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LaTeX Classic Thesis Template for the Humanities

LaTeX is a document processing system. First, you format your text with commands then you feed the file into LaTeX, which generates a PDF. With LaTeX you can focus on the writing, while the system takes care of the presentation. It can also integrate with your reference library through a bibtex file, which contains your references, each with a unique ID.

Although mostly used in scientific publishing, LaTeX can be ideal for the humanities and social sciences. It is, however, a bit difficult to setup. I really recommend using the cross-platform tool Texmaker to get started. I used LaTeX to format my MA dissertation. The effort it took to learn how the system worked saved a lot of time in the end.

I specifically used a LaTeX template called Classic Thesis. Getting it to work initially, however, was a bit difficult. With a bit of effort, however, you can end up with a really nice looking dissertation. I wanted to save you even more time and effort, so am providing this example as a zip file. Here’s how to get up and running:

  1. Open dissertation.tex with Texmaker.
  2. Compile the bibtex file.
  3. Compile LaTeX. You may need to run this twice.


  • Why are there blank pages?

Classic Thesis puts in blank pages sometimes to make sure that each chapter starts on the right hand side.

  • How can I generate my own bibtex file?

I highly recommend Zotero. It has a magic wand feature, where you can enter a DOI number and it grabs all article information for you. You then just need to open up the bibtex file in a text editor and find out the unique bibtex ID, so that you can enter it into LaTeX, which cites everything automatically.

  • Should I use cleverref?

I’d suggest just using normal LaTeX references, as cleverref for me caused some intractable problems with hyperref.

  • There’s a problem with the files

Send me an email