8 Fundamental MLA Dissertation Formatting Rules To Remember

A dissertation is easily one of the hardest and most stressful projects of your academic career so we are here to give you the lowdown on eight basic formatting rules that you must remember when you’re working on it and finishing it up. The format is important especially because it is a way to organize the project and deliver it in a clean, understandable and professional looking manner. Without a correct format, it will simply look like you are sloppy and disorganized and we know that’s the last thing you want to portray. So without further ado, here are the eight fundamental MLA formatting rules to remember.

  1. Title format – The format of the title is pretty simple in this case. You will want to have it in all caps for the sake of uniformity, and it should be aligned to the center of the page.
  2. Name format – Your name will come right after the title and centered on the page as well. Under the title, you will put the word “by” in lowercase and one space under that you put your full author name.
  3. Document Type format – You will want to include a little blurb about what the document is for, who it is for and the date. This will go two spaces under where your author name is written and it should be center aligned to the page as well.
  4. Wording format – To word your document type correctly, we suggest that you start with “Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the [university name here], [city where university is located here] in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of [your degree here]. All of this information should be in a centered and cascading order (lines get smaller).
  5. Date format – The current year (no month or day) should be marked right under the document type.
  6. Spacing format – Try not to leave more than 2 inches of white space anywhere in your paper. Also, double space the entire paper (a few exceptions apply)
  7. Margin format - 1 ½ inch margins for the left and right on all pages and 1 ¼ inch margins from the top and bottom.
  8. Citation format – The example of citing a dissertation is as follows:
  9. a. Last name, First name. Title. Diss. University name, publication year. Web. Date accessed.

The rules of MLA apply very much the same to almost any type of paper. However, be sure to review these instructions and also the rules your university has for dissertation formatting because they can vary slightly from place to place.

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