Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Delhi
General Guidelines for writing a B.Tech/M.Tech Report/Thesis
Your thesis must be organized as follows.
- Thesis cover, including the title, your name, entry number, supervisor's name, department, IIT emblem, institute's name.
- Thesis cover (same as above, on regular paper)
- Certificate from your supervisor(s) stating that the work is genuine and has not been submitted to any other degree [Number this page (i)]
- The certificate must be signed by all your supervisors before you submit the thesis/report.
- Acknowledgements (Thank your supervisors, lab staff, and anyone else who has contributed to the thesis) [Number this page (ii)]
- This page must be signed by all the members of the B.Tech project group.
- Abstract (1-page summary of your thesis work) (Number this page (iii)]
- The abstract must bring out the salient points about your work, highlighting your achievements.
- Table of contents (including certificate, acknowledgements, abstract, list of figures, list of tables, chapters, references, and any appendices)
- Number these pages (iv), (v), etc
- If you are generating the table of contents manually, remember to include the page numbers with every item in the contents. Generate the table of contents at the very end of your thesis work, since page numbers often change due to last-minute additions/deletions.
- List of figures (optional) (number this page (v), (vi), etc.)
- List of tables (optional) (number this page (vi), (vii), etc.)
- Typically, Chapter 1 is the Introduction, Chapter 2 is the literature survey, Chapter 3 is your work emphasizing your contribution, Chapter 4 is on Implementation and Results, Chapter 5 is Conclusions and Future Work.
- If you include figures in a chapter, number the figure as "C.F", where C is the chapter number and F is the sequence number of the figure within the chapter. Thus the second figure in Chapter 3 will be called Figure 3.2. Follow the same rule for tables as well.
- Give captions to all figures and tables. The figure captions must appear below the figures and table captions must appear above the tables.
- There must be a reference to each of your figures and tables in the thesis. For example, "Figure 3.1 shows the organization of our software."
- Figures and tables must fit within the page boundary, without going out of margins.
- As far as possible, figures and tables must appear within the body of the chapter immediately after a reference is made to them.
- Organize your thesis into sections and subsections. Number the sections and subsections just like you number figures. For example, "2.2 A Review of Tomasulo's Algorithm"
- While writing your report, remember the following.
- Clarity of presentation is very important.
- You need not write in flowery language. Remember that you are writing a technical report, not an essay.
- Do not copy sentences from any other source. Even if you are citing a reference, use your own language to summarize. How will you feel if your classmate or junior were to copy from your report and claim it to be his/her own?
- Give citations to acknowledge the fact that you have borrowed ideas from author(s).
- Number all the references.
- All references must be complete.
- For a book, give the name(s) of author(s), title of the book, publisher, edition, and year of publication.
- For a journal paper, give the name(s) of authors, title of the paper, name of the journal, month and year of publication, volume and issue numbers (optional), and page numbers.
- For a conference paper, give the name(s) of authors, title of the paper, name of the conference (expand any abbreviation), place where the conference was held, month and year of publication, and page numbers.
- For a thesis, give the name(s) of authors, nature of the thesis (B.Tech, M.Tech, Ph.D), Department's name, University's name, year of publication.
- For a web page on the Internet, give the author's name/company's name and the URL. Include the year as well.
- Each reference in the thesis must be cited in the body of the thesis. For example, in Chapter 1, you may say, "Algorithms for optimizing the chip area are described in  and ."
- Number the appendices A, B, etc.
- Figures in appendices must be numbered as A.2, B.3, etc.
Other things to remember
Use double spacing and 10, 11, or 12-point font within the body of the thesis.
Give 1.5" margin on the left hand side and 1" margin on the right hand side.
Give 1" top and 1" bottom margins.
Use 18-point font for chapter titles, 14-point font for section titles, and 12-point font for sections and 11-point font for subsections.
Use single spacing for references.
Before taking the final printout, check and see if all section numbers, figure numbers, table numbers, and page numbers are OK. Check if all figures and tables have been referenced and if all references have been cited.
If your project is a continuation of a previous project, remember to cite the thesis.
Be original when you write Acknowledgements. Do not, for heaven's sake, copy this from your friend's thesis or an old thesis! Your supervisors deserve the extra 10 minutes you may take to thank them in print. And remember, "grateful" is the correct spelling.
Run a spell check before taking the final printout.
- You must submit 2soft-bound copies of the report/thesis to the project coordinator before the specified deadline.
- You must include the corrections that may be pointed out to you during your presentation before generating the hard-bound copies of the thesis.
- When you are submitting the hardbound copy, ensure that the cover page is in apropriate color (black for B.Tech thesis, gray for M.Tech/MS thesis, red for Ph.D. thesis) and the lettering is gold-embossed.
- Submit 1 copy to each of your supervisors and one copy to the department library. Submit all these copies initially to the librarian of the department. He/she will sign on your no-dues and then distribute the supervisors' copies to the respective supervisors.
- You may be required to submit the electronic version of your thesis to the librarian. In that case, submit two copies on floppy disks. Put labels on the floppy disks: write your names, B.Tech/M.Tech/MS, Ph.D, title of the thesis, year, and names of supervisors. Ensure that the floppy has no other software and, for God's sake, has no viruses.
Work that is not well presented will not be appreciated, however good that work may be! Follow these general guidelines in making a project presentation. You must also make it a point to attend as many technical seminars from invited experts so that you can learn the art of making slides and making oral presentations.
Making the slides
- Hand-written slides look good if you are willing to take the effort to make them. It may be easier to use slide-making software instead.
- Make a title slide, highlighting the topic, your name, department, supervisors' names and departments, the date of presentation, and the nature of the presentation (mid-term, final, etc.)
- A slide showing the outline of the talk often helps. Organize your presentation into an introduction, a few comments on previous work (either at IIT Delhi or elsewhere), your own work and its importance, your implementation results, conclusions, and scope for future work.
- Make about 15 to 20 slides for a 20-minute presentation.
- Do not clutter the slide with information. As far as possible, use graphical content (figures and tables) to illustrate your ideas.
- If you wish to use clip-art, use them in moderation. Avoid using standard clip-arts that everyone may have already seen!
- If you have to show equations, typeset them carefully, taking care about subscripts, superscripts, etc. Remember, the audience is not familiar with your project. If they already knew everything, they will not be sitting there! If equations are very complex, write them neatly by hand. Computer software for generating slides may have bugs! Check out the equations after taking the printout. Do they appear the way you wanted them to? The same thing goes for figures and tables as well!
Delivering the presentation
- Rehearse your talk a few times to ensure that you are not violating time deadlines.
- Avoid reading from the slides.
- Each slide must have a distinct title. Use at least 24-point font for titles.
- Use at least 18-point font for the body of the text on the transparency.
- In the concluding slide, thank any persons who may have helped you in the course of the project. Thank the audience.
Questions and Answers
- If you are asked a question in the middle of the presentation, first think if you have slides that are coming ahead that may answer the question. In that case, say so, and proceed. Only otherwise proceed to answer the question.
- Understand the question before attempting to answer. If you do not know the answer, simply say so, instead of hazarding a guess. You will invite a lot many difficult questions!
- Carry blank slides and a pen with you. You may need when answering a question.
- Use a pointer to point to the projected slide.
- Ensure that you stand on the right side of the overhead projector. You should not cover the projection!
- Do not interrupt the faculty when they are asking a question.
Let us not follow where the path may lead. Let us go instead where there’s no path and leave a trail.
Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. You will be certain to find something you have never seen before
Alexander Graham Bell
Creativity often rewards the non-conformist, the iconoclast, the generalist who treats life not as a linear fast track to success, but as a forest of rich discoveries that one can meander through, creating one’s own trail.
Ho Kwon Ping
The creative person prefers the richness of the disordered to the stark barrenness of the simple.
Donald W. MacKinnon
The common cliché is "get real". Our watchword will be "get bizzare". Real solutions to problems (true creativity) come from fantasy rather than from file cabinet in our head.
Fred M. Amran
Detecting the wrong answer requires intelligence. To be able to ask the right question requires creativity.