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 Copyright 2008 Matt Floros

This work may be distributed and/or modified under the
conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either version 1.3
of this license or (at your option) any later version.
The latest version of this license is in
and version 1.3 or later is part of all distributions of LaTeX
version 2005/12/01 or later.

This work has the LPPL maintenance status `maintained'.

The Current Maintainer of this work is Matt Floros.

This work consists of the files psuthesis.sty and psuthesis.bst


Manual for psu-thesis LATEX Style File 
Matthew W. Floros 
September  17, 2008

Included Files



The origin of this style file came directly from my horrible experience trying
to write a technical Master's thesis using "a popular word processor." It was at
that time that I decided that it would be best to bite the bullet and simply
learn TEX and not have to deal with that nightmare again for my PhD thesis.

Unfortunately, at the time I was writing my Ph.D. thesis, Penn State did not
provide any support for TEX users. Although there were several style files
floating around different departments, they seemed to me as a novice user to
require quite a bit of effort to use them. The style file itself had to be
changed, i.e. lines commented out or uncommented, and there was no
documentation. My goal was to merge together parts of various style files and
make a single package whose features could all be accessed through issuing
simple LATEX commands in the document rather than editing the style file itself.

I received my PhD in December of 2000 and did the development work on this
package then. I wrote most of this documentation in 2002 and then came back to
it in 2008 when I realized I could upload it to CTAN and make it available to
other people. A fair amount of work went into it and I thought others could
benefit. As of 2000, the Penn State Thesis Office had no interest in having
anything to do with a LATEX style file and only maintained templates for
"popular word processors." I'm sure they still feel the same way.

Note that I have not reviewed the thesis guidelines since 2000 and they may have
changed. When I submitted my thesis in 2000, it passed Thesis Office scrutiny
using this package. The committee page was contributed from a 2004 thesis, and
incorporated "as-is," with appropriate logic to include it or not.

There are few guidelines for the main body of the thesis, so nearly all of the
provided commands can be classified as either front matter or back matter. These
commands are used to set up the title page, abstract, appendices, and so forth.
There are some commands which do not fall into these two categories which are
provided at the end. A summary of the commands is provided below.

Note that the setspace package is a separate LATEX package, not something
developed at PSU. It is a required package because the line spacing and some of
the commands in the psu-thesis style file rely on commands in the setspace style

To include the style file (and bibliographic style file psuthesis.bst) in your
thesis document, simply issue the command \usepackage{psu-thesis} in the
preamble after the documentclass command and \usepackage{doublespace} command
since many of the psu-thesis commands rely on the doublespace package. It is
also intended to be used with the report document class:


The package was set up with both one-sided and two-sided printing in mind, so
the optional arguments oneside and twoside to the report document class can be
used and the macros provided in this package will adapt accordingly.

Package Options

The following options are available:


The first two package options, master and doctor are available which set
defaults for those thesis types:

master                                  doctor
Set  degree  to  "Master  of  Science"  Set  degree  to  "Doctor  of Philosophy"
Permission to Copy Page                 Committee  Page
List of Tables                          List of Tables
List of Figures                         List of Figures

The signature option will include the signature page, which has since been
supplanted by the committee page. The \includesignature command in the preamble
produces the same effect.

The draft option is useful for version control of drafts of your thesis while it
is being written. It produces a box with the date the document was produced at
the top of every page,

|Draft: June 26, 2008 at 1:32 am      | 

You can also place the \draft command in the preamble to activate this feature.

Front Matter

Most of the commands provided are related to the front matter. Commands can be
divided into three groups, commands which set information for the title page,
commands to set up the signature page, and commands to include and format the
other front matter items.

The front matter definition commands can be issued either in the preamble or
within the document itself. The only command that is required to appear within
the document is the \makefrontmatter command which generates and outputs all of
the frontmatter material based on the other commands issued. Of course if the
commands to create the front matter parts are not in the preamble, they must
appear before the \makefrontmatter command.

Title Page Information

A variety of general information is required for the style file to format the
title page, signature page, and so forth. These commands to input the
information are straightforward. The appropriate information is simply the
argument of the command:

\title{} thesis title (it should be in all caps; this is not automatic)
\author{} thesis author \dept{} academic department in which thesis is earned
\college{} college the above department belongs to \submitdate{} month and year
of submission/publication of thesis \copyrightyear{} year of publication of
thesis (for title and copyright pages) \degree{} degree being obtained, e.g.
"Doctor of Philosophy"

The thesis type is set to produce "A Thesis in..." by default but can be changed
to "A Thesis Proposal in..." with the \proposal command or "A Dissertation in"
with the \dissertation command.

Additionally, the \includecopyrightline command will include a copyright line on
the title page using the copyright year and author information supplied.
Alternatively, the command \includecopyrightpage will cause a separate copyright
page to be output immediately following the title page. Both the title page line
and separate page can be included, but only one is recommended.

Signature/Committee Page Information

The signature and committee pages can be set up with up to six thesis readers
using the \includesignature and \includecommittee commands, respectively. A
suite of commands are included to aid in the formatting of the signature and
committee pages. Headings and spacing are set automatically. The author
information is taken from the \author{} command above. Each reader is added with
a consecutive command, i.e.


Each reader command requires two arguments. The first is the reader's name,
and the second is the title and affiliation of that reader, for example
\firstreader{Isaac Newton}{Professor of Mathematics} would produce

------------------------------------------------        -------------------
Isaac Newton
Professor of Mathematics

for the signature page and similar without the lines for the committee page. The
signature page is optional, and can be included with \includesignature in the
preamble or the signature package option. It is not numbered, so it can be bound
with the author's personal copy and the page numbers will not differ from the
reference copy.

Several macros have been defined to format the reader affiliations. First,
macros are defined to identify the professor as assistant, associate, or full


Additionally, the macro head{} is defined to identify that the reader is the
head of the department. The Thesis Office likes to see both \prof{} and \head{}
for department heads. Macros are provided for additional information as follows:

Macro Command     Text Produced 
-------------     -------------
\adviser          Thesis Adviser 
\coadviser        Thesis Co-Adviser 
\chair            Chair of Committee 
\cochair          Co-Chair of Committee 
\adviserchair     Thesis Adviser, Chair of Committee 
\coadviserchair   Thesis Co-Adviser, Co-Chair of Committee 

These macros are not necessarily of much value since it is nearly as easy to
simply type the appropriate information into the document rather than using the
macros, but several style files I came across contained such shortcuts, so they
were retained in this package.

For example, either

\secondreader{Isaac  Newton}{\prof{Mathematics}\head{Mathematics}


\secondreader{Isaac  Newton}{Professor  of  Physics  \\
Head  of  Department  of  Physics  \\
Thesis  Adviser,  Chair  of  Committee}

would produce

------------------------------------------------        -------------------
Isaac Newton
Professor of Physics 
Head of Department of Physics
Thesis Adviser, Chair of Committee

Permission to Copy Page

The permission to copy page is produced with the \includepermission command. The
name is taken from the \author entry. No other input is  required since the
required text is given in the thesis guide.

List of Symbols

Three macros are included for the List of Symbols. The first,
\listofsymbols[width]{}, causes the List of Symbols to be included in the
frontmatter. The List of Symbols itself is the required argument, which can of
course be entered directly or in a separate file and accessed with an \input or
similar command.

The second macro is to aid in generating the symbol list and takes the form


The command outputs the symbol and definition in two columns. The definition
column is in paragraph form, so manual line breaking is not necessary. The width
of the symbol column is set by the optional argument [width] in the
\listofsymbols[width]{} command. The default is 1 inch. The definition column
will be the remainder of the page, i.e. \textwidth-width. To change the width in
the middle of the list of symbols, use the command \setsymwidth{width}. It
redefines the symbol width and automatically adjusts the description width to
the remainder of the page.

By default, the first argument is output in math mode, but plain text symbols
can be created with \mbox{}. For example, \symbolentry{g}{Acceleration due to
Gravity} produces

g        Acceleration  due  to  gravity

Unformatted Front Matter Pages

The remaining frontmatter pages do not include any formatting, hence commands
are provided for the sole purpose of determining whether to include each page or
not, and placing them in the correct order. They can be defined in any order but
will appear in a specific order when the document is processed. These front
matter items can be included are in two groups, commands which merely include
the associated item, and commands which include the item and define its
contents. The items will be output in the following order if the corresponding
command is present:

Macro Command Front Matter Item

\includecopyrightpage                 Copyright Page 
\includepermission                    Permission to Copy Page (For MS Theses) 
\includesignature                     Signature Page (For PhD Theses) 
\includecommittee                     Committee Page (For PhD Theses)
\dedicationtext{content}              Dedication 
\abstracttext{content}                Abstract
                     (Table  of  Contents)  
\includelistoffigures                 List  of  Figures
\includelistoftables                  List  of  Tables  
\listofsymbols[wid]{content}          List  of Symbols
\dedicationtext{content}              Dedication
\prefacetext{content}                 Preface
\acknowltext{content}                 Acknowledgements  
\epigraphtext{content}                Epigraph
\frontispiece{content}                Frontispiece

For my thesis the content for each of these was an \include command to include a
separate file, but you can put your actual content in the braces if you like.

Back Matter

There is considerably less back matter than front matter, but unfortunately, the
thesis office wants some of the items to appear differently than the LATEX
defaults. The following macros are provided to format the back matter items to
the thesis office standards.


Two commands are provided for inclusion of appendices, \singleappendix and
\appendices. The reason for these is that the thesis office wants a single
appendix to be called "Appendix" and LATEX treats it as a chapter and by default
if the \appendix command was issued, would call it "Appendix A" and would put
"A" in the table of contents. The provided macros \singleappendix and
\appendices format the appendix/appendices to be called "Appendix" in both the
text and the table of contents in the case of a single appendix and have the
letters prefaced by the word "Appendix" in the table of contents in the case of
multiple appendices.

The appropriate command should be issued, followed by a \chapter command to
provide a title for the appendix,

\singleappendix \chapter{Appendix name} <text of appendix>


\appendices \chapter{First appendix name} <text of appendix>
\chapter{Second appendix name} <text of appendix>


Bibliography Entry

Unfortunately, the bibliography is also not included in the table of contents by
default. A command is provided to include the bibliography in the table of
contents and single space the list of references. The command is
\includebibliography{}. Unlike the other "include" commands, the
\includebibliography{} command takes an argument which is the bibliography
itself. This is for single space formatting. Simply include the bibliographic
entries as its argument to print out the bibliography. Using LATEX features is
fine, so the command would likely be


if BibTEX is used. The psuthesis.bst style file is included for producing a
bibliography with BibTEX.


A command \vita{} is provided to include a vita/curriculum vitae at the end of
the thesis. It is not required by the thesis office, but many like to include
it. The argument is the vita itself, most likely an \input{} or \include command
linking to a file containing the vita. The macro provides a clean page and the
author name from the front matter.

UMI Abstract

The UMI Abstract is required by the thesis office for PhD theses. UMI keeps your
thesis on file and if you read the fine print, keeps your royalties unless a lot
of people request your thesis in a given year. The UMI abstract is not bound
with the thesis, but it can be placed at the end so a whole separate document is
not required. The command \UMIabstract{} formats the specific header required by
UMI using information from the front matter and includes the abstract supplied
as the argument. The UMI abstract has a word limit (consult the thesis guide for
details), but if the thesis abstract falls within the word limit it can be the
same for both. The abstract is printed without a page number since it is not
bound with the thesis.

Numbering by Chapter

The \numberbychapter command changes the numbering scheme for figures, tables,
and equations to follow the chapters so that they are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3,
... in the first chapter, and 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, ... in the second chapter and so
forth. This command should always be included to follow thesis office
guidelines. Include it in the preamble to activate.

Other notes

There may be other commands hiding in the style file that are not documented
here. These instructions and the sample files were thrown together to try to
make the package usable without people tracking down my email address and asking
me about them. The mssample and phdsample files are provided to show how many of
the features work in for MS and PhD theses. Feel free to look through the .sty
file itself and discover commands I forgot to document in these instructions. If
you know enough about TEX and LATEX to be using them to write a thesis, you can
figure it out.

Finally, I put together much of the style file by piecing together parts of
other style files that I picked up from various people. Some of the macros
identify who wrote them, and I preserved the original author information if
present, even if I modified the macros. So if there is some piece of code in the
style file that you wrote but isn't credited to you, thank you for your
contribution and it wasn't me who took your name out.

I hope you find the package helpful, if so, please tell the Thesis Office they
should support LATEX and/or tell your friends about this macro package.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (271.0k).

psu-thesis – Package for writing a thesis at Penn State University

The package provides proper page formatting according to the Penn State thesis office guidelines (as of 2004) and automatically formats the front and back matter, title page, and more. A style file is also included for the bibliography.

However, the package is now deemed as out of date and no longer reflecting the University’s current formatting guidance.

LicensesThe Project Public License
Copyright2008 Matt Floros
MaintainerMatt Floros
Contained inMiKTeX as psu-thesis
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