A Comprehensive Tutorial On Formatting Dissertation Headings And Subheadings

A really clever and unique way to view the purpose of headings and subheadings in your dissertation is by thinking the headings as the Acts within your performance and the sub-headings as the Scenes that are contained within each Act.

Often the term Chapter is used instead of Act in a dissertation papers at high-school, college and post-graduate level, but in essence they are the same thing. The Chapter or Act is the topic of each section and the Sub-heading or scene leads the reader through the work.

Here are some really good tips to make sure that the formatting that you do on your headings and subheadings make you work stand out. If the reader or your professor is having a quick glance at your work you want to make sure that they are drawn to read your work.

  • View your Heading and Subheadings as an organizational tool. Make your subheadings a progression of the idea that you are covering under your Heading or Act. This helps you as the author of this work but it also helps the reader focus on particular sections of your work that are or interest to them.
  • Your Heading. Don’t try to make it so complex that your paper gets put to the bottom of the pile as the readers tries to decide what it is about. Draw your reader into your text. Use language that is straight to the point. If your heading is a question then make sure that you provide an answer to that question.
  • Simplicity. Get to the point; don’t try to give the reader the big story behind the dissertation. Bear in mind that the Heading may grasp the reader’s attention but make sure that the sub-headings hold on to that attention. Make sure that you use enough sub-headings.
  • Formatting. Again keep it simple. If you use unusual fonts, bold, italic and underline the headings that may be just too much and it will detract from the seriousness of your work. Fancy formatting is a hindrance rather than a help. Make sure that you check the instructions your dissertation as there may already be guidelines.
  • Fonts. If you do have a choice of what to use then use the more traditional ones such as Times New Roman as opposed to Comic Sans. Do check on the size of the font that you should be using as traditionally you should use 12 for the main body of text and subheading and 14 for the headings.