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Formatting Your Thesis/Dissertation: 1. Document Setup

Learn about Graduate College formatting requirements.

Table of Contents: Document Setup

Set the Margins

Set the Page Margins


The margins of the document will need to be adjusted to meet the requirements. Margin settings are located under the LAYOUT tab. You'll need to select "Custom Margins" to properly set up the document.

The margin setting is located under the LAYOUT tab


Selecting this option will open a Dialog Box. The margins should be set to the following:

Top: 1.25"

Bottom: 1.25"

Left: 1.5"

Right: 1"

margins should be set to: top & bottom = 1.25 inches, left = 1.5 inches, right = 1 inch


Before clicking OK, you'll want to set the location of the header. This will set where the page numbers are located throughout the document. This is located under the LAYOUT tab of the Page Setup Dialog Box. You'll set the From edge: Header: to 0.75" and ensure it is applied to the whole document.

the header from edge will adjust the location of page numbers. this can be applied to the whole document

Set the "Normal" Style of Font

Set the "Normal" Style of Font


The "styles" in word set some default formatting for text. Setting up the "Normal" style will create a default font setting to keep the text uniform throughout the document. The Styles pane is located under the HOME tab.

the normal style is located on the HOME tab

Right click on the "Normal" style to open the Modify option.

right click on the normal style to modify the formatting


This will open a Modify Style Dialog Box. Start by changing the Paragraph formatting. This is located by selecting the Format drop down in the bottom left of the Dialog Box.

the paragraph styling is located under format in the bottom left of the dialog box

There are two things that should be set under the Paragraph settings. Under the INDENTS AND SPACING tab, check to turn on "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style." Under the LINE AND PAGE BREAKS tab, check to turn on the "Widow/Orphan Control."

check the don't add space option and the widow/orphan control under the normal style paragraph settings


Once both of those have been set and you click "okay," you'll be returned to the Modify Style Dialog Box. Set the font formatting. Select the font you wish to use throughout the document, change the font size to 12 point, ensure the line spacing is double spaced, and select the option to remove space between paragraphs (this is indicated by two lines pointing towards each other).

select the font you wish to use, change the size, double space the text, and keep lines together