Doing Purdue University Theses Using LaTeX
Mark Senn <puthesis@​purdue.edu>
April 22, 2015

### Abstract

This document describes how to use the puthesis (Purdue University thesis) LaTeX typesetting system documentclass to format Purdue University Master's bypass reports, Master's theses, PhD dissertations, and PhD preliminary reports. All the needed software is free.

I support puthesis for all schools/departments/programs at Purdue University's West Lafayette Campus except Technology. If you are a West Lafayette campus student in the School of Technology see the COT Thesis and Dissertation Formatting web page. If you're not a student at the West Lafayette campus check with your school/department/program to get help locally.

See Dissertation Advice by Olin Shivers. and How To Write A Dissertation by Douglas E. Comer for advice regarding the content of a dissertation.

### What is puthesis?

Puthesis stands for “Purdue University thesis” (pronounced “pew thesis”). It is a LaTeX typesetting system documentclass used to format Purdue Master's bypass reports, Master's theses, PhD dissertations, and PhD preliminary reports. The software is free and runs on Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix, and the web. Please inform me if you notice any differences between the Graduate School's or your school or department's specifications and what puthesis does.

### Why use puthesis?

Thousands of people have graduated using it. You won't need to “reinvent the wheel.”

All formatting details are done automatically, you can concentrate on the content of your thesis instead of worrying about margins, typefaces, etc.

It is especially convenient for typesetting mathematics.

Many people think it produces more attractive output than other systems.

All the software needed is free and is available for a wide variety of software and operating systems.

Some (especially engineering, mathematics, and science) journals use LaTeX. You may be able to cut large chunks out of your thesis, change a few lines at the top of the resulting file, and send that to a journal.

Using LaTeX and BibTeX is very common in the scientific community. Sooner or later you may need to learn it anyway.

### Testimonials

Many candidates have made favorable comments about puthesis when depositing their theses. We strongly recommend candidates consider learning puthesis prior to the writing process. Using puthesis cuts formatting discrepancies to almost zero, drastically reduces the possibility of revision requests, and helps ensure stress-free deposits!
—Mark D. Jaeger, Manager, Thesis/Dissertation Office

The puthesis class file for LaTeX has helped hundreds of ECE graduate students meet the requirements for format approval. Using it allows them to focus on the content of their thesis without concern for the myriad of formatting details that it automatically handles. The Graduate School's Thesis/Dissertation Office also recommends the use of puthesis and LaTeX.
—Andy Hughes, ECE Thesis Format Advisor

Puthesis saves time and spared me many headaches with regard to thesis formatting. I used MS Word for my undergrad thesis and formatting was a nightmare. Here's a tip: start early, build output often, dance a jig.
—Galen Needham, MSAA, December 2009

### Mailing list

Sign up for the puthesis-users mailing list if you use puthesis so you get a few important messages a year. If you ask a question you must subscribe to the mailing list before I send you the answer.

### Using “thesis” for “thesis” and “dissertation”

The document necessary to get a Purdue PhD is a “dissertation”. For historical reasons, to use the same nomenclature as other Purdue departments, and be able to lump instructions describing Master's bypass reports, Master's theses, PhD dissertations, and PhD preliminary reports together the word “thesis” will be used to refer to any of these. “Dissertation” will be used to refer to things that are dissertation-specific only.

### Puthesis requires LaTeX

Puthesis requires LaTeX and BibTeX. See LaTeX for more information. Puthesis is designed to run on, and I only answer LaTeX questions when you are using

• the current version of Overleaf
• TeX Live 2014 on Linux and Windows
I've been asked about these LaTeX-related things in the past but don't support them

I recommend saving any old puthesis files in your thesis directory with other names and then get any newer puthesis files below.

File Version Comment
puthesis.cls 2014-08-08 production Purdue University thesis documentclass (change history)
xputhesis.cls 2008-04-21 experimental Purdue University thesis documentclass (change history and instructions)
cheputhesis.cls 2008-04-21 a special version of xputhesis for Chemical Engineering
pulongtable.sty   2006-09-14 used for multiple page tables

The template files below are meant for you to save and modify as necessary for your thesis. In each file search for “CHANGE” and change things as necessary. I recommend putting “%%” before any existing lines that need to be changed and adding any new line(s) immediately below the existing lines.

If you are on a Linux or Unix computer you may be able to use the following procedure to simplify getting the files:

This procedure will create a “template” subdirectory if one doesn't already exist. The all.bib through vita.tex files listed below will get overwritten in the template directory. Be careful!

Get this template.tar.gz file and then type

gunzip template.tar
tar xf template.tar
to save the trouble of getting each file individually. If that doesn't work, get each file separately.

If you are using Windows computer you may be able to use the following procedure to simplify getting the files:

This procedure will create a “template” subdirectory if one doesn't already exist. The all.bib through vita.tex files listed below will get overwritten in the template directory. Be careful!

Get this template.zip file and then type

unzip template.zip
to save the trouble of getting each file individually. If that doesn't work, get each file separately.

If you weren't able to get all the template files using the instructions above you can get them one at a time here:

File Version Comment
all.bib 2007-02-06 a simple BibTeX database file
bibliography.tex 2010-06-21 the bibliography
demo-citations.tex 2007-02-06 demonstrate citations
demo-figures.tex 2007-02-06 demonstrate figures
demo-mathematics.tex 2007-02-12 demonstrate mathematics
demo-multicols.tex 2004-04-23 demonstrate multicols
demo-tables.tex 2014-08-08 demonstrate tables
demo-text.tex 2007-07-17 demonstrate text
front.tex 2010-12-08 front matter: dedication, acknowledgments, preface, table of contents, list of tables, list of figures, symbols, abbreviations nomenclature, glossary, abstract
introduction.tex 2007-02-06 “Introduction” chapter
mydefs.tex 2007-02-06 my command definitions
plot.eps 2004-10-14 plot used by Figures chapter
recommendations.tex   2007-02-06 “Recommendations” chapter
summary.tex 2007-02-06 “Summary” chapter
thesis.tex 2014-08-08 this is the main file
vita.tex 2007-02-06 a vita is required only in a doctoral dissertation

Depending on your installation of LaTeX you may need to put copies of the puthesis.cls and pulongtable.sty files in the template directory to be able to do a latex thesis command there.

### If LaTeX complains about missing files

If LaTeX complains about missing files when you do your thesis, then, and only then, get the appropriate files below. Email latex@ecn.purdue.edu to get any files not listed.

File Version Comment
ama.bst 3/27/02 produce AMA (Amerian Medical Association) format bibliographies (only needed if you are using ama option) (See top of file after choosing link for more instructions)
apacite.* 2007/09/03 produce APA (Amerian Psychological Association) format bibliographies and citations (only needed if you are using apacite option) (See “Contents of the README file” on screen after choosing link for more instructions)
astron.sty 1990 produce citations in the `author-year' format, which is widely used among astronomical journals
cite.sty 3.8 (Apr 1999) change, for example, citations [1,2,3] to [1–3]
endnotes.sty 09/14/94 used to put footnotes at the end of a chapter instead of bottom of page
ifthen.sty 2001/05/26 v1.1c defines \ifthenelse and other commands
jfm.bst 1.1 revised 12/2005 The Journal of Fluid Dynamics bibliography style, you only need this if you use the jfm option. See the top of jfm.bst file for instructions.
jfm2.bst v1.1 (SGLS,RJW) 12/97,02/07 A modified Journal of Fluid Dynamics bibliography style, you only need this if you use the jfm2 option. See the top of jfm2.bst file for instructions.
lsalike.bst 06-Jan-94 Linguistics Society of America like bibliography style, you only need this if you use the ling option.
lsalike.sty 06-Jan-94 version 1.0alpha Linguistics Society of America like bibliography definitions, you only need this if you use the ling option.
natbib.sty 2003/06/06 7.1 (PWD) defines miscellanous bibliography-related commands/td>
pumeunsrt.bst 2013-04-04   you only need this if you are in Mechanical Engineering
rotating.sty   1997/09/26, v2.13   used to rotate text and figures
subfigure.sty 2002/07/30 v2.1.4   used to put footnotes at the end of a chapter instead of bottom of page

If you need the files below (especially report.cls) your LaTeX may not be set up right.

File Version Comment
graphicx.sty   1999/02/16 v1.0f used to include Encapsulated PostScript files
lscape.sty 2000/10/22 v3.01   prints across widest dimension of paper
report.cls 2004/02/16 v1.4f a documentclass that should come with latex to do reports

### Documentclass options

All theses must follow the Purdue University Graduate School's A Manual for the Preparation of Graduate Theses. Individual departments and schools may have additional rules and regulations—they're listed immediately after the school or department in the table below.

The general form of the \documentclass command is

\documentclass[options]{puthesis}
Separate multiple options with commas.

For Use Option Additional Rules and thesis format contact(s) (date info last checked)
Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering aae Jennifer LaGuire (2011-07-02)
Agricultural and Biological Engineering (use “ece” for right now, “abe” later) none (2012-03-13)
Agricultural Economics agecon A Manual for the Preparation of Graduate Theses,
Department of Agricultural Economics,
Purdue University, 1999–2000.
Lou Ann Baugh (2012-03-13)
Agronomy agry Phyllis Graves and Jeff Volenec (2006-10-19)
American Studies (use “ece” for right now, “amst” later) major professor and committee (2006-10-18)
Animal Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “anth” later) waiting to hear back from Alan Grant (2006-10-18)
Anthropology (use “ece” for right now, “anth” later) Talin Lindsay (2012-03-29)
Art & Design (use “ece” for right now, “ad” later) Jill Stickrod (2012-03-29)
Basic Medical Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “bms” later) major professor and committee (2011-11-29)
Gloria Powell (2011-11-29)
Biological Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “biol” later) Georgina Rupp (2012-03-29)
Biomedical Engineering (use “ece” for right now, “bme” later) no school/dept/program additional formatting rules
Sandy May (2012-03-30)
Botany & Plant Pathology (use “ece” for right now, “btny” later) Tyson McFall
Chemical Engineering che Thesis Format Check List (PDF file)
Deb Bowman (2012-03-13)
Chemistry chem Chemistry Thesis Format Office
A Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Manual for the Purdue Univeristy Chemistry Department
Liz Hewitt and Cindy Salazar (assistant) (2012-03-30)
Civil Engineering ce The Basics for the Preparation of Graduate Thesis
Architectural, Geotechnical and Materials:
Cathy Ralston (2011-06-30)
Construction:
Melissa Geiger (2011-06-30)
Environmental and Hydraulics:
Judy Haan (2011-06-30)
Geomatics and Transportation:
Dorothy Miller (2011-06-30)
Structures:
Molly Stetler (2011-06-30)
Communications (use “ece” for right now, “com” later) major advisor (2012-04-12)
Comparitive Literature (use “ece” for right now, “cmpl” later) Ronnie Wilbur (2011-08-25)
Comparitive Medicine (use “ece” for right now, “svm-icmgp” later) major professor and committee (2011-08-25)
Comparitive Pathobiology (use “ece” for right now, “cpb” later) major professor and committee (2011-11-29)
Barbara White (2011-11-29)
Computer Science cs William Gorman and Renate Mallus (2011-08-31)
Consumer Sciences & Retailing (use “ece” for right now, “csr” later) Jeannie Navarre (2011-08-25)
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences eas student's major advisor (2006-10-11)
Education Curriculum and Instruction edci James Lehman (2006-10-19)
Electrical and Computer Engineering ece ECE Thesis Format/Deposit -checklist (see “Formatting Requirements” sectionn)
Andy Hughes (2012-04-02)
Engineering Education (use “ece” for right now, “ene” later) (unknown) (2011-08-25)
English (use “ece” for right now, “engl” later) student's major professor (2011-08-25)
Entomology (use “ece” for right now, “entm” later) student's major professor and committee (2011-08-25)
Food Science (use “ece” for right now, “fs” later) none (2011-08-25)
Health Sciences hsci student's major professor (2012-04-02)
History (use “ece” for right now, “hist” later) none (2011-08-25)
Horticulture (use “ece” for right now, “hort” later) none (2011-08-25)
Industrial Engineering ie student's major professor and committee (2012-04-02)
Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “ibsc” later) major professor and committee (2011-11-29)
Sue Wood (2011-11-29)
Languages and Cultures (use “ece” for right now, “lc” later) Thesis Format Advisor Web Site
Susan Clawson (2012-03-30)
Linguistics (use “ece” for right now, “ling” later) Ronnie Wilbur (2011-08-23)
Management mgmt Kelly Felty (2011-09-08)
Materials Engineering mse Thesis Format Guidelines, June 2001, School of Materials Engineering
Vicki Cline (2012-03-29)
Mathematics math Steven R. Bell (2011-09-06)
Mechanical Engineering me Mechanical Engineering Thesis Format Requirements
David C. Anderson (2011-03-23)
Nuclear Engineering ne Ashley Lauren Brooks (2011-08-23)
Nursing (use “ece” for right now, “nur” later) none (2011-08-25)
Pharmacy Practice (use “ece” for right now, “phpr” later) major professor and committee (2011-08-25)
Philosophy (use “ece” for right now, “phil” later) (unknown) (2011-08-25)
Physics phys Stephen Durbin (2006-10-19)
Psychological Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “psy” later) Departmental Guidelines for 2014.pdf
Julie Smith (2011-08-25)
Sociology (use “ece” for right now, “soc” later) major professor and committee (2011-08-25)
Statistics stat Becca Miller (2012-04-03)
Theatre (use “ece” for right now, “thtr” later) none (2011-08-25)
Veterinary Clinical Sciences (use “ece” for right now, “vcs” later) major professor and committee (2011-11-29)
Jessica Sheely (2011-11-29)
Use optionFor
bypassMaster's Bypass Report
dissertationPhD Dissertation
prelimPhD Preliminary Report
thesisMaster's Thesis
Use optionFor
endnotesFootnotes at end of chapter instead of bottom of page.
Use optionFor Bibliograhy Style
abbrvabbreviated author names
abbrvnatabbreviated natbib
agsmagsm
aipaip
alphaalpha
amaAmerican Mathematical Association
apaciteAmerican Psychological Association
(if apacite doesn't work try apalike)
apalikeAmerican Psychological Association like
astronastron
chicagochicago
ieeeieee
IEEEtranIEEEtran
jfmJournal of Fluid Dynamics
jfm2Journal of Fluid Dynamics modified
kluwerkluwer
phaipAmerican Institute of Physics journals
plainplain
plainnatplain natbib
unsrtunsrt (default)
unsrtnatunsrt natbib
Use optionTo
coversheetsUse Bibliography, Appendix, and Vita coversheets (default).
nocoversheetsDon't use Bibliography, Appendix, and Vita cover sheets.
Use optionTo
chapterblankpagesStart chapters on next odd-numbered page (default).
nochapterblankpagesStart chapters on next page.
Use optionTo
nonchapterblankpagesStart non-chapters on next odd-numbered page (default).
nononchapterblankpagesStart non-chapters on next page.
(The following are nonchapters: abstract, acknowledgments,
bibliography, list of figures, list of tables, preface,
Use optionTo
miserSave paper—same as nononchapterblankpages,
nochapterblankpages, and nocoversheets.
nomiserNot save paper—same as nonchapterblankpages,
chapterblankpages, and coversheets.
Use optionFor
uglyheadingsCentered, underlined, upper and lower case sections.
Centered, not underlined, upper and lower case subsections.
Left justified, underlined, upper and lower case subsubsections.

### \author

Your name. Used in title page and abstract. Example:
\author{Alan A. Apple}
This name should match the name the university uses for you.

### \campus

The campus you will graduate from. Used in title page. Example:
\campus{West Lafayette}
The following campuses are valid:
• Fort Wayne
• Hammond
• Indianapolis
• West Lafayette
• Westville

### \majorprof\majorprofs

Your major professor or major professors. Used in abstract. Examples:
\majorprof{Alan A. Apple}
\majorprofs{Alan A. Apple and Bertrand B. Blueberry}
\majorprofs{Alan A. Apple, Bertrand B. Blueberry and Charles C. Cherry}

### \pudegree

The degree name, abbreviation, month, and year. The month and year are for when the degree is awarded. Used in title page and abstract. Example:
\pudegree{Doctor of Philosophy}{PhD}{May}{2015}

### \title

Title of your thesis. Used it title page and abstract. Example:
\title{An Example Thesis Done with LaTeX}
Subscripts and superscripts are not allowed in the title.

### Weird commands defined by puthesis

In addition to the commands shown in the template files, puthesis also defines the following commands. As far as puthesis is concerned, these commands can be used anywhere. Double check comments in the template files to make sure it is ok to use then them there. For example, no subscripts or superscripts are allowed in the thesis title.

### Use \num for numbers

Right now the \num command just prints the number in math mode so any minus signs come out as minus signs and not hyphens. Later it will do what is described in the next paragraph.

The \num command, separates numbers of more than four digits into groups of three on either side of the decimal point, separated by a space. If the magnitude of a number is less than one, the decimal point should be preceded by a zero.

### Use \ten to get powers of ten

The \ten command will switch into and out of math mode if necessary.

#### Units and abbreviations (ECE-specific)

Use the International System of Units (SI Units). Refer to units listed in Appendix I of Thesis Format for information on prefered usage of units, conversion factors, etc.

Unit symbols should be used with measured quantites, e.g., 1mm, but unit names are used in text without quantities, e.g., “a few millimeters”.

If quantities must be expressed in English units, the SI equivalents should also be given in parentheses, i.e., “a distance of 4.7 in (12 cm)”.

Most acronyms and abbreviations should be defined the first time they are used in text. A list of acronyms and abbreviations, including a list of those that need not be defined, is given in Appendix II of Thesis Format.

### Defining commands not specific to your thesis

If you would like to use the same commands in multiple documents, put them in a mydefs.tex file and use \input{mydefs} to read in those definitions.

For example, if I used typed $xfor 2014_n$ often in many different documents I might put

\newcommand{\xn}{$x_n$}
in my mydefs.tex file.

Then, whenever I typed \xn it would be the same as typing $x_n$. This definition can be made more flexible by including ensuremath like this

\newcommand{\xn}{\ensuremath{x_n}}
That way \xn can be used in text or math mode and LaTeX will go in and out of math mode if necessary.

### Defining commands specifc to your thesis

I like to put thesis-specific command definitions after any \input{mydefs} command I use.

If I was writing a lot about different vectors with elements 1 to some upper limit, I could put the following in my root file

\let\en=ensuremath
\newcommand{\vec}[2]{\en{#1_1},~\en{#1_2},\ \ldots,~\en{#1_#2}}
so I could type
\vec xy
to get
x1, x2, ..., xy

### Bugs

I only support documents that use “\documentclass[options]{puthesis}” and use the latest puthesis.cls file available from this web page.

### Notes

The optional notes section at the end of the thesis (immediately before the vita in PhD theses) is not implemented.

### FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run LaTeX on the web? Answer.

### Everywhere

• spell check
• blank pages between chapters
• citations
• How can I separate Mechanical Engineering citations with semicolons instead of commas? Answer.
• degree symbol (°)
• How can I get the degree symbol, like in “180° clockwise”? Answer.
• equation names
• How can I give an equation a name to list on a list of equations? Answer.
• equation references
• How can I customize equation numbers produced by \ref? Answer.
• fonts
• How can I use Helvetica fonts everywhere? Answer.
• How can I use hyperlinks in the PDF file version of my thesis? Answer.
• hyphenation
• Hyphenation is wrong. How can I fix it? Answer.
• “i.e.” and “e.g.”
• How are “i.e.” and “e.g.” punctuated? Answer.
• making page one line longer
• How can I make the current page one line longer? Answer.
• margins
Bad margins can be caused in several ways. Try these possibilites in this order. After each change you make rerun your document to check if that was the problem. If you still have problems go to the next suggestion. Email me if you still have problems.
• If you are using TeX Live on a PC open a Command Prompt window and type
texconfig pdftex paper letter
Thanks to Eric Villasenor for this advice.
• Is there a quick and dirty method to reposition all printed material on the physical page? Yes, but I recommend trying the below solutions before trying this one. Answer.
• If there is a \usepackage{fullpage} between your \documentclass and \begin{document} commands, “comment it out” by putting a percent sign (%) before it.
• I use TeXnicCenter on Windows with the “LaTeX => PS => PDF” output profile and the margins are wrong. What should I do? Answer.
• I use TeXnicCenter on Windows and the top margin is very small. How can I check and fix it if needed? Answer.
• I use TeXnicCenter on Windows and the PDF paper size is always 8.26 × 11.69 inches in size. How can I check and fix it if needed? Answer.
• I use latex and dvips and the top margin is very small. (Dvips may be set up for size A4 paper.) How can I check and fix it if needed? Answer.
• I use pdflatex and suspect it doesn't have its margins set right. How can I fix it? Answer.
• I use Foxit Reader and things aren't printing correctly. What should I check? Answer.
• I use WinEdt and the margins are wrong. What should I check? Answer.
• How can I override the default paper size for just this document? Answer.
• How do I fix the top margin not being uniform—it varies from page to page? Answer.
• numbering tables continously
• How can I number tables continously (i.e., not restarting with 1 in each chapter)? Answer.
• page number format
• How can I change the page number format? Answer.
• paragraph indentation
• proof boxes
• How can I use hollow instead of solid “proof boxes” to end a proof? Answer.
• punctuation
• How should initials in a name be formatted? Answer.
• Scientific Word
• How can I use puthesis with Scientific Word or Scientific Workplace? Answer.
• Scientific Workplace
• How can I use puthesis with Scientific Word or Scientific Workplace? Answer.
• verbatim text, computer programs, etc.
• How can I use insert text verbatim? Answer.
• How can I use insert computer program listings? Answer.

### Bibliography/References

• How to cite a URL in BibTeX. Answer.
• Put separate bibliography in each chapter. Answer.
• Citations don't work in tables or captions when using astron option. Answer.
• What bibliography styles are available? Answer.