This guideline is meant to help writing theses with Latex in general, but occasionally with particular details regarding Boğaziši University theses. Your thesis will stay with you for the rest of your life. Not only your peers, your own students will one day read your thesis. So give your thesis the attention it deserves.

Some tips/suggestions:
  • Abbreviation list: fill it as you write the thesis. Do not expect to prepare the list at the very end in one go, because you WILL MISS some of them.
  • Likewise for the references. At least put citation placeholders for the references as you write.
  • Stick to one single convention for the stylisation of variables, units, etc.
    • Recommendation: variables ($c$, $P_T$, etc.) in italics (ie. math mode), particle names ($Z^0$, $W^+$, etc.) in italics, units (MeV, cm$^2$, GeV /$c$, etc.) romanized
    • Speaking of units, see also the LatexStyleGuide.
  • All tables and figures should be mentioned ("depicted in Figure 3.14", "as listed in Table 1.59") from inside of the text.
    • Speaking of referrals: Refrain from writing "..., see Figure X". The thesis is not a form of informal conversation. You might instead write "(Figure X)" or "as can be seen in Figure X", etc.
  • The caption for figures and tables should be self sufficient.
    • Try to avoid captions that refer back to the text.
    • If a figure or the data on a table is from a reference, cite it there (even if there is a citation reference inside the text).
    • If you prepare your own plot using someone else's data, make sure you also cite that ("data obtained from [26]").
    • Use a fullstop at the end of the caption.
  • If you quote an equation and unless it is a formula that every physicist is expected to know (like Newton's laws), make sure you cite the source of the formula.
  • Do not use "internal jargon". Remember the thesis is not only for your collaborators, it is really for outside experts.
    • If you really think the ATLAS package versions, or the list of specific calibration constants adds to the meaning of the thesis, try to describe them and then put the jargon in the appendix.
  • It is not good style to use the adverb "very". Please refrain from using it.
    • If you relax and reread what you have written you will see that quite often the meaning would remain intact when that word is omitted.
    • Or just use a different adjective. For instance, instead of "very large", you can simply write "enormous".
  • If you use a software that does black-box computations for you (like simulation or Monte Carlo programs), don't forget to cite it and also write the version of the software.
  • Do not write as if you are writing a story. (No "We start the simulation", "Then we look at the readings from the ampermeter", etc.)
    • Stick to one tense within a section. While that choice can be the past tense, it is quite advisable to choose present tense in physics (simple present for facts, present perfect for work that has been performed). Your simulation is still valid, your histograms are still on paper, your particle still has the same mass as it did yesterday.
  • Do not bring your thesis drafts to your peers, advisor, jury members, etc. without having run a spellcheck.
  • NEVER copy and paste from other sources. If you need to quote text, make sure to stick to the bare minimum, clearly indicate quoted material as such, and cite the source.
  • Please no Word, or open office, etc. If you are having trouble with Latex, try Lyx.
    • Make sure you regularly take backups. With Latex, you can even have a nice gradually growing repository (git) of different versions.
See here for FrequentlyMadeMistakes.

"Piled Higher and Deeper"
by Jorge Cham

Topic revision: r13 - 07 Dec 2020, ErkcanOzcan

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