Using a Latex Thesis Template

By | May 18, 2015

Make Your Life Easier With a Latex Thesis Template

Writing your PhD thesis can be a daunting task. If you decide to use latex to write your thesis, one way you can make your life easier is with a a latex thesis template. I’ve seen people spend days or weeks trying to get the ‘look’ of their thesis right before they’ve even begun writing. While this may feel like progress, it’s actually just delaying the inevitable. Using a template lets you get straight into the real problem: actually writing the thesis.

You can find dozens of latex thesis templates online, and I suggest you take a look around to work out which one you’d like to go for. In this post I’ve picked the template I used for my thesis to give you an idea of how a template can help you out. You might need to spend some time tweeking the settings for your exact needs, but I’m sure doing this is easier than wondering ‘which latex package do I need to do x?’.

The CUED Template

For my thesis I used the Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED) latex thesis template, by Krishna Kumar. You can also keep track of updates to the template on the project’s github page. The template comes with all sorts of scripts and options, which you could take a look at to get the best use out of it, but here are a few of the reasons I found it really helpful.

1. Sensible Folder Structure

If the template only came with a suggested thesis folder structure, I’d still be sold on it. The template folder is essentially a ready to go thesis build, where you just need to fill in the blanks to make your own thesis. Having a good folder structure from the start actually helps you think sensibly about how to layout the content of your thesis.latex thesis template

2. Useful packages

The CUED latex thesis template package comes with may useful packages and commands built in. There’s too many to mention individually, but the package deals with things like draft modes, bibliographies, graphics, and much more.

3. Easy Figure imports

This is really just a combination of having a sensible folder structure and coming with some built-in commands, but I thought this point was important enough to include on its own. The CUED Latex thesis template comes set up so that you can easily keep your figures for each chapter separate from the text.