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Dissertation Layout Tips for Students

Are you a final-year student desperately trying to finish your dissertation?

When you’re immersed in the detail and working so hard on the content, it can be difficult (and plain annoying) to keep in mind the format you have to follow to submit – but it’s essential you follow the rules or your work might not be accepted.

Remember – good presentation is crucial. This final piece of work represents all the hard work you’ve put into your entire course. It deserves to look great!

If you’re confused about how to format your dissertation we can help. Here are the basics you should follow for a professional layout.

Title Page

To start with – you need a title page. This should include your full dissertation title, your examination number, your full name, word count, course title and year of graduation.


Your title page is followed by the abstract, which is a short summary of what your work is about, and what it sets out to do.

The abstract must not exceed 300 words unless otherwise specified. It should be a clear and concise summary, to let the reader know what they’re in for.

Table of Contents

Next up is your table of contents. This should include the page number of each chapter and the page numbers of all other sections (such as bibliography, appendices, diagrams, etc).


The text of the dissertation should typically follow these rules:

  • 12-point font. There are usually no requirements with regards to font type, but you should use a clear easy-to-read font such as Ariel or Times New Roman.
  • Either double-spaced or 1.5 line spacing.
  • A margin of at least 3.5 cm on the left-hand side of the page, to allow for binding – more on that later!
  • Use single-sided A4 paper.
  • Number each page.
  • You should include footnotes, if necessary, on each page (as dictated by your referencing style). Explanatory footnotes should stand at the foot of the relevant pages.


List your references using the style dictated by your university. For example, you may be required to use the Harvard or Vancouver referencing style. Sometimes, different departments in Universities use different styles – so make sure you have the right one.

Both your footnotes and list of references must follow the required style. The list of references typically come before your appendices, diagrams, and abbreviations (if you have any).

Supporting Material

As mentioned above you might also include tables, figures, and abbreviations after the body of the work in addition to an appendix.

Double-Check the Requirements for your University

It’s important to double-check the requirements of your university because the rules sometimes differ.

Printing and Binding

Finally, it’s essential that your dissertation is professionally printed and bound. Professional printing and binding can make a world of difference to the look of your finished product.

You’ve done all the hard work researching and writing, trust the experts to make it look great for you!

For dissertation printing and binding in London, you won’t find better. Our dissertation binding services are professional and affordable and come with the guarantee of a fast turnaround.

We offer many different types of finish, including comb, wire and soft binding. We even offer hardback binding.

Pop into our shop! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Need more help? Give us a call on 020 8858 1226