[texhax] ASU Thesis/Dissertation Style File

Sharon Baker sharon_baker at asu.edu
Sat Apr 4 20:27:58 CEST 2009

>>> Due to continued formatting errors associated with the style-file
>>> LaTeX, the Format Advising Service does not recommend that students
>>> continue to use it as a style guide.
>>> LaTeX, developed by a former ASU student, is available only on his
>>> personal website and is based on an outdated version of the Format
>>> Manual. The format of theses and dissertations has changed since its
>>> development, and LaTeX no longer meets the basic requirements of a
>>> recommended style guide. The check-box option for LaTeX has been
>>> removed from the Format Approval Sheet, and students are encouraged
>>> to use other style guides such as APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, or a
>>> field-specific journal article.
>> As near as I can comprehend that drivel, it *seems* to say that  
>> you can use
>> a style that's associated with a journal in your field.
>> Assuming that your field is reasonably technical, there's an  
>> excellent
>> chance that one or more of the main journals will have a LaTeX  
>> style of
>> their own, and it seems to me that you can use that.
>> Unless, of course, I'm completely misunderstanding the  
>> incomprehensible drivel.
>>   Doc Evans

The problem with the statement they made is that they think that  
LaTeX is a ``style guide" (like APA or MLA http://en.wikipedia.org/ 
wiki/Style_guide) when it is a typesetting language, a completely  
different thing.

As an example, let's say Microsoft Word was not the popular software  
that it is (and it was not well-known), and let's say someone wrote a  
Word template (following some of ASU's Thesis formatting requests,  
but not all because it was outdated), and let's say many people were  
beginning to submit their thesis using this outdated Word template.   
Of course their formatting was wrong, but it is not Word's fault  
their formatting is wrong, it's the template that needs to be changed  
to accommodate the new format requirements.  However, in this case,  
ASU would say you can no longer use Word because it doesn't meet the  
requirements of a style guide.  That makes no sense because Word is  
not a style guide.  In the case of the LaTeX style file, the  
asthesis.sty file was not continuously maintained to allow for  
changes in ASU's ever-changing format requirements, but that is not  
LaTeX's fault, it's the style-file that needs to be updated to  
accommodate ASU's format requirements.  I hope that made sense.

Anyway, I am currently using the asthesis.sty file (with hopes I can  
get help from texhax to make the necessary changes to fix any  
formatting issues), and I'm also using the apacite package which  
allows me to use the APA style.  I am in the Linguistics field so I'm  
also using several other packages for printing IPA (International  
Phonetic Alphabet) characters.

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