Skip to main content

Dissertation Format

Acceptable Formats

The Departments of Biology and Chemistry and Biochemistry recommend that the text be organized into one of two formats that differ mainly in whether the information is arranged in a form publishable in scientific journals or in a more traditional thesis style. In either case, there should be uniformity to the text, which should appear as one column, with a single font and a single size of font. The style, however, may be different if there is more than one manuscript included.

Regardless of format, be sure to pay attention to copyright issues when including portions of previously published work, whether your own or someone else's.

Dissertation Style and Format Guidelines

Regardless of the format chosen, the student must follow the guidelines below, established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

  • The dissertation must be double-spaced throughout.
  • Print size: standard throughout and not less than 11 point.
  • All margins must be a minimum of one inch.
  • The first line of every paragraph should be indented five spaces.
  • Abbreviations may be used (if conventional in the particular discipline) but must be defined the first time they are used.
  • If there are alternative correct spellings of a particular word, either form may be used, but such use must be consistent throughout the thesis.
  • The thesis pages should be numbered in consecutive order with Arabic numerals, starting with the first page of text and continuing through to the last page of the entire thesis, including
  • endnotes/footnotes, appendices and references.
  • Pages preceding the text, starting with the first page of the abstract should be numbered consecutively with lower case Roman numerals.
  • The title page of the thesis must contain the Universal Copyright Notice (©).

Note: Hard copies of the dissertation will no longer be printed for binding, as your dissertation will be electronically submitted to Scholar’s Commons. Students are still responsible for providing two copies to the department – one for the external examiner and one for the chair.