When writing a paper, it is important to follow any rules or guidelines set by your professor. Make sure to check your assignment for specific instructions regarding format. Different fields have different standards, and it will be important for you to know the standard for your future field.
The following formatting guides are the most widely accepted for the format and submission of theses and dissertations, but there may be differences from the requirements of your UVF department. Always check with your professor if you have questions regarding format for your paper, especially if your assignment is a thesis or dissertation.
Most papers have three divisions: front matter, the text of the paper itself, and the back matter. For a regular class paper, the front matter is usually just a title page and the back matter is the bibliography or reference list. Theses and disserations will have more subsections depending on the paper.
Nearly all papers are published on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, regardless of physical or electronic submission. Leave a margin of at least 1 inch on all four sides of your page. For a thesis or dissertation meant to be bound, leave a slightly bigger margin on the left side of the page, usually 1 1/2 inches.
Be sure that all materials found in the footnotes and endnotes falls within the margins.
Choose a single, readable, and widely available font such as Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid ornamental fonts as they can distract your readers or make your work appear less serious. In general, use the equivalent of at least 10-point Arial or 12-point Times New Roman for the body of texts.
Check your professor's guidelines for font and size for footnotes and endnotes.
Double space all text in papers, except for the following, which should be single spaced:
The following should be single spaced internally, but a blank line should be between items:
Put only one space, not two, following sentences. Use tabs or indents for paragraph indentation and to adjust other content requiring consistent alignment. Block quotations have their own guidelines for indentation, depending on whether they are prose or poetry.
If your only front matter is a title page, do not number that page.
Number the pages in the body of the paper and the back matter with arabic numerals, starting on the first page of text (page 2 if you count the title page.
If you are writing a thesis or dissertation, number front matter separately from the rest of the text.
Front matter includes the title page and various other elements. Number these pages consecutively with lower case roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.) Ask your professor about specific guidelines for numbering front matter.
Back matter is numbered consecutively using arabic numerals.
Page numbers are found in four possible locations
centered in the footer
flush right in the footer
centered in the header
flush right in the header
Remain consistent in the placement of your page numbers
The front matter of a thesis or dissertation may have some or all of the following elements:
Copyright © 20XX by Your Name
All rights reserved
You do not need to apply for formal copyright.
The text of the paper is everything between the front matter and the back matter. It begins with an introduction and ends with your conclusion. In a thesis or dissertation, the text is usually separated into chapters and sometimes into parts, sections, and subsections. Since most of the text consists of paragraphs laying out your findings, there are few format requirements.
Begin arabic numbering with the first page of the text (normally page 1 or 2).
The back matter may consist of all, some, or none of the following elements.
Depending on the complexity of your paper, there will be many elements which should each have a title.
Use the same font, type size, and formatting style (bold, italic, etc.) for the titles of like elements. Generally, titles should appear in bold.
On the title page, center each element and use headline-style capitalization for all, including the title of your paper.
Titles for front and back matter are generally centered, as are chapter number designations and chapter titles.