Latex Files for Drexel University's Thesis Format

Updated by Christopher D. Cera on 4/20/2004

Christopher S. Dahn is now the holder of the latest and greatest set of hacks to beat the Format Troll. He started with my files and instructions which are linked below. You should read all the instructions on this page. Here is a compressed archive of all his files: drexelthesis_files-dahn.tar.bz2

Quick Instructions: (these will make sense after you read the tutorial below)

This system (via make) now handles #1 and #3 mentioned in the HACK PHASE below.


04/19/2004 - Christopher S. Dahn
  - Added my name to top of drexelthesis.cls.
  - Added blank space between title and "A Thesis" line in drexelthesis.cls.
  - Changed length of leftmargini in report.cls from 2.5em to 1.5in, so
    that it guarantees that you always have a 1.5 inch margin.
04/20/2004 - Christopher S. Dahn
  - Added fix_toc.sed to fix the .toc file to the correct formatting.
  - Fixed makefile to run fix_toc.sed automatically.

Updated by Christopher D. Cera on 3/17/2004

This is all I needed to get past the dreaded Format Nazi. Mitch Peabody had the worst one that I'm aware of, he takes credit for the name too. This system of files does some of what Vince describes in the HACK PHASE (below). You should be able to take these files, run make, and have a basic conforming thesis immediately. Beware: The format reviewer changes every term, so you might not get as lucky with this as I did. For instance, I did not have to deal with bullets 1 and 2 that Vince mentions in the HACK PHASE. The library's format itself changes slightly every year also.

The drexelthesis.cls file provides the basic format. This file loads the report.cls file internally. Danger: It does not complain if report.cls doesn't exist, but your thesis will not pass inspection. report.cls changes the chapter headings appropriately, among other things. The tex file is a basic template. The bib file is basically empty and only there so it doesn't break the makefile initially. The makefile provides the commands for building your thesis files. The sed script provides some simple hacks: the 1st addresses Vince's 3rd bullet point in the HACK PHASE, the 2nd clobbers the final periods in the lists of figures and tables.

Here is a compressed archive of all the files: drexelthesis_files-cera.tar.bz2

Here are the required files individually:

  1. drexelthesis.cls
  2. report.cls
  3. drexelthesis_template.tex
  4. drexelthesis_template.bib
  5. makefile
  6. fix_loX.sed

The TODO list:

With regards to a TODO list, Mitch Peabody summed this up best:
I understand that the system is rather ungainly; I inherited this from another student, who inherited from another student, and so on. I think we've all had the noble intentions of cleaning it up, but were too busy writing our theses to actually do it. And after we were done, we never wanted to see our theses again. ;-)

I inherited this from Mitch. :-) Like I said, his format reviewer was much worse than mine, he has contributed his system here: drexelthesis_files-peabody.tar.bz2. Mine has all of his hacks (I think), but it's possible I missed something and my format reviewer didn't catch it.

Good luck writing your thesis. Vince's original version of this howto is below. You should read it since I didn't include anything that he already said.

By Vincent A. Cicirello in 1999

To anyone who might be interested in latex style for Drexel's thesis format,

To get the hardcopy of Drexel's thesis format go to the Graduate Studies office in 3201 Arch and ask for the Thesis Manual. Attached are latex files that implement this format and below I describe how to use them along with some hacks you need to perform during the latex process to get them to work properly (a couple things I didn't know the proper way to do so I got by on a few hacks).

Attached are two files:
  1. drexelthesis.cls : This file is a hack of the thesis style of Univ. of Toronto to conform to Drexel's MS Thesis style.
  2. msthesis.tex : read through this file and insert the appropriate stuff where it indicates (ie. fix the title, abstract, acknowledgements, author, advisor, name of bibliogrpahy file, and so forth to be apropriate for you).

  1. When you latex the file there is one error (or maybe it was a warning). Anyway, if you ignore it everything will be ok. If you figure out why latex complains, feel free to fix whatever the problem is. I'm far from a latex expert.
  2. There are a couple things I didn'tknow the right way to handle, so there are a couple hacks necessary during the latexing phase described below. To latex your thesis do the following:
    1. run latex,
    2. run bibtex,
    3. run latex,
    4. perform the below described hacks,
    5. run latex again and you're finished.


I'm sure there is a better way to do this but I don't know how. Anyway,
  1. The thesis format wants the list of figures and list of tables to be single spaced within entries and doublespaced between. I currently have both single spaced. During the hack phase, edit the .loc and .lof files and add vspace commands betwen entries to add the double space between the entries.
  2. The table of contents page is supposed to have the names of chapters in all caps. But by default they will appear capitalized however they are in the document. So hack the .toc file and capitalize the chapter names.
  3. The table of contents page is also supposed to have dot leaders from the name of chapters,sections and so forth to the page number. However, by default latex only does this for sections, subsections, and so forth but not for chapters. Hack the .toc file and trick the table of contents page into thinking chapters are sections and you will have the required dot leaders. This will result in incorrect indentation however so you also have to trick it into thinking sections are subsections, subsections are subsubsections, and so forth. To do this you will see a bunch of /contentsline commands. Each one specifies whether the line is a chapter,section and so forth; just change it there.