Thesis Writing: Benefits of Latex

Thesis writing can be a hard task. One concern is to present the work in a professional and consistent format. For this purpose, one cannot help praising the Latex type setting software which is widely used in the mathematical and scientific community.

Latex was created by Leslie Lamport. Although the biggest advantage of Latex is its use in typesetting mathematical symbols and formulas, it also gives a much more professional output than many other text-processing software programs. This is only realised when one wants to maintain consistency in a thesis or automatically generate contents, index, references etc. There are many advantages of Latex such as being able to typeset in various languages. Moreover, many top journals and conferences have template papers designed in Latex.

Compared to mathematicians and computer scientists, it is surprising to see that many researchers in humanities and social sciences are still not aware of the utility of Latex. Maybe the idea of ‘compiling’ a non-WYSIWYG document makes them hesitant to switch to Latex. However, the relative difficulty in starting to use Latex should not be a barrier in utilizing all of its benefits. If you are a novice at Latex, it is better to start with a ready-made basic template and build on it gradually. For reference, this not so short guide will be able to answer most questions you might have. For the more mathematically inclined, this guide by the AMS is useful. There are various books on Latex such as this, this and this. However, it is advisable to get assistance from online guides when there is a specific query rather than read reference books from cover to cover.

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4 Responses to Thesis Writing: Benefits of Latex

  1. Jayne Roceo says:

    Hello, Regarding writing for jobs which I read on Thursday. I think we might disagree on this, but I still appreciate your comment on Writing: Benefits of Latex | Real Life of a PhD Student | jobs.ac.uk.

  2. LyX is a gui for LaTeX that takes away a lot of the hassles while leaving all the beautiful formatting goodness. I’ve recommended it to several colleagues in my dept and am using it for my own thesis (psychology).

  3. Renato says:

    I think LyX is not a very good tool because you never really get to learn latex with it, so you can never really harness the power of it. A better tool is Kile. I strongly advise you try it.

    As of your post, LaTeX was not created by Donald Knuth. TeX was (entirely different thing). LaTeX was created by Leslie Lamport.

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