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Thesis Page


The details of the thesis page layout will depend on the department’s preferences and on the style manual that the thesis is using, but the student should be aware of several elements.

First, the student should determine the page numbering system and should number the thesis pages accordingly. For example, the first page of each chapter may omit the page number, or it may center the page number in the bottom margin. By contrast, the subsequent pages in each chapter may have the numbers in the top right or top left corner. The style manual should tell the student exactly where to place them.

Second, thesis page layouts will determine the size of the margin. At times, departments may have unusual margin preferences, such as leaving a larger margin on the left side of the thesis page in order to allow for binding. Furthermore, they may require that students leave a certain gap between chapters or that they start each chapter on a fresh page, leaving a margin of several inches at the top.

Third, the thesis page layout should allow for the smoothest reading experience possible. Therefore, the student should not attempt to fit too much content into a single page through the use of small font sizes and/or single spacing, but neither should he or she leave too much blank space on the page. Again, the style manual should define font sizes and styles as well as spacing, but a good rule of thumb is not to use a font size smaller than 10-point and not to use obscure fonts that are difficult to read.

If the department does not express any preferences for the appearance of thesis pages, students should choose to make the text as legible as possible through the use of standard fonts, font sizes, margins, and systems of numbering pages. In general, they may apply the same rules that they normally use for writing term papers, which will result in a professional, academic appearance that the professors may read with ease.


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