Guidelines On Thesis Writing

There are many styles of writing theses. For consistency, students are encouraged to conform to the format approved by USIM.


1.                  Format of Thesis

  • Preliminary Pages: Overview

  • Title Page

  • Copyright Page

  • Signature Approval Page

  • Acknowledgements and/or Dedication

  • Abstract

  • Table of Contents

  • Lists

  • Text

  • Notes

  • Bibliography

  • Appendices


2.                 Preliminaries

 Cover and Spine

The final copy of the thesis must be hardbound in black with gold letterings.

As for the cover, the title of the thesis, author’s name, name of institution (ASIA E UNIVERSITY / USIM), and year of submission must be printed in uppercase with font size of 14 pitch in Arial, and centrally alignment. The words in title must be arranged in the inverted pyramid shape.

As for the spine, the title of the thesis/dissertation, author’s name, the Degree for which the thesis is submitted, and year in uppercase to be printed on the spine. 

If the title of the thesis cannot fit the space in the spine, smaller font is allowable.


Title Page

Title page should include the following:

  • Full title of thesis (in uppercase)

  • Full name of author (in uppercase)

  • Degree for which the thesis is submitted

  • Name of the institution to which the thesis is submitted

  • Month and year of submission

The rules for capitalisation in the document title are strict. The first, last, all principal words and words with 4 letters or more must be capitalised, including those that follow hyphens in compound terms. The only words that should not be capitalised are articles (a, an, the), prepositions (e.g., in, to), and conjunctions (e.g., and, but, for).



For the doctoral dissertation, an abstract not exceeding 350 words or 2,450 characters is to be included--approximately one and one-half pages doubled-spaced. The abstract should state the research problem in brief, describe the methods and procedures used in gathering data or studying, the problem, and provide a condensed summary of the findings of the study.



Usually contain written expressions of appreciation for guidance and assistance from individuals or/and institutions. The acknowledgements should not exceed 250 words.


Table of Content

Each thesis or dissertation is expected to have a table of contents for the convenience of the reader. The table of contents should be easy to read and consistent. The title of each chapter should be written in full capital with no terminal punctuation. The title of a subdivision of a chapter or section should be in small letters, with the exception of the first letter of significant words.


List of Tables

The list of tables follows the table of contents. This list includes the number of each table, the title and the page number.


List of Figures

The list of figures follows the list of tables. This list includes the number of each figure, the title and the page number.



There is no specific format for the text. Candidates and supervisors should ensure that the text follows the agreed conventions of the individual School.

Normally, the text consists of the following chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Review of Literature

  • Methodology

  • Findings

  • Summary, Conclusion and Implications



All text must be double- spaced and justified. Each paragraph should be indented. The double-spacing is even throughout. There should not be any “quadruple” spaces.


Font Size and Typeface

Font size should be 12 pitch for the texts. However, font size of 10 pitch is allowable in tables. Italic print should not be used except for emphasis (e.g. foreign words other than the language used in the thesis). The same typeface must be used throughout the manuscript, including the page numbers, footnotes and/or endnotes. The entire text of the thesis, including headings and page numbers, must be printed using Times New Roman.



For binding purposes, the left margin should be at least 4cm (1.5 inches) and the right, top and bottom margins should be at least 2.5cm (1 inch). All information (text, headings, footnotes and figures), including page number, must be within the text area.


Page Numbering

All page numbers should be printed 1.0 cm from the bottom margin and placed at the right hand side without any punctuation. Roman numerals (1, ii, iii, etc.) should be used in the preface section. Although the Title Page is the first page of the Preface, no number is printed on it. Numbering begins on the second page with (ii). Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) are used on the pages of the text and supplementary sections.



3.                Appendices/ Supplementaries

 Specific items which were not included in the main body of the text should be put in the Appendix / Supplementary Section. Typically, this section may include the following items:

  • Research instruments such as questionnaires, maps, interview protocols, or tests

  • Figures

  • Equations

  • Chapter Layout

  • Tables

  • Footnotes

  • Other relevant information

  • Selected bibliography or references


4.                 Citation of Sources

 Sources are normally cited in footnotes, figures, tables and bibliography or references. Reference citations based on the editorial styles of the American Psychological Association (APA) or Kate L. Turabian of the University of Chicago Press is recommended.


5.                Length of Thesis

The length of thesis/dissertation should not exceed 60,000 words (excluding footnotes, excerpts, appendices, formulas, tables, diagrams, bibliographies, prefaces and etc.)


6.                Typing

All typing must be double spacing between lines. However, in citing references and quotations, single spacing is recommended.


 Faculty of Syariah and Law
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Bandar Baru Nilai, 71800, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Tel: +606-798 8525/8523/8522, Fax: +606-798 8531/8530, Email: helpdesk[at]