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I'm a third year maths undergrad, and am currently writing my dissertation using TexMaker. I'm not that familiar with the program, and am struggling to create an appropriate cover page (including title/name/uni etc and abstract)

Is there a particular way I can achieve this? Everything just keeps grouping together and looks rather unsightly for a dissertation to be handed in!

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Well, everything depends. Which documentclass are you using? You can typeset your own titlepage between \begin{titlepage} and \end{titlepag} – Johannes_B Feb 16 '14 at 12:21
I would start with the formal layout requirements of your department. Also, ask around if previous cohorts of students have submitted their theses using LaTeX; if so, one or more of them may have created a template that you could re-use. – Mico Feb 16 '14 at 12:22
Great idea! Thank you!! – Sarah Jayne Feb 16 '14 at 12:25
The document »Some Examples of Title Pages« might give you some inspiration. – Thorsten Donig Feb 16 '14 at 12:33
Amazing thank you! I seem to be getting the hang of it now, but how do I move my abstract so that it sits below my title but not too close and not too far? Like how do I create vertical space? – Sarah Jayne Feb 16 '14 at 12:36

Modify this to suit your needs and layout:

\documentclass{report}   %% assuming that your dissertation contains chapters.
    \Huge\bfseries This is the title of my dissertation in \verb|\Huge| font \par
    \Large My name\\[0.1in]
    My department \par
    Thesis submitted to the\\[0.2in]
    \Large My university 
    {\LARGE\bfseries Abstract}

enter image description here

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