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*History: Start Your Research

What is Scrivener?

Scrivener is the go-to app for writers of all kinds. Scrivener won't tell you how to write—it simply provides everything you need to start writing and keep writing. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes, and metadata. This allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research and whole documents for easy access and reference.

New Project and Basic Notes

1. Have you ever used note cards for research notes? That's what Scrivener is.

2. Do you have a Cloud account of some sort (iCloud, Dropbox, Box, GoogleDocs, etc.)?

3. View 10 minute Scrivener Intro video

4. Go to

5. Save website to Zotero

6. Download trial Scrivener for Windows or Mac (you can also download a key-served copy for on-campus use via the campus network)

7. When dialog box opens, select Tutorial and save—this is your homework for next week

8. Go to FileNew ProjectBlank

9. Save to Cloud account with whatever name your want that is sharable

10. Explain Binder's Draft vs. Research

11. Focus on Research for now—

12. Add a folder for each source (make sure you have already saved bibliographic information in Zotero) by single clicking on the "Research" folder, then

13. Click on the small arrow to the right of the "New" button (or ProjectNew Folder)

14. Within a folder, create a note card by clicking on the New button (big green +)

15. Make sure the blue (for "Inspector") button is on to show "Synopsis" in upper-right corner

16. Type the topic of the note (3-5 words maximum) in the first line of the Synopsis

17. Type the author (or abbreviated Title) and exact page number on the second line of the Synopsis

18. In the main note-taking window, type author (or abbreviated Title) and exact page number on the line. This seems like overkill, since these are in the Synopsis, but you will appreciate it later.

19. Hit Return, then type the notes you want (paraphrase, full quotation, etc.)

20. Click green + for another card, follow the same process

21. Go to FirefoxA-Z DatabasesJSTOR

22. Advanced Search: "Warner, Langdon" in Author; "Turkestan" in Full-Text

23. Click on one article with PDF

24. Save information to Zotero

25. Click on "Download PDF"

26. Go to Warner's article in Zotero, click the small arrow to the left of the title to reveal PDF

27. In Scrivener, single click on the "Research" folder

28. Click on the small arrow to the right of the "New" button

29. Create new sub-folder for "Warner, Chinese Expedition"

30. Drag and drop PDF from Zotero into Scrivener Research folder

31. In "Warner, Chinese Expedition" folder create a new note card

32. Split the screen (upper right of central text screen, if you need to go to ViewEditor LayoutSplit…)

33. Click in one screen then click on PDF in the folder

34. Click in the other half of the screen, then click on the new note-card

35. In the Inspector, click on Notes to add questions, thoughts, etc. to a card

36. In the Inspector, click on Keyword to add keywords to the card and project

37. Ready to take notes!


Question: What are differences between notes for class discussion and research notes?

If there is time, run through a completed Project's Binder.

Download these instructions as a Word Document

Outlining and Organizing

Outlining in Scrivener

1. Open your Scrivener file for this class

2. Create a Backup: FileàBackupàBack up to

3. Create a Copy for manipulating during this class session: FileàSave As

4. How do we break projects (including biography) into organized, manageable sections?

5. Select the “Draft” icon in Scrivener

6. Click the green “add” button in the upper left of the menu to add a card

7. Type "Introduction" to replace "Untitled"

8. Click the green “add” button in the upper left of the menu to add a card

9. Type "Historical Context"

10. Click the green “add” button in the upper left of the menu to add a card

11. Type "Roadmap"

12. Click the green “add” button in the upper left of the menu to add a card

13. Type "Significance"

14. Highlight "Historical Context," "Roadmap," and "Significance" and drag them into the "Introduction"

15. Highlight the Draft icon, click the green “add” button in the upper left of the menu to add a card

16. Type the subject of the section for the project

17. Do this for two more project sections

18. You can add subheadings later, as you did in the "Introduction" by adding new cards, or

19. Select the Draft and click "Outlining" button in the center right

20. Go to File àCompile

21. For Format As select “Enumerated Outline”

22. In the left box select Contents, to the right select Draft, make sure all sections have a checked box to their left, but no checked boxes to the right “Pg Break Before” and “As is”

23. On the left, click separators, make sure all separators are “single return”

24. On the left, click formatting, make sure only “Title” is checked for all levels

25. Under compile for select Word

26. Click compile

Download these instructions as a Word Document

Demo for Windows

Demo for Mac

Drafting and Citing

Drafting and Citing for Windows

  1. You now have two Scrivener Projects related to your paper. The first is your original Research Project, the second is your “Paper Outline” Project.
  2. I suggest that you open both Projects side-by-side. Click on the Outline folder in your “Paper Outline” project and drag it to the original research file making sure it sits between the Draft and Research sections, not in one of them.
  3. In the central editing pane, click on the "Horizontal Split Screen" icon
  4. Highlight the Subject bar of the top pane
  5. In the Draft, click the section you want to begin drafting. It will appear in the top pane.
  6. Highlight the Subject bar of the bottom pane
  7. In the Binder column select the Collection or Outline section related to this theme. It will appear in the bottom pane.
  8. When you need to insert a footnote, put the cursor where it needs to be, then select Format -> Inline Footnote (not Footnote!). Type the note in exactly format (the “squiggly brackets” are important): {Author, Publication Date, Page Number}. For example, {Kuhn, 2009, 159}. Your footnote text appears as a grey bubble.
  9. After typing the second curly bracket, select Format -> Inline Footnote to return to normal drafting text—it is no longer in a grey bubble.
  10. Get these steps right and you will save lots of time generating footnotes and a bibliography with Zotero later.

Setting Targets

  1. If you would like to set specific word-count goals for sections of your Project, go to Project -> Project Targets. You can set the word-count for the whole Draft and daily writing targets.
  2. For each Text section in the Draft, you might want to set Target to keep you on track. In the lower-right corner of the Editing frame click the little Target icon and enter the Target number.

Download these instructions as a Word Doc

Drafting and Citing for Mac. 

Compiling in Scrivener and Zotero

In Scrivener

  1. Select the section you want to Compile (click on the Draft icon to compile your whole draft).
  2. Go to File -> Compile, if the pop-up is small, click the blue arrow to the right of "Format As:"
  3. Format As: Custom
  4. In the left menu, select Contents
  5. At the top of middle pane select Draft
  6. The selected Scrivener cards should all have checked boxes under Include, but none should be checked for “Pg Break Before” and “As Is”
  7. Under the middle pane choose Compile: Included Documents
  8. Beneath that, leave "Add Front Matter"
  9. Back to the left menu, select Separators
  10. In the middle pane, under “Text Separator” select “Single return.”
  11. Back in the left menu, select “Formatting” and make sure “Text” is checked for all levels
  12. Back to the left menu, select Footnotes/Comments
  13. Uncheck “Remove Footnotes,"
  14. Check both “Remove inspector comments” and “Remove inline annotations” unless you have made notes (not footnotes) that you want to include in the editable Word document.
  15. At the bottom of the Compile pop-up window, select “Compile For: Rich Text (.rtf-Word Compatible).”
  16. Click the Compile button.


In Zotero

  1. In the Zotero top menu bar, select Tools -> RTF Scan.
  2. Under “Input File” choose the RTF file you just compiled.
  3. In the RTF Scan pop-window, note the possible formats for citations in case you need to edit yours in Scrivener.
  4. Under “Output File” click “Choose File…,” you should get a pop-up window suggesting the file will be saved as “Your RTF File Title (Scanned)”
  5. Under Format, select “Rich Text Format (.rtf).” Click Save.
  6. In the RTF Scan window, click Next.
  7. The next window confirms the citations’ sources. If you have an “Unmapped Citation,” you have probably mistyped the citation in Scrivener. You will need to go back to Scrivener and double-check that citation’s information is correct.
  8. If all your sources are listed under “Mapped Citations,” click Next.
  9. In the “Document Formatting” window, select “Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (full note).”
  10. At the bottom select “Display Citations As: Footnotes.” Click Next.
  11. You should then see an RTF Scan Complete confirmation. Click Finish.


In Microsoft Word

  1. Go to File -> Open, select Your RTF File Title (Scanned).rtf
  2. You now have an editable Word file for revision.
  3. Carefully go through and edit any improperly formatted or missing information.


RTF Compiling for Windows.

RTF Compiling for Mac.