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Richard Y Chappell

For anyone who likes the look of LaTeX output, but would prefer more normal-looking (less code-filled) text, Pandoc is a nice alternative that I've written about here:


cecil burrow

> I don't have bibliographical management tools other than a huge master BibTex document

I'd like someone to try to convince me that your average philosopher needs anything more than that (if even that.)


Thank you for this post! Super insightful; I have sort of a weird writing process that, I think, is a bit rigid, so I am glad to see your perspective.

Stupid question, but what do you mean by "bibliographical management tools"? I am new to the game, just a first-year grad student, and no one has told me about bibliographical management tools. Should I get into that now? What does it even do (other than the obvious?) I figured when I write a paper, I just collect the references as I go, such that I do not really need to compile them. So, what are the benefits of having such tools? Any recommendations?

Also, second question: for people who do not do formal philosophy, should we still be caught up with using, or maybe begin to use LaTeX? The only people that I know that use it do logic, Phil math, formal epistemology, and so on; I do socio/political and race, so just stupid questions from a baby in the game.

Thanks yall!

Helen De Cruz

I think LaTeX is not really a must, except if you are into formal philosophy etc as you say. I just learned it when I was a grad student in 2007 or so, and I've stuck with this bloating BibTeX list of bibliographical entries.
Just MsWord or Google Docs is fine.
Bibliographic management tools are things such as Zotero. I know people who use these and love them, they help you organize the papers you read. But I've never used them so I can't speak to which are best!


Super helpful! Thanks, Helen!


I am even more of a Luddite! Start with pencil and paper. Then type and edit drafts on MS Word. That's it! I don't even know what LaTex, Bibtex, Zotero are. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok either. Posting on this site is as far as I go. And I'm old too!


David, bless, stationary (pencil and paper) is so cool! I still find the magic to it and try (whenever possible) to incorporate it into my process, however, my penmanship is horrible. Peace

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