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I'm currently writing my thesis and I have come up with old thesis that have an end mark at the last chapter. It usually is a small centered sign.

So, my question: should I use it? is it a normal practice? ---Please bear in mind that there is nothing about it in my school's requirements, so anything is possible.

...extra question: Do you happen to know what end marks are better for a technical document, i.e., a PhD Thesis?

EDIT: Here is the last page of Lev Bishop's PhD thesis so you can see what I'm talking about. (Full thesis here: http://www.levbishop.org/thesis/Bishop-thesis.pdf) enter image description here

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could you place a screenshot of the page in question? –  Ilan Apr 18 at 13:41

3 Answers 3

The sign you are talking about is FLEURON and DINGBAT.

“It can also be used to fill the whitespace that result from the indentation of the first line of a paragraph,on a line by itself to divide paragraphs in a highly stylized way, to divide lists, or for pure ornamentation”

enter image description here

Every education organisation has its own requirements of how the thesis should be built, thus it is better to follow the rules of your particular institution.

From my point of view you can place tiny beautiful fleurons in your work according to the general theme and topic, it adds value and the feeling of solid work. However, the end point - it is up to you.

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Thanks Ilan. As I mentioned, there are no rules for the dissertation (only the cover) so pretty much everything goes. I'm not thinking about putting these things in the indentations or between paragraphs, but rather at the very end of the last chapter to give a sensation of "that's it" (see fonts.com/content/learning/fyti/glyphs/end-marks) –  Mario S. E. Apr 18 at 15:17
    
@MarioS.E. end marks are a case of fleorons actually –  Ilan Apr 18 at 15:19
    
Do you think I should use them? Are they deprecated? Are they off the line in a dissertation? –  Mario S. E. Apr 18 at 15:20
    
@MarioS.E. it is up to you - to use or not. I like the idea. They are not deprecated and can add "look" value to your work if used wisely and in proportion. –  Ilan Apr 18 at 15:22
    
Are there any rules for the use of these symbols? Say, if I would like to use the \AE (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86) instead of a flower? –  Mario S. E. Apr 18 at 15:29

Use them if you want to. I think this is more common (but not very, any more) in non-tech academic fields.

Personally, I think it adds a little flourish and can be nice as long as you do not do it for every single page.

And of course, there are masses of other alternatives to that specific glyph. You might be surprised, your default fonts often have a few. The old-school connotations can be a nice contrast to tech content.

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While Ilan is correct that the specific glyph is a Fleuron, there are various terms for the general concept:

As always with type, there are no hard-and-fast rules or definitions surrounding this. It typically will come down to a style/aesthetic decision on your part.

I can't say if they are common in a thesis or not. They are very common in magazines, less common but not out of the ordinary at the end of chapters in books, and you will also seem them as a flourish on a lot of web site articles as well.

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