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Thesis presentation guidelines

Master's or Doctoral theses must be written in accordance with FESP presentation rules (Academic Regulations , art. 1.5 a) Some of these rules are derived from online publication and digital document storage requirements.

Failure to follow the rules may result in corrections being requested that delay evaluation.

General presentation guidelines apply to all thesis, while some types of theses must meet additional requirements.

This table summarizes the presentation guidelines applicable to each type of thesis.

Type of Master's or Doctoral thesisGeneral GuidelinesAdditional Guidelines
Portfolio formatXX


General guidelines

Ask your supervisor if there are specific presentation guidelines (including bibliographic style) for your field of study.

The Master's or Doctoral thesis must include the following sections in the order presented here:

  1. Title page
  2. Master's or Doctoral thesis abstracts
  3. Table of contents
  4. Lists (figures, illustrations, abbreviations, etc.)
  5. Dedications and epigraphs, if any
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Preface (for compilation and article-based theses only)
  8. Body of the Master's or Doctoral thesis:
    - Introduction (the introduction must not be identified as a chapter)
    - Chapters (must be numbered: chapter 1 + title, chapter 2 + title, etc.)
    - Conclusion (the conclusion must not be identified as a chapter)
  9. Comprehensive bibliography (must include all the references in the manuscript)
  10. Appendices (depending on the discipline, appendices may be placed before the bibliography)

Each section of the dissertation must begin on a new page.

Avoid inserting blank pages between sections in order to facilitate on-screen reading.

North American letter is the authorized page size.

The international A4 size is accepted in the case of a doctoral cotutelle.

  • Justified text
  • Top and bottom: 25 mm
  • Left and right: 30 mm

Tables, graphs and images must also respect the margins.

  • Body text: 1.5
  • Between paragraphs: double spacing
  • Table of contents: 1.0
  • List of figures: 1.0
  • List of illustrations: 1.0
  • List of tables: 1.0
  • Chapter summaries: 1.0
  • Enumerations: 1.0
  • Footnotes: 1.0
  • Bibliography or list of works cited: 1.0
  • Appendices: 1.0
  • Index: 1.0

Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice

  • Arial
  • Arial Narrow
  • Arial Unicode MS
  • Bookman Old Style
  • Garamond (Microsoft Word only)
  • Overpass
  • Times New Roman
  • Verdana


  • Computer Modern
  • Latin Modern
  • CM-Super
  • PostScript font: Helvetica, Times and Palatino (available in the PSNFSS package)

If the use of another font is required, you must obtain permission from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

  • Regular text: 10 to 12 points
  • Footnotes: minimum 8 points

Short quotes

  • In French quotation marks «»

Long quotes (more than 5 lines)

  • Separate paragraph
  • Line spacing 1.0
  • 10 mm indentation on the left and right
  • No quotation marks or italics

Page number location:

  • Bottom centre, 10 mm from bottom edge of page

All pages must be included in the page count and paginated in the designated format.

Front matter

The introductory pages must be paginated in Roman numerals:

  • The title page must not be paginated
  • The summary corresponds to page ii

Pages from the body of the Master's or Doctoral thesis (introduction, chapters, conclusion)

The pages of the body of the Master's or Doctoral thesis must be paginated in Arabic numerals:

  • The introduction must correspond to page 1
  • Continuous pagination in Arabic numerals is mandatory, including for articles incorporated into the manuscript
  • Continuous pagination in Arabic numerals continue after the conclusion (bibliography, appendices, etc.)

Additional guidelines

The following presentation rules supplement, without replacing, the general presentation rules for conventional manuscripts.

They apply to combined or article-based Master's or Doctoral theses, as well as Portfolio format theses.

Preface is mandatory for any Master's or Doctoral combined or article-based thesis. It goes in the introductory sections, between acknowledgements and  introduction.

Preface must only contain information on included papers:

  • Publication status (dates submitted, accepted, or published)
    • For Master’s thesis: status of the article’s preparation 
    • For Doctoral’s thesis: submission date, and acceptance date or publication date, if applicable
  • Any differences between the article included in the Master's and Doctoral thesis and the published version
  • Your authorship status (first author or co-first author)
  • Details of your exact role in preparing each article
  • The coauthors of each article

Each article included must be presented as a separate chapter.

The chapter must include:

  • The original title of the article
  • An abstract in French
  • An abstract in the language the article is written in, if not in French The abstracts must be listed in the table of contents in the same way as the other sections of the chapter in question.

The format of the article must match the overall format of the thesis or dissertation.

The introduction and conclusion should tie the articles together in a coherent manner.

Do you have everything?

An abstract in French of a maximum of 150 words must accompany each article written in a language other than French.

For ease of reading, you should also include an abstract of the article in the language in which the thesis or dissertation is written.

  • Given that the portfolio format thesis is a compilation of various elements arranged coherently and not in a juxtaposed manner, the physical presentation must comply with Université Laval’s thesis presentation rules. 
  • The writing template for compilation and article-based theses will be used, to which any audio, video, or artifact documents can be attached, in accordance with the current standards.
  • Please note that when the thesis incorporates digital elements such as a webpage or website, the final version submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FESP) is  saved for preservation purpose by the Library. This means that, it will no longer be possible to update the webpage or website after the final submission even if its content evolves over time.

In the event of a discrepancy between the French and English texts, the French version prevails.