A Simple Way to Use Thesis Template

Introduction

To create a long document like a thesis in Microsoft Word, you need a suitable template that contains the appropriate styles and settings. Every paragraph (including headings) in Word has a “style” associated with it. A style is a collection of formatting instructions, including font family and point size, alignment, amount of space before and after the paragraph, etc. When creating a long structured document like a thesis, it is important to apply styles consistently.

If your university provides a  thesis template (Thesis.dot), available for download, conforms to the requirements of the Graduate School. This templates usually includes styles for chapter and section headings (with automatic numbering), as well as regulation margins, page number placement, automatic formatting of title pages, and Table of Contents compilation.

About the Thesis Template

The general layout of the thesis template will automatically fix the thesis according to the university’s guidelines, for example:

  • Top and bottom margins are X cm/
  • Left margin is cm/
  • Right margin is X cm/
  • Footer, which contains the page number, is Z cm/inch from edge of the page.
  • Line spacing (acceptable to Graduate School).
  • Font of body paragraphs is Times Roman, 12 pts.

Downloading the Thesis Template and related Files

You will need to download several files, all found on the institute of post graduate web site.

  1. First, download the Microsoft Word Thesis.dot:
  2. Open the downloads folder. then highlight the Thesis.dot file. right click then Copy. open the folder in which you want to save the template ( it is better to save it with your thesis files), such as “My DocumentsThesis”. right click paste.
  3. Dont change the thesis template name keep the same name, i.e. Thesis.dot .
  4. Double click the thesis template file, a new word document (Document 1)  will open.
  5. On the new document, go to file tab, then save it as  MyThesis.docx or any other name you choose.
  6. from now on, when you want to work or modify your thesis, use MyThesis.docx. Don’t open the original Thesis.dot again. just keep this file where you save it the first time. and don’t touch again

To summarize

save the template in a safe place. create a copy of the template give the copy a different name. modify and work with the copy. and don’t touch the template anymore.

 Applying the Template and Using Styles

You likely want certain pieces of text throughout you thesis to have the same formatting – for example, all the chapter titles should be centered, bold, a certain font and size, etc. Word styles define the appearance of text elements throughout your document and can be saved in a template that you can use to create new documents with the same settings.

There are several advantages to using styles:

  • Your document is consistent throughout, and you can make global changes
  • Heading text can be used to automatically generate table of contents.
  • You can view the headings in the Navigation Pane (View Ribbon), click to jump to a heading, or drag and drop chunks of text.

To see a list of the predefined styles in Word, look at the Styles Group in the Home Ribbon. The Thesis template (usually) provides the following paragraph styles:

APPLYING A STYLE

  1. Select the text to which you want to apply a style.
  2. In the Home Ribbon, in the Styles Group, click on the style you want to apply. If you don’t see the style you want to use, click on the Expand icon in the lower right corner of the Styles Group to see a more complete list of styles.

 

thesis formatting 34

CREATING A NEW STYLE

We highly recommend creating a new style for applying to a text.

  • Choose Home Expand    icon    under    Change Styles in Styles section
  • Click the New Style button (left double AA)
  • Name the style and select a style type (paragraph, character, table or list).
  • Click Format and adjust the desired settings (font, paragraph, tabs, borders, ).
  • Click OK to accept the format

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SETTING MARGINS

Graduate School guidelines require a 1” margin on all sides.

  1. On the Page Layout Ribbon, in the Page Setup Group, click on the arrow below the Margins options and select Custom Margins….
  2. In the Page Setup dialog box, select the Margins tab, and type 1” into the space for all the margins
  3. Before closing  the  dialog  box,  make  sure  the  Apply   to:

setting is set to Whole Document.

  1. Click OK.

If for whatever reason you need to change the margin for only one section, be sure the Apply to: is set to This section only.

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Adding Page Nunbers

Microsoft Word provides you with the option of selecting a numbering style (e.g. “Roman Numeral”,  “Arabic”)  and  gives  you  the  option  of  selecting  the  “starting    at” number. You can set the page numbers for your entire document, or if you need more control, you can do it section-by-section as well.

If you want continuous pagination that is all in the same format, go to the Insert Ribbon, and in the Header & Footer Group, click on the Page Number icon. Choose the appropriate placement of the number and a style.

If you are writing a dissertation, you have more complicated pagination. For example, Graduate School guidelines require that the page numbers begin on the third page of your document and the page number on that page should be Roman numeral “iii”. Page numbering should continue on in roman numerals until the first page of Chapter 1 is reached.  At that point, the numbering should restart in Arabic (“1, 2, 3…”).

To accomplish this, we are going to divide the document into different “sections”, break them apart (so they can have different page number formatting), and then add the page numbers.

See sections below on how to achieve this.

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STEP 1: USING SECTIONS TO CONTROL PAGE NUMBERING

The following instructions demonstrate numbering a dissertation document according to  Graduate School guidelines. These steps assume you are including a title page, an approval page, abstract and acknowledgements and other front matter, and then the body of your dissertation.

  1. Put your cursor before the first letter of “Abstract” or whatever is the first thing that comes after your approval page
  2. On the Page Layout Ribbon, in the Page Setup Group, click on the arrow next to the Breaks icon ( ) and select Next Page under the Section Breaks
  3. If you turn on the paragraph markers ( ), you should now see a section break on the previous page.
  4. Put your cursor before the first letter of your first chapter and repeat steps 2 and 3.

You have just separated your dissertation into sections. If you want to see what section you are working in, at the left end of Status Bar (at the bottom of your Word document), Word tells you what page you are on, how many words are in your document, which section you are in, and so on.
If you don’t see the section information, right-click on the Status Bar, and select Section in the menu that appears.

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STEP 2: BREAKING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SECTIONS

By default, the headers and footers of each section are connected to those of the sections before and after it. Therefore, if you want different page number styles to vary from one section to the next (such as Roman or Arabic), you’ll need to break the connection between the sections. Particularly with landscaped pages, it is often helpful to break the connection in the header as well as in the footer.

  1. Put your cursor on the first page that needs the Roman numbers.
  2. On the Insert Ribbon, in the Header & Footer Group, click on the arrow under the Footer icon and select Edit Footer.
  3. You should now be in the footer of that page; in the Header & Footer Tools Design Ribbon, in the Navigation Group, unlink this section’s footer from previous sections’ footer by clicking the highlighted Link to Previous icon.
  4. Put your cursor in the header area, and again click the highlighted Link to Previous
  5. Scroll down to the first page of the body of your dissertation (the chapters), make sure your cursor is in the footer, and click the highlighted Link to Previous icon
  6. Repeat for the header

 

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You have now successfully unlinked footers of these sections. Any page numbers you put in the body of your document will not affect the page numbering of your front matter, and vice versa.

STEP 3: ADDING THE PAGE NUMBERS

  1. Scroll up to the section that contains your front matter and click in the footer of any page (don’t do anything for your title page and other pages that don’t require a page number).
  2. On the Insert Ribbon, in the Header & Footer Group, click on the arrow next to the Page Number icon and select the positioning you’d like. Generally, Bottom of the Page is the choice, and either Plain Number 2 (centered) or Plain Number 3 (right aligned).
  3. To change to Roman Numerals, on the Insert Ribbon, in the Header & Footer Group, click on the arrow next to the Page Number icon and select Format Page Numbers… to set the “start at” number and the style of numbering.
  4. Scroll down to the first page of the next section (where your chapters start) and click in the footer.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to set the page numbers for this section. We have noticed in Office 2010 that sometimes when you insert the page number in the chapters’ sections it automatically turns to Arabic. If that is the case, then you just need to follow step 3 to make it start at 1.

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Working With Landscape Pages

When you change the orientation of a section of page to landscape, the header and footer of that section do not change orientation.  Instead, the header and footer are at the top and bottom of  the page on your screen, but when you print, they are in the left and right margins of the page, not the top and bottom. Any page numbers in the header or footer will appear sideways on the left or right of the printed page. These steps will help you move the page numbers to the appropriate  spot and turn them on their side so they print correctly.

 

CREATING A LANDSCAPE SECTION

  1. Click on the last line of the page before the page you want to have landscape page.
  2. On the Page Layout Ribbon, in the Page Setup Group, click on the arrow next to the Breaks icon and select Next Page under the Section Breaks group.
  3. This will create a new page and a section break. If you need to, use the Delete key, not the Backspace key (sometimes called the backwards delete key), on the keyboard to bring the next page’s content back up to the page you are currently on.
  4. Click on the last line of the last page that you want to have landscape orientation (or if you don’t have content yet press Enter on the keyboard a few times), and repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Click anywhere in section you want to have the landscape orientation.
  6. On the Page Layout Ribbon, in the Page Setup Group, click on the arrow next to the Orientation icon and select Landscape. Word 2010 understands that you want landscape only for this page.

DISCONNECTING THE LANDSCAPE SECTION

  1. Click somewhere in the first page of the section with landscape pages. On the Insert Ribbon, in the Header & Footer Group, click on the arrow below the Header icon and select Edit Header.
  2. In the Header & Footer Tools Design Ribbon, in the Navigation Group, unlink this section’s Header from previous sections’ headers by clicking the highlighted Link to Previous icon
  3. Click on the Go to Footer icon and repeat step 3.
  4. Scroll down to the first portrait page following your landscape section and repeat steps 3 and 4 for this section.

You have now disconnected the headers and footers in the sections prior to and following the landscape section of pages. This will prevent any  changes  you  make  to  the page numbers on the landscape pages from affecting the numbering on other pages.

 

thesis formatting landscape 2

ADDING PAGE NUMBERS TO THE LANDSCAPE PAGE(S)

  1. Delete the page numbers from the footer of the landscape section.
  2. On the Insert Ribbon, in the Header & Footer Group, click on the arrow next to the Page Number icon, choose Page Margin, and then in the Plain Number section, choose Large, left (unfortunately, they don’t seem to have just a plain left option).
  3. A large number will now appear in the left margin, and should be correctly centered.

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  1. Highlight the number, go to the Home Ribbon, and apply the Footer style so it matches all of your other
    1. Go to the Styles Group, click on the More icon ) and  then  Apply Styles
    2. Type in “Footer” in the Style Name: box, and then click Apply.

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  1. In the Drawing Tools Format Ribbon, in the Text Group, click on Text Direction icon until the number is rotated in the right orientation.

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Automatic Table of Contents

You cannot generate any automatic tables without first using styles effectively throughout your document. Microsoft Word can scan your document and find everything in the Heading-level 1 style and put that on the first level of your table of contents, put any Heading-level 2 styles on the second level of your table of contents, and so on.

If you want an automatic table of contents you need to label all of your chapter titles and front matter headings (e.g. “Abstract” and “Acknowledgements”) in the style Heading-level 1.  All  major headings within your chapters should be labeled Heading-level 2.  All subheadings should  be labeled Heading-level 3, and so on.

If you have used Heading styles in your document, creating an automatic table of contents is easy.

  1. Place your cursor where you want your table of contents to place.
  2. On the References Ribbon, in the Table of Contents Group, click on the arrow next to the Table of Contents icon, and select Insert Table of Contents….
  3. If you want to change the style of your table of contents (e.g. you want more space between the items on level 1 and level 2 of your table of contents, or you want all your level 1 items to be bold), click on the Modify button, select the TOC level you want to change, then click the Modify button to do that.
  4. If you want to change which headings appear in your table of contents, you can do so by changing the number in the Show levels: Pull Down.
  5. Click OK to insert your table of contents.
  6. For inserting Automatic Lists of Figures and Tables, repeat the same steps 1-5 on a new page just after the “Table of Contents” page (Note: There’s only a single heading- level in this case for both the lists).
  7. If you encounter a warning sign prompting to delete the existing table of contents, then click NO.

The table of contents is a snapshot of the headings and page numbers in your document. At any time, you can update it by right-clicking on it and selecting Update field. Notice that once the table of contents is in your document, it will turn gray if you click on it. This indicates that it is getting information from somewhere else.

Note: It is possible to manually edit Table of Contents data but it might get deleted once the entire table is updated; so, make sure to add manual data every time you update Table  of Contents.

Inserting Figures, Tables and Captions

Note that captions for tables usually go above the table, while captions for figures go below the figure:

How to Insert a table

  1. Insert a table into your document by going to the Table menu, click Insert, then Table.
  2. Choose the number of rows and columns, then enter your data.
  3. To make a caption, click somewhere inside the table, and go to: Insert → Reference → Caption, making sure the Label box says “Table” and the Position box says “Above selected item”. The text “Table 1.1” will be inserted above your table.
  4. Follow this with the text of your caption.
  5. By default, the caption will be left-aligned and in a smaller font.
  6. To put it in the same size font as the rest of the document, highlight the entire caption (left-click 3 times) and apply the style “Caption: Table”.
  7. To center it (recommended for one- line captions), simply select the entire caption and click the Center icon on Word’s Formatting toolbar.

How to Insert a Figure

Insert a figure in your document either by creating a drawing or by inserting a picture from a file.

  1. Make the caption in the same way as for a table: select the figure and go to: Insert → Reference → Caption, this time making sure the Label box says “Figure” and the Position box says “Below selected item”.
  2. To put it in the same size font as the rest of the document, highlight the entire caption (left-click 3 times) and apply the style “Caption: Figure”.
  3. To center it (recommended for one-line captions), simply select the entire caption and click the Center icon on Word’s Formatting toolbar.
  4. To refer to a figure or table in your document , see the instructions in the section  “Cross Referencesbelow.

Equations

If you have more than a few equations, we recommend using the build in equation editor in Microsoft Word or MathType from Design Science. This program, which is based on TeX, integrates with Word by extending the capabilities of Word’s equation editor and providing an additional MathType menu. See http://www.mathtype.com/ . To download a simple tutorial on how to use MS Word equation editor download the PDF from this link How to use MS word equation editor . However, if your thesis is heavy on mathematics, you may want to consider using LaTeX instead of Word to create your thesis.

Cross References, Footnotes, Back Matter

Footnotes

Create a footnote by using the Insert menu:

  1. choose Reference, then Footnote.
  2. The default gives you continuously numbered footnotes;
  3. you can change this behavior,if you wish, by entering your preferences in the appropriate boxes in the Footnote window.
  4. When ready, click the “Insert” box and type the text of your footnote at the bottom of the page.
  5. To return to the place in your document where you working, click the Close button (if you are working in Normal view) or double-click the footnote number (if you are working in Print Layout view).

Cross References

You can only cross-reference items in the same document. Therefore, before inserting references, first assemble your chapters into one document, as described beforeIn the text of your document, you can insert references to several different types of information, such as section headings, figures, and tables. Note that in order to refer to figures and tables, you must create the captions using the “Insert Caption” dialog as described before.

  1. First place the cursor where you want to create the cross reference in your
  2. From the Insert menu choose Reference, then Cross-reference.
  3. In the Reference type box, click the type of item you want to refer to (such as figure, table, or heading).
  4. In the Insert reference to box, click the information you want to insert (for example, “only label and number”).
  5. In the For which box, click the specific item you want to refer to, such as the particular caption to which you are
  6. Click Insert, then Close.

Quotations

A block quotation is a long quotation, too long to go inline. It appears in the document as a separate paragraph, indented from both left and right, smaller line spacing, and separated from the paragraphs above and below by some vertical space. To make a block quotation, just apply the style “Block quote”.

Back Matter

To create headings for appendices or a bibliography, use the “Heading 1” style if you want these sections to be numbered sequentially with your chapters. If you don’t want them numbered, use the “Frontmatter”  or “Other titles” heading style, , if available. or create a suitable new style

To format your bibliography entries using hanging indentation, use the “Bibentry” or “Reference”style, if available. or create a suitable new style.

Compiling the thesis parts

If your thesis is relatively short, you can use your Frontpages file for the whole thesis. Start your first chapter by moving to the end of the file (use Ctrl-End).

  • Go to Insert → Break; under Section break types, select Next page. Click OK.
  • Position the cursor on the new page and from the style choices, select Heading 1. Type the title of your first chapter, and press
  • Go to Insert→ Page
  1. For Position, select Bottom of page; for Alignment, select Center; check the box for Show number on first page.
  2. Click Format
  • For Number format, select 1, 2, 3 … from the pull-down
  • For Page numbering, select Start at 1. Click OK.
  • Click OK.

Note: If the page number “1” doesn’t appear on the bottom center of your first page, go through the Insert→ Page Numbers…. procedure once more.

To add subsequent chapters, just select the “Heading 1” style. The heading will start a new page, and the page numbering will continue from the previous chapter. Continue to write the thesis by applying the various heading styles as needed for sections and subsections. It is essential to use the heading styles provided by this template! Styles for Heading 1 through Heading 6 will format the headings correctly in your chapters and mark the headings (by default levels 1-3) for proper inclusion in your Table of Contents.

See Section 16 for instructions on how to update your tables of contents, cross references, etc.

Creating the Chapters as Separate Files (long thesis)

If your thesis is long, it is easier to work with smaller files, and should anything happen to destroy a file, you lose less of your work. Start a new file for each chapter, using the   thesis template: first start Word, then go to File → New, find thesis.dot in the list, and click its name.

While working, it is essential to use the heading styles provided by this template! Styles for Heading 1 through Heading 6 will format the headings correctly in your chapters and mark the headings (by default levels 1-3) for proper inclusion in your Table of Contents. The chapter numbering and page numbering will start with “1” in each file, but after you assemble the chapters (see Section 14), the numbering will be sequential.

Assembling the Thesis from Separate Files

If your thesis is in separate files, you will build the entire thesis by opening the file containing your front matter and then appending each subsequent file in turn, as follows:

  1. First, save and close all chapter files.
  2. Next, open your Frontpages file and use “Save as” to give it a name appropriate for your whole thesis. (Doing this preserves your original Frontpages file for backup purposes.)
  3. Add the first chapter to the end of the Frontpages file, as follows:
  • Go to end of the introductory pages (Ctrl-End)
  • Go to Insert → Break , under Section break types, select “Next page”
  • Place cursor at top of newly created page, then:
  • Go to Insert → File, select the file containing the
  • For the first chapter *only*, you will also need to:
  • Place the cursor somewhere is the chapter; go to Insert→ Page Numbers For Position, select Bottom of page; for Alignment, select Center; check the box for Show number on first page.
  • Click Format…
  • For Number format, select 1, 2, 3, … from the pull-down menu. For Page numbering, select Start at 1. Click OK.
  • Click OK.

For each subsequent chapter, repeat the following procedure:

  1. Go to the end of last chapter that you added (press Ctrl-End).
  2. Go to Insert → File, select the file containing the Building the TOC, List of Tables and List of Figures

The Table of Contents will automatically get filled in when you update (see below), but you will need to initially build the LOT and LOF yourself:

To build the List of Tables

  1. Go to the page with the heading “List of Tables”
  2. Click underneath the heading
  3. Go to Insert →Reference → Index and Tables
  4. Select Table of Figures (yes, really!)
  5. For Caption label, select “Table”
  6. Be sure the Format says “From Template”
  7. Click OK

To build the List of Figures

  1. Go to the page with the heading “List of Figures”
  2. Click underneath the heading
  3. Go to Insert → Reference → Index and Tables
  4. For Caption label, select “Figure”
  5. Be sure the Format says “From Template”
  6. Click OK

Updating Numbering and Contents

Updating Numbering for Tables of Contents, Figure Captions, Table Captions, Equations, Cross References

Note that when you insert new captions, Word automatically updates the numbering of all the other captions. But if you delete or move captions, you need to explicitly update, using one of the methods below.

  1. To update a single field, you can click in a field (e.g., a table number or a cross reference) and then press F9.
  2. Likewise, to update a list, such as the List of Figures, click in the list, then press F9.
  3. To update all fields in a document including Figures, Tables, Cross References, Equations, TOC,  LOT and LOF, click Select All on the Edit menu, and then press F9.

You now have a completed thesis!

Creating the PDF Files for Electronic Submission

Most universities require that electronically-submitted theses or dissertations be in Adobe Portable Document Format.


References

  1. First reference
  2. Second reference
  3. Third reference
  4. Fourth reference
1 Comment
  1. Zubairu Suleiman says

    This is awesome! Please provide us with PDF link to download this useful article. Thank you.

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