A dissertation format is the standard format recommended to students to structure their dissertations. It is normally a very practical and method used by students to get familiar with how to present a research paper for evaluation. There are standard norms to be followed which when practiced for some time will result in a standard format fit for evaluation. Some basic and standard guidelines are mentioned below.

Irrespective of dissertation topics, pages have to be formatted in the following way.

1.   All text has to be double-spaced except footnotes, references and the bibliography.

2.   When you include quotations of four or more lines of prose, they should be single-spaced and indented five spaces from the left margin.

3.   The left margin is usually 1 and ½ inches.

4.   The top, right, and bottom margins must be 1 inch.

5.   The title page should be brief and to the point. It should summarize in detail an accurate description of the content of the research.

6.   All references to unknown characters and denotation should be avoided.

7.   The date has to appear at the foot of the page and generally denotes the month and year of the degree to be conferred.

8.   All the pages are divided into sections (you could name them as chapters). New sections should begin on a new page and should indicate the content to be discussed with appropriate dissertation titles. You could then divide each section into sub sections for the sake of clarity. Again, each sub section should have a title and begin on a new page.

9.   Presentation plays an important role in adding clarity.  Add graphs, tables, photographs, pictures, charts, and maps. You should ensure that these are all your own and should be sharp and clear. It could be on microfilm or adapted from the internet, but adjust them so the pages are fit for binding without losing any content.

10.   Avoid using non standard paper and stick to what is suggested by assessors. If not mentioned, look for dissertation samples that would provide guidance.  For example, a business essay would be mostly likely presented over the internet and should be adapted to fit into page structure as specified by software tools you are recommended to use. This could later be used to reproduce hard copy that allows standard printouts allowed by the printer you are using.

11.   When you have to mention references like footnotes, it should appear at the bottom of the page. Similarly, when you have to mention end notes, it will appear at the end of complete chapters. These notes should be numerically listed. It is important for you to be consistent and thorough throughout the dissertation.
12.   Design essays specify certain other norms that have to be included. Photographs or pictures used need to be either your own or the source cited. Refer to dissertation examples for clarity.

13.   The bibliography can be mentioned using the style guide that is allowed by the university or board you are affiliated to. It could be listed using the APA/MLA or other styles. Care should be taken to avoid plagiarism. So reference sources have to be authentic and notations accurate.

There are several other formatting guidelines specified by your guide. You need to follow all of them. It takes a while but you get used to it and by the time you have completed the dissertation, you would be well versed with the skills required to adapt to any dissertation format.