Markdown in Academic Writing

A piece of writing aiming to be academic must be ‘clear, concise, focused, structured and backed up by evidence’. We believe that Markdown writing tools make it easier to focus on content and thus support the main aim of academic writing. iA Writer has a couple of tricks up its sleeves that other apps do not.

Why Markdown?

Here is a short summary of the technical and creative advantages Markdown brings to Academic Writing, and how iA Writer boosts them.

Lightweight files

Hundreds of pages load faster in Markdown than in commonly used word processors, placing considerably less strain on your device.

Future-proof format

Since Markdown is plain text with rich text elements, it is future-proof; it doesn’t matter if your tool of choice is discontinued, you will be able to open and work with your file using other editors anytime.

Focus on Content and Structure

Markdown makes us think about what we say and how we structure it. Word Processors heavy on formatting, too much chrome and automation have the tendency to make us play with fonts, colors, margins, and fancy features rather than doing the work.

Academia rarely requires documents to be submitted in .md format. iA Writer has this covered: the app offers HTML, MS Word (.docx) and .pdf export. iA Writer offers the most complete Markdown to Word import/export parsing around.

Foolproof file sharing

It doesn’t matter if co-authors have different writing apps, since Markdown files can be edited in any of them. Its straightforward styling options are a huge plus for file sharing efficiency, as advanced styling debates can be postponed until the finished work is exported to Word. Mind you, we believe that the text formats Markdown offers are perfect for the majority of academic fields.

Academic Paper design templates

There are various design templates circulating for academic papers. These ensure that the design specifics of your paper, such as fonts, spacing, headings, citations, and so on, comply with relevant academic standards. You can download the most common template from the iA Writer site. With a bit of HTML, CSS or JavaScript knowledge, you can create your own template in iA Writer. See our guide on Github.

How does iA Writer help academics?

Markdown helps users focus on writing instead of browsing formatting options. This is useful in the context of lengthy academic papers. iA Writer doubles down on focus thanks to its clearcut interface, handy key binds, and the original Focus Mode that keeps attention on the sentence or paragraph the user is typing at any given moment.

iA Writer was designed for creating uncluttered, focused, and concise text. This core alignment with Academic Writing requirements is supported by Syntax Highlight and Style Check features.

From correspondence with our users, we know you have written short and long academic papers, even your thesis with the help of iA Writer. We encourage you to message us with your relevant experiences. How has Markdown and iA Writer helped you in academic writing? What were the greatest advantages? Have you encountered any limitations? Do you have templates you used and are happy to share with us? We’d love to share your tips and insights with fellow students, researchers, and scientists.