Daily Gleanings: German (12 December 2019)

Now a good five years in the making Alan Ng and Sarah Korpi, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have made openly available online a grammar that

guides a learner who has no previous German experience to gain the ability to accurately understand formal written German prose, aided only by a comprehensive dictionary.

Even for those who might not use the grammar in conjunction with the German coursework offered through UW-Madison, it may prove a helpful and accessible reference.

HT: Ben Blackwell

How to Quickly Number Pages for Long Essays in Word

The guidance about page number placement in the Student Supplement for the SBL Handbook of Style is clear enough. How to achieve this placement in Word is anything but.

This process is even a bit more obscure for long essays (15 pages or more) than it is for short ones (14 pages or less). For long essays, the Student Supplement asks that you include a table of contents (§2.7).

Fortunately, once you know how to paginate a short essay, it’s not difficult to tell Word how to properly format your page numbers in the table of contents for a long essay.

1. Introduction

If you don’t already know how to quickly format page numbers in a short essay, you’ll want to read more about that before continuing here.

If you already have your title page and the body of your essay, you can easily go back and insert a table of contents between the two.

But if you haven’t yet started writing the body of your essay, it will help if you have created your title page before following the steps here to create and paginate your table of contents.

2. The Steps

2.1. With an Essay Body

If you already have your title page and at least the first part of your essay body set up for a short essay as I’ve described and you want to insert a new table of contents section,

2.1.1. Go to Home > Paragraph > Show/Hide ¶ to make things a bit easier. Or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + *.

2.1.2. Place your cursor at the end of your title page immediately before the existing Section Break (Next Page) you already have.

2.1.3. Go to Layout > Breaks > Section Break > Next Page to insert another section break immediately before this one. In this new blank section, you can then add your table of contents now or finish paginating the section first.

2.1.4. Double click into the footer of the first page in your table of contents section.

2.1.5. Insert a page number by going to Page Number > Bottom of Page > Plain Number 2, which should show a preview of a page number in the bottom center of the page.

2.1.6. After you add the page number, highlight and right click it. Then, choose Format Page Numbers.

2.1.7. In the Number Format dropdown box, choose the “i, ii, iii, …” option (i.e., lowercase Roman numerals). Click OK.

2.2. Without an Essay Body

On the other hand, you may want to set up your table of contents section before you start your essay body in the workflow I’ve described.

If so, just follow the steps above for the table of contents immediately after you create your title page (3.1.1).

Then pick up with the rest of the rest of the workflow (3.1.2–3.3). The only change will be that, with step 3.1.2, you’ll place your cursor at the end of the last line of your table of contents rather than your title page.

2.3. Additional Front Matter

In some cases, you might have additional front matter besides just a title page and table of contents (e.g., an abbreviations page; Student Supplement, §2.3).

Other front matter elements don’t need their own sections in Word because they’ll use the same pagination as the table of contents.

In these cases, you’ll simply need to insert a page break after a given front matter element like a table of contents (Layout > Breaks > Page Break). That way, you can start your new front matter element on its own page.

The page break will then allow the page numbering you’ve already set up for that section to apply to the page(s) that the new front matter element occupies.

Conclusion

It can take some getting used to. But knowing how to properly set up page numbers for long essays in Word can save you a great deal of time and frustration figuring it out by trial and error.

How have you normally set up page numbers for tables of contents and other front matter in Word?

Header image provided by Patrick Tomasso


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.

How to Quickly Number Pages for Short Essays in Word

The guidance about page number placement in the Student Supplement for the SBL Handbook of Style is clear enough. How to achieve this placement in Word is anything but.

As easy as some things have gotten in Word over the years, this process still isn’t at all intuitive.

Fortunately, it’s also not too difficult once you know how to tell Word how you want your page numbers formatted.

1. Introduction

The trick is to sequence the steps in the proper order. That way, you can eliminate the back and forth trial and error that can make setting up proper page numbers so frustrating.

The process is slightly different for “short” essays (14 pages or less) than it is for “long” essays (15 pages or more; Student Supplement, §2.7).

Here, we’ll assume you’re working on a short essay. And to format a new short essay document to use page numbers properly, you just need to follow a few simple steps.

2. A Word on Word

Before I get to those, though, I should note that I’m also assuming you’re using the most current, fully supported version of Word available via Office 365.1

If you have a different version of Word, you may find some differences also in the precise steps required to format your page numbers.

But any reasonably recent version should allow you to follow along with this process pretty easily.

3. The Steps

3.1. Create your essay’s title page.

3.1.1. Type your title page. If you need a refresher on what the Student Supplement recommends for a title page, you can refer to sample 3.1 on p. 14.2

3.1.2. With your cursor at the end of the last line of your title page, go to Layout > Breaks > Section Break > Next Page.

3.2. Create your essay’s body.

3.2.1. Double click in the header (or top margin) of page 2. Check Different First Page. Uncheck Link to Previous.

3.2.2. Click in the footer of page 2. Uncheck Link to Previous.

3.2.3. Insert a page number by going to Page Number > Bottom of Page > Plain Number 2, which should show a preview of a page number in the bottom center of the page.

3.2.4. After you add the page number, highlight and right click it. Then, choose Format Page Numbers.

3.2.5. Under Page Numbering, choose to Start at 1 rather than to continue from the previous section. Click OK.

3.2.6. Double click back into the main text area of the page numbered 1 (the second page in the total document). Start typing your paper until you have enough text to roll over onto the start of what will be page 2 (the third page in the total document).

3.2.7. Double click into the header of this third page in the total document. Insert a page number by going to Page Number > Top of Page > Plain Number 3, which should show a preview of a page number in the top right of the page.

3.2.8. Double click back into the main text area of the page numbered 2 (the third in the total document). Continue typing the rest of your paper until you get ready to add your bibliography.

3.3. Create your essay’s bibliography.

3.3.1. With your cursor at the end of the last line of text in the body of your paper before your bibliography, go to Layout > Breaks > Section Break > Next Page.

3.3.2. After you create this section break, you should see the page number 1 on the first page of what will become your bibliography. Double click into the footer of this page, highlight the page number, and right click it. Then, choose Format Page Numbers.

3.3.3. Under Page Numbering, choose to Continue from the previous section. Click OK.

3.3.4. Double click back into the main text area of the first page of your bibliography to fill out that section. If your bibliography reaches beyond one page long, you should see that each of the pages in your bibliography after the first one displays the next consecutive page number in the top right.

Conclusion

It can take some getting used to. But learning how to properly set up page numbers for short essays in Word can save you a great deal of time and frustration figuring it out by trial and error.

How have you normally set up short essay page numbers in Word?

Header image provided by Patrick Tomasso


Tired of fighting with Word? Want to be done with frustrated hours fussing over how to get the formatting you need?

My new guide shows you how to bypass all of this so you can let Word work for you while you focus on your research.

Garrett Thompson (PhD)

For students in any graduate program, mastering the full range of available research tools is crucial for efficient and consistent productivity. Dr. Stark has mastered these tools—the most important of which is Microsoft Word…. Students eager to take their work to the next level would do well to follow Dr. Stark’s in-depth guidance.


  1. As of this writing, this is 16.0.12130.20272. 

  2. Word does have a built in feature to insert a title (or “cover”) page. But none of the default versions of this page reflects what the Student Supplement wants very closely. So I find it’s simplest just to create the page yourself. 

Daily Gleanings: Old Testament (8 November 2019)

Old Testament Essays openly releases three issues annually. According to the journal’s statement of purpose and scope,

Since its inception Old Testament Essays functions as a vehicle which publishes Old Testament research from various points of view. Its readers are members of the Old Testament Society of South Africa and its primary aim is to regulate and propagate the study of the Old Testament in Africa. Various fields related to the study of the Old Testament are covered: philological / linguistic studies, historical critical studies, archaeological studies, socio-historical studies, literary studies, rhetorical studies, et cetera.

HT: AWOL

How to Easily Edit and Unedit Zotero Notes

Zotero makes it very easy to edit notes when you need to customize them beyond what a particular style allows. Unediting notes is also very simple, but it is less immediately clear how to do it.

What Goes In and What Comes Out

If you manage citations in Zotero, you should always double check whether you’re getting the correct output for your style requirements.

In many cases, it will be. In some, it might not be.

But when a citation isn’t quite right, I normally find I haven’t put something into Zotero as I needed to.

So before you manually edit notes, try to save yourself some effort. See if you can simply adjust your Zotero records to allow the software to give you the output you need.

Some particular examples might include cases where you’re citing

Zotero’s rich text options can also be helpful since you can use them to refine formatting both in Zotero records and in the citation dialog.

But If You Need to Make Adjustments …

Sometimes though, you might still need to make adjustments to the final citation Zotero gives you.

This is particularly likely if you’re needing to observe a house style that Zotero doesn’t already support and you’re not able or inclined to learn how to create your own citation style file.

If you find yourself in this place, you have a couple options.

First, you can directly edit the note in your document. This will break further updates from Zotero and allow you to keep your customized note, although you may be asked to confirm this is what you want to do.1

Alternatively, you can open whatever note you need to change in the Zotero editor.

If you’re using the default citation dialog, you’ll need to click the “Z” icon on the left-hand side and choose “Classic View” before you can manually change the citation.

Zotero default citation dialog

After you have the classic citation editor open, click “Show editor” in the bottom left-hand corner of the citation editor dialog box.

Zotero classic edit citation dialog

Once you do so, Zotero will open a miniature word processing box at the bottom of the citation dialog.

Zotero edit citation dialog with the manual editor shown

Simply make whatever changes you wish in this box, press “OK,” and Zotero will update your citation accordingly.

You can follow a similar process to edit specific entries in a Zotero-linked bibliography in your document, if you have one.

And If You Need to Get the Citation Back to How It Was?

So the Zotero editor allows you to make whatever custom changes you need for any given citation.

There is a downside to this process though. Once you manually edit a citation, that citation is “stuck” in that form.

Any changes to that resource’s record in your Zotero database won’t update the citation.

To get a citation that reflects what’s currently in your Zotero database, you could create a new citation and delete the old one that you edited.

But this can be cumbersome, especially if you’ve cited several sources together in a particular Zotero reference.

The better method is simply to edit the note you need to reconnect to your “live” Zotero database. To do so, reopen the classic citation editor, and delete the manually edited version of your citation.2

Press “OK” when prompted to acknowledge that the citation will be empty. And voila—Zotero will reprocess the note and relink it to the information currently in your database.

Using the Zotero edit citation dialog to relink a citation to live Zotero data

Conclusion

To save yourself work in the long run, its always best to avoid manually editing citations when working with Zotero.

But on those occasions where you need some custom output, simply follow the steps here to adjust notes and, if necessary, “give them back” to Zotero to handle automatically.


  1. For this suggestion, I’m grateful to the kind folks at Zotero via Twitter

  2. For this point, I’m grateful to adomasven via the Zotero forums

Pro Tips for Busy Writers: Anthony Le Donne

To this continuing series on “Pro Tips for Busy Writers,” I’m pleased to welcome Anthony Le Donne, Associate Professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary.

Anthony has authored or edited thirteen books. He also serves as the executive editor for the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

By this point in your career, you’ve likely worked on several writing projects concurrently (e.g., articles, books). What’s a memorable example of a cluster of projects you worked on concurrently?

My most recent example is in 2017–2018. In that two-year span I published five books.

Two I wrote from start to finish in the span of a year. Two were projects that I had started a few years before. And one was a co-edited project with a few colleagues who did the heavy lifting for the project toward the end.

One reason for the cluster is that some books take forever to write or edit and others come together rather quickly.

Larger projects (e.g., a dissertation, a second monograph) can be more important but less urgent than others (e.g., conference papers, book reviews). How do you avoid letting good-but-less-important projects push out or cause you to procrastinate on those that are more important but less urgent?

I think it’s important to know yourself as a writer. If you know that writing a book review will take a full week of your life, think hard about whether you can devote this kind of time.

Of course, say no if you can to such projects. But if you know that you can read, process, and write a book review in a day (and that this will be a positive experience for you), it may be worth it.

I will say one more thing about priorities: don’t let anything get in the way of your dissertation. Work on it every day, even if its only writing a few words or formatting a footnote. Make it a daily habit to write.

This was advice I got from a mentor when I was a student and I’ve tried to take it seriously. I write (almost) every day.

Do you divide your process between research and writing? If so, how?

I usually research while I write. Sometimes this is messy, but I use writing my own thoughts to process what I’m reading.

I know really smart people who take meticulous notes as they read so that they can organize their thoughts before they begin writing. This seems like a good idea too, just not for me.

If I need to read an entire book, sometimes I trick myself into not being tempted by the keyboard. I’ll take the book somewhere (maybe to a park) and leave the computer and phone behind.

What closing advice (if any) would you offer to (post-)graduate students and new faculty as they try to become comfortable and competent for themselves in making progress concurrently on multiple writing projects?

My advice—and I don’t know if it’s good or bad—is to avoid publishing until you’ve got your PhD in hand. Give yourself time to grow into your scholarly voice. Everyone I’ve ever met who published their MA thesis (or parts of it) has come to regret it.

What’s your biggest takeaway from this interview?

Header image provided by Freddie Marriage via Unsplash