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Centria Guide for Thesis and Academic Writing

Guidance for the final thesis writing at Centria


The following chapter gives information on the language and layout settings. There will be instructions how to mark the headings, figures, tables and pictures. When using the ready-made Word template all settings are correct.
The thesis template is an accessible document. Your thesis must be made accessible and you need to check that before uploading it to Theseus. The thesis accessibility guidelines are found here:


Use font types Times New Roman 12 pt, Arial 12 pt or Palatino 12 pt.

Line spacing
The line spacing in the text is 1.5. However, line spacing 1.0 is used in the title page, abstract, possible foreword, contents, references and longer direct quotations inside the text.

Page numbering
The page number is marked at the top right-hand corner of the page. Page numbering starts from number one on the introduction page and continues until the last of the references pages.

The top and bottom margins are 2.5 cm. The left margin is 2.0 cm and the right margin is 1.5 cm. Use left alignment. In REFERENCES use only left alignment.

Leave one empty line between the paragraphs. Do not start new lines inside a paragraph until the line is full. It is recommended to vary the length of paragraphs and to write 8-12 lines in one paragraph. After each heading there must be a minimum of two lines of text on the same page and if the chapter continues on to the following page, there must also be a minimum of two lines of text. Paragraph spacing is 0.

When using the ready-made Word template all settings are correct.


The headings must be short, exact and descriptive. In each chapter there must be some text, both under the main heading and under the sub-heading. When numbering the headings, leave one empty space after the last number, and use no full stops. When adding headings, before the first line of text, leave two empty lines after the main headings and leave one empty line after subheadings. A new main chapter always starts on a new page. After the last paragraph of a subchapter, leave two empty lines before starting with a new subheading.

Write main headings in upper case letters, and subheadings in lower case letters. Bold all headings and use font size 12 pt. Notice that if a main heading has subheadings, there must be at least two of them (for example: main heading 5, subheadings 5.1 and 5.2). All headings must be numbered.

When using the ready-made Word template all settings are correct.

Figures, tables and pictures are numbered in their own sequence. The word TABLE is written above the table using capital letters. After TABLE, the number of the table is written, followed by a full stop, and last the name of the table follows with no full stop. The word FIGURE or PICTURE is written below the figure or picture in capital letters, followed by the number, a full stop, and the name of the figure or picture. Leave one empty line between the table, figure or picture and the text. Musical note samples are marked just like figures or pictures and referred to as NOTE SAMPLE. (For example, NOTE SAMPLE 1).

Figures, tables and pictures always have to be referred to and explained in the text using their numbers. All directly quoted figures, tables and pictures must be adapted by the thesis writers themselves, since according to copyright laws, original figures, tables or pictures can be used only with permission from the publisher. After the name of the figure, table or picture, there must be a source reference, with no full stop, and for adapted figures, tables and pictures the expression ‘adapted from’ is added.

Below are some samples of figures, tables and pictures:

FIGURE 1. Success factors giving companies a competitive edge (adapted from Anttila & Iltanen 2001, 27)

If a table continues on the following page, write continues in brackets in the lower right-hand corner of the page. On the next page write the number of the table in the upper left-hand corner and the same word as on the previous page, for example TABLE 16. (continues).

When making an in-text reference to a figure or a table, write the word FIGURE or TABLE all in capital letters and in brackets. Sample 1: There were 37 respondents (TABLE 1). Sample 2: There were 37 respondents. 7 of them were male. (TABLE 1.) When referring to a picture, table or figure within a sentence, use the word figure, table or picture in lower case letters. Sample 3: The results of the questionnaire are presented in table 1.

TABLE 1. Age distribution of the respondents (n = 37)

Pictures, tables and figures are not an end in themselves. When used correctly, they give information concisely and descriptively. Conclusions need to be drawn from the pictures, tables and figures in the text and they must be discussed so that the conclusions are not separated from the context. If there are several pictures, tables or figures, they are listed in the table of contents. (See Optima for model: For student > Student’s path > Final thesis and maturity test > Model for a table of contents.)

Below is an example of how to include a picture in the thesis report (PICTURE 1):

Motorcycle in the wintertime
PICTURE 1. Motorcycling in Finnish winter (Aho 2015, 15)

If a code used in the text is below 15-20 lines, it is included in the text using indentation. If it is longer, it is included in the appendices. In the code section of the text the font is changed to courier new roman. The line spacing is 1.

In the example below, the code is used inside the text and the code is presented in a series of numbers for codes only, used just as the numbering of pictures.


When starting the C++ program, the first function to be called is the main() function. The first line of the main() function, in this case int i = 0; is the first line to be executed and consequently the execution of the program ends with the line return 0. The code is presented as follows:


int main()


          int i = 0;

          cout << ”i:n arvo on:” << i << endl;

          return 0;


Code 1. main-method in C++ program.


The realization of the main() function, such as (Code 1.) presented above, is a mandatory part of every C++- program.

Acronyms mean generally accepted abbreviations in professional literature for frequently used long concepts. For example, ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network.

When the concept is mentioned for the first time, the whole concept should be written out and the acronym is given in brackets, for example: Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Once the concept has been introduced, it can be abbreviated without brackets, for example ISDN.

Below is an example of how to include a mathematical formula in the thesis.

In direct-current circuit analysis, the conductance representing the conductivity of a component or circuit is:

G = I / U

where I stands for the current in the component and U stands for the voltage. The unit for conductance is siemens (S).