Ussing Kammer Dissertation Examples

SHSU guidelines:

  • Tables must appear in the text as near as possible to the discussion relating to them.  Under no circumstances will a table precede the first discussion of its content.  (Exception:  tables in Appendixes)

  • DO NOT insert a table in the middle of a sentence.  This interrupts the flow of thought and is distracting for your readers.

  • Tables must be numbered consecutively using Arabic numbers throughout the thesis, as should figures, examples, and illustrations.  Each table in a thesis must have a caption that tells concisely what it contains.  The caption must be placed above a table.

    • Journal Model:  If tables are placed in a separate section, they should include a chapter designation as well as a table number (Table 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; 2.1, 2.2, 2.3) both in the text and in the caption.

  • Computer-generated tables are acceptable, provided they are clear and legible and meet margin requirements. 

Color images

A note on color images:  Color images do not translate well when we make microfilm copies of theses and dissertations.  Because of this, we recommend that students change their images to B/W or grayscale.  If color is integral to the explanation of your research, then you may choose to proceed as is. 

However, when your document is sent to the Press, you will have to provide them with detailed instructions about which pages contain color images.  This way, they can print only those pages in color, which costs more, and then print the rest of the manuscript in B/W. 

Copyright

Since a thesis is legally classified as a publication, care must be taken not to violate copyright laws.  If the thesis contains any material (e.g. figures, tables, test instruments, text, or photographs) taken from copyrighted sources, the student must determine if a letter of permission from the copyright holder is needed.  This is true even if the student or thesis adviser is an author of the material; in such cases, a letter from the publisher may still be needed. 

See Copyright section of this website for more information.


 

CHECKLIST FOR TABLES

  • Table number and title appears above each table.
  • Table note (if any) appears below each table. 
  • Tables fit within margins.  To see margins, click on the VIEW tab, then click on Gridlines.
  • Tables are cleanly formatted, with the least number of horizontal and vertical lines to separate main elements.
  • If a table spans multiple pages, the word (continued) appears on the last line of the table before the break – this goes for each page where a break occurs.
  • If a table spans multiple pages, the table’s headings repeat at the top of each new page.  See How to repeat table headers after a page break on this page.
  • Each table is referenced in the text leading up to it.  Do not place a table in the middle of a sentence.  Complete the sentence, then insert the table.

 


Style

In a thesis or dissertation, the style is the way in which the author communicates the research. Most important for style is that the writing be both precise and clear. Clarity calls for avoiding needless complexity and ambiguities (see Chapter 5 in The Craft of Scientific Writing). In the words of Albert Einstein, you should be "as simple as possible, but no simpler."

Being clear does not mean that the writing is informal. In other words, you should avoid colloquial language such as using an ampersand when the word and is appropriate (in other words, write research and development, not research & development.) Also, many committees frown upon the use of contractions, such as don't or can't, that would be readily accepted in a less formal document such as an e-mail. Another word that many committees frown upon, because of its informality, is the word you. While this word is appropriate for instructions and correspondence, it is seldom, if ever, appropriate in theses or dissertations (note that the implied you is certainly acceptable in clauses such as see Figure 1). In regard to the first person pronouns I or we, judicious use is widely accepted, especially to make the writing more active (see Chapter 6 of The Craft of Scientific Writing) or to assume responsibility for assumptions or actions. Be forewarned, though, that despite its acceptance by most committees (and journals), an occasional committee remains opposed to use of the first person, even when that use is judicious.

Another stylistic question concerns how wide an audience the document should target. Given the main purpose of a thesis or dissertation, the primary audience for the document is the thesis or dissertation committee. For that reason, while an author might include appendices and a glossary to reach a wider audience, the text portion of the document is usually aimed for the committee. For that reason, a thesis or dissertation written to a multi-disciplinary committee is broader in style than a thesis or dissertation written to a committee within a single discipline.
Yet another consideration for theses and dissertations concerns how much depth the author should go into. Certainly, the author should go into enough depth to allow someone to repeat the work. Moreover, the author should provide enough depth that the committee can follow the author's argument. Along those same lines, the author has to provide enough detail to persuade the committee that the work warrants the degree. Some authors, however, go too far in this direction by including details of almost every bolt that they turned. A balance has to be reached, and a good way to determine that balance is to submit a title page, table-of-contents, and sample chapter early in the writing process (see pages 70-73 in The Craft of Editing).

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