Formatting of the Dissertation

Dissertations published by the University of South-Eastern Norway must be prepared according to the USN Design Manual.

We recommend that you use the Word-template developed by USN.  The page numbers in the dissertation that is delivered to your committee should match the page numbers in the final version. You should therefore prepare your manuscript using the template before you hand it over to the committee. The earlier you begin using the template, the better, but if you have already started to write you can follow the steps below to correctly format your document.

The document must be in A4 format. Sections of the dissertation which are only available in other formats (e.g. cannot be changed) do not need to be modified before publication. Downscaling to the final size of 17x24 cm will be done by the printer. Use the style panel in Word for easier formatting of headlines, text, picture captions, and your Table of Contents.

Preparations for Manual Formatting

  1. Download the Word template 
  2. In Word: click on Design
  3. Click on the arrow under Themes and select Save Current Theme.
  4. Name the theme USN-PHD and save.
  5. Right-click on the first window to the right of Themes.
  6. Click Save
  7. Name the template USN-PHD and save.

Manual Formatting

  1. Open your document.
  2. Click Design
  3. Click on the arrow under Themes and choose USN-PHD.
  4. Click on the second window to the right of themes. (If you hold the cursor over it you should see that it is called USN-PHD.)

Settings for margins, headers, and footers

  1. Click Page Layout
  2. Click the symbol under Page Setup to bring up the sub-menu.
  3. In the Setup window, select the following:
    1. Section start: continuous
    2. Headers and footers: Different odd and even
      Header: 1.25 cm
      Footer: 0.99 cm
    3. Preview: Apply to: whole document
  4. In the window for Margins:
    1. Top: 2 cm
    2. Bottom: 2,54 cm
    3. Inside: 2 cm
    4. Outside: 2 cm
    5. Multiple pages: Mirror margins
  5. Click OK

Headers and Footers

Since the manuscript will have both odd- and even-numbered pages you have to add headers and footers to both the odd- and even-numbered pages.

Header: Your surname and the main title should be writting in a table with a single cell. The easiest way to do this is to copy the table from the Word template and paste it into the header, then write the header as described in Calibri light font, size 12.

Footers: Page numbers are in a table in the footer.  The easiest way to go forward is to copy the table from the Word template and paste it into the footer.  The first part of the manuscript (Abstract, Table of Contents etc) are numbered with Roman numerals starting with I. Chapter 1 of the dissertation itself starts on page 1. Use a section break between the parts with Roman and Arabic numerals.

Body Text

  • Paragraphs are separated by a blank line.  Do not indent.
  • Use Calibri Light, size 12, with 1.5 line spacing and block justified.
  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes.


  • Line thickness should be no less than 0.25 points.  Please note that some programs use a line thickness of 0 when “fine line” is chosen. Do not use raster images with fine lines, as the lines will appear uneven and choppy.
  • Image, table, and figure captions should be in Calibri, size 12.


  • Heading 1: Times New Roman, bold, 18, numbered. 
  • Heading 2: Calibri, bold, 16, numbered.
  • Heading 3: Calibri, 14, numbered.
  • Heading 4: Calibri, italicized, 12, numbered.

Headings in the first part of the document are not numbered.  Use Title from the Styles panel.

Section placement in the document

Every part that begins with Heading 1 both in the introductory parts and the dissertation should start on an odd-numbered page. Page numbering starts from Chapter 1. Insert blank pages to ensure that the chapters begin on odd-numbered pages, if necessary.

The disseration should, if possible, have the following structure:

  • Title Page.  This is submitted as a separate file which will be completed by the library.
  • The Copyright page, which the library will produce.
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Preface (optional)
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Abstract (including keywords; mandatory)
  • List of Articles (mandatory for article-based dissertations)
  • Papers summary  (optional)
  • List of Tables (optional)
  • List of Figures (optional)
  • Abbreviations (optional)
  • Table of Contents (mandatory)
  • Chapter(s)
  • References and Literature Cited: after the last chapter but before any articles. (mandatory)
  • Articles (for article-based dissertations)
  • Errata (if needed)

Please note that some sections are mandatory while others are optional.  Follow the standard format for your field when regarding which sections you include.


A single page with the article’s citation should be included before each article. This page should be an odd-numbered page. Insert a blank page after each so that the following article starts on the next odd-numbered page.

Cover, Title Page, and Copyright Page

The cover, title page, and copyright page will be produced by the library.