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Resource Hub for Thesis Writers: Thesis 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 templatesYou 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.


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.

Margins throughout the document 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).

Page Numbering shall 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 double-spaced.


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:


First-level subheadings are in bold, regular typefaces

A. First-Level Subheading (Or "Heading 2" in Word)

1.1. First-Level Subheading

Second-level subheadings are in bold, italics typefaces:

1. Second-Level Subheading (Or "Heading 3" in Word)

1.1.1. Second-Level Subheading

Third-level subheadings are in regular typefaces, underlined:

a. Third-Level Subheading (Or "Heading 4" in Word) Third-Level Subheading

Fourth-level subheadings are in regular typefaces, underlined with dots:

i. Fourth-Level Subheading (Or "Heading 5" in Word) Fourth-Level Subheading


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. 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.

N.B. The 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)
  2. A Mandatory Thesis Release form (Not numbered): must be signed and dated when the Thesis copy is deposited at AUB ScholarWorks. Filling in the box of one of the options, as appropriate. Once done, sign and date.
  3. Acknowledgments, if any (Numbered as 1): Typing of the page numbers starts with this page.
  4. A Mandatory Abstract: summarizes the Thesis’ main points: No word limit applies.
  5. Preface: Optional. Text single-spaced.
  6. A Mandatory Table of Contents: 2 samples of templates with 2 styles of Table of Contents are available here.
  7. List of Illustrations, if any.
  8. List of Tables, if any.
  9. List of Abbreviations, if any.
  10. Glossary, if any.
  11. 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 or bibliography.

Footnotes are typed at the bottom of the page and are separated from the text by a separator.  They are indented (1.5 cm) and preceded by the appropriate number (size 12) or (size 10 superscript) 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).

Bibliography: 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 AAA, APA, MLA, etc… using Microsoft-Word or LaTeX, provided it conforms to all specifications laid out in this Thesis Manual 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.