Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dissertation Writing Guide

A term paper fulfills one of the requirements of a course or an undergraduate major. A thesis is a requirement of a graduate-level course or a master's degree. A dissertation is one of the requirements for a doctorate. Each kind of research paper must include reference, giving full pub­lication data for works cited in the text, and each is to be sub­mitted as finished copy rather than as a manuscript prepared for typesetting. Before beginning work on such a dissertation, the writer should consult the department or degree-granting institution to determine any special requirements. To the extent that these do not conflict with the guidelines offered in this guide, or if no special requirements exist, the style presented here is recommended.

All the basic text in a dissertation must be double-spaced, and double-spacing is strongly urged for all academic papers. In­dented block quotations, however, may be single-spaced. It is also conventional to single-space footnotes, item­ized lists, and bibliographies or reference lists, leaving a blank line between notes, items, or entries. Run-over lines in tables of contents, lists of tables and illustrations, and subheads may also be single-spaced.

A dissertation has three main parts: the front matter, or preliminar­ies; the text; and the back matter or reference matter. In a long paper, each of these parts may consist of several sections, each beginning a new page.

There are two categories of pagination: the front matter, num­bered with consecutive lowercase roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page, and the rest of the work, numbered with arable numerals centered at the bottom of pages that bear titles and centered at the top (or placed in the upper right cor­ner) of all other pages of the text and back matter.

Although all pages are counted in the pagination, some of the preliminaries do not have page numbers typed on them.