Designing Your Final Work

We provide two templates to help design your finished work. This makes your work look much better than it would otherwise, and gives you a physical object to be proud of. The cost of getting your finished work printed is whatever you wish to pay. We have work done for under $10 by using the A4 template, printing here, and getting a spiral bind done in the Union building. Generally those that have colour, and a perfect bound full colour cover pay up to $200 for their final copies. This (though prices do vary) seems to get five copies for most students. (You must submit three.)

Does designing your final work like this make a difference? Yes. I know this by the way students respond when they receive their work from the printer, how proud they are to hand it in, and the numerous anecdotal comments we receive from our examiners. It is an option, but getting something that looks like a book is very different to something that looks like another undergraduate assignment.


There are some university guidelines for what document parts an exegesis and thesis must have. There are no constraints regarding the cover in terms of colour, image, text, and so on.


Miek Dunbar has designed two exegesis templates. You do not have to use these, but if you do not have access to a designer it is highly recommended that you use one of these templates. They are available below and require inDesign. There is a very long (50 minute) video of Miek talking about how to use these templates available if you would like to listen (pretty much explains all of it).


Before putting your work in any of the templates (indeed, before using a desktop publishing tool to design your layout) you need to remove all the extraneous things in your Word document. This means that if you hit Return twice for paragraph breaks you need to remove these so there is only one paragraph break between paragraphs. If you hit tab to indent a paragraph, remove it. This is because these are actually characters (though invisible to you) so stay in the work, and that means they will get in the way of laying out the work. When you design visually you use a stylesheet and in that it has simple rules (which Word can also do, though never as well) where you ‘say’ a paragraph is body text and the stylesheet defines font, line spacing and distance before and after the paragraph. If you have stray things like paragraph returns in the file, these will also get formatted and the design is fundamentally broken! (For example, if the body paragraph is defined as having 18 points of space after it and your essay has two Returns to create a paragraph, both will now have this style attached so now your paragraphs will be 36 points apart.)

So, step one, save your Word document as plain text. Then use Word’s find and replace tool to replace all occurrences of two paragraph returns with one. Globally replace tabs with nothing, and once you’ve done that you’re pretty ready to bring it into the template. In most cases applying the template’s styles to your work will only take a couple of hours, and the material will now look ten times better, be presented ten times better, and in my experience you can expect around a 10% bump in how your examiner responds positively to your work.

Using the Indesign template for your exegesis
The indesign template comes pre-populated with a few pages containing dummy content, showing how different text, paragraph and object styles work.

These pages that are already created can also be come a base for you in starting the layout of your exegesis.

For example, there is already a title page, an acknowledgements page, a contents page and declaration page that you can modify easily to suit what you need. All you need to do with these pages is to double-click into the text and replace it with your own.

After these pages is a sample of a chapter layout. This includes, the chapter title, various headings and sub-headings, paragraph text, footnotes, lists, and an image. You can use these pages as a reference for how the different paragraph and text styles work.

Using Paragraph Styles
All text in the template is styled by using pre-defined paragraph styles. The styles available in the template can be seen in the “Paragraph Styles” tool palette (Available in Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles).

To style an ordinary paragraph that you’ve pasted into a text frame, select the text you wish to style, then choose “Paragraph” from the Paragraph Styles palette.

To create headings in your chapter, there are three levels of heading available. You can apply heading styles by selecting “Heading 1”, “Heading 2,” and “Heading 3.”

There are a number of paragraph styles available to you, including bulleted lists, chapter titles, block quotes, etc.

The sample chapter layout has examples of all paragraph styles.

Using Text Styles
Within a paragraph, you can style individual words using character styles. To style a piece of text, select the piece you want to style, bring up the Character Styles palette, and select the style you want to apply. The styles available are bold, italic, and super script (for footnote numbers).

Using Object Styles
Object styles are like paragraph styles, but they apply style to entire objects. Placed images are an example of object styling. You can see an example in this in the sample chapter layout.

To place an image, drag-and drop the image into the spot you want to place it. Bring up the object styles palette, and select “Placed image.” You can scale and move the image until you are happy with its placement.

Page Layout Masters
The chapter pages in the template use a layout master template as a foundation. To create new chapter pages in your exegesis, you can drag-and-drop template master pages into place in your exegesis.

Adding new pages
To add a new pair of pages, bring up the “Pages” palette. Here you will see all of the pages currently in your exegesis. You can re-order pages to suit what you need. Drag and drop the pages titles “A-Std Chapter Master” into the position you want.

This will create two new blank pages, but with page numbers. On this page there is also a pair of text frames which you can edit and add text to by doing command + SHIFT + click on the centre of the page. This will unlock the master text frames, and make them editable by you.

Flowing Text From One Page To Another
To link text frames and get text to flow from one to another, click the “+” icon at the bottom-right of the first text frame, then click into the frame you want the text to flow into. You will need to do this over a few pages for each chapter, depending on your needs.

There is also an older FAQ.

To Install

  1. download
  2. open
  3. open the fonts in Font Book and click the “Install Font” button
  4. double click the template
  5. save it