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README.md
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README.md

instructions - academic writing in markdown

first, download the essentials

OS X users:

If you intend to style things in MS word and make a PDF from that, you can stop here. However, if you want to make lovely proper PDF files, you'll also need LaTeX, well worth it IMO:

  • Latex warning , you need 2gb at least for the full install of MacTex, you’ll be glad you have it eventually.

Windows users

If you intend to style things in MS word and make a PDF from that, you can stop here. However, if you want to make lovely proper PDF files, you'll also need LaTeX, well worth it IMO:

  • Latex warning , you need 2gb at least for the full install.

Next, clone the template repository to your hard drive

  • cd ~/Documents
  • git clone https://github.com/tinpark/finalProjectTemplate

what's inside this template?

When you've cloned this package, you'll see a lot of folders. Some are empty, waiting for your content, others are pre-populated with tools and style stuff that should be useful to you.

The idea is that you'll write chapters and possibly sections of chapters as separate markdown documents and then use some of the utilities offered here to stitch them together to make a single pdf, docx, ebook and html document.

In the folder called styling you'll find .css style sheet for the html, some .yaml header information which helps to control the way the .pdf is rendered and you'll also see a csl file called journal-of-new-music-research.csl. This controls the way the references you include in your project will be shown. You can, of course, download different style sheets. You may also prefer an alternative .csl document. You can get almost anything from here.

If you dare, or are already familiar with LaTeX, you can hack around with the pdfStyle.yaml document. This controls the way certain aspects of the PDF behave.

Have a look at the bottom of that styling/pdfStyle.yaml document. You'll see that you can add author specific information to the footer of your PDF file. Edit around line 27 to get your own website and credentials show up:

\fancyfoot[R]{\href{http://tinpark.com}{tinpark.com}}

The other folder with something interesting inside is called utils. Here you'll find a bash script that, when you run it in the terminal will automatically make .docx, .epub, .html and .pdf files. It will also automatically open the .pdf and .html file if rendering them off was a success. See this section.

what else do you need?

Two documents that you really need to have are documentHeader.md file and the references.md file. These will conventionally be the first and last documents in your docStructure.md. The doucmentHeader.md needs editing with your own specific information. This should be fairly straightforward.

You also need a .bib file where you'll store all of your citations using Zotero. You'll need to know where this is located and point your documentHeader.md file to that bib. You can keep the .bib file in the bibliography folder provided, or keep it elsewhere. Give documentHeader.md the full file path to the bibliography.

Next {#next}

When you have edited the documentHeader.md, especially making sure to set a working path a proper .bib file, you could have a go at running the utils/makeDocs.sh script. If things work properly, you'll get 4 files, two of which will open automatically, the .pdf and the .html.

That script also creates a docStructure.md document in a folder called structure if none already exists. When you want to render off your complete project, you should edit the list of files here and put them in the order that you want them to appear in the finished piece of work. This is very handy as you might decide to reorganise your chapters at the last minute. If you do, this will mean all the figures and internal document references will update with the new structure next time you run the script.

To make make the script work, simply head to the terminal:

cd to/the/directory/you/are working/in

and run:

bash utils/makeDocs.sh documentName

The argument there is the name you want your finished output file name to be called.

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