In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be offering a very special class for those who write non-fiction. It’s designed for graduate students who need to write numerous research papers, as well as a thesis or dissertation, but I also include those non-fiction writers who delve quite a bit into archival material and need to get their sources in order.
For the rest of us, you know, fiction writers who write stories based on world events, we still do quite a bit of research and…did I just hear a loud groan?
Nope. Not us. Please continue.
Okay, as I was saying…and we still do quite a bit of research. We need a handy way to record our sources, so we know where we found them.
Now we’re groaning. Are you talking about citations, footnotes, and endnotes? Why do you have to complicate the workflow!?!
Well, think about it if you have a niche—say you’re writing about the Spanish Civil War…
Again with the Spanish Civil War? Don’t you have any other interests?
May I continue?
So you have this specific interest and/or niche, and you find that you revisit these sources often, but you’ve discovered you neglected to copy where it was published, the author, the date, and so on.
And because whatever topic is your schtick, you should be at least compiling an informal bibliography in case you want to revisit these publications, but also the authors to see if they’ve written more about the topic.
While I was writing the previous lesson about Document References, I happened to have selected in the research section a folder titled Articles which consists of imported PDFS. I had it in Outline mode, and this is what my screen looked like:
I only had the title, and I figured I would add a synopsis for each article. But I wanted to add more information such as author, publication and when it was published. Here’s where my handy meta-data comes into play. I added publication, author, date published and the URL of where I found the article or PDF, and keywords. And this is what my Outliner looks like with this added information:
In essence, this is a bibliography of sorts.
That’s correct.You could also take all your sources from your various projects and turn this bibliography into a separate project. In your meta-data, you can add for which project you used the book, PDF, thesis/dissertation and so forth. Your headings in the Outliner would be as such: Title/Synopsis, Publication, Author, Date Published, URL (if any), Keywords, Project Source.
I see the value of having this. Can you print it?
Yes. You can export it.Select File->Export->Outliner Comments as CSV. It can be opened in an Excel spreadsheet, and from there you can print it.
Our apologies for the kvetching.
It wasn’t unexpected, but apology accepted.
Readers: How do you organize your research within Scrivener and not have to depend on outside applications? Leave your responses in the comments.