Academic Writing: Seeing the whole text at once

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.
«Casual Chance» by Colette, 1964

I did write parts of two proposals a few weeks ago. During the writing process, it was helpful to see the whole thing at once. While most writing software has options to display multiple pages, it’s hard to “zoom into” the pages. So it was really helpful to just print out the couple of pages and put them on the whiteboard:

While the watermark was a mistake (highly distracting), seeing the whole thing at once, being able to walk in front of it and annotate the text (hello red pen) — yeah, really helpful. (If you don’t have a whiteboard with magnets, a simple metal bar would work as well, or any other way to stick pages to the wall.)

So, while digital has its advantages, don’t use paper only for a final proofreading (to read it on another medium). Use it to annotate and cut down the text as well.

Categories: Community Aspects, Doing Science, Generating Ideas, Improving your Creativity, Learning to do Science, Other Tools, Realizing Creative Projects, Science, Tools, Writing


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