Top of page
Global Site Navigation

Engineering - Student research journey

Local Section Navigation
You are here: Main Content

Formatting your thesis

Your thesis or project is a significant document and its final presentation should be of a very high standard.

Your supervisor can advise on the best way to present the content of your work in relation to your field of study.

Section 4.2 of the Submission and Retention of Higher Degree by Research Theses policy provides detailed information about thesis formatting requirements.

General guidelines

Outside the University’s rules on thesis presentation, you are given considerable flexibility in producing your thesis.

You may choose a formatting style or develop your own style, provided it is used consistently. You are not bound by the formatting requirements for undergraduate assignments and may make full use of software to produce a thesis with a high standard of visual presentation.

You should discuss with your supervisor the best way to present you work, including:

  • the formatting style;
  • the referencing style;
  • the presentation of data (figures, tables); and
  • the most appropriate order of presentation for the material and the structure of chapters.

Other formatting requirements

Where a candidate has been granted access to confidential information by a government agency or a company or person for the purpose of writing a thesis, the thesis must incorporate a statement signed by the candidate setting out the terms or conditions on which access was granted and any stipulations regarding subsequent disclosure of the information provided.

A thesis may be submitted in the form of a series of published papers, as set out in the Postgraduate Research: Thesis by Publication Policy.

Reference list

References should be in a style used by a major international journal in your area of study. This will be determined in consultation with your principal supervisor.

Citations must be completely accurate and the style of presentation must be consistent. To achieve this easily, you are advised to use bibliographic software, such as EndNote.

ECU logo use

If you are intending to use the ECU logo on your thesis you must abide by the University corporate style guidelines.

The correct version is the square promotional logo. Where possible, the promotional logo should be positioned in the top right or bottom right hand corner.

For electronic copies of the ECU logo, please contact the Corporate Marketing Office on (61 8) 6304 2703 or email Condition of supply is that, prior to printing; a proof must be submitted to the Corporate Marketing Office for final approval. This is standard policy and can be done by emailing the cover document to or faxing it to (61 8) 6304 2092.

Layout of the thesis

The text component of your thesis must incorporate, in the following order:

  • a title page giving the title of the thesis in full, your name and degrees, the name of your school and the date of submission for the degree;
  • an abstract in not more than 500 words;
  • a signed declaration stating: I certify that this thesis does not, to the best of my knowledge and belief:
    • incorporate without acknowledgment any material previously submitted for a degree or diploma in any institution of higher education;
    • contain any material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the text of this thesis; or
    • contain any defamatory material;
  • an acknowledgment by the candidate of help given or work carried out by any other person or organisation;
  • a table of contents;
  • the main text;
  • a list of references; and
  • appendices, if any.


You should consult with your supervisor regarding the choice of the most appropriate referencing style for their discipline. The same referencing style should be used consistently throughout the thesis. You are strongly encouraged to use bibliographical software such as EndNote to manage your referencing.

Skip to top of page