PERRLA Online March Update: Research Notes!

PERRLA’s Research Notes make it easy to do your research and create citations once and then don’t worry about them again.

Research Notes live in your PERRLA Papers in the Outline/Organize tab.  This tab is split down the middle with Research Notes on the left and the Outline on the right. 

Resizing GIF

To get started, you first need to add a Reference to your paper.  You can either create a new one or add one you’ve already made. Once you’ve added it, you’ll see it listed in the Research Notes section.  FYI: adding a Reference here makes it show up in the References & Citations panel in the Editor as well.

OK, now you can start taking Notes for your Reference.  Just click Add Note under the Reference and start typing.  You can type anything you want, but Research Notes are great for quotes, paraphrases, or even your own insights.  When you’re done, just press Enter to save the note.

Add Research Note GIF

If the Note needs a citation (like a quote), you can add one by clicking Add Citation in the Note’s bottom right corner.  Now your Research Note has a Citation attached to it. Oh, and it’s perfectly formatted.

You can add as many Research notes as you like and for as many References as you need.  And, if you like keyboard shortcuts, you can find those by hovering over the ? icon at the top.

Once you have a few research notes, you can put them to use.  You can organize them inside the under their Reference, or you can drag them across the screen and drop them into your Outline.  There you can get really organized.

Drag Research Note into Outline

If you like to live on the wild side and write your paper without an outline, you can find all of your Research Notes inside the paper Editor in the Research Notes side panel.  There you’ll see all your Research Notes waiting to dragged and dropped directly into your paper.

Dropping a Research Note from here or from the Outline tab will insert the Note’s text and automatically add any Citation attached to it as well.   Make the Citation once and use it for your entire paper.

Drag Research Note into Paper GIF

When you drag a Research Note into your paper, it turns light green in the panel, so you know you’ve used it already.  You could also use the check mark on the Research Note to mark it used or unused. Either way, feel free to drag and drop a Research Note as many times as you need.

Mark Research Note Used GIF

In addition to only needing to create citations for your Research Notes once, if you update the Citation for a Research Note anywhere in your paper, it will be automatically updated everywhere else.  So simple.

OK, last thing you need to know.  If you Remove a Reference from your Paper after you’ve created Research Notes for it, it will remove all of the Research Notes and their Citations from your paper as well.  Eek! Don’t worry, we warn you before this happens. Hopefully, you won’t have to do that (since it could cause you to plagiarize), but now you know.

That’s it!  Research Notes in PERRLA make it easy to take, organize, and use your Research without the hassle of tracking formatting across index cards or documents.

If you have questions, let us know in the Contact Support module.  Thanks for watching and good researching!

 

PERRLA Online Update: February 2018

We’ve made three updates to PERRLA that you’ll want to know about.

  1. We’ve redesigned the Paper’s Overview tab.
  2. We’ve updated the Paper Plan so it’s less for you to do and more helpful.
  3. We’ve tweaked Paper Start Dates to streamline the process for creating papers.

Let’s take a look at each of these.

In your papers, the new Overview tab shows you everything you need to manage your paper as an assignment.  In the top section, you can see and edit your paper’s details and mark you paper as finished.  In the bottom left, you can create and manage all of the To-Do’s you’ve made for your paper.  And, in the bottom right, you can see your Paper’s Plan or some Writing Tips.

 

That takes us to the second change: the Paper Plan.  We’ve streamlined the Paper Plan so that it’s no longer a series of to-do’s you have to complete (who needs more things in their to-do list?!).  While the new Paper Plan is still built off of the start and due dates of your paper, it’s now just a series of suggested dates.  You’ll see the suggested step for the current day and the next two steps you have coming up.  If you don’t want to be bothered with a plan, feel free to ignore or hide it altogether.  If it’s hidden, you’ll see a few random writing tips instead.

 

Lastly, we’ve updated the Paper Create modal so that you can enter in the three most important pieces of information right away: the title of your paper, the type of paper it is, and the day its due (yea, we just switched the Start and Due date fields).  We swapped them because now we’ve made the Start date a little smarter.  When you insert a Due Date, we’ll automatically suggest a start date for you.  If you don’t like it, you can still choose your own.  In your PERRLA Online Account Settings, you’ll find an option to set how many days you want to Start Date to automatically suggest.

 

And that’s it.  We combined the old Overview, To-Do’s, and Plan tabs into the new Overview tab, simplified the Paper Plan, and smartened up the Paper Start Date field.

We hope these changes make using PERRLA even better.  Thanks for watching and good writing!

MLA 8 & Discussion Posts on Windows

Over the summer we’ve been working to make sure that we had wrapped up MLA 8 for all of our users AND brought Discussion Posts (one of the most popular Mac features) to Windows.  Here’s a quick look at how each of them works in the new update.

MLA 8

If you’ve never written an MLA paper before, you will be automatically upgraded to MLA 8.  That’s all there is to it. 🌴🌴🌴

If you have written an MLA 7 paper before, then you will be prompted to upgrade to MLA 8 when you start the updated software for the first time.   If you choose to not upgrade then, you can always go to  the Settings Tab and change your version of MLA to MLA 8.  You’ll find the MLA setting in the bottom left of  the screen.

Settings Tab Image
You can change your preferred MLA format in the bottom left of the Settings tab.

As a note, due to technical restrictions, we do not recommend re-using MLA 7 References in new MLA 8 Papers.  Just like before, any of your APA or MLA 7 References will start with *** when viewing them in an MLA 8 Paper.

Non-Compliant References in PERRLA List Image
When adding an existing Reference to your papers, non-compliant References have *** before them in your Reference list.

Discussion Posts

PERRLA for Word Welcome Screen Image
Update buttons on the PERRLA startup screen

Traditional Research Papers include a Title Page, a page or pages for the body of the paper, and a separate page for References.  Discussion Posts only include the body of your paper and the References on a single page.   PERRLA still works just like it always has, but your paper will be formatted in a way that makes it easy to copy and paste your paper into your school’s online Discussion Forum.

We’ve updated the buttons that appear on the PERRLA start screen so that you can easily create either a Research Paper or Discussion Post for APA or MLA.  In the process, we removed the buttons for Start a New APA 5th Edition Paper and Open an Existing PERRLA Paper.  APA 5 isn’t being used by schools anymore, so we phased it out.  You can still access all of your Existing PERRLA Papers by going to the My PERRLA Papers tab at the top. 

When you start a new Discussion Post, because there isn’t a Title Page, you will only be asked for the Title of the Paper.  This is so we can give your document the correct name when we save it to your computer.

Discussion Post Start Screen Image
Discussion Post Start Screen

Now, creating perfectly formatted Discussion Posts for your class will be easier than ever!

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Example of an MLA 8 Discussion Post in PERRLA for Word (Windows).