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I'm not sure whether it fits on TeX.SE or some other SE site, but anyways:

I wonder whether there's a good standard on the order of the common appendices when writing the thesis. I have in mind the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • List of Figures and Tables
  • List of mathematical notation
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Does your school/university provide guidelines on the formal structure of a thesis? If so, you'll have to follow these guidelines irrespective of any other considerations. That said, it would be quite unusual -- at least in an English-language document; I don't know about practices in other language/culture areas -- to place the table of contents, the list of tables, and the list of figures in the document's backmatter. These elements generally (always?) belong in the frontmatter. Your university should also specify whether any appendices come before or after the bibliography. –  Mico Mar 21 '12 at 12:25
    
No rules on the five mentioned "lists" are given. –  tohecz Mar 21 '12 at 13:30
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Well, I'm not quite sure if there is any written law on this ;) But I usually do the following:

  1. TOC is in the frontmatter as people want to decide soon whether they want to read your book/stuff..
  2. In the backmatter, you have first your own appendices, Appendix A, Appendix B, ...
  3. After that, I would put the bibliography
  4. A symbol list is a good service, maybe after the bib
  5. And the index goes at the very end.

Actually, i have never used TOF and TOT and so on. I don't see why they should be useful at all :)

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I normally take the same approach, except symbol lists I would have as front matter. Also I don't like TOT. List of figures I use often, but as front matter. –  Yiannis Lazarides Mar 21 '12 at 12:45
    
I was warned by one colleague that his opponent told him it's good to place the Bibliography as the very last thing because you need that the most often ... ? This opinion seems strange to me... –  tohecz Mar 21 '12 at 13:31
    
Dear Yiannis: I agree, that if you need/want a LOF then perhaps in the frontmatter. I usually never have enough figure to justify a list ;) For the symbols, I have seen math books where it is sort of distributed in the inside of the hard cover (front and back) which is quite handy as you can easily find it. Of course, this doesn't make much sense for a thesis. –  Stefan Waldmann Mar 21 '12 at 15:05
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traditionally, the table of contents comes first, and an index (or indexes) come last.

i've seen notation lists (1) as a separate index preceding the main index(es), (2) a "chapter" (i.e., not in index form) just before the index(es), (3) a "chapter" preceding the bibliography, or (4) as a separate prefatory chapter. the separate prefatory chapter is more common in pedagogical works than in academic monographs; this parallels the introduction in an article where the author defines the notation.

bibliography is usually the last thing before the index(es) modulo placement of notation list.

lists of figures and tables usually come just after table of contents.

if one is really traditional, a colophon may be placed after the index(es); it should never be more than one page long.

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Sorry, but I don't understand your answer at all. –  tohecz Mar 21 '12 at 13:56
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@tohecz -- and i'm not sure, from your comment, how to fix it. is the problem that the statements list the components out of order? or is the fact that there are several different, legitimate, ways to incorporate a list of notation too confusing? (the comment about the colophon wasn't in response to your inquiry; it's just that when a book is produced nicely, a colophon saying something about how it was produced is appreciated by readers who care about such things.) –  barbara beeton Mar 22 '12 at 19:53
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