How to Format Your Dissertation In Microsoft Word

mans hands on apple mac laptop sideA dissertation is the most important evidence of work for a researcher. It’s proof of your knowledge in a particular field of study. How to structure your dissertation is critical and using Microsoft word to format it is just wise.

Word document formatting provides styles, which is a collection of formatting instructions that help in customizing your work. This article highlights the techniques you can use.

Common Formatting Options

There are a variety of options one can use to format a word document and they all have rules on how to use them. Below are some of the most common options.

Quick styles

If you actually check, you will find many in-built styles ready to use. They are efficient and consistent methods of editing texts. One is a quick style.

Quick style is located in the home tab and heading formats are mainly located here. They are useful in structuring formal documents. Start by selecting the word you want to format and choose from a number of options the style you want your text to appear in. Words to start a thesis can be used as headings and formatted accordingly.

There are 9 levels of heading formats. Click on the arrow pointing down on the bottom right corner of the styles tab to view them and make your most suited selection.

Modifying using heading styles

  1. On the Home tab in the Styles group section choose the style of your choice
  2. Right click on it and select modify
  3. A dialog box appears with formatting options such as paragraph spacing, text coloring, line spacing, and different fonts, etc.
  4. Apply the modification and click OK

The text that you chose to modify will be updated to the current style

Styles part can be quite complicated to master its utilization. In such a case, you should consult a seasoned dissertation writer for some dissertation help on how to write your thesis using the correct styles. In Australia, for example, the experienced dissertation gurus conduct regular seminars to teach and help young academicians with thesis writing.

Inserting Tables

A thesis often has tables, which are important since you are able to present data in a clear, brief and comprehensive manner. When a writer uses tables, they are able to avoid giving lengthy explanations of the intricate thesis words used. You are able to break it all down in a simplified format.

To use tables, it is important to observe some rules that apply to dissertation writing. What you need to know;

  1. Tables should not precede the first discussion of its contents but should appear as near as possible to the discussion related to them. Place them after an explanation of the content.
  2. They should not appear in the middle of a sentence as this disrupts the flow of the context.
  3. Tables, including figures, illustrations and examples, should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numbers. There should be captions for each table that describe precisely what it entails.
  4. Computer-generated tables are suitable. They should be clear, comprehensible and meet margin requirements.

Changing the Margins of the Document

Margins in word documents are based on templates. When you create a document, the margins are set to the default of the template you use. When you change the margins of an existing template, future templates will have the updated margins.

Automatically, the space between the edge and a word is set to one.

Editing the margins

To edit the margins, follow these quick, simple Microsoft formatting steps.

  1. Margins In WordClick on the page layout tab
  2. Choose margins on the furthest side on the left
  3. A drop down menu appears where you can make your choice
    Note: to affect only one page, split your document into sections. The new margins will automatically affect every page in the document if not split
  4. To apply custom changes, click on Custom Margins at the bottom of the drop-down menu
  5. A page setup dialog box appears. Enter the margin in the Margins tab
  6. Click OK

Paragraph and Line Spacing

Paragraph spacing determines how much space comes before and after a paragraph, while line spacing is the distance between two lines or rows. In line spacing, you first select the text you want to edit and in paragraph spacing, you place your insertion point or mouse anywhere in a single paragraph.

For paragraph and line spacing editing options, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Home tab
  2. Click the Line and Spacing paragraph button. A drop-down menu appears with line spacing options on the top and paragraph spacing on the bottom
  3. Word Paragraph and Line SpacingSelect the most preferred line spacing from the numbers appearing
  4. Select the spacing you want before or after a paragraph

Double spacing can also be considered quite similar to line and paragraph spacing. Here is how to double space in word 2017 or other MS word version is done.

  1. Click on the Design tab
  2. Click on Paragraph Spacing: a drop-down menu appears
  3. Select double
  4. Notice the spacing between lines

Wrap Up

A thesis is a critical document in the academic world. It is proof of your research, written for others to scrutinize and ascertain its authenticity. It should, therefore, be written according to the laid down structure and regulations.

In Australia, institutions have published a common guideline on how their theses should be written. This guide is available online for everyone in the country. This approach is efficient; it mostly aligns with the MS Word format. Learn and apply.


  1. Avatar
    Anonymous March 16, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks for share this,it is great.

  2. Avatar
    Anonymous February 25, 2020 at 12:36 am

    It is helpful. thanks for sharing this.

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