Writing a Law PhD with Latex (7)

Wed 02 July 2014 | tags: Latex, Free Software, PhD, Social Sciences, Oscola, -- (permalink)

Writing in Latex

Again, this is probably not the best resource to start using Latex, and if you want to dive deeper into the topic, do have a look at the excellent Wikibook. The aim of this part is to provide you with the basic things you need to start writing.

As I wrote before, Latex files are simple text files with a few extra commands. Most things you can simply write without thinking about, but there are a few things to consider.

Headings

Latex does all the formatting for you, so all you need to specify is the order of the headings. Latex will take care of the consistent look, numbering and of course of the entry in the table of contents. There are 4 levels you can go through: \section{Title}, \subsection{Title}, \subsubsection{Title}, and if you really want to go even lower in your hierarchy, \paragraph{Title}. Above these is the \chapter{Title}, but we only use that in the thesis.pdf file.

Here a simple example:

\section{Latin stuff}

\subsection{Lorem Ipsum}

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, velit aperiri qualisque nam ut,
scaevola pericula quo ei. Iusto civibus voluptatibus an cum,
qui cu mollis veritus. Id habeo homero convenire mei.

\subsection{Dictas}

Dictas iudicabit tincidunt sea ei. Possit essent referrentur mel
ne, ex sit tamquam patrioque. Ea option dolores quo, no epicuri
appellantur quo. In mei indoctum mnesarchum suscipiantur, per id
equidem patrioque, ne vidisse accumsan eleifend has.

Paragraphs

To separate two paragraphs, simply leave a blank line between them:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, velit aperiri qualisque nam ut,
scaevola pericula quo ei. Iusto civibus voluptatibus an cum,
qui cu mollis veritus. Id habeo homero convenire mei.

Dictas iudicabit tincidunt sea ei. Possit essent referrentur mel
ne, ex sit tamquam patrioque. Ea option dolores quo, no epicuri
appellantur quo. In mei indoctum mnesarchum suscipiantur, per id
equidem patrioque, ne vidisse accumsan eleifend has.

As mentioned before, you can comment in the document with a % sign. Latex will ignore the rest of the line following that sign. When composing the document, Latex will ignore normal line breaks, so the paragraph will be still together. The following example will be a normal paragraph without the comment in the final document:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, velit aperiri % Check this word again before submitting!
qualisque nam ut,
scaevola pericula quo ei. Iusto civibus voluptatibus an cum,
qui cu mollis veritus. Id habeo homero convenire mei.

Quotations

An area where Latex is a little difficult to get used to is quotation marks. Contrary to the word processors you are probably used to, Latex cannot figure out by itself which ones to use, so you will have to indicate whether it is at the beginning or at the end of the quote. For the beginning, you use the backtick character, that is usually at the top left of the keyboard: (`), for the end you use the apostrophe character ('). When copying and pasting, you will need to make sure that the apostrophes and quotation marks are replaced with these characters as well. For double quotation marks, you simply use the same characters twice.

In Oscola, you are supposed to use single quotation marks, and double quotation marks for quotes within quotes:

`Of course not,' said the Mock Turtle: `why, if a fish came to ME,
and told me he was going a journey, I should say ``With what porpoise?'''

According to Oscola, quotes over more than three lines are supposed to be in a separate, indented paragraph. Latex formats this automatically if you put it in a quotation environment

\begin{quotation}
    So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when
    she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it
    just at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each
    side, and opened their eyes and mouths so VERY wide, but she gained
    courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she
    got to the part about her repeating `YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,' to
    the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the Mock
    Turtle drew a long breath, and said `That's very curious.'
\end{quotation}

The indentation in the text above is just to make it more visible in the tex file for yourself, the final document ignores that and gets everything important from the quotation environment.

Emphasis

Setting a word in Italics (required for foreign words) can be done with \emph{word}. If the paragraph is already in Italics, the word will be normal again.

The prohibition of genocide is widely accepted to be a norm of \emph{jus cogens}.

If you want to print a word in bold, you can use \textbf{word}.

Special characters

There is an enormous amount of special characters you can use in Latex, and there is a good list of them in the Wikibook. I only list a few of them that you might come across if you need to use French or German words.

Accents can be done with \'{letter} for the acute accent, with \`{letter} for the grave accent and with \^{letter} for the circumflex.

The \emph{ancien r\'{e}gime}

Umlauts are done similarly with \"{letter}:

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schr\"{o}der

And there are many other possibilities for special characters in other languages. If you can't find them in the Wikibook link, Google usually points you to the answer very quickly.