Main Body

Example: Main Body

Example: Formatting Headings with Unique Styles in the Main Body


You have more freedom formatting the main body of your manuscript, but you need still need to be consistent and follow the requirements that are described below.

The Office of Graduate Studies does not specify a specific structure or organization for the content of the main body. You, with your committee, will determine the number of chapters, the chapter organization, the format of subheadings, etc. Some Departments require the use of specific style guides, and students should follow those guidelines, except where the Office of Graduate Studies specifies differently. For example, even if you use APA, your thesis/dissertation should not have a running head.

Finally, aspects of the manuscript do need to appear in a specific order, and you must indicate Chapter and Chapter # in the Table of Contents (TOC) and the main body of the manuscript.

Chapter # and title are your level-one (1st order) headings and combined as such: Chapter #: Title of Chapter or Chapter # Title of Chapter. 

Organization is covered in more depth here: ETD Formatting Requirements-General 


General Formatting
  • Line Spacing: Double-spaced
  • Page Number: Arabic numerals (Begins at "1" on the first page after the Abstract)
Section Heading Formatting
  • All 1st-order headings must be 2" from the top edge of the page and must be styled consistently.
  • All subheadings (of each order/level) are in the same style and location throughout the manuscript.
Content Formatting
  • Widows - these are isolated lines of text or subheadings standing alone at the end of a page. Widows should be moved to the top of the next page.
  • Orphans - these occur when only the last 2-3 words at the end of a paragraph are alone at the top of a new page. To correct Orphans, drop a full line from the previous page down to the top of the page the orphan is on.

Do not leave large gaps of space (1/2 of the entire page or 5.5") at the bottom of a page (except at the end of a chapter). If a table or figure is causing the gap, use text from after it to fill in the space. You can refer to the table/figure with a note - '(See page ##)'.

Be sure to correct inconsistencies with spacing before and after paragraphs, headings, tables, and figures. If the spacing looks inconsistent, click on the bottom right of the Paragraph tab to open the Paragraph Settings window. Verify that "Spacing Before" and "Spacing After" are both 0 (unless you are using 6 pt. in one of those consistently throughout the document).

Inconsistencies tend to happen more when you copy and paste from other Word documents, since you are also often copying the formatting. Note that Word also defaults to having a 6 pt. "Spacing After”. The chosen spacing just has to be consistent.