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I am writing my thesis and now wonder whether I should typeset index and glossary as an appendix or after them.

There's no department-level accepted writing style, so my adviser's opinion might be different from that of thesis committee. Hence, I am not only supposed to be accountable for my scientific participation; but also the typesetting and formatting of the thesis. This is why I am looking for a justifiable answer. For better or worse, the common practice for scientific writing style in Farsi (which I am supposed to present my thesis in) is to adopt and adapt style guides of English.

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Please provide references if possible! –  Hedy Jan 30 '12 at 13:40
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Why don't you ask your thesis advisor what the usual format is? –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 30 '12 at 13:56
    
Ask the department secretary how to do it. –  Pete Wilson Jan 30 '12 at 14:27
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@PeteWilson: Absolutely not. The secretary is there to take care of the needs of the department staff. It is the advisor's job to answer student questions, and formatting falls squarely into that purview. And frankly, since the secretary is not responsible for thesis formatting, s/he may not even know the answer. Don't harass the secretary. –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 30 '12 at 15:59
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The Correct answer is whatever the recipient wants. (Thesis committee? I don't know) If your advisor said that the committee wants your thesis to be printed with a two-inch left margin and presented in a three-ring binder because that aids the committee in reviewing it, would you proclaim that "incorrect" because a thesis is "supposed to be" perfect bound with even margins? This is how your advisor told you to do it. Do it that way. –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 31 '12 at 15:05
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3 Answers

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The answer is for you to do what the universoty or your department requires. There is no universal answer to this.

For academic writing in English, one would likely be using the APA Style Guide or the MLA Style Guide. (See this question for more on style guides in general.) Different departments may have different standards, so check with your advisor.

There may be a university style guide for you to follow, to handle issues specific to your educational institution. There may even be more than one, so make sure you're using the right guide. (Here's an example of a thesis style guide, but this will almost certainly not apply to your school.)

The bottom line: Check what style guides your university requires and use those.

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In my specific case, issues are a bit more elaborate. There's no department-level accepted writing style, so my adviser's opinion might be different from that of thesis committee. Hence, I am not only supposed to be accountable for my scientific participation; but also the typesetting and formatting of the thesis. This is why I am looking for a justifiable answer. For better or worse, the common practice for scientific writing style in Farsi (which I am supposed to present my thesis in) is to adopt and adapt style guides of English. –  Hedy Feb 11 '12 at 22:42
    
@Mohammed - That sounds like a tricky situation in which, no matter what you do, somebody will find a problem. If I were in this position, I would seek out some students who have successfully gotten the same degree and ask their advice. But using APA or MLA should be fairly defensible. If you are to emulate English, finding out what analogous English-speaking universities with similar degree programs do should help. –  Neil Fein Feb 11 '12 at 23:13
    
I'd also suggest you edit some of this information into the question. This is an interesting and unique situation (in my experience, in any case) and someone might easily miss these comments. –  Neil Fein Feb 11 '12 at 23:15
    
@MohammadHedayati - I edited your comment into the question. –  Neil Fein Feb 14 '12 at 19:58
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When I wrote my thesis, the Graduate School had a guide with very strict rules for the layout and formatting of anything that was to be submitted to them. If you had something wrong (as in your margins off by 1/10"), they would not accept it. Who do you turn the final copy of the thesis over to? Check with that group.

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This question is difficult to answer because there might be differences in departments/disciplines/committees/etc like Lauren Ipsum mentioned in the comments. In which domain is the thesis (or report?)?

If you look in a book like "The Craft of Scientific Writing" by Michael Alley (1996), you see that he has Glossary and Index after the Appendices, but not as part of the Appendices, which makes sense for a readers point of view. If I want to find out where something is mentioned, I start from the back of the book and have the index, next in importance are looking up terms I do not know (anymore), i.e., the glossary. While this was a book on writing and not a thesis, perhaps this is a compromise for you and your adviser (don't go head to head over this issue) -- put them after the appendices ("Appendix x", "Appendix y", "Glossary", "Index"), but do not name them so. After all, they are an important part of the work and not optional.

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