc. We won't make any changes now so just click the Cancel button.

  • Double clicking on the footnote number
  • Now, switch views. If you were in Draft switch to Print Layout, and vice versa. Do this by selecting the appropriate Document View from the View tab.
  • We want to put another footnote, in Jack and Jill , after the word crown. Click after the word crown , and click on the References tab and then the Insert Footnote button. The footnote number will be presented, and you can type your footnote. Type this footnote:
A crown is another name for the head. They could have said that Jack broke his head, but that would not rhyme, so they used the word crown instead.
  • Now return to the main document by double clicking the footnote number.
  • Move the mouse over one of the footnote indicators in the document (don’t click) and see the note that appears showing the text of the footnote.
  • In the References tab, right click on the Insert Footnote button and then choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Now create a footnote by clicking on the button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Note: If your Word file was imported from a previous version of word and you have issues with footnotes appearing on the wrong page, you can try the following:

  • Open the file.
  • From the File tab, choose Options .
  • Click Advanced on the left and scroll down to the bottom section, Compatibility options for
  • From the drop down list beside Lay out this document as if created in: choose Microsoft Word 2010 or  Microsoft Word 2013 , depending on the version you're using.

How to change the footnote separator

The footnote separator is the thin line that appears between the bottom of your page and any footnote text that may be on that page.

  • In the View tab, click Draft to switch to Draft view.
  • In the References tab, click Show Notes (in the Footnotes section of the tab).
  • Directly above the pane that appears at the bottom is a drop down menu. From this drop down menu, you can choose Footnote Separator .
  • You can then change the footnote separator in the pane and click on the X in the top right of the pane to close the pane.

Endnotes with square brackets ([1],[2],...)

  • In the References tab, click Insert Endnote
  • Click on the button at the bottom right of the Styles section of the Home tab to open the floating Styles window. Click on the Options link. Under Select styles to show choose All styles and click OK. Find the Endnote Reference style in the list and click the drop down arrow beside it and choose Modify. OR
  • Select an endnote reference number from the endnotes section at the end of your document, right click and choose Style. Endnote Reference will be selected. Click the Modify button.
  • In the Modify Style window that opens, click on the Format button (bottom left) and choose Font ; uncheck superscript and then click OK and OK again. (Click Close if necessary.) All of your Endnote Reference numbers should now NOT be superscript.
  • In the References tab, clicking on the button at the bottom right of the Footnotes section
  • Beside Number format, choosing the style you like
  • Clicking on the Apply button
  • Click at the top of your document (or press Ctrl-Home on your keyboard to quickly go to the top of your document).
  • In the Home tab, click Replace on the far right (in the Editing section).
  • Click on the More button. (If you don’t see a More button but do see a Less button, then you can leave things as they are.)
  • With your insertion point in the text box beside Find What: , choose the Format button and choose Style then choose Endnote Reference from the list and click OK .
  • Click in the text box beside Replace With: and type [^&] . Now click on the Replace All button. A message will pop up to tell you how many replacements were made. Click OK . All of your Endnote Reference numbers should now have square brackets around them.
  • Click the Close button to close the Find and Replace window.

A Bookmark marks a place in a document that you may wish to jump to, refer to, etc.

We will insert a bookmark at the location of the song “Inky Dinky Spider”.

  • Select the title “Inky Dinky Spider” . From the Insert tab, click on Bookmark . In the resulting dialog box, assign the bookmark a name of “spider” and click Add . Initially, you will not see any indication that a bookmark exists, but the next step will describe how you can view a bookmark 'codes' so you will know where your bookmarks are.

Show bookmarks checkbox

Cross references

A cross-reference is a referral from one location in a document to a component elsewhere in the document. For example, “see Table 2: Snowfall in 2003”. Cross references can be made to tables, figures, footnotes, headings, page numbers, bookmarks, etc.

We will create a cross-reference to the “Jack and Jill” table.

Insert caption cross-reference button

  • In the Reference type : drop down list, select Table . Note that a list of all tables appears.

Cross-reference option box

and we can add the text “climbing things can prove dangerous”. Note that the grey area that you see when you click on the inserted cross-reference text is there to indicate that this is a cross-reference. It will not print.

  • Now we will delete the first table in our document, and we will see what happens to our reference. Drag through to select the caption and the complete Table 1 , and press the delete key.
  • If we print it or do a print preview, the references will be updated before printing occurs.
  • Home tab: Select/Select All (in the Editing section) or press Ctrl-A on your keyboard
  • Press F9 . Note that the table numbering and cross-references are updated.
  • In the Reference type: drop down list, choose Bookmark.
  • From the list of bookmarks presented, select spider (in this case this is the only item in the list).
  • From the Insert reference to: drop down list, choose Page number (as opposed to the actual text that was bookmarked).

Cross reference options for bookmarks

  • Click on the Close button to close the cross-reference window.

Outline view

Outline View is very useful for viewing the structure of your document, or for restructuring it. The following exercise takes you through some of the features/uses of Outline View.

  • Click on the View tab and then click Outline in the Document Views section.
  • A new Outlining tab will appear with various options/settings to choose from.

Show level 3 option box

  • “Rhymes About Animals” is currently a Heading 2. Promote it to a Heading 1 by clicking in the heading , and then clicking the Promote button (alternatively, click SHIFT TAB). Note that when you promote this heading, you do not promote any headings at a lower level. “Baa Baa…”, “Hey Diddle…” and “Mary Had…” all remain as Heading 3.
  • Click “Rhymes About Animals” again and demote it back to a Heading 2 by clicking the Demote button (or by pressing the TAB key).
  • Click on the Plus sign beside “Rhymes About Stars” (the mouse printer will become a double headed arrow when you are over that plus sign). Clicking on this plus sign selects the current line and the entire structure under that line as well.
  • Now click the Promote button. Note that all heading levels are promoted, but the text remains as text.
  • To verify that the text remained as text, click on the Show Level: drop down list and choose All Levels to display the text as well as the headings.
  • Select this structure again ( click on the Plus sign beside “Rhymes About Stars” ), and demote it to its original level by clicking on the Demote button.
  • Perhaps the heading “Twinkle Twinkle …” should have been body text, and not a heading. Click on the heading "Twinkle Twinkle ..." and demote it to body text by clicking the Demote to Body Text button. Now promote it back to a heading by clicking the Promote button(it may become a Heading 2 so you may need to click on the demote button to make it a Heading 3 again).
  • Try choosing All Levels from the Show Level drop down menu to display the entire document.
  • Click on the check box beside Show First Line Only (with show all levels), to see that it displays only the first line of each paragraph but all heading levels.
  • Choose Level 1 from the Show Level drop down menu to view only level 1 headings.
  • C lick somewhere in the first level one heading , and then click on the Expand button on the ribbon above to expand that heading to show all Heading 2s.
  • Click in one of the Heading 2s and expand it by clicking the Expand button .
  • Now reverse the process by clicking in the appropriate heading level and clicking the Collapse button . Return your outline to showing only level 1 headings.
  • Now click on the big plus sign beside the “Nursery Rhymes” heading , and click the Expand button . Note that you see all Heading 2s. Click again on the Expand button , and all Heading 3s appear. Reverse the process by repeatedly clicking the Collapse button twice.
  • Select Level 2 from the Show Level drop down menu to view Heading 1s and Heading 2s.
  • Click on the Plus sign beside the heading “Rhymes About Stars” to select the entire structure.
  • Move it up in the document by clicking the Move Up button until you have the heading appearing above the “Rhymes About Animals” heading.
  • View the entire document by selecting All Levels from the Show Level drop down menu to convince yourself that not only the heading but everything that appears under that heading was moved.
  • Now put the entire structure back into its original location by selecting Show Level 2 from the Show Level drop down menu and clicking the Move Down button .
  • Let's go back to Print Layout view. Click on the View tab and then click the Print Layout button on the left side of the ribbon.

Creating a table of contents

Word can automatically generate a Table of Contents (TOC) from your styles, primarily the Heading styles you have used. Although it is easiest to create the TOC from built in Heading styles, you can also ask Word to include other styles as well by clicking on the Options button in the Table of Contents window while generating the Table of Contents. To create the Table of Contents, you

  • Set the insertion point at the beginning of the document, where the TOC should appear
  • Choose an item from the Table of Contents drop down button on the far left of the ribbon. If you like one of the sample Table of Contents formats in the list, you can choose one of those; if you want to customize your Table of Contents you can choose Insert Table of Contents and select the format, and the number of heading levels you wish to have appear in the TOC, and optionally click on the Options button if you want to add or remove styles to include in the Table of Contents, and click OK.
  • Word will insert the Table of Contents.
  • At some later point, you can insert the TOC again, and Word will ask if you want to replace the old TOC.  

Generating a list of tables and a list of figures

A List of Tables and a List of Figures can be automatically generated as well. You would click on the References tab and click on Insert Table of Figures from the Captions section of the ribbon. From the Caption label: drop down menu, you would choose either Table or Figure , whichever is appropriate. If you wish to generate a list for both, do one first and then the other.

Exercise: Adding a title page and creating a Table of Contents

  • Switch to Draft view by selecting the  View tab then the  Draft button.
  • Go to and click your mouse at the top of your document or press on your keyboard to go to the top of your document.
  • At the top of your document, press Enter> to open up a blank line. Make sure that the blank line is in the normal style by clicking in that line , and clicking on the Normal style button in the Styles section of the Home tab.
  • Type some information that will constitute the Title Page of your thesis.
  • Click at the end of the text on the title page , and insert a Section break: click on the (Page) Layout tab and, in the Page Setup section, click Break and then choose Next Page (in the Section Breaks section) .
  • Click within the text of your title page and click on the button in the Page Setup section of the  (Page) Layout tab. In the Layout tabof the window that opens, under Page, set Vertical alignment to be  Center and click OK.
  • Now, on the page after the title page, press the Enter key to open a new line (if necessary). In that line, type Table of Contents .
  • Let's create a new style for the titles on the preliminary pages, called " Prelim Headings ". This new style should be based on the Normal style, Centered, Arial font, 14 point, and bold.
  • Select "Table of Contents" and assign the new style, Prelim Headings to it.
  • Click after the title, Table of Contents and press Enter to go to a new line. Make sure the new line is the Normal Style (by clicking on the Normal style button in the Styles section of the Home tab if necessary).
  • Click on the Options button.
  • Scroll down until you see the Prelim Headings style in the list.
  • Put at " 1 " beside the Prelim Headings style and click on the OK button.

Insert table of contents option box

  • The Table of Contents is inserted into your document. When you click on it, it appears greyed, but the grey shading will not print.
  • After making changes in your document, to update the Table of Contents, right click on it and choose Update Field; you will then be prompted to Update page numbers only or to Update entire table; choose one and then click OK .

Exercise: Creating a list of figures and a list of tables

  • Now we will create a List of Figures.
  • Put a page break after the Table of Contents by pressing on your keyboard.
  • At the top of the new page, type List of Figures .
  • Assign the new style, Prelim Headings to the title List of Figures.
  • Press Enter to go to a new line.
  • Click on the References tab and click on Insert Table of Figures from the Captions section of the ribbon.

insert table of figures option box

  • Everything else is fine, so click OK . A List of Figures is inserted.
  • Repeat the above procedure to create a List of Tables. The title of the page should be List of Tables . Assign the new style, Prelim Headings to the title List of Tables. In the settings window, choose Table from the drop down list beside Caption label .
  • To update a List of Figures or a List of Tables, right click on the list and choose Update Field; you will then be prompted to Update page numbers only or to Update entire table; choose one and then click OK .

Page numbering/headers and footers

The pages of the front material of the thesis (all components up to and including the Table of Contents) should be numbered in lower case Roman numerals, but no page number should appear on the first page. The body pages of the thesis must be numbered in Arabic numerals, starting at 1. In order for parts of the document to have different formatting, it must be divided into sections. Earlier, when we were inserting the Table of Contents and Title Page, we inserted a section break. We will need to insert another section break between the preliminary pages and the body pages. We will then have the front material in one section, and the body in another section and be ready to number our pages. We will place our page numbers in the bottom centre.

Assigning page numbers

  • Click on the View tab and click on the Draft button in the ribbon to change to Draft view.
  • Click at the top of the first page of the body of your thesis (before any text).
  • Click on the ( Page) Layout tab and, click Break/ Next Page (in the Section Breaks section of the drop down list) .

Page break

  • Scroll to the beginning of the document, and place the cursor at the top of the second (2nd) page after the section break.

Page number option box

  • You should now have lower case roman numeral numbering starting from ii on the second page of your preliminary pages.
  • Click on the page number on your title page

Different first page checkbox

  • Now you should NOT have a page number on your title page, but you should still have page numbers on all the pages following the title page.
  • Your pages will now have numbers on the bottom centre, but they are all Roman numerals. That is not what we want for the main body of your thesis. We need to reset the page numbering and format beginning on the first page of the body of your thesis.
  • Click on the page number on the first page of the body of your thesis.
  • Click on the Insert tab , and choose Page Number/Format Page Numbers from the Header & Footer section .

Page Number Format box

Inserting landscape pages

Sometimes you may have a table or figure that is too wide to fit on a normal portrait page (8.5 by 11) so you want to place it rotated on the page. That is, you want to create a landscape page, (11 by 8.5). That is fairly simple to do if you understand the concept of Word sections.

In order to change any formatting in Word, such as the page orientation, you need to insert a new section.

Exercise: Adding a landscape page in the middle of a document

  • Go to the spot in your document where you want to insert the landscape page.
  • Press Enter after the section break to open up a blank line.
  • Then click on the (Page) Layout tab and, choose Break/Next Page (in the Section Breaks section of the drop down list)to end the previous section.
  • Click in the empty line between the two section breaks, click on the (Page) Layout tab, and choose Orientation/La ndscape (in the Page Setup section of the ribbon). This will cause the new empty page to be landscape but all other pages will remain portrait.
  • Choose View/Print Layout to see that this new blank page is landscape, but the rest of the document is portrait.

Perhaps you have already created the table, and now wish to modify it so that it appears in landscape mode.

Exercise: Modifying a table so that it appears in landscape mode

  • If you have a table caption, you will want to drag through the text of the caption and the table to select all the information you will want on the landscape page.
  • Click in it and then click the symbol that you will see near the top left corner of the table when you hover your mouse in this area OR
  • Click in the table and then click on the Layout tab that you will see at the top under Table Tools . Then choose Select/Select Table from the Table section of the ribbon.
  • With the table selected, click on the ( Page) Layout tab. Now click on the button in the Page Setup section of the ribbon.

page setup options box

  • This will cause Word to add the section breaks before and after the table and to put the table on a landscape page.
  • Click at the top of the page in question.
  • Click on the Insert tab.
  • Choose Page Number/Format Page Numbers from the Header & Footer section of the ribbon.
  • Click the button beside Continue from previous section (see below) and click OK .

Note that when you add page numbers or headers/footers to this document, they will appear in a landscape not portrait orientation. This is acceptable in an electronic thesis. If you had a requirement for a printed copy to have a portrait page number on a landscape page, Microsoft has instructions or in Word 2010/2013, you can do the following:

  • Click in your landscape page that already has section breaks around it.
  • Click on the Insert tab, choose Page Number and then Page Margins, and choose the option called Vertical, Right.
  • You should now be in a Header/Footing editing view.
  • Click on the page number on the right side of the page and drag the square boxes so that the box the page number is in spans the width (or height in this case) of your page. You may have to resize this box to see your page number to edit it, but you can always adjust it later. As long as the box is centred on the page, all will look as it should.
  • Click on the page number text and press Crtl-E to centre the text vertically (this could also be done with the middle alignment button in the Home tab).
  • You may edit the text within the box to remove the word, 'Page' as well.
  • Select the number itself, click on the Home tab and change the style to Footer to match the other page numbers.
  • If the page number itself is incorrect, choose Page Number/Format Page Numbers from the Header & Footer Tools/Design section of the ribbon (or in the Insert tab), and click the button beside Continue from previous section , or specify a page number, and click OK .
  • While in the footer, click Link to Previous in the Header & Footer Tools/Design section of the ribbon to unselect it.
  • If there is still a page number in another location, select it and delete it by pressing the delete key on your keyboard.

Creating your thesis from many small documents

Since computers are faster and have more memory than they did in the past, and since Word 2010/2013 file sizes are smaller (due to format) than earlier versions of Word, it may be best and easiest to have your thesis all in one file.

While you are creating your thesis, however, you may create it as a number of smaller files, perhaps storing each chapter in a separate file. In order to build a table of contents, create cross references and get pages numbered sequentially, you will want to combine them into a single file at the end.

The easiest way to do this is to simply amalgamate all files by selecting the  Insert tab then  Object/Text from File . This method will combine all your smaller files into one large file. This one large file should be fine for the reasons stated above, if you have sufficient memory on your computer, and if your thesis is not too large and doesn't contain a lot of large images.

If you absolutely cannot have such a large file due to an older computer or lack of computer memory, another option exists. The other option is to use the Insert as Link feature.

Notes about the 'Insert as Link' feature :

  • All cross-references will need to be added at the end; updating them (using Ctrl-A, F9) will likely break them and they will need to be re-inserted.
  • If you use the software, EndNote, for managing your bibliography, you may need to do all of your updating in the individual files and avoid using F9 in your main file.
  • Start with an empty document. F rom the Insert tab, in the Text section of the ribbon, choose Object/Text from File .

Insert as link option box

  • You will want to see the actual text, so if you do see some code like the above, click on the File taband choose Options . Click Advanced on the left and then scroll down on the right to the Show Document Content section. Beside Show field codes instead of their values , make sure there is NOT a checkmark. If there is, click on the checkbox to remove the checkmark and click the OK button.
  • Alternatively, you can toggle between viewing the complete text or field code of a specific field by right clicking on it, and from the context menu that appears, select Toggle Field Codes .
  • Repeat this Insert as Link process for all your files. When you have created a single document, you can add cross references, page numbers, table of contents, etc.
  • When you are done, save this new document.
  • If you need to update your table of contents, lists of figures or list of tables, avoid using F9 and update them individually by right clicking on them and choosing Update Field; you will then be prompted to Update page numbers only or to Update entire table ;choose one and then click OK .
  • Select the entire main document (Home tab, Editing section of ribbon , Select/Select All, OR simply press CTRL-A on your keyboard ).
  • Then simply press the F9 key to update your main file. (Remember that you may need to re-insert all your cross references if you do this.)
  • Select the entire main document (Home tab, Editing section of ribbon , Select/Select All, OR simply press CTRL-A on your keyboard )
  • Press CTRL-SHIFT-F7 on your keyboard . Any modified files will be saved. You can then save the main file.

Enter document properties

To ensure your PDF and Word file is accessible , it is imperative that the Title of your thesis be entered in the document properties:

  • Choose File/Info .
  • Look at the Properties information on the right.
  • Click on the Title text box and type in the correct title.
  • You can also enter other document properties such as your name for the Author (by clicking Add an author ;you can remove an author by right clicking on their name and choosing Remove Person ),etc

Hanging indents

If you are creating your bibliography manually, you may want to create a hanging indent. To do so:

  • Click on the line where you want your first item.
  • In the ( Page) Layout tab, click on the corner arrow in the Paragraph section.
  • In the Paragraph window that opens, make sure you are in the Indents and Spacing tab.
  • Under Indentation , beside Left , set the size you want for the tab that will be used for the 2nd and subsequent lines of your entry.
  • Under Special , choose Hanging.
  • Now type the information you want for your bibliography item. When the text wraps to the second and subsequent lines, it will automatically be indented until you press enter on your keyboard.  

Inline references and bibliography

Creating in line references and generating a bibliography is possibly the most complex task involved in preparing a thesis. This isn't because this is hard to do, but because there are probably as many different formats required for references as there are people preparing a thesis at any given point in time.

One solution to this problem is to purchase a Personal Bibliographic Management program. Packages such as these, all perform essentially the same functions, interface with Word, and let you manage a bibliography, etc.; however, these packages can be costly to purchase.

The recommended solution is to use RefWorks, a web based bibliographic management package licensed by the UW Library, that is available to all UWaterloo faculty, staff and students at no charge. It is linked from the UWaterloo Library web site in the right panel. The UWaterloo Library offers courses on how to use RefWorks and they also maintain course notes for RefWorks .  

PDF for electronic submission

Theses are now submitted electronically in PDF format to the Graduate Office. They should be named, based on your name, Lastname_Firstname.pdf . Word 2010 and Word 2013 have a built in PDF creator, and Word 2007 allows you to download a free PDF creator add-in that works very well with Word 2007 for creating PDF files.

For Word 2007, check to see if the PDF creator add-in is installed:

  • If, under Save As, you see PDF or XPS , then the add-in is installed and you can click on PDF or XPS, then browse to where you want your PDF file saved, type in the name you want it to be called, and click Publish .
  • If, under Save As, you see Find add-ins for other file formats, then the add-in is not installed. See the next section for instructions on how to install it

Word 2007: How to install the add-in if it is not installed:

  • Sign onto the PC with an administrative account.
  • Open Word and click on the Office buttonat top left, then select Save As/Find add-ins for other file formats .
  • A Word Help window will appear. Browse down and click on the hypertext for Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007 Microsoft Office programs.
  • Internet Explorer (or your default web browser) should load a page.
  • Click on the Validation button in the middle of the page to continue.
  • A horizontal message bar will appear near the top of your window (below the Internet Explorer toolbar). Click where it says "click here" and select Install Active X Control from the menu.
  • Click Run to any windows asking you to install Active X, and then the SavetoPDF... exe file.
  • At the license page, click in the bottom left to " accept " then the continue button.
  • A window should appear when the installation is complete.
  • Close Word and re-open it.  

Converting Word files to PDF

If you are using Word 2010/2013 built in PDF creator

  • Click on the File taband choose Save As
  • Browse to the location where you want it saved.
  • Choose PDF (*.pdf) beside Save as type:
  • Click Options . Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility and Document Properties is checked and Create bookmarks using Headings is checkedand click OK.
  • Type in the name you want it to be called (based on the Lastname_Firstname.pdf format), and click Save .
  • NOTE: Avoid security settings as they may interfere with assistive software

How to save a Word 2007 file as PDF using the add-in:

  • Click on the Office button and choose Save As/ PDF or XPS .
  • Browse to where you want it saved, type in the name you want it to be called (based on the Lastname_Firstname.pdf format), and click Publish .  

Testing PDFs for Accessibility

PDF files can be checked after creation, to ensure that the tags are in a logical sequence and that all items are properly tagged.

Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker

  • Open Adobe Acrobat Pro (these notes are based on Adobe Acrobat XI (version 11)
  • Open the newly created PDF file
  • View/Tools/Accessibility , click " Full Check " on the right.
  • Under Checking Options, check all the checkboxes and click Start Checking.
  • click the + sign beside  (e.g.) Document (## issue) and read the information displayed for each issue to learn how to fix it
  • If there are issues, it is often easiest to fix them in Word and then re-create the PDF file

PDF Accessibility-Checker (PAC) (*free*)

  • Free download
  • Recommended by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • 14/23 WCAG 2.0 checks
  • Gives text of what a blind person would hear
  • Easy to install and use
  • Windows and Mac versions available
  • Download and install PAC from its website (you do not need to be an administrator to do this)
  • To run PAC, double click on pac.exe from where it is installed
  • Click Browse and browse to the PDF file you would like to check; select the file and click Open
  • Click Start Check
  • Click Report
  • You can ignore any issues related to ‘Correct Syntax of Tags / Rolls’
  • Some issues may require some investigating as PAC doesn’t provide as much detail as Word on issues
  • Issues related to ‘Consistent Heading Structure’ or ‘Logical Reading Order’ are often related to an issue such as a Heading 1 followed by a Heading 3 (instead of Heading 1 followed by Heading 2 followed by Heading 3)

Electronic Thesis submission procedures

Procedures for submitting your thesis electronically .

IMAGES

  1. Thesis Outline Template

    thesis template for word

  2. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

    thesis template for word

  3. 10 Free Dissertation & Thesis Templates

    thesis template for word

  4. Choose From 40 Research Proposal Templates & Examples 100% Free

    thesis template for word

  5. Word Thesis Template for Word

    thesis template for word

  6. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

    thesis template for word

VIDEO

  1. Literature Review Template for Thesis/Proposal

  2. Bitirme Ödevi, Tez Yazım Kılavuzu Oluşturma ve Mendeley Kullanımı

  3. How to write thesis in Ms word part 1

  4. Thesis Template Tutorial Class

  5. Word template for thesis/report (4/4)

  6. How to write thesis in Ms word part 7

COMMENTS

  1. Templates

    UCI Libraries maintains the following templates to assist in formatting your graduate manuscript. If you are formatting your manuscript in Microsoft Word, feel free to download and use the template. ... Editable template of the Master's thesis formatting. PDF Thesis Template 2024. Word: Dissertation Template 2024. Editable template of the PhD ...

  2. Free Dissertation & Thesis Template (Word Doc & PDF)

    If you're preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples. The template's structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal ...

  3. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  4. Dissertation & Thesis Template

    Dissertation & Thesis Template. As a resource for graduate students, sample Word templates are available to assist with the initial formatting of doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Students are expected to fully format their dissertation/thesis according to the "Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master's ...

  5. University Thesis and Dissertation Templates

    University Thesis and Dissertation Templates. Theses and dissertations are already intensive, long-term projects that require a lot of effort and time from their authors. Formatting for submission to the university is often the last thing that graduate students do, and may delay earning the relevant degree if done incorrectly.

  6. Thesis templates

    Online tutorials: Using the thesis template. The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essays. The template and instructions are .docx files, and have been tested in Word 2011 (Mac), Word 2013 (Windows), and Word 2016/365 (Windows and Mac).

  7. Microsoft Word for Dissertations

    Formatting your dissertation (or thesis) will likely take more time than you expect. But using the special features described in this Guide will save you a great deal of work, particularly if you use our template (available in the box below).The earlier you begin to use these tools, the more time you'll save and the less stress you'll have as your submission deadline approaches.

  8. Free Dissertation & Thesis Templates

    The full dissertation/thesis template provides a high-level outline structure, whereas the individual chapter templates provide more detail. If you're just starting the writing process, the former could help you structure your outline document and get a feel for how it all fits together, whereas the latter (chapter-specific templates) can be used as you approach each chapter.

  9. Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation with Microsoft Word

    UM-Dearborn Microsoft Word thesis template. Most students use Microsoft Word to write their thesis or dissertation. For previous assignments, you likely did not use some of Word's advanced features such as styles, section breaks, rotated pages, automatically generated table of contents, automatically generated list of abbreviations, etc.

  10. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Tip For a more detailed overview of chapters and other elements, be sure to check out our article on the structure of a dissertation or download our template. Dissertation and thesis outline templates. To help you get started, we've created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format.

  11. Free Download: Thesis Introduction Template (Word Doc

    This template covers all the core components required in the introduction chapter/section of a typical dissertation or thesis, including: The opening section. Background of the research topic. Statement of the problem. Rationale (including the research aims, objectives, and questions) Scope of the study. Significance of the study.

  12. Thesis and Dissertation Template

    Open the Word document containing your thesis/dissertation, click file, click options, click add-ins, and select templates from the Manage drop down menu at the bottom of the page. Click go. In the Document Template section, click Attach.

  13. Formatting in MS Word

    Manual formatting of TOC. To add right-aligned tabs with leaders: From the Home tab, open the Paragraph settings and click on the Tabs button. Enter the tab stop position, choose Right Tab and for Leader, choose the … option. Click Set (or the + sign on Mac), then click OK. Type the TOC entry, press tab, then insert the page number.

  14. 18 Thesis Outline Templates and Examples (Word

    An thesis essay outline template is a template containing how an essay ought to be drafted, stored in a PDF version. As expected, such templates are stored in such a portal so as to enable ease of sharing among the interested parties [could be students, researchers, tutors etc]. crestmont.edu. Download.

  15. Thesis & Dissertation Title Page

    The title page (or cover page) of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper should contain all the key information about your document. It usually includes: Dissertation or thesis title. Your name. The type of document (e.g., dissertation, research paper) The department and institution. The degree program (e.g., Master of Arts)

  16. Writing a Thesis Using MS Word

    The template below is an obsolete version, provided for reference purposes. We do not recommend using this template for your thesis. Download iitthesis2.dot. MS Word Template Template The template above provides a basic thesis layout, which meets the IIT thesis manual requirements. It consists of the following parts:

  17. Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation with Microsoft Word

    This guide includes video tutorials designed to help you get most of the formatting of your thesis correct the first time. Using these videos to format your thesis will save a lot of time when it comes to having your format checked. ... Microsoft Word can be used to automatically generate a table of contents. Automatic generation of the table ...

  18. Templates : Graduate School

    The following Microsoft Word templates are available for download and comply with all formatting requirements: Introduction for dissertation (.docx) Introduction for thesis (.docx) Chapters and text body for papers option (.doc) Chapters and text body for non-papers option (.doc) LaTeX templates (.zip)

  19. Thesis and Dissertation Formatting in MS Word

    Graduate School Thesis/Dissertation Guidelines Each graduate school has guidelines for formatting and submitting theses and dissertations. If your graduate school or program is not listed here, check with them to obtain specific information about your program's formatting requirements for theses and dissertations.

  20. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  21. Writing Your Thesis in Word

    The Word thesis template has many pre-defined styles for things like chapter titles, sub titles, main body text, quotes, figures, etc. See the table below to learn what styles to use and where. Pre-defined styles in the Word thesis template. Type of text: Name of Style : Special Note:

  22. 4. Writing up your Research: Thesis Formatting (MS Word)

    Haere mai, tauti mai—welcome! These instructions are designed to be used with recent versions of MS Word. Please note there is no template or specific formatting guidelines for a thesis at UC. Please talk to your supervisor and take a look at theses in the UC Research Repository to see how they are usually formatted.

  23. Techniques for managing theses using Microsoft Word

    For Word 2010, click on My Templates and select your template. Click OK. For Word 2013, click on PERSONAL and select your template. Using the UWaterloo Thesis template . The UWaterloo Thesis template (dotm) may be useful as-is for your thesis, or it may be a useful starting point for you to modify. Exercise: Downloading and using the UWaterloo ...