I searched but couldn't find any suitable stackexchange sites where I can ask this question.

I'm writing my BSc thesis. A general structure for writing this kind of documents is to start with an abstract, introduction etc. In most cases this includes usage of specialized words, i.e., NP-Complete, Polynomially reducible etc. When I think about general readers or even freshmen/sophomores, I feel discouraged following this style. Specially, in the introduction section, a brief review of the current literature is given, which is intractable for an undergrad.

Do you think the following structure is Ok :

  1. Write the abstract in plain English, without any technical terms
  2. Briefly introduce technical terms/concepts that are used in your thesis
  3. Follow general structure.

I'm not asking about my thesis structure in particular. I'm asking, as an expert do you think this structure ok? So that, if I become a teacher someday, I can encourage my students to write in this way at BSc level. So that students at first or second year feel more interested.

Addendum: If this question passes muster, I think it also should be community wiki-fied. If you have an opinion on whether that is the case, please also leave a note.

  • $\begingroup$ Please limit comments to whether this question fit in the scope of Math.StackExchange. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2010 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ ?! I didn't understand. Can you please clarify? $\endgroup$
    – user1869
    Dec 23, 2010 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Sazzad: that comment was not directed at you. That comment is directed at people looking at this question on Meta.Math.SE: I am asking them to contribute on whether this question should be asked on the main site, and refrain from actually giving an answer to the question you want to ask on the main site. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2010 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Sazzad: I personally think this question has a decent chance at getting some exposure on the main site, so I want people to save their good ideas and input for later, and not leave them here on Meta where it will be disconnected from the actual question. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2010 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thank you very much for your kind support. $\endgroup$
    – user1869
    Dec 23, 2010 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ CS? Maybe cstheory.stackexchange.com is more suitable. $\endgroup$
    – kennytm
    Dec 23, 2010 at 18:48
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @KennyTM: my understanding is the cstheory is for Research Level CS questions, kind of like MO. If so, this question would be less appropriate there than here. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2010 at 20:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Sazzad: I would suggest you leave this thread open for a day or so. If no serious objections occur, you might as well post the question on the main site. Worst case scenario is that it gets closed as off-topic, which you shouldn't take too personally. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2010 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. No, I won't. I understand the policies. $\endgroup$
    – user1869
    Dec 24, 2010 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ What if I add Math/CS? I'm interested to know, if the general structure of a (BSc)thesis is a golden rule to be strictly followed. If not, experts could suggest the flexibility of the trade offs between too technical writing vs intelligible writing. $\endgroup$
    – user1869
    Dec 24, 2010 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


Personally I think the question is a bit borderline: but only that. If I see it on the parent site, I won't vote to close it. After all, computer science can be considered as a branch of mathematics, and the writing and the presentation of mathematics does fit somewhat tangentially into the scope of Math.StackExchange.


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