The following is a list of resources that may be of use to you as you continue your academic career. If there are others that should be added, let me know.
For writing in a way that keeps content separate from form:
- Markdown is a really useful (and simple!) markup language for writing documents that can quickly and easily be converted to formats such as Word, PDF, or HTML. Any text editor will do for writing in Markdown, and you already have one on your computer (TextEdit if you’re a Mac user, or Notepad if you use Windows). It really is simple — see Lincoln Mullen’s “Markdown: The Syntax You (Probably) Already Know.”
- Over at The Programming Historian, Sarah Simpkin has provided an excellent guide: “Getting Started with Markdown.” Those who’d like to delve deeper might want to check out Tenen and Wythoff’s “Sustainable Authorship in Plain Text Using Pandoc and Markdown.”
- Pandoc is the file converter that will transform your plain text Markdown files to whatever format you need. The links above can help you get started with it.
For keeping track of your research, nothing beats a good reference manager. The ones listed here are worth considering; each will allow you to easily add new references to your research library, manage PDFs, take notes, and format citations properly. Check them out to see which (if any) best suits your workflow:
- Zotero[1. Professor Aaron Moe has a blog post that includes his screencast about Zotero, as well as links to two webinars on the application. Zotero won’t run on a Chromebook, but it’s possible to run it from a USB drive. This post from Spring 2015 explains how.]