Parts of a Manuscript

Part One: Front Matter

Note all of the following except for the title page have Roman numeral page numbers centered in the footer. To do this: click on Insert, Page number, bottom of page, and pick the centered one. To convert to Roman numerals: click on the footer, Format Page Numbers and then click the Roman numeral format in the first radio box. In the bottom box, select the first number. NOTE: It may not be i.

Title Page

The first line of the title page is the Running head. The running head is contained in the header. Click on the upper portion of the page and the header should show up greying out the rest of the page. The words Running head precede the shortened title and end in a colon. The running head is written in all capital letters and contains the essential parts of the title. It cannot exceed 50 characters including spaces. Dissertations and theses generally DO NOT have a Running head. The first page does not have a page number.

The title, author byline and institutional affiliation (with city and state) are all centered and double spaced. If you are writing a classroom paper, your professor may require course number and section and the date. Be sure to follow instructions. End this page with a next page section break and not a page break or a bunch of Enters. To make such a break, go to Page Layout and select Breaks and click on Next Page Section Break.


The abstract is a summary of the entire paper, dissertation, or journal article. The abstract is written as one, non-indented paragraph in the past tense and includes different information depending on the type of paper. The abstract is usually limited to 150-250 words, depending on the university or journal guidelines. For a dissertation that is usually an empirical study, you will need the following:

  • the problem under investigation
  • the participants
  • study method
  • basic findings: effect sizes, confidence intervals, and significance sizes
  • conclusions and implications

For a literature review:

  • the problem under investigation
  • study eligibility criteria
  • types of participants in primary studies
  • main results
  • conclusions including implications for theory, future research, and practice

Dedication and Acknowledgements

These sections are usually found in dissertations, theses, or capstone projects. They are optional. They are written in an indented paragraph style. They are not usually included in the Table of Contents.

Table of Contents

The table of contents includes all the headings in the document excluding Dedication, Acknowledgements, and Table of Contents.

Published by Deborah Fister

I decided to master APA writing style when I was in grad school. Even before I graduated, I had fellow students requesting my hello. When health problems kept me from holding a part-time job, I started my business in 2000. Twenty years later, I am still doing what I love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: