Thesis Writing Advice

The following links provide advice on writing research reports, be it a PhD thesis, Honours/Bachelor thesis, or small (ANU) research project.

  • LaTeX templates. The product of approximately 5 years of development and constant improvements, you can find the following LaTeX templates in a public (read-only) repository:

    • Presentations. For creating short presentations. Note that this design does formally not comply with the ANU style guides (cf. ANU templates) in the sense that it uses another corporate design (colors), but all other "hard constraints" are fulfilled (e.g., the required borders around the ANU logo).
    • Lecture slides. Almost the same as the one above, but with more complex project structure so support large courses. If you give lectures with LaTeX, it's definitely worth checking out!
    • Posters. At many conferences, in-person or even online, feature poster sessions. For this, this template might come handy.
    • Theses and Project reports. This template, created by me late 2021, is now the official template at the School of Computing at the ANU. It's so much more than just a LaTeX template! It also contains a lot of advice that's particularly helpful for beginners in either LaTeX or scientific writing. So, even if you use another LaTeX template you are still very likely to benefit from just reading the document.
  • Checklist for Theses. This short text file contains a list of simple checks you can perform before submitting your (Honours, PhD or whatever) thesis. It contains commonly made typos such as word repetitions (like "is is", "the the" etc.) or typos (like "their" vs. "there").

  • Marking Guide for Honours theses. This marking guide was created by John Slaney a few years back. At least until 2020 it has still been in use, though it's not anymore. But even if it's technically not used anymore to be distributed to us faculty to mark, chances are high that parts of it are still in the newest version that's used today. Bottom-line: It's probably a good idea to check this early to find out whether there are any bigger misses, so you can still prevent them! Would be a shame to miss out on a few marks just because, for example, you didn't give the future work section adequately much weight (although you easily could have done that), right? Note that, since quite recently, my template (see above) also contains a section on advice regarding marking. It might be more condensed form of this actual guide; so maybe read both.

  • Related to the last few points about writing a thesis I can strongly recommend to read the following short paper on thesis writing which contains high-level advice on writing a thesis (especially in Australia). It is a really easy read and not boring at all. Quite the opposite of a typical scientific paper: It mainly consist of a list of easy to digest advice on how to write a thesis. It's a great literature that's especially useful when starting to write a thesis.