Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Comments, Footnotes and Inline annotations

Similar but not the same. Using Comments, Footnotes and Inline annotations in Scrivener for different purposes.

Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations should all have different purposes when you are writing a thesis. A previous post discussed how to use Project Notes and Document Notes to keep your thought organised as you write your thesis. I recommended using Project Notes and Document for distinct different purposes so that you have a logical organised manner to your thesis writing. The same theory applies to using Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations.
Here is a quick brainstorm of the different needs of thesis writers for comments, footnotes and inline annotations
  • Share comments with Supervisors
  • Original language of translated quotes inserted into thesis
  • Additional clarifying information to be inserted into final thesis
  • References & citations
  • Reflections to self on your interpretation in a certain section / participant
This list is not exhaustive. I suggest that you pause here and consider your own writing to date – what do you normally use comments or footnotes for?
This is how I use comments, footnotes and inline annotations – but it won’t neccesarily be the same for you. Importantly though I suggest doing a similar table and deciding early on in your thesis writing your own personal system on how you will keep track of these different types of  “side-writing” to your main thesis body.
Action
Comments
Footnotes
Inline Annotation
Thoughts to share with Supervisor
x
x
original language translated quotes inserted into thesis (not for final copy)
x
x
additional clarifying information to be inserted into final thesis
x
x
references & citations
x
x
x
Reflections to self on your interpretation in a certain section / participant
x
x
Bits of writing you’d like to flag to come back / musing on your interpretation
x
x
You’ll notice that I do not use any of these options for References and Citations. I think that this is poor practice and will lead to headaches later on when you are trying to find that actually citation. I suggest instead that you read this blog post on linking your bibliographic software with Scrivener and inserting citation directly from your reference list.
There are different types of footnotes that you can choose from – inline footnotes and side-bar (Inspector) Footnotes. This is an aesthetic choice and depends whether you like your main text uncluttered as you write or if you prefer to be able to see your footnotes as you write.
Plus if you are part way through your thesis and you discover that the system you set up for yourself just isn’t working- I’ll be blogging on Part 2: Converting between Footnotes, Comments and Annotations.
Happy Thesis Writing!
Remember Scrivener has a free 30-day trial period. You can download Scrivener with an Education Discount via this link (Note: purchasing via this link gives me a commission about equal to the cost of a cappuccino)
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About Sarina Kilham

I'm a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Trained as a social scientist and with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, I'm interested in farmer's experiences of growing feedstock for biodiesel production. My research has focused on biodiesel production in Brazil and Timor-Leste. Also on Twitter @sarinakilham and blogging at thequalitativeresearcher.net
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One Response to Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations

  1. Pingback: 10 Best Practices in Scrivener to save your “tomorrow self” [Thesis writing] | Qualitative Research

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