I am writing a thesis. I do some calculations about a robot arm of two parts, like a human arm. I call the first part as "link 1" and second part as "link 2".

FIRST QUESTION: Should I use uppercase L while using "link 1" in text as below

...the angular velocity of Link 1...

or should I use lowercase version as follows?

...the angular velocity of link 2...

SECOND QUESTION: I have examples to demonstrate what I am trying to do in the thesis. How should I refere examples in captions or paragraphs?

...as seen in Example 1...


...as seen in example 1...
  • 3
    Hello, Mehmed. If you're writing a thesis, there will almost certainly be a style guide prescribed by the University etc. I'd not capitalise in the first case, but capitalise in the second for clarity – but your authority may instruct you otherwise. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 13 '16 at 17:34
  • Hi Edwin, this is not specified in the thesis guide of the university. Thank you for your comment. – Mehmed Feb 13 '16 at 17:42
  • 1
    Then I'd (1) ask your supervisor; (2) look at say 10 previous theses. Capitalisation 'rules' tend to be various and contradictory. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 13 '16 at 17:51

I was always taught the general rule that specific names or titles should be capitalized. So, you would write: "We refer to first link as Link 1", just as you would write: "We refer to the robot as John".

Similarly, you would write: "...in Example 1..." with a capital "E" because you are using "Example 1" as the title or name of the specific example. However you would write, "...in the first example..." without capitalization because here the word "example" is just the normal English language word.

However, in technical writing, there are other ways to do it. For example, you might use italics or a different font for the names of parts of your robot.

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