Dissertation Page Layout

Page Size

The whole thesis must be on an 8.5" x 11" page size, and must be in a single, page-wide column. Do not use two or more columns in your thesis.

Paragraphs

The text of the thesis must be in paragraph form.

  • the first line of each paragraph must be indented, or
  • there must be a larger space between paragraphs than there is between lines.

Each chapter must start at the top of a new page.

Margins

Left: 1.25 inches (32 mm) recommended for binding; 1 inch minimum.

Right, top, and bottom: 1 inch recommended; 0.75 inches (19 mm) minimum

Spacing

  • lines of text must be 1.5 or double spaced
  • quotations of more than one line can be single-spaced
  • acknowledgements, footnotes, table, figure and illustration captions and the bibliography can be single-spaced, provided that individual entries are separated by a full space

Page Numbering

Preliminary pages:

  • must be numbered in lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.)
  • the title page is "i" but this number must not appear on the page
  • numbering begins at "ii" on the first page of the abstract

Body of thesis:

  • must be numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.)
  • the first page of the text is "1"
  • subsequent pages are numbered continuously throughout, including pages with tables and figures, bibliographies, appendices, and index

Whole thesis:

  • every page except the title page must have a number on it
  • there must be no blank pages in the thesis.
  • page number sequence and completeness will be checked at final submission

Page Number Location

Page numbers:

  • must be placed at least .5 inches (12 mm) from the edge of the page
  • may be either in the lower centre or on the top or lower right of the page, when the page is viewed in portrait view. Lower right is preferred.

Landscape Pages

Landscape pages must be orientated in your PDF so that they are readable without rotation. You do not need to change the location or orientation of the page number, but may if you wish.

Facing Pages

Facing pages are not acceptable. If the caption for a figure, table, etc., cannot appear on the same page as its accompanying illustration, place the illustration on a separate page after the caption.

Formatting requirements

The Library's Theses Office assists with formatting theses, projects and extended essays for submission to the Library. You are encouraged to use the Library's thesis template to help format your thesis. The requirements stated on this page are default settings for the thesis template

Parts of a thesis

Section

Page

Required/Optional; notes

1: Title page

Title page - no page number

Required

2: Preliminary pages

(Roman page numbers)

Approval page – always page ii

Required

Ethics Statement

Required if the research was subject to ethics approval

Abstract

Required

Dedication

Optional

Acknowledgements

Optional

Table of Contents

Required

List of Tables

Required if the document contains tables

List of Figures

Required if the document contains figures

Other lists

Optional

List of Acronyms

Optional

Glossary

Optional

Preface/Executive Summary/Image

Optional

3: Main body

(Arabic page numbers)

Chapters—always beginning with page 1

Chapters and subsections may be numbered or unnumbered

References

You may use a single reference section at the end of the document or include references at the end of each chapter

Appendix(es)

Optional

File format, file size, and page size

The final copy of the thesis must be converted to .pdf for submission to the Library (maximum 256mb).

Theses must be formatted for US Letter (8.5X11) pages. Landscape 8.5X11 and 11X17 pages are permitted. Legal, A4, or other paper sizes are not permitted.

Font

Arial 11 point

Word template default

Times New Roman 12 point

Recommended serif font for Word

Computer Modern

LaTeX template default

Arial is the preferred font for SFU thesis submissions. You may use other fonts with the approval of your committee. See the Thesis Template Instructions for directions to change the default template font.

Line spacing

​The default template line spacing is 1.5 for text, with single-spaced block quotations.

Margins

Margins should be set to:

  • 1.25" left/right
  • 1" top/bottom

All pages must be numbered, with the exception of the title page. Page numbers should appear at the bottom centre of each page, at a minimum of 0.5” from the edge of the page.

Preliminary pages of the thesis must be numbered with Roman numerals. On the first page of the main body, page numbers must restart with 1. The thesis template is preset with this numbering style.

Citation style

SFU Library does not require a specific citation style. Consult your supervisor, your department’s graduate handbook, or a liaison librarian for help determining which style is appropriate for your research.

The default formatting in the library’s thesis template may differ from some requirements of your citation style, but it is acceptable for SFU library submission.

Cumulative theses

Cumulative, or paper-based, theses must use the same general format as other submissions. Consult your supervisor or your department's graduate handbook for more information. If including published papers in a thesis, please consult the Copyright and your thesis FAQ.

Language

For theses written in a language other than English, the Library requires a second complete English title page. Supporting documentation must be in English.

Personal information

Individual personal information must be removed from the thesis before publication, including signatures, email addresses, and phone numbers. For example, if you are including a survey instrument or consent form, your own contact information must be removed.

Blank pages

Blank pages in the thesis must be removed before publication.

Optional pages in the thesis template may be removed if not used.

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