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(Adapted from "The Guaranteed Mackworth Thesis Formula", by Alan Mackworth, revised by Tim Brecht, thanks to Ondrej Lhotak for an addition to the Background and Related Work section)
Abstract (<= 1 page)
one page stating what the thesis is about highlight the contributions of the thesis
Chapter 1: Introduction (~5-10 pages)
Thesis Statement (one or two sentences) o What is your thesis about and what have you done? o If you have a hypothesis what is it? o How will you test (prove/disprove) your hypothesis? Motivation o Why is this problem you've worked on important Goals / Objectives o What are you trying to do and why? o How will you or the reader know if or when you've met your objectives? **** Contributions ***** o What is new, different, better, significant? o Why is the world a better place because of what you've done? o What have you contributed to the field of research? o What is now known/possible/better because of your thesis? Outline of the thesis (optional)
Chapter 2: Background / Related Work (~8-20 pages)
More than a literature review Organize related work - impose structure Be clear as to how previous work being described relates to your own. The reader should not be left wondering why you've described something!! Critique the existing work - Where is it strong where is it weak? What are the unreasonable/undesirable assumptions? Identify opportunities for more research (i.e., your thesis) Are there unaddressed, or more important related topics?
and teach the reader what s/he needs to know to understand the rest of the thesis. one should understand the motivation for and importance of your thesis You should clearly and precisely define all of the key concepts dealt with in the rest of the thesis. Chapter 3: Theory / Solution / Program / Problem (~15-30 pages) continuing from Chapter 2 explain the issues outline your solution / extension / refutation Chapter 4: Implementation / Formalism (~15-30 pages) not every thesis has or needs an implementation Chapter 5: Results and Evaluation (~15-30 pages) adequacy. state them clearly and justify them) be careful that you are using a fair measure. After reading this chapter. effectiveness (choose your criteria. and that you are actually measuring what you claim to be measuring if comparing with previous techniques those techniques must be described in Chapter 2 be honest in evaluation admit weaknesses Chapter 6: Conclusions and Future Work (~5-10 pages) State what you've done and what you've found Summarize contributions (achievements and impact) Outline open issues/directions for future work Bibliography / References Include references to: o credit others for their work o help to distinguish your work from others o provide pointers to further detailed readings o support your claims (if evidence can be found in others work) . efficiency. productiveness.
Appendix Include technical material that would disrupt the flow of the thesis. print it out and hand it in. Be critical of your own work when you do this. If this is the case you as a student are not doing your job.g. groff. title. Within the text of the thesis.. Start thinking about what your contributions are early on. o How is what you are doing interesting and important? o How will it make the world a better place? o What are you doing or discovering that hasn't already been done or isn't already known? For many people it is best to start by writing the "guts" of the thesis. Learn how to use a good typesetting program that can track and format bibliographic references (e. 4 and 5. Try to aim for around 100 pages or less. You should repeat this process a large number of times before you hand in a copy. Including a glossary or list of acronyms may be helpful. latex. You should think not only about syntax and grammar but about the structure of the document and whether or not your are making good arguments and whether or not someone else will be able to follow and believe what you are saying. It is not your supervisor's job to write your thesis. Chapters 3. My personal view is that URL's are not valid bibliographic references. volume and number of journals. In some cases the results and conclusions may not be known (or may change) while doing these chapters. Included for curious or disbelieving readers Writing Hints Before handing in a copy of what you've written you should proof read it and make corrections yourself. . frame). journal or conference. Be careful to at least be consistent in punctuation. They and their contents change and they often contain material that has not been refereed. Far too many people type something in. Ensure that ALL bibliographic entries are complete including: authors. (where et al appears in italics and the al is followed by a period). date of publication and page numbers. a reference with a number of people can be referred to as Lastname et al.
there should be text included that refers to the figures (preferably before the figure is encountered). implementation and performance are subsections within chapters and the chapters are broken down by other criteria. o The word "it's" is an abbreviation of "it is" it is NOT a possessive form of "it". It contains a period after the "i" and one after the "e".if the figure was not included no one would notice (this is not a good approach).e.g.3GHz or 16GB you write 3. As such. It contains a period after the "e" and one after the "g". A comma is also usually required with its use. This is a sentence containing an example of how to use "that is" (i. o The abbreviation of the phrase "for example" is written "e. Instead of using the word performance state precisely what performance metric is improved. State precisely what you mean. this is how to use for example). The word performance is by itself quite meaningless.Figure 3 shows the architecture of our system or in Section 4 we describe the experimental methodology. You do not write 3.". A comma is also usually required with is use.e. Using and misusing abbreviations. Quite often it is enclosed in parentheses and you should avoid using it too often. this sentence is the example). Note that when referring to a figure or a section by name they should be capitalized as in -. o The abbreviation of the phrase "that is" is written "i. Also improved may also be potentially ambiguous. There are problems with the word performance and the word improved. This is equivalent to saying you are 6feet tall (instead of 6 feet tall). Stating that you've improved performance significantly does not tell the reader anything. Often people just include a figure with no reference to the figure and no explanation of what the figure is for .". For example: The mean response time has been decreased by 20%. Try to get an outline and style guidelines from someone else for the system you use for formatting your thesis.without ever talking to you. Sometimes design. .what are they supposed to notice and what is the figure explaining. Chapters 3.3 GHz or 16 GB.4 and 5 can take on different forms depending on the thesis and approaches being used.. Newest pet peeve. This is an sentence that uses "for example" (e. All figures included should add to the work. Remember (especially those doing experiments) that you must include enough detail in your thesis so that someone else could read your thesis and reproduce your results . Remember that there are often a number of different performance metrics that can be applied to a system. The text should explain what the reader should get from the figure .. Peak bandwidth has been increased by 40%.g. Quite often it is enclosed in parentheses and you should avoid using it too often.
It is like admitting that the list you've given is not complete but you don't know what is missing. If you did know what was missing the list would be complete".". You should purchase and use a book like "The Elements of Style" by Stunk and White. is usually an admission of ignorance. Don't use the abbreviation "etc. The use of etc. o .
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