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Skills for Learning: IT & Digital Skills


Tools in Microsoft Word can help with your dissertation formatting. They will allow you to work on your document in the most efficient way. Using these tools will also give your dissertation a professional look.

We run interactive workshops to help you develop your academic IT skills. Find out more on the Skills for Learning Workshops page.

Our Dissertations & Literature Reviews pages contain information about planning and writing your dissertation or major project.

We have online academic skills modules within MyBeckett for all levels of university study. These modules will help your academic development and support your success at LBU. You can work through the modules at your own pace, revisiting them as required. Find out more from our FAQ What academic skills modules are available?

Guide to formatting your dissertation in Word

This guide explains how to format your dissertation document using Word. It includes: setting margins; line spacing; heading styles; and inserting images and tables. Click on the link below.


  • Wait until the end to create your table of contents. Do not do this manually.  Word has a tool that does this automatically.
  • Word will also create your table of figures, tables, and equations, or you can create your own label.
  • Do not create headings manually using bold/indenting. Use Heading Styles. This allows you to use the Table of Contents tool later.
  • Use the Section Break tool in Word. It allows you to control where page numbers appear and in what format.
  • Use Ctrl + Enter to insert new pages.  If you just hit the Enter key, your formatting may become distorted.
  • If you type in capitals by mistake, you don't need to start again - Word has a tool that will change the case for you.
  • For guidance on accessibility, click on Creating accessible Word documents.

Dissertation template

This Word document is a template which you can download and use to build your finished dissertation document. Click on the link below.


  • Download the file and save it with a suitable file name.
  • Type your own text into the different sections – the page numbering will automatically adjust. Delete the instructional text.
  • Add any additional sections or subsections as required.
  • Delete any sections or subsections you do not require.
  • Use the ‘References – Table of Contents’ function to update the table of contents as required.

Dissertation formatting checklist

This checklist takes you through the main formatting steps for a structured dissertation document. Click on the link below.


There are variations in practice across different subjects and courses. Check course documentation or any other guidance you are given on formatting requirements.


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This is because Skills for Learning live events have finished for this academic year. You can find recordings of sessions that ran this year on a range of topics on our Building on Feedback page.

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