Monthly Archives: August 2014

Finally, a bibliographic tool for legal referencing

Legal referencing is pretty difficult, but made even more so by the antiquated approaches taken by the current bibliographic tools. Compare the facts (see Table):

  1. Judicial material: Endnote has 2 types, Mendeley & Zotero 1, ComWriter has 6
  2. Legislative material: Endnote has 4 types, Mendeley & Zotero 3, ComWriter has 11
  3. International material: Endnote, Mendeley & Zotero have NIL, ComWriter has 2
Compare Bibliographic Tools

Compare Bibliographic Tools

If you use Treaty references a lot, we have you covered with: Bilateral, Multilateral and not yet in force being sorted automatically based on the data input into the reference. And, UN Official Document is able to sort through the complex array of details to present a perfect result.

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5 reasons to get rid of Word if you do academic writing

Academic writing is difficult enough without the ‘tools’ making life harder. MS Word is 22 years old! Any system this old would generally be called a ‘legacy’ system. Here are my top reasons for replacing Word.

1. Referencing does not work

The referencing function in MS word is very simple, and generally does not format to academic standards. If you use bibliographic software (e.g., Zotero, Endnote, Mendeley) then you have to manage a plug in, which often fails. Also, the reference types used in these applications (they are pretty much all the same) are mostly ‘not quite right’ forcing you to have to edit the reference in Word. This means you need to (a) know the intricate details of academic referencing, and (b) allow sufficient time for re-formatting.

2. Contents and captions must be re-numbered constantly

Move an image or add headings requires the user to re-number the caption label (for images), or ‘update’ the table of contents when new headings are added. This constant annoyance means continually checking what you are writing, wasting valuable writing time.

3. Formatting often takes longer than writing

Aside from the above two issues, headers & footers, page numbers, bullet alignment, often can get ‘out of whack’, and if you do not know how to manage Word Styles, then formatting can take longer than actually writing.

4. Collaboration requires cut-and-paste assembly

You cannot write collaboratively using MS Word. Which means if you are working on a group project, someone has to take charge to be the cut-and-paste assembler. This person then ends up with all the formatting to do. When it is finally assembled, the  text can seem disjointed because the members have used different writing language, and  then one person needs to edit to fix it up so that it reads ‘as if’ written by one person.

5. Version control is manual

If you are writing over an extended period of time, or writing a large document, then you need to keep different versions of your history ‘just-in-case’ of a system crash, or a hard-drive fail, or because you want to retrieve something you wrote last week.

ComWriter logoThree reasons to use ComWriter for academic writing:

  1. It is in the cloud, saves every 30 seconds, stores history (3-in-1 reason)
  2. Reference and text formatting are done automatically, including numbering, after you hit ‘export’
  3. I can spend more time on researching and writing content, thereby improving the quality of my work

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Academic writing now in a single platform

ComWriter is an integrated word processor and bibliographic tool; and it keeps your work in the cloud. ComWriter allows you to:

  • store your research library
  • select a pre-defined style (e.g., APA, Harvard, and more)
  • use writing templates (coming soon)
  • write your academic paper or essay using modern tools (smart lists, drop-n-drag), cite your references, add a bibliography, automated numbering
  • export your project formatted professionally based on your pre-defined style (text and references)

Write smarter with ComWriter

 

The referencing in ComWriter is more accurate than any other bibliographic tool! Try it for FREE.

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Referencing accounts for up to 20% of academic grades!

University writing is quite a science, and catches many students and seasoned academics out. The rules are complex, and the range of material that can be referenced makes the task a changing target. Academics that set assignments for their students, often assign up to 20% of the final mark to referencing!

A journal article, for example, is a common reference item, yet referencing depends on:

  • academic style (Harvard, APA, etc)
  • the type of journal material: full article, editorial, supplemental material, abstract, letter, and more
  • the way the journal is indexed: volume number only, volume and issue number, volume as a year, issue as a season
  • whether the item was found online, in a database, or is a hardcopy

If you use Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley or any other bibliographic software, you can’t be guaranteed that the reference for a journal article will be correct, because they have limited types available and they can’t figure out if you have the season, or volume stuff sorted. These software products all work much the same way, so we haven’t had a tool (until now) that outputs accurate references!

ComWriter is a new breed of academic tool that has re-engineered the referencing process…

ComWriter is a new breed of academic tool that has re-engineered the referencing process, from the perspective of the desired output!

  • Pre-defined styles: APA, Harvard, MLA, MHRA, and more (references and text is auto-formatted)
  • A range of reference types that mean you can change a ‘journal article’ to be an editorial, or a book review, or one of the other kinds of journal material
  • simply identify the source: hardcopy, online, database and the details are taken care of
  • whether you have volume, issue, year or season data, it is interrogated to produce the correct output

Here is a sample of APA journal references exported from ComWriter:

Author1, A., Author2, B. & Author3, C. (2013). Abstract only in journal [Abstract]. Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. doi:12345

Author16, M., Author17, N. & Author18, P. (2013). Editorial in journal [Editorial]. Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. Retrieved from http://www.comwriter.com.

Author22, R., Author23, S. & J., & Author24, T. (2013). Journal article: With volume only. Journal Title, 6, 1-20. doi:12345

Author34, W., Author35, L. & Author36, M. (2013). Letter in journal [Letter to editor].  Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. doi:12345

Author40, X., Author41, M. & Author42, J. (2013). Monograph in journal [Monograph]. Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. doi:12345

Author59, Z., Author60, M. & Author61, L. (2013). Supplemental journal material [Supplemental material]. Journal Title, 6(7), pp. S1-S20.

Author65, R., Author66, S. & Author67, T. (2013). Journal article: with volume and season. Journal Title, 30(Spring), 1-20. doi:12345

Author71, A…. Author80, K. (2014). Journal article: with volume and issue. Journal Title, 7(3), 1-20. doi:12345

AuthorA, A., AuthorB, A. & JournalC, C. (2014). Journal article: with issue only. Journal Title, (23).

AuthorE, E., AuthorF, F. & AuthorG, G. (2014). Journal article: With season only. Journal Title, (January-February), 1-20. doi:12345

Journal-Editor47, D., Journal-Editor48, E. & Journal-Editor49, F. (Eds.). (2013). Section in special issue of journal [Special section]. Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. doi:12345

Journal-Reviewer10, A., Journal-Reviewer11, B. & Journal-Reviewer12, C. (2013). Book review in journal [Review of Book Title, by D. Journal7, K. Journal8 & L. Journal9]. Journal Title, 6(7), 1-20. doi:12345

Great looking references eh!

(ps., ComWriter will do a hanging indent)

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