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Dissertation Layout
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duoikari
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Jun 12, 2011, 12:36 PM
 
I am just redoing my dissertation for my graphic design degree and was wondering where i should spice up the design a bit. It's about how advertiser effect the way women thing, if that helps, and involves images that i need to refers too so it needs to be fairly magazine like. I see that other people done their essay much differently to mine and the design of it does count towards the grade a bit. Wondered if anyone has any examples?
     
turtle777
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Jun 12, 2011, 02:00 PM
 
Uhm, that's odd, don't you have a certain style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, ...) that you have to stick to?

-t
     
olePigeon
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Jun 12, 2011, 05:38 PM
 
I would double check your requirements. Your dissertation usually has pretty specific guidelines, and depending on the college or university, they may reject it if you don't follow those guidelines. It's that way on purpose so the people reviewing it know where to find information, reference sources cited, etc. Your portfolio review is where you should be sprucing things up, not your dissertation.

Just my .08 cents (adjusted for inflation.)
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
duoikari  (op)
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Jun 13, 2011, 12:41 PM
 
We have no guidelines on the appearance of the essay itself, but yes we do have to use the harvard referring system, which i have done. But for example you can get layout templates from the office website, which i used for the first version of it. But i feel that it doesn't make it looks very graphic design looking, the layout of the actually whole essay and the style in which i put stuff like the font and stuff is up to me. On different courses their more strict but on mine there not, just as long as we have included the relative info on it.
     
turtle777
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Jun 13, 2011, 01:59 PM
 
Ok, so when you say "essay", do you mean your dissertation ?

I can understand that an essay doesn't have to follow strict guidelines, but I have never heard that you'd be free to chose whatever in a dissertation.

Sorry, can't help you with the actual design / layout, I don't have a degree in that

-t
     
duoikari  (op)
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Jun 13, 2011, 05:28 PM
 
Well, my dissertation is only 6,000 words, which alot of people class as nothing, but it's because it's an graphic dissertation.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 14, 2011, 08:01 AM
 
A few comments from my own experience in this matter:

First and foremost, I would find out if there are specific official university guidelines you need to follow and what they are. Depending on where you are, this could be more or less important.

(1) Title page: at the university I got my degree at, you're forced to use a certain layout for the title page. The importance stems from the legal implications. So in my case, I had to add my middle name and write out my first name.

There are two ladies in charge of this in the administration of my former university and this is one of their main jobs. They don't care what's beyond the title page, I could have handed in 200 pages full of lorem ipsum.

(2) Body of the thesis: I have never heard of someone handing in a thesis that looked or felt like a magazine. In fact, I would strongly discourage you from doing this. A thesis is a scientific document, not a David Carson's latest magazine. Legibility is a must and a few things should be included. E. g. it helps to include the name of the Chapter and/or section at the top of each page.

I've used the koma script class and latex (xelatex to be exact). The koma script classes provide layouts that are guided by sophisticated typographic principles. The result looks similar to this.

One way to customize your thesis is to choose an appropriate font; it really determines a lot in the look and feel of the document. I chose a combination of Gentium Book Basic and Myriad Pro for a very clean, factual look. If you want something more modern, go for something else. Personally, I still don't like to typeset the body in a sans serif font, but that's just me. I find serif fonts more legible. If you want to go for something more modern, I personally like ITC Symbol, for instance.

Also IMO any thesis should be printed two-sided (i. e. with a printer capable of duplex printing).

(3) Citations: You also don't have creative freedom when it comes to citations. While there are many ways in different fields, usually there is one dominant style in a field. E. g. in physics and mathematics, you typically use square brackets to give references instead of footnotes. My sister who did her masters thesis in business had to use footnotes as did my friends who majored in sociology.

If you have to add citations as footnotes, this immediately destroys any magazine-type layout.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jun 14, 2011 at 01:40 PM. )
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andi*pandi
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Jun 14, 2011, 08:45 AM
 
If your instructor has said the design will count, then these are all questions for him/her. Otherwise, just use a standard template but fix the typography as said above.
     
duoikari  (op)
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Jun 14, 2011, 10:37 AM
 
Thank you andi that is most helpful, they actually don't want the citations in footnotes anymore, they wanted them at the end of the essay along with the references list and stuff, i have my references in brackets. Although my b/f who does philosophy and history uses footnotes, he also reference in a different way to how i do.

And i ask cos i can't get in touch with anyone at the university, asked my head tutor and the one that marked my work and have got no answer, i think it's cos i am handing it in early and there has been no information put up on my uni website about it (we have a blog type thing)
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 14, 2011, 01:42 PM
 
I would not hand in a PhD thesis without some official confirmation that your thesis satisfies the formal requirements. Ask your thesis advisor, it's the minimal insurance I would get: is this thesis ready to be handed in, yes or no?
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duoikari  (op)
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Jun 16, 2011, 04:07 PM
 
Not a phd btw, i don't think you can get one in design, it's just a BA, and as i have said i have handed in it once and failed and no mentions of the way it looks or which texted was used or the referancing style, i failed because there wasn't enough structure to my argument and i was too opinionated
     
olePigeon
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Jul 6, 2011, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by duoikari View Post
Thank you andi that is most helpful, they actually don't want the citations in footnotes anymore, they wanted them at the end of the essay along with the references list and stuff, i have my references in brackets. Although my b/f who does philosophy and history uses footnotes, he also reference in a different way to how i do.
Interesting. Here in the US we use MLA formatting for all Liberal Arts and Humanities. This includes a short in-text citation and abbreviated footnote referencing the bibliography. Apparently in the UK you guys use MHRA formatting, which includes a full and complete citation in the footnote.

Sounds like your professor wants MLA and not MHRA, but I would double check. Most likely he or she wants MHRA but without footnotes. In which case, I would check your MHRA style guide regarding in-text citations and references.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
   
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