Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Don’t know how to start and give your first steps in LaTeX? This is for you.

If you are advancing in your path in college, or giving your first steps as a young researcher, you probably end up needing to develop your scientific writing. And the best way to know whether you are on the right track with your scientific work or not is submitting it to the scientific community through papers in peer-review Journals. These journals require you to submit your work with a certain formatting and most people still use Word…

Well, my experience is that Word and similar to what-you-see-is-what-you-get software has so much distracting formatting features, you end up focusing on them instead of focusing on what matters: the content. What can you do? My suggestion is to invest on LaTeX.

A friend of mine, Ricardo Peixoto, wrote a simple and insightful article about his experience with LaTeX and his field of work is psychology, meaning it is not a tool restricted to those using mathematical formulation in their writing. My impression is that LaTeX motivates you to focus on the content and not on the formatting because classes and packages do that job for you. However, if you look at the interface where you write your paper, it can daunt at first because it seems you’re writing code. And you are. Thus, since many people don’t like programming, they might end up continuing using Word. There should be a solution and I’d like to point to one at the end of this post.

The code used to include a figure, table, equation is always the same, with a few tricks here and there to make certain design adjustments, but the first impact may demote you to invest in this important tool. Recently, a former student asked me about the tools I used because he saw how my Master students write their thesis in LaTeX, and also wanted to write in this tool. I advise him, but thought about all the people who would like to use LaTeX, and struggle to know where to start.

This is why I’m build a practical course and writing a book that tells you the exact steps you can take to shorten the learning curve and produce simple, clear and elegant documents in LaTeX. The title is “LaTeX made2simple”. If you’re interested in receiving updates on this course, fell free to let me know using the form below.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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