[texhax] Thesis layout regulations

James Quirk jjq at galcit.caltech.edu
Sat May 30 17:05:56 CEST 2009

On Sat, 30 May 2009, Dan Hatton wrote:

> On Fri, 29 May 2009, Adrian F. Clark wrote:
> > I've just taken a close look at my university's regs and it appears that we
> > still require students to submit their MSc or PhD theses double-spaced and
> > single-sided.  I was wondering if more enlightened institutions have
> > progressed to the stage where students can submit single-spaced and
> > double-sided.
> >
> > If you have regs that are less wasteful (especially if you're at a UK
> > institution), could you drop me an email saying so?  I'll use it as evidence
> > to help drag us towards the 21st century -- and maybe save some trees -- and
> > update the LaTeX style that many of our students use.
> When I submitted mine (Cambridge University Physics and Chemistry
> Degree Committee, 2003), I used the standard LaTeX book document class
> - which I guess you'd call somewhere between single-spaced and
> double-spaced - and no-one complained about that.  I had printed it
> single-sided.  I'm not sure about "less wasteful" - in those days, I
> didn't know about \usepackage{fullpage}.
March 1991, I was allowed to submit a double sided PhD thesis at a UK 
institution (Cranfield Institute of Technology, subsequently rebadged as
Cranfield University).

I'm not sure that it saved any trees though, for if you can believe it, I 
did not have a screen previewer and so wasted no end of paper as I tweaked 
the text. In my defence, back then I had no e-mail, no internet 
connection, and so my options for self-improvement were limited.

If you do manage to go the two-sided route, beware of your book binder. I 
went to great lengths to ensure the visual quality of my thesis, even 
going so far as to write my own PostScript graphics library. I used my own 
home-brew LaTeX style-file that started all chapters on an odd page and 
where necessary inserted a blank page at the end of the previous chapter. 
Therefore you can imagine my shock when the thesis came back from the 
binders. Wherever there was a legitimate blank page, the binder inserted 
his own page with the message "pagination error" in one inch type. To say 
I was unhappy is an understatment: picture Munch's The Scream and you'll 
get an idea at how disconsolate I was.

Anyhow enough of my ramblings, and BOB with your write-up. 


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