Chapter 1 Using jayhawkdown

The jayhawkdown package is designed to provide a template for writing theses and dissertations at the University of Kansas using rmarkdown (Allaire et al., 2020) and bookdown (Xie, 2020a). This chapter walks you through how to edit and alter the template to fit your needs.

1.1 Getting started

The structure of your thesis or dissertation is defined the _bookdown.yml file. The most important part of this file is the rmd_files: listing at the top. This defines which documents to include and the order in which to include them. The first file must be template R Markdown file that was generated in the main directory when the template was opened. For example, if you named the directory “skeleton” when the template was opened, you should see a skeleton.rmd document in the main directory. After that file, all documents can be moved and/or deleted to your liking. The exception is the references file. I can be moved into any order you chose (e.g., after the appendix instead of before), but DO NOT delete this file. It contains several formatting options and tags to ensure that the references follow APA style and actually appear where you are intending them to.

In the main R Markdown file, you will see some YAML metadata at the top that is needed to create the dissertation. Edit the fields in the ### Required Information section so that they reflect your document. If fields are not needed (e.g., you have less than 7 people on your committee), simply delete those lines. The next section is ### Rendering Options. Although these can be edited, this should only be done if you know what you are doing and have a very good reason for doing so. The final section is ### Pretext Sections. This points to the abstract and acknowledgements files, which are located in the pre/ folder.

1.2 Adding chapters

To add a new chapter, simply create a new R Markdown document and add it the chapters/ folder and the _bookdown.yml file. It’s that easy!

1.3 Creating your documents

To create a PDF version of your thesis or dissertation, press the knit button at the top of the RStudio editor. If you aren’t using RStudio, you can use bookdown::render_book("index.Rmd", "jayhawkdown::thesis_pdf"), where skeleton.rmd is the name of the R Markdown document that include the YAML metadata. This will create your document at _book/thesis.pdf. To change the name of this file, you can edit the book_filename in _bookdown.yml.