Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and is widely regarded in terms of its influence, reputation, and academic pedigree as a leading university not only in the United States but also in the world. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, three miles northwest of Boston,

Harvard’s 209-acre campus is home to 10 degree-granting schools, plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, two theaters and five museums. It is also home to the world’s largest academic library system, with 18 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, approximately 400 million handwritten articles and 10 million photographs. Like most pre-Civil War American universities, Harvard was founded to train clergy, but Harvard’s curriculum and student body quickly became secularized, and in the 20th century admission policy was opened to attract a more diverse group of applicants.

Parts of the thesis

Each discipline has specific requirements regarding parts of the thesis. The formatting and submission area of this site will provide you with details regarding the particular design you should follow, but first, here is a general description: All theses will have an Abstract. How the abstract is structured depends on your field. All theses will also have a Bibliography or References section. The use of the MLA manual, the Chicago style manual or the APA format depends on your field. You are expected to be fully familiar with all the regulations of the Harvard Extension School related to plagiarism, the proper use of sources and the preparation of academic papers. More information about these regulations is available at Academic Integrity The thesis will be divided into chapters; some fields have a specific number/type of chapters.


Biology and Psychology have 4 chapters: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Other disciplines such as English, history and mathematics for teaching have much more flexibility.

You need to have the structure you need to build the work in the most efficient way possible, but also to provide the flexibility you need to develop the ideas and support your hypothesis.

Methodology for the preparation of thesis at the Pontifical University of Lima (PUCP)

Requirements for each career

In addition to following ALM-specific guidelines for formatting, writing style, tone, citation method, and bibliography/reference format should follow the professional style guide used in your field:

Biology: 6th edition of APA

Biotechnology: 6th edition of APA

Humanities (English, Drama, Religion): MLA 8th edition

Information Technology: 6th edition of APA

International Relations: 6th edition of APA

Literature and Creative Writing: MLA 8th Edition

Mathematics for Teaching: 6th Edition of APA

Psychology: 6th edition of APA

Social Sciences (Anthropology, Government, History, Legal Studies): 17th edition of CMS

Sustainability: 6th edition of APA

Margins and paging used at Harvard University

The left margin should be 1 ½” long to fit the binding of the thesis. The top, bottom, and right margins should be 1 ” Exception: on pages with new chapter titles or other important titles (such as beginning and end), the top margin is 1 ½ ” from the top of the page.

Number of pages

The page numbers can be centered at the top or bottom, at ½ , or in the upper right corner, at ½ , at the top and right edges. Regardless of the format you choose, the location of the page numbers must be consistent throughout. It is customary to omit a page number from a page containing a new chapter title.

The numbers can be centered at the bottom of the page (½ “from the edge”), if you want to keep the page numbers. If footnotes are used in the thesis (keeping in mind that they are not used in many disciplines), the page numbers should be centered at the top or placed in the upper right-hand corner, rather than at the bottom of the page, where they might interfere with the footnote.

The first page of the main text of the thesis is always the first page. There should be no blank pages in your thesis, except for the one blank page between the title page and the abstract. The thesis should be double-spaced everywhere, except in the case of quotations and long references, which are single-spaced (see Fonts and line spacing). References to headings with quadruple spacing after the title should be interpreted as two double-spaced lines. Instructions to include double-spacing after a heading (before drafting the text) should be interpreted as one double-spaced line.

Fonts and line spacing

All text in the thesis should be double-spaced (except in the cases listed below) Check that the spacing in your Word application (document) is set to double-spacing. Do not leave extra space between paragraphs; simply bleed the new paragraphs to ½ , from the left margin. Single spacing is used for:

Legends of large figures

Long quotations (i.e., more than four lines, often called “block quotations”)

Page number suggestions at Harvard University

Leave the printed number on the first page of a new chapter. Usually, omit printed numbers from figures and/or tables that occupy a full page, but be consistent across all tables/figures. When doing this, still count the pages as if they were numbered (for example, if a full page for Table 4 follows page 25, then the page after Table 4 should be page 27)


It must be a 12-point font for the text.

It should not be less than 10 points in size for the notes.

Times New Roman preferred

Do not select justify to the right

Use the same font for all headers, page numbers, tables, figures and footnotes

Use headings

It is a good practice to begin writing your thesis with an outline. This will help you organize your material and naturally lead to a division of the text into chapters, sections, and subsections, each of which has a particular title style.

The main (or level) headings 1) are for chapter and appendix titles, as well as for sections in the beginning; 2) are for the major subdivisions of a chapter or appendix 3) are for subsections within level 2 sections, and so on. Generally, three course levels are sufficient; 4) in moderation. In general, consecutive titles should not appear without text between them. Between the title of a chapter and its first subsection, there should be a general description describing what the chapter is about and how it is organized. Similarly, to make successful transitions, after any title, there should be some general introductory statements before any lower level title appears; otherwise, the presentation can be read as an outline.

Format of degrees at Harvard University

For chapter titles, appendices and preliminary sections. These always start on a new page. The title of a chapter, along with the “Chapter N” prefix, where N is the chapter number, should be centered and placed approximately 1 1/2 inches down from the top of the page. If the chapter title has more than one line, it should be double spaced. After the chapter title, there should be four spaces before the chapter text. Capitalize the first letter of each word in a title (except in articles a, an, the), as in “Chapter 1 Introduction” (note that some disciplines prefer Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, etc. instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, …). The sections of the appendix have the same format as the chapter titles, starting with “Appendix N “1.

You might be also interested in: Conceptual Research

Harvard University Research Methodology

Harvard University Research Methodology

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