# [OS X TeX] Getting students to use LaTeX (and apa.cls)

Nick Black nickblack1 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 12:23:18 CEST 2006

On 8/18/06, @ Rocteur CC <macosx at rocteur.cc> wrote:
>
> On 17 Aug 2006, at 18:30, Niels Kobschaetzki wrote:
>
> > On 8/17/06, Michael Kubovy <kubovy at virginia.edu> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> Dear MacOSXTeXans,
> >>
> >> On Aug 17, 2006, at 1:10 AM, John Vokey wrote:
> >>
> >> > As Michael noted, there is apa.cls, but it needs apacite.bst or
> >> > apacitex.bst to produce apa-like references (either can be used
> >> > independently of apa.cls, although I recommend the combo: if you
> >> > use apa.cls, you do not have to call apacite with
> >> > \bibliogreaphystyle{}, as it does that for you).  apa.cls produces
> >> > virtually perfect APA documents in three modes: jou': reproduces
> >> > the journal output in amazing JEP:X fidelity, doc' produces your
> >> > document in a single-column format more useful for distributing to
> >> > colleagues and co-authors for commenting and editing, and man'
> >> > format faithfully (well, better than anything else that I have
> >> > seen) reproduces every flipping stupid APA rule you can imagine,
> >> > and many you probably didn't even know for journal submission.
> >> > apacite sometimes, but rarely, requires some tweaking to get
> >> > obscure referencing types to type-set correctly, but these are all
> >> > well-documented in the manual.  I have a template for apa.cls that
> >> > sets out much of the format for you (read, you probably won't have
> >> > to read the manual to use it successfully).  Just drop it in your
> >> > TeXShop templates folder.  Write me if you are interested.  I don't
> >> > let my students use anything else (and, in the bargain, they don't
> >> > have to learn APA format: LaTeX takes care of that for them, as it
> >> > should).
> >>
> >> I concur with John's assessment of apa.cls.
> >>
> >> Your write "I don't let my students use anything else". Do you impose
> >> this on students working in your lab, or students in a course? If the
> >> latter, are these grad students? How do you persuade them to do
> >> what's best for them and abandon the deeply ingrained MSW habit?
> >>
> >> It might be useful for people on the list to see your template. I for
> >> one would.
> >
> > I would be more interested how I could convince my not so tech-savvy
> > lecturers that using LaTeX is a good thing and that some of their
> > guidelines
> > for papers don't work well with LaTeX...
> >
> > Niels
>
> I believe the big POINT for anyone, not just non tech-savvy people is
> the NON WYSIWYG phobia.

I pretty much agree.  I think it would be interesting to look at the
use of keyboard shortcuts that people who use GUI apps use - at what
point do they stop?  Thats basically the road I went down, I started
using Acorns at school when I was young, then Windows and office - all
point and click.  Then you figure out what ctrl+c does and the rest is
history.

Using keystroke based apps is a case of investing short-term time for
long term gain.  That is definitely what I have found using LaTeX for
my dissertation.  When everyone using MSW had written a few chapters,
I hadnt written anything.  <smug> now who's trying to line up their
figures correctly?</smug>

I guess some people aren't willing or dont see the benifit in
investing time in the short term, so people like MS make inferior
products that are quick (not easy) to use.

Phew...what a rant.

>
> At the office we have 3 types of users, those that use Microsoft
> products and the other use *nix systems, of these *nix people some
> are emacs/vi people who use emacs/Mutt for sending emalis and LaTeX
> for WP. The others uses Kmail and Kate/OpenOffice ...
>
> A additional interesting comparison is that those that use Mutt use
> Ion3 and Ice as X desktop environments, the others use KDE..
>
> I don't think you can easily convince someone who has used MSW/
> OpenOffice to use LateX.
>
> If someone comes up with a way to show that this:
>
> \begin{letter}
>                  {Mr. Joe Smith\\
>                  2345 Princess St.  \\
>                  Edinburgh, EH1 1AA}
> \end{letter}
>
> is an acceptable way of writing, then I think the battle will be won!
>
> In order to write the above you have to be awake and able to think,
> this is not necessary when using WYSIWYG editors.
>
> Interesting topic though!
>
> Jerry
> P.S. sorry for the slightly off topic addition to this thread but it
> is something that has me intrigued, NON WYSIWYG phobia!
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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