Latex Thesis Template

LaTeX Template

The original LaTeX thesis template files were developed by Dorothea (Dottie) F. Brosius in 2004 as a result of several requests from graduate students in the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics writing their dissertations.   The template currently in use was updated by D. Brosius on September 20, 2023. Although the sample documents were based on parts of the thesis of Bhaskar Khubchandani, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in the Spring of 2004, the template has been updated and follows "The University of Maryland Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Style Guide, 2021 Edition" (pdf).   In addition, the Table of Contents, the List of Figures, the List of Tables, and the Bibliography are now single-spaced; the main text is double-spaced.

All of the files needed for your dissertation can be found in LatexThesisFiles_2023.7z or, both were revised to adhere to the ETD Style Guide, 2021 Edition.    All of the files should be placed in the folder with your thesis files. Thesis.cls should not be changed.

There are three mainthesis files: mainthesis-basic.tex (to be used if you type your own bibliography); mainthesis-bibtex.tex (if you use bibtex); and mainthesis-natbib.tex (if you use natbib).

The mainthesis files use the hyperref package which links items in your Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables to corresponding sections in your thesis.   The links will show in blue when you save your thesis as a pdf file.   The Table of Contents has been updated at the request of the Graduate School to show Chapter 1: Name of Chapter.   I use Miktex and typeset my document using pdflatex, bib, pdflatex, pdflatex.   My figures are usually pdf files; if you use eps files, add \usepackage{epstopdf} to your preamble.

The mainthesis files should not be changed unless you include tables in your thesis, in which case you should delete the % sign on the listoftables line and the newpage line.  Chapter 1 has several tips for inserting tables, longtables, figures, theorems, landscape material, displayed equations (including arrays), enumerated lists, and adding your bibliography (using bibtex and natbib).

Insert your own text and figures in the following files: abstract.tex, titlepage.tex, copyright.tex, preface.tex, acknowledgements.tex, dedication.tex, foreword.tex, chapter1.tex, chapter2.tex, etc., appendix.tex, and bibliography.tex. I have included Bhaskar's .eps files from Chapter 2. If you latexpdf the files as they are, you can see exactly how a thesis using this template will look. The information in Chapter 2 and the Appendix is identical; I simply copied the text to show the difference between the numbering in a chapter and an appendix.

Please note that you must Latex your mainthesis file twice to ensure the references will be properly shown in the dvi file. The dvi file must be changed to a pdf file before it can be submitted to the Graduate School.

Problem with hyphenation.  Latex as a rule does not hyphenate words correctly.  I am using \usepackage[usenglish]{babel}, which hyphenates most words. There are two options for correcting hyphenation: (1) hyphenate the word manually (e.g., to hyphenate the word ”processes”, type ”pro-” and add a double backslash to end the line, and type "cesses" on the next line, or (2) type the following and add it to the preamble "\hyphenation{pro-cesses}" showing where the hyphens should be.    Unfortunately, you will have to do this for every word in your thesis which babel has not caught.

I hope these files will be useful to you and save you valuable time. If you need additional assistance or if this information is unclear, please contact Dottie Brosius at dbrosius at or 301-405-4955. Please email if you are using the LaTeX template (for my records) and also if you have any problems when submitting your thesis to the Graduate School (margins, indentations, etc.) so adjustments can be made to the template.

LaTeX "How To" Documents

A Latex resource, recommended by Dr. Nicholas Mecholsky, Ph.D., 2010, is "The Not So Short Introduction to LaTex 2ε" (pdf), by Tobias Oetiker, et al.

Using Bibtex

Using Bibtex with LaTeX documents is not difficult. The bulk of the work is organizing your Bibtex file, which is a data base compiled by you of the articles, books, etc. which you use in the bibliographies or reference sections of your publications. The file BibtexSamples.tex contains examples of information needed for the different types of references you may wish to use (e.g., articles in refereed journals, books, uinpublished articles, conference proceedings).

Please read the file "Bibtex Instructions". The first two pages explain how to set up and run Bibtex; the remaining pages were taken from a published article and show how the references were cited in the .tex file. 

Using NatBib

Another option of citing references in the bibliography is using Natbib instead of Bibtex. You must still create a bibtex file, as noted above. The command "\cite" cannot be used with natbib; instead "\citet" and "\citep" must be used. "\citet" is used to show references in the text (e.g., Eq.\ 8 in Reiser,1996 shows ...); "\citep" is used in the parenthetical (e.g., Eq.\ 8 (Reiser, 1996) shows ...).

Add the following to the preamble of your mainthesis.tex file -- \usepackage[option]{natbib}.    I used "\usepackage[sort,square,numbers]{natbib}" in the template.  A list of options to be used with Natbib can be found at

At the bottom of the mainthesis.tex file add:
\bibliography{name of your bibtex file}
\bibliographystyle{plainnat, abbrnat, or unsrtnat} (I use unsrtnat)

I use Miktex and typeset my document using pdflatex, bib, pdflatex, pdflatex.

APS Physical Review Style and Notation Guide

The following style guide may be downloaded from The American Physical Society: Physical Review Style and Notation Guide (pdf), published by The American Physical Society, compiled and edited by Anne Waldron, Peggy Judd, and Valerie Miller, February 1993, revised June 2011. It may be old, but it is very useful.

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