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Thesis Writing Hub: Formatting Guidelines

This guide provides all resources related to project, thesis, and dissertation writing and submission process at AUB.

The below guidelines help students meet the thesis formatting requirements.

They have been incorporated in the Thesis templates. You can also download the Thesis Guidelines as a PDF document.

Arabic Thesis: A Thesis in Arabic follows the same requirements of a Thesis in English. An additional title page in English and the translation of the abstract into English should be included. All specifications applied from left to right in English should be considered from right to left in Arabic.

Download Guidelines


Please use “Times New Roman” typeface for English, and the “Simplified Arabic” for Arabic.


Body of the text: 12 for English and 14 for Arabic.

Major title headings and preliminary pages headings: 16 for English ALL CAPS and 20 for Arabic.

DO NOT use BOLD face in preliminary pages and major headings, e.g.  chapters, appendices, and bibliography.


Throughout the document, margins should be:

  • Left side: 3.5 cm.
  • Right side: 2.5 cm.
  • Top of the page: 3 cm.
  • Bottom of the page: 3 cm.

Illustrative materials, tables, charts, graphs, etc., should not be placed closer than 2 cm from the top, right and bottom edges of the page, and 2.5 cm from the left (while 2.5cm from right instead of left for Arabic Thesis).

The text can be left aligned (or right aligned for Arabic) or justified.


The text throughout the Thesis must be double-spaced, except in footnotes, in any block quotations, or in tables.

The text in the Acknowledgement and Abstract pages is single spaced.

Line space for Arabic text should be 1.5. 

Each subheading should be preceded by an empty line, except if there is no text paragraph between two consecutive subheadings. 

Tables  and illustrations  should  be  preceded  and  followed  by  a  double-space  (i.e.  empty line).

All paragraphs should be indented 1.5cm from the margin. Subheadings are not indented (except level 5).

Blockquote should be single-spaced, 2cm indented as a whole block (not just the first line).

Page Numbering

It should start with ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and continue sequentially using Arabic numerals placed in the center, and at the bottom of the page.

Figure and  table  numbering  must  be  either  continuous  throughout  the Thesis  or  by chapter (1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2.)


Major headings, e.g. the titles in the preliminary pages: "CHAPTER’s title,   "NOTES", "REFERENCES" or "BIBLIOGRAPHY" should all be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS, size 16, centered and not bold. If a chapter's title runs on more than one line, it should be single spaced. The heading CHAPTER and its TITLE should be spaced by an empty line.

Each subheading is preceded by its number as it appears in the Table of Contents of the Thesis. Each subheading has a higher attention value than any subsequent ones. These are designated as first-, second-,  third- and fourth-level subheadings, and  are differentiated as follows:

Within a chapter, the title is considered Heading 1 (or level 1) and formatted as mentioned above, and the subheadings as per the table below and per template:

Template ABC Template 123 Education

1st-level subheading (Heading 2)

A. First-Level Subheading  1.1. First-Level Subheading

Level 2 in APA

Text starting on a new line

2nd-level subheading (Heading 3)

1. Second-Level Subheading 1.1.1. Second-Level Subheading

Level 3 in APA

Text starting on a new line

3rd-level subheading (Heading 4)

a. Third-Level Subheading Third-Level Subheading

      Level 4 in APA. Text starting on same line and heading indented

4th-level subheading (Heading 5)

i. Fourth-Level Subheading (dotted underline) Fourth-Level Subheading (dotted underline)

      Level 5 in APAText starting on same line and heading indented

In order to list items, major points or ideas, use bullets at the beginning of the line, after an indentation of 1.5 cm for a new paragraph (using the Tab key on the keyboard). You can further subdivide the bullets using dashes.

Translation of Headings for Theses in Arabic

  • Acknowledgements =شكر
  • Abstract =مستخلص
  • Contents= المحتويات
  • Preface= التصدير
  • Dedication= الاهداء
  • Introduction = مقدمة
  • Appendix = ملحق
  • Appendices =ملاحق
  • Bibliography = ببليوغرافيا

The Thesis includes the following three parts: Preliminary pages, body or text, and end pages which include appendices, endnotes, if any, and references or bibliography. Each of these parts may be subdivided into sections and subsections. These should be clearly reflected in the table of contents.

The preliminary pages should be ordered as follows:

  1. A Mandatory Title page (Not numbered): includes the name of the University, the full title of the Thesis, the full name of the student, as well as the title of the degree conferred, the name of the Department, the name of the Faculty or School, the place and the date of submission. (Student’s name should include her/his First name, Father’s name and Family name. For married female students, the name should be as registered in AUB)
  1. A Mandatory Thesis Approval page (Not numbered, unsigned)
  2. Acknowledgments, if any (Numbered as 1): Typing of the page numbers starts with this page.
  3. A Mandatory Abstract: summarizes the Thesis’ main points: No word limit applies.
  4. Preface: Optional. Text single-spaced.
  5. A Mandatory Table of Contents: 2 samples of templates with 2 styles of Table of Contents are available here.
  6. List of Illustrations, becomes mandatory if you have one illustration or more in your documents (images, charts, photos, etc.)
  7. List of Tables, becomes mandatory if you have one table or more in your document
  8. List of Abbreviations, if any.
  9. Glossary, if any.
  10. Dedication. Optional and placed before chapter 1 and without the word "dedicated” and is not included in the ToC.

The end pages include appendices, endnotes, if any, and references/bibliography.


They are typed at the bottom of the page and are separated from the text by a separator.  They are preceded by the appropriate number assigned to each in the text above.

They are single-spaced if they run on more than one line and spaced by an empty line (between two notes).


For all matters not discussed in the present Thesis Manual, theses must follow the form and style specified by your Department or Program such as IEEE, APA, MLA, etc… using Microsoft-Word or LaTeX, provided it conforms to all specifications laid out in these guidelines for preliminary pages.

In order  to  help you organize  your  bibliography,  footnotes,  references,  and citations;  Citation  managers, EndNote and Mendeley  are  available  for  your convenience on the library homepage.

For more information, please contact the Research & Instruction Services Department, extension: 2164/2620/2629.