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PhD Writing: Tips And Prompts

Completing an Economics Ph.D. Dissertation: 10 Formatting Rules

One of the most important aspects of submitting a dissertation in economics is ensuring that it is properly formatted. A mistake in this area can decrease your chances of earning top marks on your way towards an economics Ph.D. and in some cases even disqualify you from passing, thus forcing you to start the entire dissertation project again. Here are 10 formatting rules you must know:

  1. Line Spacing
  2. Your entire document should be double spaced. This includes the abstract, appendices and any other sections. The only exceptions are footnotes and bibliographical entries.

  3. Page Margins
  4. The binding page should always be at least one and a half inches; the remaining sides should be kept at least to one inch.

  5. Page Numbering
  6. One should center each page horizontally and about three-quarters of inch from the bottom margin. Some people are used to including their last names, however, that is not required in this type of work.

  7. Headings and More
  8. There are several different formatting styles for headings, subheadings, etc. The important thing to remember is they remain consistent throughout and that they are included in the table of contents for quick reference.

  9. Quotations
  10. Any quotes of three or few lines should be included within the text in enclosed in quotation marks. Any quotes that are four or more lines should be inserted as a block quote. Don’t forget to include the author’s name and page information.

  11. Foot- and Endnotes
  12. Whenever you are referencing a particular work the first occasion you use a footnote should include all of the author’s information, the title of the item, all of the publication information, and the page number you are referencing.

  13. Tables
  14. There are several different ways that a table could be formatted, but you should go with the one design that is most common in this discipline. All tables should be numbered using Arabic numbers.

  15. Figures
  16. Figures are pretty much anything that isn’t a table; it can be a graph, chart, diagram, phone, etc. You should always insert the figure immediately after the paragraph in which it was first mentioned and cited. When a figure doesn’t fit in the same page it must be placed at the top of the following page.

  17. Graphs
  18. You see a lot of graphs in economics dissertations, so it’s important you get it right the first time. The graph legend should always be placed beneath the image, and the entire graph must be flushed to the left margin.

  19. Images
  20. It’s important that all images included are high-quality. If you retrieve images that aren’t your own you must offer complete permission and copyright information in parentheses after your descriptive caption.

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