Thesis and Dissertations Tips and Tricks

These six tip sheets will help you with the basics of your thesis or dissertation formatting


APA 6th or 7th?  Remember, you must use one or the other version.  You may not combine them.  See this comparison chart for the most common differences between the versions.

Quick formatting cheat sheet.  Find out what your margins should be, spacing for paragraph indents, how to do page numbers, formatting for headings and subheadings, etc.

Front and back page formatting.  Follow these examples and your front and back pages will be consistent with SJSU styling.

Spacing help.  You must double-space your work, and you may single space quotes, headings and part of your front pages.  You may not have triple spacing, or any other type of spacing.  Often, the reason that theses and dissertations have uneven spacing is because of using  "points before or after" feature in Word.  This tip sheet will help you prevent that.

Tables and figures.  Although many format guides require figures and tables to be at the end of a work, the Thesis Guidelines at SJSU will not allow it.  Tables and figures must follow as closely as possible to their in-text reference.  Additionally, table titles must be at the top of your table, and figure descriptions must be at the bottom of your figure.  See these pages for examples.

In-text citation.  These are APA 6th in-text citation rules.  Find out what the rules are according to your style guide, and follow them.

Margin template.  Make sure your thesis or dissertation follows the correct top, bottom and side margin rules.