6 Formatting Mistakes in Graduate Dissertation You May Don’t Know

Writing a dissertation means a student has to make a number of decisions at various stages. In the initial steps, the right decision about the selection of a topic is necessary to carry out research. In the other phase, the selection of a good research problem that will have a significant impact on society matters a lot. Likewise, the right decisions about the selection of the method of data collection, analysis, and interpretation also have a great impact on the dissertation writing process.

Even though when students make good decisions at all these steps, they forget to pay attention to dissertation formatting rules. The majority of the students leave formatting for the eleventh hour; thus, they commit a number of mistakes. This article will highlight some of the most common formatting mistakes that graduate students often commit so you can learn from such mistakes.

What Does The Formatting Of A Dissertation Mean?

By the Oxford dictionary, the literal meaning of the word ?formatting? is to put something into a format or to properly arrange something. Formatting of a text can be of four types character or font formatting, paragraph formatting, section formatting, and document or page formatting. In the twentieth century, when MS word is the most sought-after software for drafting a dissertation, the formatting of a dissertation refers to the following things:

  • Text Alignment
  • Justification of the text
  • Selecting left, right, top, and bottom margins
  • Arranging the text spacing
  • Aligning table of context, table of figures, and list of figures
  • Arranging the block quotation, footnotes, bibliographies, and footnotes.
  • Selecting the appropriate font, size and style for text and many more.

All in all, for formatting a thesis, you have to focus on a number of minor details. The adjustment of the text, empty space, and graphics that will appear in your final dissertation are the main goals of formatting. There are many styles of formatting. You can select one or use the one suggested by your university. To know more about different referencing as well as formatting style guides, you can contact one of the leading dissertation writing services in the UK.

Common Dissertation Formatting Mistakes:

Have you listened to a common phrase ?a chain is as strong as its weakest link?? If yes, then you will also know its contextual meaning. The same concept is applicable to graduate dissertations. We can say that a dissertation will be as perfect as its formatting. Thus, the following are some formatting mistakes that are often seen in graduate dissertations and that students must avoid after reading this article.

Unjustified Text:

The foremost important formatting mistakethat students who are writing a dissertation for the first time often commit is the unjustified text. An unjustified text is not only a reason for losing some formatting marks, but it also irritates supervisors. This is because it spoils the overall presentation of a dissertation and makes a dissertation hard to read.

Inconsistency Between The Table Of Content And Dissertation Pages:

The purpose of writing a table of content is to facilitate the reader in searching for the content he/she is looking for. The addition of page numbers in front of a heading in the table of content allows readers to jump directly to the desired piece of information. However, in many students? dissertations, the page number mentioned in the table of content does not match the alignment of the text in the dissertation. Thus, such tables of content, instead of bringing ease to the reader, put them into trouble finding the information by superficially screening the text.

Missing Abstract:

An abstract is another important part of a dissertation that is essential to provide a quick summary of a research. Most students? dissertations often lack abstracts at all. However, in many cases, it does not follow proper writing and formatting rule. By rules, the abstract must not exceed one page, but in some dissertations, it exceeds even three pages. The too long and too short abstract is another reason why students fail to secure 10/10 marks in dissertation formatting.

Improper Page Numbers On Preliminary Pages:

In the dissertation, another common formatting mistake is a lack of knowledge to give the correct page number in the word file. In MS word, if you want to use a single page numbering format for the whole text, then you can easily use the ?insert page number? feature of word. However, in a dissertation, the preliminary pages must be numbered by following the Roman numbering style, and the main body must follow the numerical style. Using two styles in one file is a bit tricky, and students commit mistakes using both effectively.

Inconsistent Headers And Footers:

In dissertations or other academic assignments, the inconsistency in headers and footer style is another big formatting mistake. A dissertation must have a running header highlighting the topic of interest and must have a small university?s logo. Likewise, the footer must also include page numbers and footnotes (if necessary to put in a graduate dissertation). Missing header/footer at a few pages or inconsistency in style is commonly evidenced in dissertations. 

Inconsistencies Between The Alignment Of The Pictures Used In The Dissertation:

The medical students have to add all pictures related to their laboratory work and experiment performed to conduct research. In many dissertations, students use such pictures without editing. Blurred pictures, lack of proper borders around the pictures, and improper figure legends are some common formatting mistakes that students must avoid to submit a perfect dissertation.   

Final Thoughts:

The article has provided six different formatting mistakes that students must avoid to secure good marks in a dissertation. In summary, page number, text formatting, picture editing, abstract missing, header and footer inconsistency, and table of contents-related mistakes are formatting mistakes that students must avoid. Additionally, font size, heading style, and bibliographic formatting are also parts of a dissertation formatting process. Apart from all, the one-sentence solution to all formatting issues is to never leave it for the end.