We’re having to write a term paper soon and I’m probably going to tackle the Miners’ Strikes and the influence it had on trade unions during the 1980s. Because of that, we’re spending so much time learning how we have to configure awful software we probably don’t even want to use (cough Microsoft Word cough), spending so many time on formatting issues, that writing the paper itself falls out of focus. Well, I love using markdown for many things and I don’t need a fancy GUI text editor but just vim, so I’m going to share my writing set-up for term papers with you.

What software do I use?

I use vim and pandoc for most of my schools work, either I have to create keynotes or writing term papers, that’s it. There are beamer templates available for presentations and the Xelatex PDF-Engine for anything else.

What Latex set-up do I use?

  • geometry package
  • \linespread{1.25}
  • \footnote{are quite easy to do, aren’t they?}

What does pandoc do?

I tend to create LaTeX and Markdown hybrid files, pandoc makes PDFs out of them, when using the –toc option you’ll even get an awesome table of content with linked chapters!

Why am I doing this?

The similarity between Word and my VIM set-up is, that it’s possible to set-up such templates for both, the huge difference is, that it happens to be way more comfy, to just use markdown syntax for structruing the page and LaTeX features like footnotes and bibtex for generating a bibliography.

While I’m writing this the others are still fiddling around with Microsoft Word during our lesson and I’m kinda bored right now.