Paragraphs (Line Spacing, Blank Space, etc.)
All paragraphs in the disquisition must meet the following requirements.
- Alignment – All paragraphs in the disquisition must be aligned along the left margin of the page, except on the Dedication page. Do not justify the text alignment.
- Blank Spaces – Do not leave blank lines between paragraphs, except when they prevent orphaned or widowed text, or when you insert a major heading on the next page. For more information about major headings, see Headings.
When you insert a table or figure into the text, make sure to minimize the amount of space that appears above and below the item. Do not leave large amounts of space on the bottom of a page when a table, figure, or non-text item appears on the next page. You might need to shift some lines of text in order to accommodate non-text items. For more information, see Tables, Figures, Schemes, etc..
- Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
- Indents – Make sure that the first lines of all paragraphs in the disquisition are indented one tab (by default, this is 0.5 inches). Headings are exempt from this rule.
- Spacing – Use double-spacing throughout the disquisition (line spacing 2.0), except where the Format Guidelines specify otherwise.
- Widowed and Orphaned Text – Avoid separating the first or last line of a paragraph from the rest of the paragraph because of a page break. These separated lines are called orphans and widows. In Microsoft Word, you can turn on “Widow/Orphan Control” to automatically prevent this from occurring in your document. For more information about widowed and orphaned text, see the Microsoft Word Help documentation, or contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC).
- Example – For an example of paragraphs formatted in the correct style, download this file.