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[Orgmode] Re: Writing a dissertation using org-mode

From: Markus Heller
Subject: [Orgmode] Re: Writing a dissertation using org-mode
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:41:23 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100111 Thunderbird/3.0.1

On 3/5/2010 2:14 AM, Sven Bretfeld wrote:
Eric S Fraga<address@hidden>  writes:

if I may (respectfully) disagree?  Having examined too many PhD theses
to count, I would prefer PhD candidates spent more of their time
worrying about the content and organisation of their thesis than the
actual layout.  Unlike the preparation of camera ready copy for
conferences, say, most of the defaults taken by LaTeX are usually fine
once you've set up the layout to meet the university's requirements
(which are usually only about page size, margins and font sizes).  The
great thing about using org-mode for writing is the outlining and the
ability to easily move sections around.

I fully agree and would add some other advantages:

- Orgmode can help to plan a paper or thesis right from the first second
   onwards. If you plan your texts in the canonical bottom-up way,
   orgmode helps you through all the stages:

   1. Brainstorming
   2. Selecting
   3. Mindmapping
   4. Visualizing (org-mindmap)
   5. Structuring
   6. Writing

- Orgmode has the fantastic (and AFAIK unique) feature that you can
   integrate your text project directly into your time and todo
   management. Most people writing with MSWord etc. use to use
   marginnotes or something similar to make notes like "Check the
   pagenumber of this citation again". They are lucky if they actually
   remember this task when they are in a library. Writing in orgmode you
   can just add:

   * TODO Check the pagenumber of this citation again   :@LIBRARY:

   And you automatically have that todo in your daily agenda.

I have to agree with Torsten: I'd write the thesis directly in LaTeX, only because of the power of AUCTeX and RefTeX (and preview, if you have lots of plots and math).

I do see the advantages of orgmode in terms of brainstorming etc. as outlined by Sven, and I'd use orgmode for 1.--5. for sure.

Just one remark on Sven's last point: Having the TODO item in your agenda when you're in the library only helps if you have access to your org-files ...

Just my 2 cents

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