Category: Theses and Dissertations

Dissertation, thesis, and report posts

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation

This article from Inside Higher Ed’s blog will show you how to love your dissertation (or thesis). Writing can be an overwhelming task, and everyone can use tips on how to manage the writing process and motivate yourself to do just a little bit every day. These tips also apply to any large-scale project, like writing a proposal or journal article.

One of the pieces of advice that we often give students is that the best dissertation is a finished dissertation. Focus on completing your degree and starting the next stage in your career rather than seeking perfection.

How to change color pages to black and white

Some word processors will generate lines (such as those found in tables) and/or text in a combination of red and green that will appear black on the screen, but will appear in color to the bindery that will print your document. Depending on how other items are created and/or inserted into your document, grey-scale figures may also appear in a combination of red and green.

This tutorial will show one way to convert color items in a PDF file to black and white. These instructions have been provided by the bindery that prints Michigan Tech dissertations, theses, and reports, but they are not foolproof. You may find that certain items do not properly convert to black and white. In that case, it is recommended to:

  • go back to the source image
  • change the source image to black and white or gray-scale using Photoshop
  • insert the image into your document
  • convert the PDF document (recommended setting: High Quality Print)

The Adviser and Committee

This article from the Chronicle raises some interesting questions about how advisors and committee members can work together to help a student write a dissertation.

  • How often should the committee meet?
  • What type of advice should they give a student?
  • What happens if there is an impasse?

Although written for advisors, students will learn from this overview of different models. The article talks about all fields and the differences between them as well.

Note: A subscription to the Chronicle is required to read the full text of this article. Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff will have access to the articles if they are logged into the Michigan Tech network.

How to check PDF conversion settings for images and embedding fonts

Creating high quality images and embedding all fonts are two requirements of creating a thesis or dissertation.  These two requirements will ensure that your document is presented at the highest quality and that the document appears the same on any computer, regardless of the fonts that are available.  This tutorial will show how to check and select the conversion settings in Word to make sure your document meets the requirements.

How to create bookmarks using Word and Adobe Acrobat

Having bookmarks that replicate the table of contents (TOC) – and include the TOC – is one requirement of the procedures to submit a thesis or dissertation.  Bookmarks allow the reader to see a TOC wherever they are in the document, and navigate easily to that section of the document.  This tutorial will show you how to create bookmarks using Word and Adobe Acrobat on the PC.

Nominations open for the 2012 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are now closed for the 2012 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering (more details)
  2. social sciences (more details)

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012, are eligible.

A nomination packet must include the following required items:

  1. a completed nomination form.
  2. a 10-page abstract of the dissertation, double spaced on white letter-sized paper. (pdf preferred, number each page, and put nominee’s name on each page)
  3. three letters addressing the significance and quality of the PhD work
    1. one letter from the dissertation advisor.
    2. one letter from a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee.
    3. one letter from a person chosen by the nominee.

A nomination packet may also include the following optional items:

  1. abstract appendices containing non-textual material such as charts, tables or figures. (pdf preferred, number each page, and put nominee’s name on each page)
  2. a brief CV

Nominations must be delivered to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. on June 28; e-mail nominations are preferred.  Contact Debra ( if you have any questions about the competition.  See also the Council for Graduate School’s announcement page.

The fields of competition for 2013 will be Biological/Life Sciences and Humanities.

Van Pelt and Opie Library to Offer EndNote Workshop for Graduate Students

Learn how Endnote can save you hours of time in the library research and document preparation process!

The Van Pelt and Opie Library is offering two, free EndNote Basics workshops for Michigan Tech graduate students on March 26 and March 28.  EndNote is citation management software which allows anyone to easily collect, organize and use their research references.

In this free library workshop participants will learn the basic skills for building a collection of citations, how to manage their collection and how to include the citations in their documents.  The workshop will also go over how to easily create bibliographies.

The sessions will be held:

  • Monday, March 26 @ 12:00 – 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, March 28 @ 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Seating is limited. Please sign up today by sending and email to:

New theses and dissertations available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Geophysics
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication