# Thesis

Drexel, like every other academic institution, has very particular standards for the format of a Masters or PhD Thesis. A copy of the Drexel Thesis requirements manual may be found here. However, there is little sense in every graduate student having to dive into the bowels of TeX in order to get it to comply with these standards. Thus we have here a LaTeX template, made once and for all, for every graduate to use when submitting their thesis.

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## Unpacking the Template

The template comes in a gzipped tarball. First unpack the tarball using

wget http://www.physics.drexel.edu/~wking/code/tex/drexel-thesis/drexel-thesis.tar.gz
tar -xzvf drexel-thesis.tar.gz


There are several unpacked files, but you should focus on drexel-thesis.cls and examples/template.tex. drexel-thesis.cls, is the backbone of the template. It contains all the redefinitions and reformatting necessary to get the thesis to look as it should. We will not be editing this file. You should either copy drexel-thesis.cls into your thesis directory, or install it in a private texmf tree using

mkdir -p ~/texmf/tex/latex/drexel-thesis
cp drexel-thesis.cls ~/texmf/tex/latex/drexel-thesis/
texhash ~/texmf


template.tex is the bare thesis document and is the only file we will edit directly. You should copy this file over into your thesis working directory. Feel free to rename it to something more suggestive, like thesis.tex if you like.

Take a look at the Usage section of the drexel-thesis manual for an thorough explanation of the class' options, macros, and environments. Read on for a quick introduction. It is actually very easy and straightforward, as you will see.

If you want to see some example output, example.tex, example-draft.tex and their associated files should compile together and give you something like this and this.

## Using template.tex - LaTeX Preamble

After the initial string in comments, the first command found is

\documentclass{drexel-thesis}


which loads the drexel-thesis.cls file for the proper formatting. Do not change this line, unless you are passing different options to the style file as discussed in the drexel-thesis manual.

Next we come across several fields which require you to enter your personal information inside the supplied braces. Essentially we are just defining macros inside of TeX. The fields are

\author{}    % Fullname
\title{}     % Title Of Thesis
\DUTmonth{}  % Name of the month of your defense
\DUTyear{}   % Year you are defending (YYYY)
\degree{Doctor of Philosophy} % Should be fine


So, if your name is Richard P. Feynman you would type

\author{Richard P. Feynman}


Your degree most like will be Ph.D., so leave \degree alone. The advisor line should have the format Name, degree, as shown, so you might have

\advisor{John A. Wheeler, Ph.D.}


For month, write out the name (June), and the year should be written with 4 digits (1942). This information will then be placed automatically into the appropriate place(s) by drexel-thesis.cls.

You can now include any packages you'll need for your thesis, (e.g. graphicx, amsmath, ...) before the LaTeX preamble ends at

\begin{document}


For example, in template.tex, we added

\usepackage[super,sort&compress]{natbib}


To use the excellent natbib package for flexible citations.

You should also let LaTeX know to format your bibliography. In template.tex, we use the natbib-compatible plainnat format.

\bibliographystyle{plainnat}


The "plainnat" command gives references in the order of citation, which is preferred (though not explicitly demanded, I believe),

Also, no particular citation style is required, so you are free to cite however you wish. Even among physics journals there is agreed upon citation method, but adopting one of the popular formats (APS (Table 1), for example) is preferred. See here for a list of journal abbreviations.

## Using template.tex - Thesis Preamble

Next we come to the thesis preamble - the stuff that comes before the actual thesis. These sections include (in order) dedications, acknowledgments, table of contents, list of tables and figures, and abstract. The dedications, acknowledgments, and abstract require user input and are set as environments

\begin{dedications}
% Type dedications in here - OPTIONAL
\end{dedications}


Simply type the requested information between the \begin and \end, as usual in TeX. Note, however, that the dedications and acknowledgments are optional. If you do not with to include them, then either comment out or delete the \begin and \end statements, otherwise your thesis will end up with a blank page with "Dedications" written at the top. Further details of what to type in these places can be found in the thesis requirements manual listed above.

The other three items are given as commands and require no user input:

\tableofcontents
% Include these following commands only if you have tables or figures.
% Tables should come before figures!
\listoftables
\listoffigures


These lines should just be left alone unless you have no tables or figures, in which case just comment out or delete the appropriate command. This is probably a good place to mention something about tables and figures (which is also mentioned in the comments in template.tex). Captions MUST be at the top of a table and and the bottom of a figure. Thus the \caption command must come first in a table environment and last in a figure environment. There was no apparent way to enforce this automatically, so it must be remembered as you TeX.

## Using template.tex - Thesis Body

Thus we are finished with the preamble and have come to the thesis itself. The thesis itself goes inside the environment

\begin{thesis}
% Use include statements to include your main thesis text
% from separate files. \include{chapter1} etc...
\end{thesis}


It is recommended that you break your thesis into manageable chunks (chapters, usually) and use the \include command to enter one at a time into the thesis. This makes for a more manageable set of files and allows easier editing and previewing (you can preview one chapter at a time in the final thesis format, for example). So you might have

\begin{thesis}
\include{chapter1}
\include{chapter2}
\end{thesis}


where you have the files chapter1.tex, chapter2.tex, etc... in the same directory as template.tex. If each is a chapter, for example, the first line in each should be \chapter{Chapter Title}. Do not put \begin{document} or \documentclass commands in the chapter files as template.tex is the actual document. This will cause LaTeX to yell at you. The \include command simply enters the contents of the file verbatim at the place of the command.

For the most part you will only be using \chapter and \subchapter. You may also use \part if the thesis is long enough and warrants such division. For example, if the thesis exceeds a thickness of 1 7/8 inches, it must be bound in multiple volumes. Note, however, that there are particular guidelines for dividing a thesis into separate bounded volumes, but they are not yet implemented automatically in this version of the thesis template.

The example content referenced in example.tex is here.

## Using template.tex - End Matter

After the thesis body we have the bibliography, which consists of the commands

\bibliography{references}


which includes BibTex file and "references.bib" is the name of the .bib file that bibtex will create. I am assuming here that BibTeX will be used, but you may substitute another citation method at your own risk. No user input is here required. The example references.bib referenced in example.tex is here.

Next we see the \appendix command which tells TeX we are now adding appendices and makes sure they are listed correctly in the table of contents. Include appendix files just as chapter files were included above

\appendix
\include{appendixa}
\include{appendixb}


if your files are called appendixa.tex, appendixb.tex, etc... Appendices should begin with \chapter{Appendix Title} just as a normal chapter. They will be numbered (lettered) appropriately by TeX.

Finally we have the vita section

\begin{vita}
% Ph.D. only.  See manual for details.
\end{vita}


Just type your vita inside the environment. Details, again, are in the thesis manual.

## Style Options

Finally, there are some options that may be passed to the style file. They have the form

\documentclass[option1,option2,...]{thesis}


The default option (selected if not options are passed) is 'final' mode, which has all the proper formatting and spacing for your final product. The other main option is 'draft' mode, which reduces all the spacing in the document, so might be helpful when printing out drafts (saves paper). See the drexel-thesis manual for other options, but there should be no reason to change them.

## Compiling

Once all the information is loaded just run the standard BibTeX compilation steps:

pdflatex template
bibtex template
pdflatex template
pdflatex template


The first pass through pdflatex generates a list of required citations. Then bibtex generates a properly formatted bibliography containing those citations. The second pdflatex pass includes the bibliography, and records page numbers for all the references, etc., which may have shifted now that the bibliography information is included. By the final run, all the reference information has stabilized, and you get your final template.pdf. Of course, feel free to use latex (rather than pdflatex) to produce .dvi output (or use xetex, or...). There is no need to TeX the separate chapter files (in fact they won't TeX since they should contain no \begin{document} or other commands). And this should give you a Drexel formatted thesis.

## Full examples

I've published my thesis repository in case anyone's curious about directory organization, since it's taken me some thought to find something I'm happy with. Pull my Git repository with

git clone http://www.physics.drexel.edu/~wking/code/git/thesis.git


or use your browser. Exciting features: SCons build; asymptote/asyfig, pgf, and PyMOL figures.

Post links to your own thesis source here too, if you want.

## Credits

Finally, credit is given to Drs. Tsankov and Rojas who began this project, and Daniel J. Cross who maintained it for a few years. The current version was written by W. Trevor King, email him with any problems using the template (e.g. something doesn't TeX right or meet the specifications of the thesis format).

Happy TeXing!