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  • Figure titles and captions.  There is a distinction between titles and captions. 
    • The NPS thesis template uses Figure titles below the image.  As explained in the template, figure titles should be capitalized as a title (like a book title).  This is what will appear in the list of figures. 
    • A figure caption is a brief explanation of the image contents and should be complete sentences, punctuated accordingly.  As explained in the template, these elements are formatted as Figure Secondary Caption. Although figure captions are optional, but you are encouraged to use them.  (A good portion of readers will look at your figures and read the captions as the first step in reading your work.)
  • All graphs should have labels on all axes, and the labels should include engineering units.  Any text in the figure (labels, legends, etc.) should use a font size similar to the font of the text and be clearly readable.
  • A common mistake is to have an image (e.g., a MATLAB graph) that has its own title.  For use in figures there should not be a title in the image (i.e., no title() command used in generating in a MATLAB figure), the title is part of the document.
  • MATLAB Figure Preparation: Tutorial on using the export_fig package to generate high-quality images for publication.

Numbers and Units

  • A succinct set of rules for using numbers in text rules_for_writing_numbers.pdf (source doc: rules_for_writing_numbers.docx).
  • A good set of guidelines: coes_equation_guidelines.pdf - in particular, see Section 4: "Numbers and units of measurements, in equations or anywhere in the document" for some useful guidelines.
  • A few specific rules include:
    • Use SI units - use the abbreviation for the units when accompanying numerals.
    • Use a space between a number and its units, e.g., 0.5 m, not 0.5m.
    • When using a number less than 1.0, use a leading zero: e.g., 0.5 m, not .5 m