Some Grammar Issues....

Below some common mistakes and style issues are listed people often forget or overlook when writing their thesis. Comments and further hints are welcome!

Definitions and other environments

Please use the LaTeX theorem package (already included in the thesis template). Definitions, theorems, examples, and tables are to be numbered by chapter, not by section or subsection. Ideally, definitions should also have a name, for example, “Definition 3.1 (Graph). A graph is….”

For presenting algorithms, use the LaTeX algorithm2e package.

Figures are supposed to have a caption that explains the figure in sufficient depth.


It is up to you to choose a good format and style for citations. Numbers are Ok, e.g., [2,4,7], but you can also use author names, e.g., [Mueller and Schultz, 2001]. Note that if a work has more than two authors, one typically refers to that work by saying, e.g., “The work by Miller et al. [9] was the first that showed….”, not just “The work [9] showed…”. In case of less than three authors, one gives the names of the authors, e.g., “Mueller and Schultz showed that this is the upper bound [3].”

See also, for example,

Upper/lower case

For the title of chapters and sections, one typically uses upper case for all first letters, except for “stop word”, especially articles, not at the beginning of the title. Starting with subsection, lower case is used.


3. Outlier Detection Model

3.2 An Improved Benchmark Model for Outlier Detection

3.2.1 Handling uncertain data

When referring to a chapter, section, figure and the like by number, upper case for the first letter is used.


In Section 3.2, we present…” or “…is shown in Table 4.1.” But: “In the following section, we show…” or “In the table above, we have seen that…”


The following are just a few examples where people typically make mistakes.

Adverbs: after certain adverbs (e.g., however, in fact, therefore, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, still, instead, too), a comma is used:

  • "This result, however, does not mean that…"
  • "Therefore, in the following section, we will…"

Other common cases where people often forget a comma:

  •  …, such as… (only a comma before)
  • …, e.g., … (comma before and after)
  • …, i.e., … (comma before and after)
  • …, because…. (only a comma before)
  • …, for example, … (comma before and after)
  • …, for instance, … (comma before and after)

A very common error is not to place a comma when a nonrestrictive clause is used. A nonrestrictive clause is typically introduce by "which"  and set off by commas.


The example above, which has also been used in the work by Schmidt [4], clearly shows that…:

For a restrictive clause, which is typically introduced by "that", no commas are used (this is unlike the respective usage of commas in German orthography)


The object that is most similar to the given object is returned”. NOT: “The object, which is most similar to the given object is returned”.

There are a few exceptions where a comma before that is used, e.g.. “…, that is, ….”

And more stuff...

  •  "… in the form of …"
  • "… on the basis that …'