Order of pages in a thesis

For traditional theses/dissertations, a suggested format for the order of appearance of pages would be:

Prefatory Pages

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Abstract
  • Preface (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures and Illustrations
  • List of Symbols or Abbreviations (if any)

Body of Text

  • Chapter 1. Significance of the Problem
  • Chapter 2. Literature Review
  • Chapter 3. Theoretical Framework
  • Chapter 4. Methods (includes design, sample recruitment, sample characteristics, data collection method (tools, their reliability and validity), details on analytical methods, ethical/access considerations)
  • Chapter 5. Results (or Findings)
  • Chapter 6. Discussion (can also include implications for further research, education, practice,...)
  • Chapter 7. Conclusion

Final Sections

  • References
  • Appendices (may include ethics approval; permissions from publishers; details of methodology, tabulated data and other information not provided in detail in the previous chapters)
  • Index (optional)

Athabasca University: Formats for theses and dissertations

One space or two at the end of a sentence?


APA Publication Manual 6th edition: Spacing (4.01). Using two spaces after periods ending sentences aids readers of manuscript drafts.

Nothing Says Over 40 Like Two Spaces after a Period!
Unless you are typing on an actual typewriter, you no longer have to put two spaces after a period.

For age, use numerals and hyphenate

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (and other style guides), you always use numerals for ages, and hyphenate like this: 23-year-old.

APA page margins

Set uniform margins of at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) on the top, bottom, left, and right of every page. Use your word-processing software to add a header that will appear at the top of every page that includes the running head and the page number. The header appears within the top margin, not below it.

From the APA Publication Manual 6th edition (section 8.03, pp. 229-230).

For more information about editing and
formatting of essays, manuscripts, and theses,