A standard 10 or 12 point font (Times New Roman is good). The margins are 1.5 inches on the left and 1 inch on the top, bottom, and right. Double-spaced, first line indented 0.5 inch, widow and orphan protection turned on (needed), no hyphenation (preferred), left-justified, or full-justified.
The actual text itself should be single spaced with no more than 6 points bold. There should be one space between sentences. The abstract should be in 12 point type with no more than 2 points bolded. The footnotes should be in 9 point type with no more than 1 point bolded. The term "point" is the distance between two adjacent letters on the typewriter key; this is usually taken to be about 5/8 of an inch for body text.
The preferred number of pages per section is as follows: title page - 1 page; abstract - 2 paragraphs / 1 page; main body - 3-5 pages per paragraph; appendix - typically less than 15 pages; bibliography - same as references for books, but generally not included in word counts because they contain only citations; glossary - 1 page; index - 1 page.
It is helpful if there is a table of contents in the front of the book. This can help readers find what they're looking for quickly.
General Guidelines for Formatting a Thesis or Dissertation in Microsoft Word
1.5 inch to the left, and 1 inch to the top, bottom, and right. Double-spaced, first line indented 0.5 inch, widow and orphan protection turned on (needed), no hyphenation (preferred), left-justified, or full-justified Indent the left edge of your text when using block quotes.
The recommended minimum amount of space between sentences is called a "blank line." Most printers print lines that are not completely blank (such as a hyphen or indent) at least half way across their width; if you want a completely blank line, use an entire page instead! Long words or phrases can be broken up into separate lines by inserting a horizontal rule -- any series of spaces and/or punctuation marks about 0.75 inches wide used in writing manuals or other large blocks of text will do.
Most computers now come with Microsoft Word installed. This program has a "Layout" option in the "File" menu where you can change the margins, header, footer, and other settings for all future documents. You can also manually adjust these settings for each individual document.
If you cannot fit your essay on one page, make sure that there is at least 0.5 inch space between pages. Some universities require an additional page if content extends off the main page area. If this is the case with your university, you will need to include a brief statement indicating that there is more content than can fit on one page.
We propose a font size of 12 points for body text and 14–18 points for chapter headings. Maximum readability helps both the author and the consumer in a world where a book may be discovered, accessed, and tailored to reader choice on various platforms (computers, phones, eReaders, tablets, and so on). It's a balance between being easy to read against having enough detail for others who might want to know more about your subject.
For body text, 12 points is comfortable to read, with enough space left over after adjusting margins and fonts without it looking too cramped. For chapter heads, a larger typeface is needed; 14-point or larger looks good balanced against the body copy.
Here are some other suggestions based on how much information you want readers to retain:
If your goal is awareness, consider using a large typeface that will grab their attention. Then provide a resource box at the end of the chapter with additional information, including sources for more information.
If your goal is understanding, use a medium-sized typeface that will help them follow your arguments while still giving them room to think and process what they've read.
If your goal is retention, use a small typeface that will help them remember key ideas while still giving them space to read easily.