Word best for research papers? Or something better?


M

me

Does there exist special word processing software that
is "optimized" for writers of research papers or books?

Something that is even better than Word?

Say I want to write a huge dissertation or technical
book at some future point in my life. Something that
requires a lot of research, etc.

Does there exist a specialized word processor that will
"help" me to make that process as easy as possible as
far as tracking sources, formatting, etc?

Or is Word abt the best there is?

I'm a 48 yr old college student and have never written
a research paper in my life... so all this is a bit
alien to me. <G>
 
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D

Daiya Mitchell

If you have never written a research paper, Word isn't really going to help
you all that much in finding the best sources and extracting the right data
from them, sorting out your thoughts, and carefully arguing a plausible and
original thesis. You might investigate various student manuals, such as
William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (if you need
to write a history research paper). Try searching the general web.

Software programs are mostly only going to help with the technicalities of
presentation, but a research paper is MUCH more than that. Although, here's
one article on how Word can help teach such skills. It's pretty decent.
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/word2004/using.aspx?pid=usingword2004&
type=howto&article=/mac/library/feature_articles/office2004/wd_outline.xml
[link may break and need manual fixing]

I really don't think, in your position (and I teach college), that it's
worth you looking for a program that will help with research papers. Just
use Word. Your college probably has a writing center that can help with
specific questions, or ask your professor. You can find instructions on
doing citations in many places. Once you've written some papers, and
figured out your strengths and weaknesses, then you will know better whether
certain software might help you.

Re programs, you might try Google. For instance, I used Word for my
dissertation, so I don't really know whether other programs are better,
cause I haven't tried them. But I've compiled links on using Word for such
things here:
http://daiya.mvps.org/bookword.htm

If you use Styles in Word, it greatly helps with long documents.

As far as tracking sources--Word 2007 is adding a basic Citation Manager
that will probably help undergraduate college students. People doing Ph.D.s
or other things that require a lot of research will probably continue to
purchase third-party bibliographic software programs like EndNote, ProCite,
and Reference Manager. I really don't think these programs are relevant to
you.

For managing lots and lots of text, many people swear by LaTeX, and it's
probably better in certain ways. Others loved the now defunct FrameMaker.
The Mac has Mellel, which is designed for academics. But again, I really
don't think these programs are relevant to you.

Hope that helps.
 
D

Daiya Mitchell

[link may break and need manual fixing]
If you've got a long URL, then go here:
http://tinyurl.com/
I know about such sites, but I myself don't click on anonymous URLs in case
they are sending me to undesirable sites, and prefer not to ask other people
to. I consider that peace of mind is worth the trouble of a little copy and
paste.

Daiya
 
M

me

Daiya Mitchell said:
If you have never written a research paper, Word isn't really going to help
you all that much in finding the best sources and extracting the right data
from them, sorting out your thoughts, and carefully arguing a plausible and
original thesis.
Understood.

But that's not what I asked. I am looking for software
that will gently guide me as to proper formatting of my
work and the citations and such.

Example.... here is an online citation "machine" that I
found.

http://citationmachine.net/index.php?new_style=1#here

As far as tracking sources--Word 2007 is adding a basic Citation Manager
that will probably help undergraduate college students.
That would help a LOT above.
purchase third-party bibliographic software programs like EndNote, ProCite,
and Reference Manager. I really don't think these programs are relevant to
I looked at all three above and the seem to be
made/sold by same company and are priced the same as
well...... abt $230

Any other cheaper citation software as Word add in
exist?
 
S

Steve Hayes

Does there exist special word processing software that
is "optimized" for writers of research papers or books?
There used to be one called Nota Bene, produced by Dragonfly Software, but I
don't know if it is still available.
 
M

me

Steve Hayes said:
There used to be one called Nota Bene, produced by Dragonfly Software, but I
don't know if it is still available.
Seems to still exist. se link

http://www.notabene.com/

I will read up on it.

I may buy such software as I intend to continue writing
and learning on my own even after this class
 
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K

kamaunyrroh

Does there exist special word processing software that
is "optimized" for writers of research papers or books?

Something that is even better than Word?

Say I want to write a huge dissertation or technical
book at some future point in my life. Something that
requires a lot of research, etc.

Does there exist a specialized word processor that will
"help" me to make that process as easy as possible as
far as tracking sources, formatting, etc?

Or is Word abt the best there is?

I'm a 48 yr old college student and have never written
a research paper in my life... so all this is a bit
alien to me. <G>
Yeah such a software exists and you can find it here: http://spellcheckplus..com/ for free but it can only work from the website. Another one to consider is Ginger software but it is not that good nowadays. Not all of them work and you may end up buying a research paper to solve the problem from here:
http://www.researchpaperstobuy.com/
 

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