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Tips for using RStudio to produce your dissertation

If you are using RStudio, here are some tips that might help make your report look great.

Number sections

By default, RStudio / pandoc does not number section headings. To fix this, in the YAML header, use something like:

    number_sections: true

This should automatically number your sections.

Selecting the LaTeX class

I personally prefer the KOMA report class over the LaTeX default. I usually turn off the geometry and subtitle packages as well.

documentclass: scrreprt
geometry: false
subtitle: false

Inserting LaTeX commands into your text

You can insert a block of LaTeX commands directly into your text by wrapping them like so:


The above example is also great when using scrreprt or scrbook to insert the table of contents and to number the first few pages with roman numerals instead of arabic numbers. If you have an appendix, you’ll also want to use \backmatter.

Including images

The documentation for referencing images is here: Images need to sit in a file and they then get included into the document when it is compiled. The syntax is something like:

![This is a caption](image.png)

Note the hint about `implicit_figures’, which means that if you include alternative text (that’s the text in square brackets) and put the image in its own paragraph, then it will be turned into a figure float.

Don’t be afraid to put lots of description in your caption as this will be helpful to the reader. Captions that just say “Results” or “Graph of performance” are not so useful. More useful captions should contain 2 or more sentences and should make the figure understandable without reference to the main text.


The first thing to know is that to cite a paper with RMarkdown, you need to use the @ citation syntax. The thing after @ is the citation key. Note that you either put the citation in square brackets (for parenthetical citations) or put it without brackets when you want to refer directly to something that the authors did. For example, if we have a paper with key Krizhevsky2012, we might refer to it as, “The ImageNet classification problem has been examined using DCNNs [@Krizhevsky2012]”. In this case, we use square brackets so that the citation is formatted with parentheses. Alternatively, we can put the authors as actors by saying, ”@Krizhevsky2012 applied DCNNs to ImageNet”.

There’s great information on using Zotero with RStudio online. You will probably need to install the Better BibTex add-in for Zotero. I also recommend the Chrome extension for capturing papers to your Zotero library.

Don’t forget to use Better BibTex to export your bibliography to a bib file and refer to it in your document

bibliography: "zotero-export.bib"

Include the required sections from the Word template


At the front of the document, you’ll need this bit from the word template:

**Declaration of Originality**

I declare that this project is all my own work and has not been copied
in part or in whole from any other source except where duly
acknowledged. As such, all use of previously published work (from books,
journals, magazines, internet etc.) has been acknowledged by citation
within the main report to an item in the References or Bibliography
lists. I also agree that an electronic copy of this project may be
stored and used for the purposes of plagiarism prevention and detection.

**Statement of copyright**

I acknowledge that the copyright of this project report, and any product
developed as part of the project, belong to Coventry University.
Support, including funding, is available to commercialise products and
services developed by staff and students. Any revenue that is generated
is split with the inventor/s of the product or service. For further
information please see
[]( or contact

**Statement of ethical engagement**

I declare that a proposal for this project has been submitted to the
Coventry University ethics monitoring website
( and that the application number is
listed below (Note: Projects without an ethical application number will
be rejected for marking)

[Signed:]{.underline} [Date:]{.underline}

Please complete all fields.

  First Name:           
  --------------------- -------------------------------------------------
  Last Name:            

  Student ID number     

  Ethics Application    

  1^st^ Supervisor Name 

  2^nd^ Supervisor Name 

**This form must be completed, scanned and included with your project
submission to Turnitin. Failure to append these declarations may result
in your project being rejected for marking.**

Other sections to include

The template suggests the following section headings. Pay attention, however to what it says in the marking scheme rather than slavishly adhere to these headings.

# Introduction
## Background to the Project
## Project Objectives
## Overview of This Report
# Literature Review
# Methodology
# Requirements
# Analysis
# Design
# Implementation
# Testing
# Project Management
## Project Schedule
## Risk Management
## Quality Management
## Social, Legal, Ethical and Professional Considerations
# Critical Appraisal
# Conclusions
## Achievements
## Future Work
# Student Reflections
# References

Appendix A -- Project Specification

Appendix B -- Interim Progress Report and Meeting Records

Appendix C -- Requirements Specification

Appendix D -- User Manual

Appendix E -- Project Presentation

Appendix F -- Certificate of Ethics Approval