Thesis Formatting Checklist

The following items and formats are required by FGS. In addition, students must meet discipline-specific standards with respect to format (including electronic format), organization, manuscript (co)authorship, and any other requirements. Students are responsible for informing themselves about any special formats or standards required by their academic units.


  1. 21.5 x 28 cm (8.5" x 11”) page format;
  2. Left-hand margin 3.81 cm (1.5"); other margins 2.54 cm (1");
  3. Line spacing 1.5 or 2, except where otherwise indicated;
  4. 12-point font in main body of text, unless otherwise specified;
  5. All pages numbered (except title page);
  6. No missing, blank, or duplicate pages;
  7. PDF/A can’t contain any signatures; File name can’t contain an ampersand (&).

Preliminary Pages

  1. Title page present and in standard format. Date entered on this page should be the date on which the oral defence occurred or if you didn’t have an oral defence this would be date your "read" defence was approved. Page numbers: lower case Roman numerals, centred on bottom of page, no number on title page.
  2. Student name consistent on the title page. Thesis title in 'Title Case' or 'ALL CAPS';
  3. Table of contents: complete; numbers and wording consistent with text;
    • First entry on Table of Contents is the List of Tables (if you have it), see sec 2.1.h of the Thesis Formatting Guidelines for ordering Table of Contents entries;
    • All titles found in Table of Contents (and their corresponding headings within the text) should be in Title – highlight the title in Microsoft Word, go to format, change case and select title case). 
    • Right-align page number entries (use the right aligned tab).
    • Use 1.5-2 line-spacing between entries; entries that are more than one line should be single-spaced.
    • Chapter 1 should be entitled Introduction and Last Chapter Conclusion (or Discussion).
    • Ensure that text with in the titles does not hang over the Table of Content’s page numbers; the column of page numbers must be free of any text from the titles.
    • Entries should have a minimum of two leaders (or dots) separating the text from the page number, force breaks where necessary;
    • List each Appendix separately.

Main Pages - Body of Text, Standard Format

  1. Chapter 1 starts on page 1
  2. Page numbers: all pages numbered in sequence, consistent placement, consistent font size (minimum 10-point font);
  3. Font size: 12-point or equivalent for text;
  4. Line spacing: 1.5 or 2 throughout the text;
  5. Titles and subheadings: consistent numbering and placement for each different level; font size and style may differ from main text.
  6. Tables and Figures: When a table carries on to more then one page the first row in the table (containing the headers) should be repeated on the 2nd and subsequent pages

Final Pages (Endnotes/ References/Appendices)

  1. Font size consistent with main body of text;
  2. Final Bibliography/References/Reference list/Works Cited must include all items referred to in text;
  3. Individual entries may be singled-spaced; 1.5 or 2 lines required between entries.

Supplementary Material (Included in Thesis)

  1. Copyright agreement letters (if applicable – part of an appendix)
  2. Electronic supplements: supplementary files can be uploaded to DalSpace
    • Since only the thesis file is harvested by the national library, a written description of any electronic supplements should be included as an appendix. This should note that the supplements can be found on DalSpace.

Other (Not Included in Thesis)

  1. Thesis Approval Form
  2. Dalhousie Thesis Licence Agreement
  3. Student Contribution to Manuscript (if applicable)

Publication Format ONLY

  1. Font size, page numbers, line spacing, and headings as for standard format;
  2. Statement of student contribution to co-authored manuscripts (FGS form completed and statement in text);
  3. Student Contribution to Manuscripts in Thesis form (if applicable)
  4. Copyright permission letters (in appendices);
  5. Abstract, acknowledgements, reference lists (if any) numbered as sections consistent with rest of chapter;
  6. Publication status and details for each manuscript or paper must be stated with each chapter;
  7. General introduction and discussion/conclusion chapters included in thesis.
  8. Tables and Figures: When a table carries on to more then one page the first row in the table (containing the headers) should be repeated on the 2nd and subsequent pages